Body Scanners in EU Airports By 2010!
The European Commission Regulation has asked all European Union airports to use virtual digital scanners by 2010. This scanner is a virtual strip search machines, which creates a 3D image of a naked body. Such a scanner has been opposed as it is next to a strip search.Australian airports are trialling body scanners that can see through passengers' clothes. (ABC)
AIR travelers will be invited to take part in "virtual strip searches" at Australian airports when the Federal Government begins trials of security screening measures this month. The measures include a body scanner that can see what lies under a person's clothes. The Government says the scanner could detect weapons and explosives, but critics say it is an invasion of privacy.
To fight Terror?
Ever since terrorist Richard Reid tried to detonate a bomb hidden in his shoes, the government has been searching for a faster, more efficient way to detect plastic explosives.
“The technology we’re using today, in some cases, can take 12 seconds to do a scan,” says Randal Null, Chief Technology Officer of the Transportation Security Administration. “We’d like to drive that down to a few seconds.” So now, instead of looking at your shoes, Null says, “we are actually going to do a full body scan of an individual.”
Airport security screeners have the ability to take the shirt right off your back, “so all anatomical features are shown,” says Null.
It’s called Backscatter X-ray — low levels of radiation that could deliver high levels of embarrassment at airports all across the country.
The Protest and Privacy Debate!
Mr O'Gorman, who heads the Council for Civil Liberties, says the technology is a "total invasion of privacy", allowing virtual strip searches and has overstepped the mark.
"You have to ask yourself: Has the war against terrorism got to the stage where we, in effect, have to have our genitals shown, viewed by someone in another room, in the name of airport safety? We say this goes too far," he said.
"We say it skews the balance between proper security on the one hand and the maintenance of basic civil liberties, particularly bodily privacy, on the other.
"These virtual scanners will show women who've had breast enlargements, breast implants, or show women who have colostomy inserts, will show women who have had mastectomies.
"And we can switch it to men - it will show men who have had penile implants."
But the Government says this will not be allowed when the technology is used with the public.
"No images will be stored," the Office of Transport Security's Andrew Tongue said.
"Anybody but the person viewing the image is remote from where the person will be going through the body scanning, so they can't link in any way a person and their image.
"Faces are blurred, so we've tried to build a system that is very protective of people's privacy. And anybody participating in the trial is a volunteer."