Thursday, 16 October 2008

See-through scanners an 'invasion of privacy'

Civil liberty advocates say a new airport security scanner that can see through a passenger's clothes "goes way too far" and invades peoples' privacy.

The hand luggage and body scanners will be tested on passengers at Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide airports on a voluntary basis, and was put on display at Melbourne airport today.

The head of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman said that the technology allows virtual strip searches.

He says it has grossly 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?'" he said.

"We say this goes too far.

"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."

Mr O'Gorman says airports may be only the first application for the scanners.

"You can bet once it's introduced at airports there will then be calls for it to be introduced at sporting stadiums," he said.

"There will then be calls for it to be introduced at public malls to deal with teenagers carrying knives, etc.

"It will not stop at airports."


Privacy, health, fears over airport X-ray

AIR travellers will be invited to take part in "virtual strip searches" [X-rays] at Australian airports when the Federal Government begins trials of security screening measures this month.

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