Australian govt in a dilemma over radiation airport scanning
Govt promises X-rays won’t be naked scanners, The Canberra Times, JULIEANNE STRACHAN, 28 Nov, 2010 New X-Ray body scanners could be rolled out at Australian airports in just a few months, but the Federal Government has promised they will not be the same as the ”naked scanners” which have caused outrage in the US.
The Government is to install the new equipment early next year, as part of a $200 million security upgrade, but has not made a decision about the kind it will buy.
A furore has erupted in the US over the use of its full-body scanners, also being called naked scanners, which led to passengers threatening to boycott the scans during Thanksgiving.
The US Transport Security Authority has also been hit with criticism that the machines give unsafe doses of radiation and the alternative to using the scanners, a new style of pat-down, was too invasive and has been likened to assault.
Canberra-based Civil Liberties Australia spokesman Tim Vines said the authority was behaving like a ”government agency mad with power”.
A spokesman for Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said the Government wanted to buy scanners that used an ionising technology which were different to the US wave technology machines.
”The ones that leave nothing to the imagination are wave-based technology and we are looking at the ionised ones, they have less radiation,” the spokesman said.
”It shows more of a stick figure that identifies parts that are suspect. We have not made a decision yet but we are working through what’s available with the Privacy Commissioner and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.”