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Germany laughs at EU's full-body scanners plan

Who said they have no sense of humour?

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Germany has dismissed proposals to use "virtual strip searches", describing the scheme as nonsense.

Members of the European Parliament got all het up last week and asked the Commission to look at the implications of millimetre wave scanners which can, under certain circumstances, produce what is effectively a naked image of the person scanned.

MEPs said the privacy implications and cost benefit of the scanners should be investigated before the machines get the go-ahead. Most scanners now use an alarm system rather than requiring a security goon to perve at blurry naked images all day.

But the German interior ministry was more direct.

A spokeswoman told Reuters: "I can tell you in all clarity that we will not take part in this nonsense."

Which certainly seems pretty clear to us. Of course, this attitude is slightly at odds with the German interior ministry's usual attitude to technology and surveillance. This is the government dept which is trying to get the Eu to endorse its plans to remotely access the PCs of anyone it suspects of pretty much anything.

The virtual strip searches have been tested in the UK but not in Germany. Trials were abandoned at tube and train stations in London earlier this year because the technology did not work, delays were too long and scanners were especially unpopular with young women. ®

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