Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/15/eu_body/

EU fails to shift unwanted perv scanners

Power mad despots and oligarchs only likely buyers

By Joe Fay

Posted in Government, 15th March 2010 15:27 GMT

The European Parliament has failed to offload the half-dozen body scanners it bought in 2005, shortly before MEPs decided the technology was intrusive - even for normal people.

The scanners were bought in the wake of the September 11 attacks, but only turned up in 2005, by which time things had calmed down a bit. They were quietly put into storage pending another emergency.

The emergency, when it came, was MEPs' vocal opposition to intrusive body scanners last year - meaning the scanners had to be offloaded once someone remembered the EU had its own cache of perv scanners still lying around Strasbourg somewhere.

EUobserver reports that the bids were due to be opened on Friday. In the event, not even the room was opened due to the lack of actual bids.

Administrators may take a second crack at offloading the aging body scanners, EUobserver adds. However, the odds on anyone respectable taking them off the MEPs' hands are pretty poor, given that the technology itself is increasingly out of date.

They might just pass muster for military use, apparently. However, it seems the MEPs might have to face up to the fact that the only likely buyers are probably power mad despots, paranoid oligarchs, or an unwieldy bureaucracy with more money than sense.

Which probably means the scanners will be going straight back to the basement at the European Parliament. ®