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Airport Body Scanner Farce Continues As Perspirating Passengers Set Off Alarms

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Sweaty armpits confuse radiation firing machines

Steve Watson
Aug 3, 2011

Radiation firing body scanners have been yet again proven ineffective and unpractical after alarms were set off repeatedly at an Australian airport by passengers with sweaty armpits.

As Australian Transport Minister Anthony Albanese described the scanners as the “most advanced passenger screening technology available in the world”, one of the machines set off an alarm unnecessarily three times on the second person to walk through it during a $6 million trial at Sydney airport.

“Security staff blamed the passenger’s armpits for upsetting the machine.” reports The Australian Daily Telegraph.

Although the report above makes a big deal out of the fact that naked images are not produced by the machines, it has previously been revealed that the machines do indeed still produce such images, which are merely masked from public view by “stick figure” software.

In response to questions over privacy and potential safety issues, the transport minister replied “..unfortunately we live in an unsafe world, and in those circumstances this government will ensure that people’s security is looked after.”

Albanese further noted “If it comes down to a body search or a pat-down, that will be able to be conducted with privacy.”

A final decision on a mandatory Australian airport roll-out will be made after a similar trial next month in Melbourne.

Last week we reported the fact that Australia is also testing non irradiating body scanners that do not emit any form of energy.

However, it is unclear why trials of these scanners have not hit headlines unlike the more crude backscatter devices.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

As we reported earlier this week, German police described radiation-firing full body scanners as “useless”, following a 10-month trial, during which time alarm was unnecessarily raised far too frequently.

According to a German federal police report, 35 percent of the 730,000 passengers checked by the scanners set off the alarm more than once despite being innocent.

The report noted that an alarm was set off without reason in roughly seven out of every ten cases, adding that the scanners struggled to cope with layers of clothing, boots and zip fasteners, and even the posture of passengers passing through.

The report concluded that the machines are too sensitive to movement and operate too slowly to be of any practical use.

Other security experts have also previously dismissed the devices as “useless” security theater.

Despite these findings, the Department of Homeland Security in the US plans to roll out hundreds more of the machines into airports across the country, claiming that the machine have passed rigorous safety and efficiency tests, in statements we have repeatedly highlighted as highly questionable at best.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

This article was posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 9:19 am

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