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German Authorities Reject “Useless” Radiation Body Scanners

Report suggests bad posture sets off alarm, leads to grope down

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com [1]
Aug 1, 2011


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

As reported by AFP [2]:

“The weekly Welt am Sonntag, quoting a police report, said 35 percent of the 730,000 passengers checked by the scanners set off the alarm more than once despite being innocent.”

That equates to an alarm being set off without reason in roughly seven out of every ten cases.

The police report noted that the machines struggled to cope with layers of clothing, boots and zip fasteners.

In, addition, in 10 percent of cases the passenger’s posture set off the alarm.

The report concludes that the machines are too sensitive to movement and operate too slowly to be of any practical use. The federal authorities have no interest in carrying out more tests with the machines at this time.

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.

TSA head John Pistole and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano have consistently stated that the machine have passed rigorous safety and efficiency tests.

However, as we have repeatedly highlighted, the machines would not have prevented the 2009 Christmas Day bomber from boarding Flight 253, according to their designers [3], and other security experts who have dismissed the devices as “useless” [4].

The imaging machines cannot even detect explosive material, so claiming, as Napolitano does, that they are “our best defense against such threats” is misleading at best and at worst a complete lie.

The idea that the machines are effective flies in the face of the viewpoint of surveillance experts who note that the scanners will do nothing to make air travel safer [5].

Of course, anyone who sets off the alarm while passing through a full body scanner in the US is subjected to an enhanced grope down at the hands of the TSA, meaning that wearing a bulky sweater or simply having bad posture could single travelers out for the embarrassing procedure.

Earlier this month, the European Union Parliament adopted a resolution to allow the full use of body scanners in airports of the 27 European member nations.

A majority of MEPs expressed support [6] for the scanners providing provisions were made to ensure “Passengers should have the right to refuse body scanning and opt for alternative screening methods that guarantee the same level of effectiveness while respecting their rights and dignity.”

The lawmakers also noted that member states should only “deploy technology which is the least harmful for human health” and addresses privacy concerns. Due to health risks “scanners using ionizing radiation should be prohibited in the EU” the MEPs agreed.

No such ban exists in the US.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net [7], and Prisonplanet.com [1]. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.