News / Europe

EU Considers Using Controversial Airport Body Scanners

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European Union countries are considering new measures to boost airport security, including the use of a body scanner that has raised privacy concerns.

EU experts are to discuss the issue Thursday in Brussels.

The British government has called for the quick deployment of full body scanners that can detect security threats by showing what is concealed under people's clothing.

But a British privacy group has expressed concern for children who pass through the scanners, saying images of their bodies would be indecent and unlawful.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini voiced support for the scanners, saying they are worth the "sacrifice" of privacy. 

He is quoted by Italian media as saying that "the right not to be blown up is the precondition for all freedoms."

Airport security has come under scrutiny in many countries since a Nigerian suspected of having ties to al-Qaida in Yemen attempted to blow up a U.S.-bound airplane with explosives hidden in his underwear last month.

In Ireland Tuesday, police arrested a Slovak man who unwittingly carried explosives in his luggage on a flight to Dublin.

The man was released without charge after the Slovak government expressed regret for secretly planting the explosives, and then informing Irish authorities of a potential threat.

Slovak authorities say they were conducting an airport security exercise.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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