We oppose the use of body scanners in airports and see it as a direct infringement of our civil liberties.
The new body scanners that are currently being used in the US and now making their way into Britain, produce an image of your naked body and detects any metal objects you may have on your person. There is nothing revolutionary about it except for the fact that it invades your right to privacy. In a world where our right to privacy is decreasing, it is about time we make a stand against this! Producing adult pornography, (which is what it is), is not what I or I hope anyone had in mind when they booked a flight. This machine should be prevented from being used for the following reasons: 1. Privacy and dignity As the images have shown body scanners will create a virtual 3D image of the subjects body effectively strip searching them for some stranger to see. It's not a question of prudishness it’s a matter of personal privacy and maintaining dignity of the individual. Intimate medical details of procedures you may have gone through such as colostomy bags, scars and breast implants will also show up. Travelling by plane is stressful enough without having to queue up like a holocaust victim to be stripped naked and viewed by some officially endorsed voyeur with a badge. 2.Dangers of Microwaves to health The advocates of this technology say that pregnant women and children will be exempted from forcible body scans on health grounds. If there is an unacceptable risk of these machines being used on pregnant women and young children why is it acceptable to expose other people to invasive microwave emitting body scanners? 3. More invasive technology that will follow body cavity searches for all Civil Rights groups like the ACLU in America have already suggested that the next step will be full body cavity searches for passengers should a potential plane bomber hide explosives in his rectum. This tactic was tried by an assassin who tried to blow up one of the Saudi royal family in September 2009. You may think this sounds far fetched, but who would have thought 20 years ago we would have to undergo a virtual strip search to go on a plane, not to mention being restricted in how much liquids we can bring in our carry-on luggage. If we don't take a stand now, it tells governments we will accept any invasive techniques in the name of 'security'. Our civil liberties should not be traded in on the guise of increased security. The abdulmutallab attack in December 2009 has been used as an excuse to spur on the introduction of these machines in Britain. However, these machines, would not have detected the 'anatomically congruent' explosives he carried on his person. Nor would it have stopped the alleged liquid bombers. As the ACLU have pointed out: 'Study after study by DHS’ internal investigators, as well as independent investigators, have found that TSA still cannot identify a large majority of explosives and weapons that the testers have sought to bring through security. And reliably catching every possible means of hiding a few ounces of explosives is probably impossible given the millions of people who fly each day.' Also, 'government testing in the UK found that the technology comes up short in detecting plastic, chemicals and liquids. At London’s Heathrow airport, a four-year test of the scanners resulted in a decision to discontinue their use.' If the excuse that we need these machines 'to stop the bombers' is in fact faulty, then we certainly should not undergo a virtual strip search or have our health put in danger. By signing this petition, we the undersigned are telling the leaders in the EU, the US and more importantly Gordon Brown, that we are against this direct violation of our right to privacy. The European parliament in October 2008 voted 361 to 16 against the use of these body scanners in airports. We are asking that you honor this opposition.