War on Terror
War on Terror

Would Full Body Airport Scanners Violate Child Porn Laws?

| by DeepDiveAdmin
Since the failed Christmas Day terrorist bombing attempt of an airplane over Detroit, there has been a call to increase the use of full body digital scanners to better screen passengers. Privacy experts are dead set against it, but now there is a new wrinkle to the opposition -- they say it could violate child pornography laws.

The scanner takes a digital image of people, looking under their clothes to see if they are hiding any weapons or other contraband. But the privacy folks say the image shows too much, and the machines should not be used.

Adding to the complexity of this privacy/safety debate are European child activists who say the images produced by the machines violate the rights of children, and could be considered kiddie porn.

"They do not have the legal power to use full body scanners in that way," Terri Dowty of the Action On Rights For Children told the news agency AFP.

The European Union will meet this week to discuss widespread use of the machines. A spokeswoman said the EU "considers body scanners, if they meet the health standards and security standards, as a useful additional tool providing they do not contradict existing European legislation."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the BBC that England would begin using full body imaging on all passengers passing through its airports. But London's Daily Mail reports the British would have to exempt those younger than 18 until some kind of compromise could be worked out.

But what is the right compromise?