New York airports to install full-body scanners

August 7th, 2010 - 5:06 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Aug 7 (DPA) New York region’s three major airports will next month install full-body scanners, which critics said would violate constitutional rights of American people, news reports said Friday.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages Newark Liberty in New Jersey and the John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia international airports, said the scanners will be put to use in September.

The Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Centre, among the critics, is suing the US Department of Homeland Security to stop installation and use of the scanners, claiming they are unconstitutional

“Body scanners produce detailed, three-dimensional images of individuals,” the centre said. “Security experts have described whole body scanners as the equivalent of a “physically invasive strip-search”.

The US Transportation and Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for security at airports, said the full-body scanners are able to identify non-metal weapons like explosives, which metal detectors cannot find.

Full-body scanners are already installed at 41 US airports.

Critics were also concerned that scanners can store naked images of travellers.

TSA acting director Gale Rossides dismissed the concerns: “It seems that though machines at airports are manufactured with the capability to store images, that capability is used in ‘testing mode’ only - and not at airports.”

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