NOT JEWS, NOT PROTESTANTS, NOT WICCANS…..BUT MUSLIMS…AND ISN’T IT FUNNY THAT THEY ARE THE ONES MOST OFFENDED BY THIS….
Pressure on Canada for full body scanners
By ALTHIA RAJ, Parliamentary Bureau, QMI Agency
Last Updated: September 11, 2010 3:03pm
OTTAWA – Canadian travellers may soon be asked bare all before boarding a flight.
Full body image scanners are currently being used as secondary screening at major Canadian airports but a recent U.S. decision to phase out metal detectors and replace them with “naked” scanners is raising alarm passengers here will soon have to accept having their privates scanned.
Canada is facing “massive pressure” to harmonize its policies with the U.S., says the B.C. Civil Liberties Association’s Micheal Vonn.
“Right from the get go, the idea that there would be no push for this to be primary screening is completely ridiculous. Of course, there would be a push,” Vonn said when informed of the U.S. change.
Greg Soule, a spokesman with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), said the decision to use all newly deployed full body scanners as primary screening was made earlier this year to address evolving threats to aviation such as explosives and other non-metallic threats.
The TSA plans to deploy 1,000 machines by the end of 2011 and already has 200 units in 52 American airports.
“We have made the decision to deploy all of our machines in the primary position and I am not going to speak for Canada on their decision to deploy their technology. However, we will continue to share information and intelligence and best practices with all our international partners,” Soule told QMI Agency.
Transport Canada refused to say whether it plans to make the $250,000 scanners the main screening method in large airports. Transport Canada spokeswoman Maryse Durette would only say “mandatory screening” using full body scanners was not being considered at this time.
U.S. passengers are also told that walking through the naked scanners is optional because travellers can request a time-consuming pat-down search instead.
Vonn believes that’s no choice at all.
“(People are) essentially being threatened with an embarrassingly intimate physical search if they don’t opt for this nice clean hands-off naked scanner,” she said. “The moment it becomes primary screening it is no longer optional.”
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is calling of the federal privacy commissioner to issue a “very strong statement” requiring full body scanners to remain a secondary screening method.
The Privacy Commissioner¹s office said Transport Canada is expected to discuss any policy changes with them but they had not been consulted recently.
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has received approximately 30 complaints about the naked scanners since they were introduced earlier this year.
There are 31 full body scanners currently deployed in 15 Canadian airports.
Thirteen more will be added in the coming weeks.