Full-body airport scanner "nonsense?"

BERLIN Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:25pm EDT

Passengers wait for a security check at Frankfurt airport, March 5, 2008. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Passengers wait for a security check at Frankfurt airport, March 5, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will not participate in EU proposals for airports to use full-body scanner security checks, which have raised privacy issues, its interior ministry said Friday.

"I can tell you in all clarity that we will not take part in this nonsense," a spokeswoman for the interior ministry told a regular news conference.

The executive European Commission proposed last month to add body scanners to a list of security measures that can be used at airports in the 27-country bloc.

EU lawmakers criticized the scanners in a resolution on Thursday, saying they were equivalent to "a virtual strip search" and raised serious human rights concerns. The lawmakers called for a detailed study of the technology before it is used.

The Commission says a number of EU states including the Netherlands already use body scanners and the EU executive wanted to harmonize conditions in which they can be operated.

The scanners do not exist at German airports and have sparked vivid criticism by politicians across the political spectrum.

(Reporting by Kerstin Gehmlich; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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