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Insider Says Canada To Install Dozens
of Naked Airport Scanners in 11 Airports

On condition of anonymity, an insider has stated the Canadian government plans to install dozens of naked airport scanners that can see through the clothes of travellers in airports across the country.

Transport Minister John Baird will announce plans today to install the machines in 11 airports within two months.

An insider has told The Canadian Press that a total of about 45 scanners, which cost $200,000 apiece, will eventually be in place around Canada.

Initially the machines will turn up in cities including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver, the anonymous said.

The move follows an apparent attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up a jetliner over Michigan by igniting explosives sewn into his underwear.

Last week officials said there were no plans to speed up consideration of the long-discussed scanners in light of the near-disaster.

But the government, under pressure to respond to the dramatic U.S. incident, has decided to make the multimillion-dollar purchase.

The proposal has stirred controversy because the scanner produces a three-dimensional outline of a person's naked body - prompting some to denounce the process as a virtual strip search.

In late October last year, the scanners which have potentially devastating health effects have received the blessing of Canada's privacy czar.

Chantal Bernier, Canada's assistant federal privacy commissioner, said the national air security agency had successfully answered her office's questions about the scanners.

"It is a very touchy issue, and we have addressed it with exactly that level of care," Bernier told a gathering of security officials and academics last year.

"In our view, these privacy safeguards meet the test for the proper reconciliation of public safety and privacy," Bernier said.



January 5, 2010

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