German group 'Fleshmob' strip to protest against body scans at airports

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Sydney, Jan 14 (ANI): A German group, which calls itself 'Fleshmob', have stripped down to their underwear to protest against the planned introduction of body scanners at airports.

The scanners have been branded "virtual strip searches" because they see through clothing, producing a ghostly naked image.

The group got together at Germany's Berlin-Tegel airport this week, writing messages on their bodies and handing out leaflets voicing their concerns about the new scanners' invasion of privacy.

They even posted a video of their protest on YouTube, which featured them walking through the airport with a variety of protest slogans written on their bodies.

"Something to hide?" and "Be a good citizen - drop your pants" were among the slogans written in German.

The decision to have full-body scanners at the airports came after a failed aircraft bombing attempt in the US on Christmas Day, when a passenger allegedly secreted explosives in his underwear.

Australia's Privacy Commissioner, Karen Curtis, said her officers had inspected body scanners during Australian trials and she understood scanned images would not be recorded and were, therefore, "unlikely to be considered personal information under the Privacy Act".

"My office will ... ensure that if these technologies are implemented that privacy concerns are appropriately addressed," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted her as saying.

In the UK, there have been complaints that scanners breach child porn laws, and officials have tried to alleviate concerns by pointing out that faces are obscured in the scans and that the images cannot be stored.

However, American privacy advocates say they have obtained documents that state that the body scans can be stored and sent, despite the official claims. (ANI)

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