A German television program's demonstration of full body scanners revealed that the controversial security devices may be able to make out such intimate details as breast implants, but can fail to detect bomb-making components.
In the TV broadcast, the scanner, which produces x-ray images so graphic it's been likened to 'virtual strip-searching,' caught the person's cell phone and Swiss Army knife, but missed a variety of objects hidden around his person that could be used to create and detonate a bomb.
Schneier on Security observes,
Admittedly, he only faced the scanner from the front and not from the side. But he also didn't hide anything in a body cavity other than his mouth -- I didn't think about that one -- he didn't use low density or thinly sliced PETN, and he didn't hide anything in his carry-on luggage.
The revelation that the scanner has overlooked potentially dangerous artifacts comes at around the 2:07 mark in the video below.
Schneir on Security concludes, "Full-body scanners: they're not just a dumb idea, they don't actually work."
Gizmodo's take: "full-body scanners are equal parts creepy and ineffective, the end."
Yet others have defended the devices, believing that can prevent passengers like the 'underwear bomber' from getting through airport security.
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