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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 08:51 AM
Original message
'Feds radiating Americans'? Mobile X-ray vans hit US streets
'Feds radiating Americans'? Mobile X-ray vans hit US streets

As an antiterror measure, the US government has deployed mobile X-ray technology to randomly scan cars and trucks. But the measure is riling privacy proponents.

By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / September 29, 2010
Atlanta

For many living in a terror-spooked country, it might seem like a great government innovation: Use vans equipped with mobile X-ray units to scan vehicles at major sporting events, or even randomly, for bombs or contraband.

But news that the US is buying custom-made vans packed with something called backscatter X-ray capacity has riled privacy advocates and sparked internet worries about "feds radiating Americans."

"This really trips up the creep factor because it's one of those things that you sort of intrinsically think the government shouldn't be doing," says Vermont-based privacy expert Frederick Lane, author of "American Privacy." "But, legally, the issue is the boundary between the government's legitimate security interest and privacy expectations we enjoy in our cars."

American Science & Engineering, a Billerica, Mass.-company, tells Forbes it's sold more than 500 ZBVs, or Z Backscatter Vans, to US and foreign governments. The Department of Defense has bought the most for war zone use, but US law enforcement has also deployed the vans to search for bombs inside the US, according to Joe Reiss, a company spokesman, as quoted by Forbes.

more:
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0929/Feds-radiating-A...
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. Um, holy shit. nt
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. Wouldn't you love to be the bloke driving those vans?
"Will you marry me? You will make me the happiest man on the planet. But we can't have kids. And I'll glow in the dark. But the term life insurance is really high, so you'll be rich much more quickly than if you married an engineer."
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. In terms of radiation safety...
it beats being an airline pilot! Look up the numbers...
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
25. This doesn't sound like your average X-Ray machine, though.
Able to see inside cars a lane over seems like the dosage is boosted.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #25
36. Not a transmission x-ray, which uses a "bright" point source make...
...a shadow picture on a film.

Backscatter uses a lower intensity source, extremely sensitive detectors and a shit load of computing power to build an image up from a limited amount of information.

Dosage is probably lower than you'd get on a long distance flight. The smog from all the cars and trucks surrounding you is doing you far more damage than one of these things would.
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ladywnch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #36
41. You are correct. I provided training on one of the brand of these trucks
they are quite safe if used properly. No one is EVER supposed to be in the vehicles while they are being screened. Even if they are, they are in no danger. You get more radiation from a cross country flight than from these trucks. You get more radiation from a dental xray. They cannot just shoot into space across a road. They need to drive through a portal otherwise they get no image. I worked 18 months training CBP officers on the safe use of the equipment. They won't shoot if there are any other vehicles or people in the line of fire. they are not require to wear dosimeters (radiation badges). The quality of the images is amazing but is driven by the software and the detectors rather than the amount of the xray being used.
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Nostradammit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #41
76. If they are in no danger why should they NEVER be in the vehicles?
Why not just zap everybody constantly all the time?
It's for our own safety.



Better yet, let's outlaw clothes. Much harder for people
to conceal their various nefarious doings when they are naked.
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ladywnch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #76
80. for the same reason they put a leather apron on you when you get a dental xray
if you don't need to be radiated then don't radiate. It is to minimize all exposure. People are exposed to radiation every single day......and more than these trucks emit. They were designed to scan cargo containers and other vehicles not people.

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ladywnch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #36
42. You are correct. I provided training on one of the brand of these trucks
they are quite safe if used properly. No one is EVER supposed to be in the vehicles while they are being screened. Even if they are, they are in no danger. You get more radiation from a cross country flight than from these trucks. You get more radiation from a dental xray. They cannot just shoot into space across a road. They need to drive through a portal otherwise they get no image. I worked 18 months training CBP officers on the safe use of the equipment. They won't shoot if there are any other vehicles or people in the line of fire. they are not require to wear dosimeters (radiation badges). The quality of the images is amazing but is driven by the software and the detectors rather than the amount of the xray being used.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #36
45. Thanks for the info.
:thumbsup:
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #36
63. Don't buy into those numbers, you CAN get SKIN CANCER etc. from backscatter
Isn't that enough reason to doubt it? Not only that some REPUKE is behind the corporation
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #13
40. Then why do they make me exit my commercial vehicle when they do this at border crossings?
Safe, my ass.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #40
46. Same reason IPod Shuffles came with a warning not to eat them, or
toilet paper comes with an 800 number to call for assistance, I guess.

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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. They're looking for drugs, money and weapons, too?
Dayum.



Fucking Apple and Steve Jobs. Guy is the Antichrist.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. I think more like it is that the person trying to eat the IPod or figure out toilet paper
is on drugs. See, it's a trap. If you call that 800 number, they've got you.
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. Like I said, Jobs is the Antichrist.
He's behind all of this.











Bet their 'customer support' phones ring in the basement of this building, with agents putting on fake accents all the while speed-dialing your local police department.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #40
77. why do they put seatbelts in cars?
or airbags? those things are deathtraps waiting to happen! and don't get me started about bicycles and horses.

I try to not to do anything ever, cause it could cause me problems. I could get hit by lightning for Christ's sake.
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CBR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. creepy... nt
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
4. Swell.
:argh:
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
5. Freaky dupe.
Edited on Thu Sep-30-10 09:01 AM by City Lights
First "post" click resulted in a message opening asking what application I wanted to use to open a pdf file with, so I clicked "post" again and ended up with two posts. :crazy:
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Buns_of_Fire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
33. It sounds like your computer's been irradiated, too!
Drop the mouse. Back away slowly. :scared:
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #33
51. LOL! nt
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. You see the faint outline of the driver in that photo? How much radiation is he absorbing?
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. A LOT
This thing spits out so much radiation it should properly be classified as a weapon.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Source please?
A quick check on Wikipedia regarding airport scanners using the technology says,

"The Health Physics Society (HPS) reports that a person undergoing a backscatter scan receives approximately 0.05 μSv (or 0.005 mrems) of radiation; American Science and Engineering Inc. reports 0.09 μSv (0.009 mrems)."

In other words, the radiation dose an airline passenger receives from the scan is 1/10 the radiation dose received during the subsequent flight (yes, every time you fly you expose yourself to elevated levels of ionizing radiation).
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #12
19. Look at that picture
That thing is scanning through steel - when have you seen a medical or airport security scan able to do that?
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #19
39. I think it has more to do with the size of the detector array.
Medical scanners, (CAT) can in fact look through damned near anything. It's just they're usually used only to look inside flesh.

Airport scanners also can see through thin metal.

Dosage is very limited. Living in Denver or any other higher altitude location is far more dangerous radiologically and that danger is demonstrably bugger all.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #19
64. These are not transmission images
The physics of constructing these images is different from a traditional x-ray or CT scan (even though the source in both cases is indeed ionizing radiation). They aren't blasting x-rays through the object and seeing what gets through; rather, they're collecting x-rays that scatter back (hence the name "backscatter").

Look up the exposure numbers - they're not using a very bright source of x-rays.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
38. Much, much less than I absorbed working...
I imagine much, much less than I absorbed working at an outpatient cancer radiation center for seven years (which was far below negligible levels)
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
7. So, I guess all those pregnant women in their first trimesters
will just have to hope they're not profiled as terrorists, won't they? Along with all the other Americans for whom these random X-rays could be harmful?

Hol. Y. Shit.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Think of the bright side
Two heads are better than one! So when the baby gets born with two heads that's a good thing!
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Hassin Bin Sober Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
88. Two mouths to feed? In THIS economy?
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
78. Well maybe those people shouldn't go outside at all
with the radiation that hits the earth from the sun, day in day out 365. Maybe a nice cave somewhere.
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burnsei sensei Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
9. I don't see how that really helps anything.
Randomly x-raying people and vehicles? That's what you do when you have no idea where to look.
If their human-based intelligence-gathering is so bad, we've got much to worry about.
I've always thought that the Patriot Act was a way of glossing over shoddy human intelligence-gathering and incompetent intelligence analysis.
If both were well done, there would be no need for Gitmo, rendition, Geneva Conventions violations, warrantless wiretapping, FISA, or the Patriot Act.
I still do.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Good point.
Extreme measures like this really do undermine the government's credibility that it has anything under control re: our constitutional rights.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. Agreed. And the excess random data all this scattershot surveillance makes matters much worse. nt
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #9
31. In regards to the American People; it isn't intended to help them.
The primary purpose is to further estrange and thus weaken the people from their government, you can't have an empire and republic at the same time, one or the other is going to give.

This top down instigated estrangement born from eternal, non-winnable war policies, "The War on Drugs" and it's sibling "The War on Terror" came about due to government's total submission to the idea of corporate dominance.

Both so called wars; the former against inanimate objects and the latter against emotion were fertilized by corporate; favored policies and ambition, the people's best interests be damned.

This is just another continuance down a long bitter path that if not dramatically altered will ultimately strangle any sense of American freedom and privacy.

You will be a serf to the corporate state and this is just another tool in their arsenal to make it so.

The upshot is that as the government's Big Brother policies become ever more draconian; the fear from it's own citizens will grow, as government; loses the trust of the people, it can never feel safe.

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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #31
72. This is an excellent post.
"This is just another continuance down a long bitter path that if not dramatically altered will ultimately strangle any sense of American freedom and privacy."

I don't think we're coming back from this. Certainly not in my life.
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wuvuj Donating Member (874 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 07:03 AM
Response to Reply #31
99. As in...it's the technology stupid?
I think it IS the technology. And who has the best tech? The govt and corporations do.

Any technology that is developed for the wars on terror/drugs WILL be used in this country against US citizens...though they will be told...of course...that it is for their own safety.

The US population is just another population that needs to be subdued...for their own good of course. Like the Iraqis needed to be saved from Saddam.



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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
56. Depends on how it is used.
If they are really just driving around the streets of New York randomly x-raying, they aren't going to do any good, and they are violating too many rights for too low a gain (even if one believes that rights can be violated for "the greater good").

On the other hand, if they use them at sporting events or other major events in the right way, they could help. Park a couple near each entrance to a major stadium event and scan the cars going in, and you have a chance of finding something. You also have a chance of preventing someone from even trying something. Say a terrorist group builds a large bomb and plans to blow it up somewhere. If they know these things are at NFL stadiums on Sundays, they may decide that the risk of getting detected is too great to risk their bomb on that event, forcing them to a lower-profile target. If they stall long enough, there is more chance they will get caught in other ways. It's the same theory airport security uses. Airport security is not 100%, as we are constantly told, but it is a high enough risk for a hijacker that they aren't going to waste their best materials and people and efforts on something with maybe a 20% chance of even getting off the ground, so to speak. That's why the big events over the last decade have been failed shoe and underwear bombs--they are down to using disposable amateurs with laughable methods. Something will get through sooner or later, but the security measures, as incomplete as they are, make the professionals wary of low odds of success.

Other ways to use these could be to scan suspicious vehicles parked outside a stadium when they do have a tip, or just some reason to be suspicious of a vehicle. If they get a bomb threat, they can scan nearby cars and structures with a drive-by, helping to eliminate having to search each one so they can use equipment and personal on other areas instead. They could cruise Times Square on New Year's Eve to check out the cars parked along the curbs, again freeing up other resources to search more difficult areas.

Nothing like this is going to be perfect by itself. It's just one tool to use in conjunction with intelligence and other search methods.

It can even help the human-based intelligence-gathering, when they know something is about to happen but aren't sure where. I'm still convinced, for instance, that they knew McVeigh was about to do something in OKC but couldn't find him in time to stop him (the post is long enough without my explaining why I think that). Maybe a system like this could have caught him pulling into the city. Maybe not, but the point is they wind up in situations like that more often than we hear, where they know something is about to happen but aren't sure exactly what or where or how. Equipment like this can help, if used the right way.

As for our rights, we've all seen how little they mean. We can be wiretapped with almost no legal procedure whatsoever. Cops can search us on completely implausible premises and the courts will uphold it. Our emails are scanned, our posts here are read (see, that's why I'm sucking up to them with this post, to make up for some of the others I've made :) )... That's all part of the human-based intelligence-gathering. In some ways, being anonymously scanned by an X-Ray truck is probably less of a violation than most we encounter, as long as the courts uphold the laws against using such evidence in court against us if they find something other than bombs or other WMDs.

Despite all those words, I basically agree with you. I'm just saying, there are ways these can be used in conjunction with other intelligence gathering or as part of security measures at major events (tickets to such events contain disclaimers that you can be searched for security reasons already) that can be effective. Randomly cruising the streets isn't one of them, obviously.
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reggie the dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
11. terrorism my ass, they want drugs
the photo looks more like brick weed, cocaine in bricks or heroin in bricks to me....
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. They are going to use this to troll for drugs and weapons
and anything at all, any excuse they can site as probable cause to search any random person or vehicle.

They want our right to be protected against illegal search and seizure to be quaint words that don't really mean anything anymore.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Yup, anti-terror is the least of this thing's uses
The real draw is that the machine blows the lid off legal restraints on searches. It's use should be severely limited - at a minimum, requiring a court order using the same criteria at least as stringent as those used for issuing search warrants.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
54. However, as a matter of fact, thanks to the PATRIOT act these things can be used with impunity...
...anywhere within 200 miles inland of the national border. Any vehicle (and its occupants IIRC) within that zone may be subject to a "customs inspection" at any time.

The vast majority of Americans have effectively zero 4th Ammendment protection whilst on the roads.

Something like this might in fact paradoxially result in less harrassment of little people, not more. Apart from anything else, small quantities of contraband aren't going to stand out in an entire vehicle of clutter, it's large trafficable quantities that will show. It's bodies in trunks that will show. It's the stuff that shouldn't be there at all that will stand out and attract attention. And yes gun lovers, it will be the gun that's "out of place", the hand gun hidden inside a body panel. Or a bundle of twenty identical rifles in the trunk.

Break your bong apart. Don't carry weed in pound lots. If you are going to break the law, do it intelligently. The constitution is supposed to guarantee an individual's protection from unwarranted intrusion, not their own damned stupidity.

Whilst not 100% ideal, prescreening with one of these WILL far, far more often than not, direct police attention towards criminals and away from ordinary people. After all with operating costs likely to be in the $1000's per hour it is not going to be wasted on $200 misdemeanours.
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txaslftist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #54
67. nice post. nt
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krabigirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #11
29. Exactly.
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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
18. Is there *anyone* in this administration who thinks this is a bad idea?
This administration is not like the previous administration, and stop saying that it is.
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krabigirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #18
30. Probably not. Nt
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
20. no to this - radiation accumulates in a body
nt
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
55. Radiation DAMAGE accumulates to a degree.
A number of radioactive elements do indeed bioaccumulate, but that is not applicable here. X-rays are electromagnetic radiation.

The dose (and hence the amount of damage) from one of these things is miniscule in the greater scheme of things. A badly ventilated home may expose you to radon and a far higher dose; Living at altitude; a cross country flight; Even an old television set can deliver a higher dosage of X-rays and do so over a much longer period.

The radiological danger from one of these vans is, while non-zero, vanishingly small.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
79. bullshit. nt
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
21. "a terror-spooked country"
Mierda del toro. I don't know anyone who goes around worried about terrorism.


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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. I think they meant to say "a country terrorized by spooks"
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
23. So, how soon before we start seeing these at those random checkpoint stops
The ones where the pull everybody over to see if they're drunk. Or simply set up on a road, peering at every car going by. Or turned towards houses, a big van, cruising the road, peering into people's houses.

My bet, within ten years. Time to start retrofitting your house with a Faraday cage, or a lead liner.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Taking protective measures will just be counted as prima facie evidence of your guilt
of whatever they eventually decide to accuse you of.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. Perhaps, but it would make for one hell of a good court case,
And the publicity surrounding it may just reverse this intrusive trend.

Scenario: I'm not a drug dealer or user, just like my privacy and like to fuck with the authorities. I lead line the front wall of my little house, the one they'll have to go through in order to see inside(this can be done fairly cheap and easy, depending upon the construction of your house). The cops come along, can't see inside, think that something is up, and do a midnight raid on your house, only to find nothing. Enter the lawyers and journalists, especially the journalists. Having the police admit that they are looking into houses with an X-ray is going to set off a shit storm of public protest and outrage, one that will force the police to back down from using these things. You would also probably pick up a nice, hefty check from your civil action.

If I have the time and money when my local law enforcement gets one of these machines, I'll do it in a heartbeat, just to fuck with them. The thing is, I live in a rural area which doesn't get much funding for modern police tech. So this will have to be done in a large city first, where they have the resources to pull off this kind of travesty.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #26
58. Your home is safe. The case has already been tested with respect to...
...thermal imagers. Anything which looks through walls can only be used with a warrant.

As I noted above, anywhere within 200 miles of the coast and the Canadian and Mexican borders is now defined as the US customs zone. It's your car that will be the place where your privacy will be subject to invasion.

And as I also noted elswhere above, small shit is rarely if ever going to get you in trouble, you're not worth the hassle to the cops, unless you make it so. And you're not worth the bad press when, more often than not, something iffy on the scan will turns out to be completely inoccuous.

These WILL be used to troll for major legal infractions, and the wording of the 4th is "unreasonable", if you manage to get caught with your ex-girlfriend tied up in the trunk, arguably no search is unreasonable. Provided this nets a lot of bad guys with only a minor inconvenience to the incorrectly targetted no great harm will be done.

Gun owners will just have to get used to showing a permit with their motor vehicle licence.

If the cops are going to harrass people for fun and profit/quotaspublic safety they have no need of a tool like this to make people's lives miserable, they have any number of other ways to circumvent the 4th when they want to on the roads.
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txaslftist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #58
68. Ya think?
You think prevailing in a motion to suppress evidence will make up for a swat team crashing in your door, tossing you to the floor at gunpoint and tearing apart your walls?
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #68
74. ...and shooting your dog. --nt
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #68
84. I think that if a few more people here practiced basic reading comprehension...
...they might actually know what the fuck was going on around them.

You couldn't even make it past the first sentence.

Now let me spell it out for you: This will be used on motor vehicles not houses. And the reason it would be embarrassing is nothing to do with evidence suppression in court. It's because if they take too many family cars apart on the side of the road to find nothing more sinister than children's toys or an old bulb style breast pump, the press will have a field day with them.

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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
91. People who aren't doing anything wrong...
...will not fear being radiated in their own households by Fascist, government
vans trolling the neighborhood.

Only people who hate this country and have something to hide will protest.

:sarcasm:
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Iterate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
27. Car Wars?
Edited on Thu Sep-30-10 10:21 AM by Iterate
Wouldn't it be simpler to require see-through cars?

Or should Ford offer "Back-scatter Shielding Plus" as an option on its sedans? How much would the upgrade be from the basic "Seat of the Pants" version to the "Full Monty"?

What if Joe the Terrist does, as Joe the Terrist would, install a shaped charge launcher when his "Iterate Z Backscatter Van Detector" goes off?

I can't decide if Americans are really that scary to them or if Baghdad had an appeal that escapes me.

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krabigirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
28. Complete and utter creepiness. Nt
Edited on Thu Sep-30-10 10:48 AM by krabigirl
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
32. it's funny how the authoritarian meetheads who claim to love the country and constitution
have no problem in trampling on both.
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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
34. More of the change you can believe in.
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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
35. Will police always target cars rather than profiling men walking down the street?
Already, the NYPD stop and frisk half a million people a year, 80 percent of them Black or Latino, looking for handguns. See http://www.nyclu.org/oped/column-risks-of-stop-and-fris... .

If they'll do half a million a year the old fashioned way, with cop-victim personal contact, how many will they do if they can just push a button?

IMO police abuse could become a leading public-health cancer risk for minority men.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #35
59. The flip side of that is that with sophisticated automated remote scanning, there is no need...
...for RANDOM stop and frisks at all. Each and every enquiry is targeted only at persons carrying weapons, and there is no need to frisk for what you know is already there.

A simple "May I see your permit please sir/madam" or other polite enquiry and a few seconds later you're on your way. (Or contemplating shooting it out.) Legally carried weapons on the street can stay there and those with neither good reason or explicit permission where applicable will soon disappear.

One thing those who fear "the Police State" forget is that once the technology exists, the police state (if it ever comes into being) will put it to use regardless of public feelings.

If we're really against this sort of thing, the time to speak up is long past. To all intents and purposes, any portal is a checkpoint where somone can if they so choose, legally force you to decide to submit to search.

This technology offers nothing substantially new to the battery of scanning and search equipment now available in the way of detection. What it does do, is do it quicker, with enormously greater precision and does it non-intrusively.
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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Huh?! "targeted only at persons carrying weapons?" You mean EVERYONE will be irradiated
all the time?
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #60
85. The device in question here straddles a vehicular target.
The device for crowds, when it comes will use terahertz radiation which is non-harmful.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Like smart-bombs! No chance that new, "more precise" technology could lead to abuses
or to infect the population with the dangerous idea that only the bad will suffer from police state measures. The new improved precision of "smart bombs" convinced people in TVland that the American military state could wage "good wars", in which only the Bad People would be hurt, while civilian life would be respected.

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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
37. How many millions of cars would need to be x-rayed all the time?
Edited on Thu Sep-30-10 11:11 AM by lunatica
This is getting ridiculous.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #37
44. The march of technology and regulation will solve this problem soon enough
New cars for sale can be required to include metal detectors, drug sniffing sensors, and xray equipment positioned within the passenger compartment, looking in. Simple! All we need is for Republicans to agree that our national safety is at risk from thugs and terr'rists , and for Democrats to agree that more regulations on individual behavior and product safety are always needed. Surveillance electronics makers and police will supply the necessary lobbying pressure, and a beat down & defeated populace will supply the resigned apathy. It will happen practically of its own accord.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #44
57. And who gets to monitor all those x-rays?
Because there will be millions and millions of them. And once the crooks know this is happening do you think they'll do nothing about it?

Every time there's a new high tech way of watching there's a new crook innovation to counter it.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
43. Government for the Chicken Littles, by the Chicken Littles.
FEAR!!!
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felix_numinous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
47. The assurances of safety of this machine are one thing,
xray machines require routine calibration in order to remain safe, and have to be operated in a safe manner. The latest trend toward the misuse of tasers, violent home invasions, arresting innocent people, and an increase in police brutality make it most likely any high tech equipment will be yet another tool for abuse.

It is merely big business, the search for domestic terrorism is for the most part manufactured to fit the latest technology.

I wish this were not the case, I know there are honest people in every field, and I am glad that they are there. The level of abuse of power by local and federal agencies in this country is deeply disturbing.

Note once again, before a major liberal demonstration, the news agencies are full of the latest high tech equipment and incidences of intimidation are up, just an observation.
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
52. Isn't backscatter technology the same as the body imaging
tech used by TSA?
Does it work the same way when employed in this way?

They focus here on the scanning of cars and trucks, but people would be scanned as well.

What are the limits here?
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rubberducky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
53. Land of the free, home of the brave. LOL
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
62. The danger is that ANY IONIZING RADIATION will cause CANCER esp. in KIDS
Don't get distracted by other issues, this is the ugly story that will be in the news in a decade.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. I hope you're organizing to keep kids off airplanes then
and halting dental x-rays for kids, etc.

Yes, according to the best available science every radiation exposure carries some cancer risk. But the doses involved in this are tiny compared to doses we accept without batting an eyelash, and completely inconsequential compared to natural background radiation.

If you spend 30 seconds Googling x-ray backscatter radiation dose and compare it to other sources of radiation, you'll have the basis for a sensible assessment of risk.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #65
73. Cumulative.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #65
75. Read up on unreliable calibrations that can give you a 100 times dose
Do you trust TSA worker to push the button when cancer is on the line?
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #75
83. This is a different device from the medical x-rays
Read up on x-ray backscatter.

Even if the dose were 100 times the stated value, it's still peanuts. For instance, airport x-ray backscatter doses (which should be comparable to the mobile unit) are tiny:

"A passenger would need to be scanned using a backscatter scanner, from both the front and the back, about 200,000 times to receive the amount of radiation equal to one typical CT scan," said Dr. Andrew J. Einstein, director of cardiac CT research at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

"Another way to look at this is that if you were scanned with a backscatter scanner every day of your life, you would still only receive a tenth of the dose of a typical CT scan," he said.

By comparison, the amount of radiation from a backscatter scanner is equivalent to about 10 minutes of natural background radiation in the United States, Einstein said. "I believe that the general public has nothing to worry about in terms of the radiation from airline scanning," he added.


So even at 100 times the claimed radiation dose, you get the equivalent of 16 hours of natural background radiation.

The numbers really don't bear out a significant radiation hazard. Worry more about privacy.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #62
81. bullshit.
you get hit by ionizing radiation every day. how is it you don't have cancer?

how is it the astronauts who went to the moon don't?
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
66. This is illegal as hell! One more step toward an Orwellian/V for Vendetta society!
Edited on Thu Sep-30-10 03:16 PM by earth mom
:grr:
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
69. So this means the drug cartels will invest in Geiger Counters.
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Techn0Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
70. If it can go through a TRUCK... what will it do if you are Pregnant?
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #70
86. Not a bloody thing. Read back a few posts.
You might also read back to near the beginning for a post by an operator of one of these trucks. Even though the dosage is minimal, the vehicle is still scanned unoccupied just to cater for hysterical know nothings.
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Techn0Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #86
90. Why does you post leave me feeling even less comfortable than before?
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #90
92. Um perhaps because your education on the subject has been one sided.
Read some of the posts above. Even when idiot operators dial up the power to maximum, the dosage is less than you'd receive just by moving around. Working on a higher floor, living in granite country, flying home for x-mas.

Are you aware that the legislated remediation requirements for decomissioned nuclear power plants in some areas require that the final radiation levels on the site be reduced to BELOW natural background levels.

The sort of idiot who achieves that sort of legislation is who I call "hysterical know nothings". There is no danger, but because it has that yellow and black trefoil on the box, idiots behave as if it were Chernobyl. If nothing else, you get told to get out, because the operators do not want to have to deal with a constant stream of frivolous lawsuits blaming them for any and all maladies that occur within a 12 month timeframe.
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Techn0Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 03:05 AM
Response to Reply #92
93. Yes Anonymous Internet Poster who posts at 1 in the morning - you Have convinced me ....
That an X-Ray machine that can peer through sheet metal is perfectly safe to image someone who is pregnant.
Why oh why didn't listen to you before?

Please assuage my mind about Corexit will you?
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 04:08 AM
Response to Reply #93
97. No I wouldn't, because Corexit is at least as toxic as we think it is.
These x-rays don't "see" through metal in the same manner as a medical x-ray which uses much higher intensities.

They use a low intensity source and very sensitive detectors to catch those very limited number of x-rays that are reflected and then use a lot of computing power and extrapolation to create the picture from very little information.

An old style CRT TV or computer monitor (particularly one that is getting old and a little blury) can put out a comparable quantity of x-rays and does so continuously.

BTW you might want to consider time zones.
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Techn0Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 04:10 AM
Response to Reply #97
98. Thank you again Ananymous Internet Poster..Next to Wikipedia...you're the smartest thing on the web!
Edited on Fri Oct-01-10 04:10 AM by Techn0Girl
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #98
100. Good girl. Never let anything as inconvenient as a fact get in they way...
...of what you know to be true. Karl, Jerry, Sarah and all their friends will be soooo proud.

Yes, that was a coo. You'll just have to take the condescending pat on the head as a given.

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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
71. I am gobsmacked at THIS "DEMOCRATIC" ADMINISTRATION. Did Obama's private school not teach "1984"?
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Techn0Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #71
94. Some see that book as a dire warning ... others as process.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
82. Freak Show
Story at eleven.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
87. And now for the piece de resistance.
Remember back to the outrage everyone here had post 9/11 to learn that customs inspection on the docks was essentially nonexistant.

These fucking machines are exactly the things needed to scan/inspect hundreds of shipping containers per hour. In fact they were EXACTLY the devices demanded at the time.

And the moment they hit the shore, out comes Chicken (Police State) Little to cluck about the possible invasion to their privacy. And the whole bloody barnyard flaps and gallops mindlessly along behind.

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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-30-10 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
89. oh well...if someone is gonna be looking into my car
i guess i should clean it out more offen. crap!
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
95. .
Edited on Fri Oct-01-10 03:46 AM by RandomThoughts
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 03:56 AM
Response to Original message
96. Yes, but just think how many cars they'll be able to find the WEED hidden in the GLOVE COMPARTMENT!
Ooooh, Goody! YAY!!!! :applause:


I mean, let's get real. We all know that's what this is about.
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
101. Kick 1
In the interest of further discussion.

:evilgrin:


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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
102. !
:evilgrin:
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
103. American Science & Engineering management page
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=111923&p=ir...

Heavy Reganesque SDI "family" Republican DoD contractor types to whom our Constitution also is "merely a goddamn piece of paper" imo
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