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Privacy Technology

New Radar Sees Through Walls 397

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the watching-me-watching-you dept.
artemis67 writes "A small Israeli company has developed a radar system that uses ultra-wideband technology to produce three-dimensional pictures of the space behind a wall from a distance of up to 20 meters. The pictures, which reportedly resemble those produced by ultrasound, are relatively high-resolution and are produced in real time. Wow, it sounds like the potential benefits of this device are huge, saving lives of soldiers, firemen, or police; the potential for privacy invasion, however, is similarly large."
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New Radar Sees Through Walls

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @11:49AM (#9593202)
    a few years back, didn't the company TimeDomain do something like this already with ultrawide spectrum radar?
  • Radarvision Camero (Score:5, Informative)

    by CommanderData (782739) * <kevinhi@yahoo . c om> on Friday July 02, 2004 @11:50AM (#9593224)
    Note that the small Israeli company mentioned above is not Radarvison/Time Domain. Radarvision is based out of Huntsville Alabama.

    The Israeli company is called Camero and the product they are developing is superior to the Radarvision product as you don't need to hold it up to a wall. It can be used up to 20 meters away from a wall, and will give more detail on the items/activity behind the wall...

    Camero does not appear to have a web site, as far as I could find in my brief googling.
  • WorldNetDaily?!?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sakusha (441986) on Friday July 02, 2004 @11:54AM (#9593283)
    Take this story with a huge grain of salt. WND is not a very reliable news source. It's right up there with NewsMax and Washington Times as lunatic fringe pseudojournalism.
  • Re:Very cool (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr. Spontaneous (784926) on Friday July 02, 2004 @11:56AM (#9593299)
    "All from 20 feet away?"

    the article says 20 meters.
  • by tprox (621523) on Friday July 02, 2004 @11:57AM (#9593318)
    I know TimeDomain was pushing pretty heavliy into the Ultra Wide Band technology before it was fairly well known.

    Last I heard they were in litigation with one of the national labs over IP. I'm not sure what the outcome is, but from the look of their website [time-domain.com] it looks like they've been pushing ahead in their research for more than just radar, but also for comms systems.
  • Fortunately.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vancouverite (227795) <brendt.hess@mo[ ]port.com ['tos' in gap]> on Friday July 02, 2004 @12:05PM (#9593418)
    ...there have been court decisions that would affect using this without either an 'active situation' (hostages, &c) or a court order. There was a case in Oregon where police were using passive IR monitoring to generate enough information on a potential pot growing operation inside a house. Their subsequent raid / arrest was thrown out as a violation of privacy. Somehow, I can't see *active* methods of surveillance being any less monitored.

    What?

    Did I hear someone in the audience mutter "Patriot Act"?
  • Brick walls (Score:3, Informative)

    by artemis67 (93453) on Friday July 02, 2004 @12:07PM (#9593442)
    Go to the site and download the video, the demonstration is using a brick wall.
  • Two words: (Score:2, Informative)

    by Etyenne (4915) on Friday July 02, 2004 @12:09PM (#9593473)

    Faraday Cage [wikipedia.org]

    Now, what is the wavelength of these ultra-wideband thingy ?

  • Re:Our gratitude (Score:4, Informative)

    by SparklesMalone (623241) on Friday July 02, 2004 @12:19PM (#9593573)
    Cool link, but it's the "old" Time Domain brand, not the newer Camero brand. The newer brand has better res according to the article. Here's a couple other news sites that popped out of Google:
    Isreali press [haaretzdaily.com] and an investor announcement [formahost.biz].
  • by red floyd (220712) on Friday July 02, 2004 @12:41PM (#9593835)
    IIRC, SCOTUS ruled that police couldn't use thermal sensors (without a warrant) to bust pot growers.

    I believe they used the "Reasonable Expectation of Privacy" argument.
  • No. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ninja Programmer (145252) on Friday July 02, 2004 @12:49PM (#9593935) Homepage
    Its a motion sensor. (The idea is even if you are "standing still" you move very subtly, and the radar can pick it up.) It aint going to help you find studs.
  • Re:Behind walls eh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by uncommonlygood (764935) on Friday July 02, 2004 @12:55PM (#9593986)

    "The material the wall is made out of has a marked impact on the permeability of EM waves." Not to nitpick, but I believe you mean permittivity.

    Not to be a smartass, but EM waves don't have permeability or permittivity, those two things are properties of materials, not waves. They do affect the waves though, as changes in wave impedance (which is dependant on wave frequency and material permeability, permittivity and conductance), may cause reflections - this is precisely the phenomenon that radar works off.

    Normally a wave that reflects off people you would also expect to reflect off walls, unless I'm very much mistaken, so using radar to see people through brick walls involves being pretty damn clever.

    I would expect the guys who designed this thing know a lot more than I, and a lot lot more than the grandparent, about EM waves, so they probably got a solution.

  • by Behrooz (302401) on Friday July 02, 2004 @01:05PM (#9594089)
    In a typical Israeli missile attack against "Terrorist leaders", the collateral damage includes an average of three to seven innocent bystanders. How many lives are saved by killing terrorist leaders again?

    Let's go with some statistics [ict.org.il] regarding the current intifada:

    ...meaningful figures show that Israel is responsible for some 733 Palestinian noncombatant deaths, while Palestinians have killed 546 Israeli noncombatants.

    That count is based on the IDF's own estimates, completely disregarding the even more shocking statistics recorded by international human rights organizations.

    Or perhaps a listing of the non-combatant deaths among children [ict.org.il] might impress you with the military force being used against the Palestinians.

    If you take into account the ridiculously imbalanced effects of the property damage and impoverishment of this ongoing conflict, the Palestinians are getting screwed on every level. There is no sufficient justification for the actions of Israel's military, and I'm sick and tired of hearing 'terrorism' as the rallying cry of those who defend collective punishment and making war on entire populations.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @01:48PM (#9594509)
    Uhhh....try reading this [phatnav.com] before you tell me that civilians were not specifically targetted by the military...

    And who modded the parent up as funny!? That's awful!
  • by afidel (530433) on Friday July 02, 2004 @02:27PM (#9594856)
    Actually in Kyllo v. U.S. SCOTUS made a VERY broad generalization not at all a specific ruling on thermal imaging.

    Held: Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment "search," and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant.
    linky [mindcontrolforums.com]
  • Re:Our gratitude (Score:5, Informative)

    by bartle (447377) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:41PM (#9595523) Homepage

    Unfortunately, I can't remember for the life of me what the judge ruled on this motion, but it is very similar to what we're dealing with here.

    Your post would've been that much more worth reading if you could have remembered. The supreme court ruled [go.com] that infared cameras and similiar uses of technology required the use of a warrant.

  • Re:Our gratitude (Score:4, Informative)

    by Carnildo (712617) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:45PM (#9595558) Homepage Journal
    The problem is that this sort of evidence would be more than enough to get a search warrant and assuming they can get within range of your house without stepping on your property, it's use probably doesn't require one.

    This should already be covered under the ruling that using infrared to look into a house requires a search warrent.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @06:50PM (#9596794)
    Could you perhaps use some type of reason to support your argument?

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