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Government Privacy United States Your Rights Online

DHS Eyes Covert Body Scans 386

Posted by timothy
from the oh-do-they-ever dept.
CWmike writes "Documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) suggest that the US Department of Homeland Security has signed contracts for the development of mobile and static systems that can be used scan pedestrians and people at rail and bus stations and special event venues — apparently at times without their knowledge. Under consideration: An Intelligent Pedestrian Surveillance platform; an X-Ray Backscatter system that could detect concealed metallic and high-density plastic objects on people from up to 10 meters away; a walk-through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events or other points of interest, which could be installed in corridors and likely scan people walking through it without them knowing it, EPIC said."
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DHS Eyes Covert Body Scans

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  • by SimonTS (1984074) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:42PM (#35372832)

    If the technology is out there to do this safely and securely, how could it possibly be a bad thing. These being used at major gatherings - Olympics, Superbowl, World Cup - all round the world these should be able to be used given the current state of the world we live in.

  • by SimonTS (1984074) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:54PM (#35373014)

    I agree - that's why I said "If... safely and securely". Privacy concerns in this respect wouldn't worry me. Living in the UK I'm aiming to go to several Olympic events in 2012 - and I'd much rather know that there was no way anything was getting in to the stadium that shouldn't be there.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @05:08PM (#35373182)

    I agree - that's why I said "If... safely and securely". Privacy concerns in this respect wouldn't worry me. Living in the UK I'm aiming to go to several Olympic events in 2012 - and I'd much rather know that there was no way anything was getting in to the stadium that shouldn't be there.

    Need I actually point out that these machines will NOT allow you to know that 'there was no way anything was getting in'? They may make you think this is true and make you feel happy and warm and fuzzy about how safe you are, but nothing really changes --- except that a lot of people carrying a lot of innocuous things will get hassled and have their personal belongings confiscated, all in the name of making stupid people feel safer. Not actually BE safer, mind you, just feel that way.

    It should not be a surprise to anyone here that installing such a system at any Olympics venue will simply be viewed as a challenge to act by any nefarious types, even those whose sole goal is to bypass challenges like this and not actually harm you.

  • by UnCivil Liberty (786163) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @06:31PM (#35374258)

    You know those WiFi-sensitive T-Shirts from ThinkGeek? Maybe it's time for something that responds to X-radiation...

    New Clothing Line Reminds TSA of the 4th Amendment - http://www.aolnews.com/2010/12/07/new-clothing-line-reminds-tsa-of-the-4th-amendment/ [aolnews.com]

    Not thrilled with the Transportation Security Administration's new touchy-feely pat down techniques and full-body scanners? Now there's a line of underclothes that offer a friendly reminder of the Fourth Amendment during controversial searches.

    It's called 4th Amendment Wear.

    Metallic ink printed on shirts spells out the privacy rights stated in the amendment and is designed to appear in TSA scanners.

How many hardware guys does it take to change a light bulb? "Well the diagnostics say it's fine buddy, so it's a software problem."

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