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Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans

jamesrage

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I guess since some people do not think you should have any expectation of privacy in your car or that it is okay to use satellites to see if you have a pool in your back yard with out a warrant then they should have no problem with the police driving next to them on the road in one of these vans or even in front of their house with one of these vans.


Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans - Andy Greenberg - The Firewall - Forbes
As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it’s worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents, Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at the company told me in an interview. While the biggest buyer of AS&E’s machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reiss says law enforcement agencies have also deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs in the U.S.

“This product is now the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever,” says Reiss.

The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as the company calls them, bounce a narrow stream of x-rays off and through nearby objects, and read which ones come back. Absorbed rays indicate dense material such as steel. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes them powerful tools for security, law enforcement, and border control.

It would also seem to make the vans mobile versions of the same scanning technique that’s riled privacy advocates as it’s been deployed in airports around the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is currently suing the DHS to stop airport deployments of the backscatter scanners, which can reveal detailed images of human bodies. (Just how much detail became clear last May, when TSA employee Rolando Negrin was charged with assaulting a coworker who made jokes about the size of Negrin’s genitalia after Negrin received a full-body scan.)

“It’s no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans],” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. “But from a privacy perspective, it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”

AS&E’s Reiss counters privacy critics by pointing out that the ZBV scans don’t capture nearly as much detail of human bodies as their airport counterparts. The company’s marketing materials say that its “primary purpose is to image vehicles and their contents,” and that “the system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race, sex or age of the person.”
 
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Jucon

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The video in the link doesn't work anymore.

Found another video demonstrating the technology:
YouTube - "ZBV" - Z Backscatter Van

It wouldn't surprise me if we started seeing this technology at border checkpoints... if they haven't already installed them.
 

Hoplite

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It's interesting, but I'm not convinced it's entirely effective. The machine cant seem to tell the difference between a box of C4 and a box of toilet paper. I could see it's usefulness in finding hidden cargo or in human trafficking operations, but I dont really see a use for it just driving down the street scanning cars.
 

Orion

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The companies who make and market these technologies have no moral fiber.
 

EnigmaO01

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The companies who make and market these technologies have no moral fiber.

It's called capitalism. If there is a market they will make it.

Why do you think we have such a horrid thing as napalm?

What I'm concerned about is if this is truly x-ray technology how much radiation would a trucker accumulate coming back and forth across the border? What about the irradiation of fruits and vegtebles?
 
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Wiseone

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It's called capitalism. If there is a market they will make it.

Why do you think we have such a horrid thing as napalm?

What I'm concerned about is if this is truly x-ray technology how much radiation would a trucker accumulate coming back and forth across the border? What about the irradiation of fruits and vegtebles?

Capitalism it may be but capitalism is different from morality, just because something is legal or competitive doesn't mean its morally right regardless if there's a market for something or not.

But thats the real issue, there shouldn't be a market for these kind of things at least not anywhere in the U.S. Where is that SCOTUS that's going to strike these things down, along with this whole ridiculous "security" fanfare that's taking over this country. I don't care if its less secure to not have warrentless wiretaps, body scanners and whatever other cockamamie crap the government can come up with, that's not how I want to live.

9/11 has made everyone insane.
 

Jucon

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Capitalism it may be but capitalism is different from morality, just because something is legal or competitive doesn't mean its morally right regardless if there's a market for something or not.

But thats the real issue, there shouldn't be a market for these kind of things at least not anywhere in the U.S. Where is that SCOTUS that's going to strike these things down, along with this whole ridiculous "security" fanfare that's taking over this country. I don't care if its less secure to not have warrentless wiretaps, body scanners and whatever other cockamamie crap the government can come up with, that's not how I want to live.

9/11 has made everyone insane.

Why shouldn't there be a market for these kinds of things? I agree that it's pretty bad that we've gotten to this point, but with all the threats to our national security it's perfectly logical to adopt this technology.

However I do completely agree that this kind of technology driving down the street scanning people and vehicles is completely unconstitutional.
 

grolch

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Laws....do we really need more.
I was stuck at the DMV and searched the Blackberry App Store for something to do.
I found a game that lets me throw shoes at former President Bush Jr. and Bush Sr.
It is named 2010 DC and is available on the Blackberry App world.
God Bless the First Amendment
 

jamesrage

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The video in the link doesn't work anymore.

Found another video demonstrating the technology:
YouTube - "ZBV" - Z Backscatter Van

It wouldn't surprise me if we started seeing this technology at border checkpoints... if they haven't already installed them.

I do not think most people would have a problem with these on the borders or our ports scanning incoming traffic and containers. If that is the case then there is no reason for these to be mobile,they can be stationary. The only reason for these things to be mobile is so they can drive close to a house or close to someone on a highway.
 

Manc Skipper

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Somebody needs to up their Clozapine. If steel reflects the "rays" (which are weaker than x-rays) then you only need to keep your explosives down low in the car, and they can't be seen. For the terminally bashful, your naughty bits will be hidden by your car's door. Anyone not noticing a huge truck parked on their driveway scannng the house deserves to be spied on. That or a free eye test.
 

Jucon

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I do not think most people would have a problem with these on the borders or our ports scanning incoming traffic and containers. If that is the case then there is no reason for these to be mobile,they can be stationary. The only reason for these things to be mobile is so they can drive close to a house or close to someone on a highway.

For people coming in to the U.S. I think it would be a good idea. I've seen some of the crazy tactics smugglers have used online and on the show Border Wars. I don't think it would be a terrible idea to scan things going out of the country either... searching for large amounts of money or weapons being snuck through the border. But again, this doesn't sound to me like something that would be constitutional. What do you think?
 

Wiseone

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Why shouldn't there be a market for these kinds of things? I agree that it's pretty bad that we've gotten to this point, but with all the threats to our national security it's perfectly logical to adopt this technology.

However I do completely agree that this kind of technology driving down the street scanning people and vehicles is completely unconstitutional.

There shouldnt be a market because it should be illegal and unconstitutional.
 

Aunt Spiker

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It's interesting, but I'm not convinced it's entirely effective. The machine cant seem to tell the difference between a box of C4 and a box of toilet paper. I could see it's usefulness in finding hidden cargo or in human trafficking operations, but I dont really see a use for it just driving down the street scanning cars.

Agreed.

What's interesting - or twistedly funny - is that the people who worry are worried about *the government* using such things don't seem to be thinking that *bad* people could use it just as well. Though I feel it's actually more along the lines of conspiracy than reality - or a useless idea in transition to something more useful - I'd worry more about such things falling into the hands of terrorists or what not - rather than the cops or fbi.

But per the OP's comments about spying on your land overhead - what good does that do? And more so - who cares if someone can see what you have in your yard.
If you have nothing ot hide then you have nothing to worry about. They've had the ability to fly overhead and spy on your crappy back yard since airplanes were invented.

:shrug:

I, in fact, have planes fly overhead all the time - maybe 50 a day from the airbase that's 20 miles away. I'm not bothered by that at all.
 

bicycleman

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It's interesting, but I'm not convinced it's entirely effective. The machine cant seem to tell the difference between a box of C4 and a box of toilet paper. I could see it's usefulness in finding hidden cargo or in human trafficking operations, but I dont really see a use for it just driving down the street scanning cars.

Businesses could use it to find out which employee is stealing toilet paper.
 

Kal'Stang

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I guess since some people do not think you should have any expectation of privacy in your car or that it is okay to use satellites to see if you have a pool in your back yard with out a warrant then they should have no problem with the police driving next to them on the road in one of these vans or even in front of their house with one of these vans.


Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans - Andy Greenberg - The Firewall - Forbes
As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it’s worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents, Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at the company told me in an interview. While the biggest buyer of AS&E’s machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reiss says law enforcement agencies have also deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs in the U.S.

“This product is now the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever,” says Reiss.

The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as the company calls them, bounce a narrow stream of x-rays off and through nearby objects, and read which ones come back. Absorbed rays indicate dense material such as steel. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes them powerful tools for security, law enforcement, and border control.

It would also seem to make the vans mobile versions of the same scanning technique that’s riled privacy advocates as it’s been deployed in airports around the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is currently suing the DHS to stop airport deployments of the backscatter scanners, which can reveal detailed images of human bodies. (Just how much detail became clear last May, when TSA employee Rolando Negrin was charged with assaulting a coworker who made jokes about the size of Negrin’s genitalia after Negrin received a full-body scan.)

“It’s no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans],” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. “But from a privacy perspective, it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”

AS&E’s Reiss counters privacy critics by pointing out that the ZBV scans don’t capture nearly as much detail of human bodies as their airport counterparts. The company’s marketing materials say that its “primary purpose is to image vehicles and their contents,” and that “the system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race, sex or age of the person.”

I have no problem with them using stationary body scanners at airports, or the border. However I do think that having a mobile scanner to be way too much and is an invasion of privacy....unless they have a warrant for it.
 

jamesrage

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For people coming in to the U.S. I think it would be a good idea. I've seen some of the crazy tactics smugglers have used online and on the show Border Wars. I don't think it would be a terrible idea to scan things going out of the country either... searching for large amounts of money or weapons being snuck through the border. But again, this doesn't sound to me like something that would be constitutional.

In the case of using it on the border why does it need to be mobile? Why just stationary x-ray scanner at the check point? The only reason for making it mobile is so they can sneak a pick at motorist, homes or anything else.
What do you think?

I think such a thing will used for unconstitutional searches while you are driving your car or drive by your home and use it.
 

Deuce

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Just what I wanted, more exposure to radiation!

I should be president. You know why? People would run ideas like this past my desk, and I'd get to say to them "No, you can't do that. Why? Because I'm the president and I said so, that's why, moron. Also, you're fired. And your mother is fired."
 
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Phantom

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Privacy, for god's sake...
 

Hoplite

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In the case of using it on the border why does it need to be mobile? Why just stationary x-ray scanner at the check point? The only reason for making it mobile is so they can sneak a pick at motorist, homes or anything else.


I think such a thing will used for unconstitutional searches while you are driving your car or drive by your home and use it.
Even if this is true, so what? As I pointed out, it doesnt work very well for that purpose.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Even if this is true, so what? As I pointed out, it doesnt work very well for that purpose.

Indeed - unless they can peer beyond the brick and into your purse contents I don't consider it functional or troublesome even in *that* sense.
Now - if this was more advanced and they could pull off an indepth scan on a pass then I'd be bothered.

So - they put an Xray machine on wheels. That can't be a new idea, either.
 

jamesrage

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Even if this is true, so what? As I pointed out, it doesnt work very well for that purpose.

They get everyone used to x-ray vans and alleviate peoples fears by saying oh the technology is not that great. Then one day a better more penetrating x-ray technology comes along and they use that in the vans. No one says **** because they are already used to the x-ray vans spying on them. I do not think you have any idea of how baby steps or incrementation works.They start off with something small to get people used to the idea of it and work their way up to something bigger and people get used to it and they work up to something even more bigger and people get used to it. This is why 2nd amendment proponents oppose gun control laws.
 

Hoplite

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They get everyone used to x-ray vans and alleviate peoples fears by saying oh the technology is not that great. Then one day a better more penetrating x-ray technology comes along and they use that in the vans. No one says **** because they are already used to the x-ray vans spying on them. I do not think you have any idea of how baby steps or incrementation works.They start off with something small to get people used to the idea of it and work their way up to something bigger and people get used to it and they work up to something even more bigger and people get used to it. This is why 2nd amendment proponents oppose gun control laws.
Paranoid much?
 

jamesrage

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Paranoid much?

I do not like the idea of x-ray vehicles driving around town that can spy on people's vehicles,businesses and homes. Technology improves and just because it allegedly may not be that good right now is no reason to let the government use it on American citizens.
 
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