The U.S. is working on hidden scanners that officials say would identify explosives at a distance, according to gizmodo.com.
Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.
And without you knowing it.
The technology is so incredibly effective that, in November 2011, its inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel to work with the US Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded “in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the Director of the CIA and with the support of the U.S. Congress.” According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies.
Their plan is to install this molecular-level scanning in airports and border crossings all across the United States. The official, stated goal of this arrangement is to be able to quickly identify explosives, dangerous chemicals, or bioweapons at a distance.
The machine is ten million times faster—and one million times more sensitive—than any currently available system. That means that it can be used systematically on everyone passing through airport security, not just suspect or randomly sampled people.
But the machine can sniff out a lot more than just explosives, chemicals and bioweapons. The company that invented it, Genia Photonics, says that its laser scanner technology is able to “penetrate clothing and many other organic materials and offers spectroscopic information, especially for materials that impact safety such as explosives and pharmacological substances.”
Not only can they scan everyone. They would be able to do it everywhere: the subway, a traffic light, sports events… everywhere.
The small, inconspicuous machine is attached to a computer running a program that will show the information in real time, from trace amounts of cocaine on your dollar bills to gunpowder residue on your shoes. Forget trying to sneak a bottle of water past security—they will be able to tell what you had for breakfast in an instant while you’re walking down the hallway.
And the Russians also have a similar technology: announced last April, their “laser sensor can pick up on a single molecule in a million from up to 50 meters away.”
There has so far been no discussion about the personal rights and privacy issues involved. Which “molecular tags” will they be scanning for? Who determines them? What are the threshold levels of this scanning? gizmodo.com
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The Department of Homeland Security could soon be using a laser scanner in airports that can detect almost everything about you from 160-feet away. This scanner has the ability to read and find all sorts of things based on the objects molecular build. This technology would eliminate strip-searches, and it can be used on multiple people at one time. Gizmodo reports that this technology could be used in airports as soon as 2013.
The official name for this device is the Picosecond Programmable Laser. Essentially, the laser is pointed and fired at its target, the lasers then vibrate molecules which allow it to determine what the target is or has been exposed to.
The inventor of this technology is Genia Photonics, and their partner In-Q-Tel. In-Q-Tel was chartered by the CIA and Congress to build “a bridge between the Agency and a set of new technology innovators.” Genia Photonics also holds thirty patents on lasers since 2009. Genia Photonics, however, are not the only ones with similar technology; George Washington University created a similar laser scanner in 2008. Russians are also believed to have a technology that “is even able to detect traces of explosives left by fingerprints.”
Although this is an extremely invasive technology that could be used by “Big Brother”, Genia Photonics insists that it could be far more beneficial for medical purposes. The laser scanner could be used to check for cancer in real time, lipids detection, and patient monitoring.