Gallery H
Super Scanners
Page 2
Page 3

The End Of Privacy

By James Donahue

If you thought those full-body X-ray scans at airports were invasive, wait until Homeland Security and our local police start using the latest technology; a laser scanner that can instantly examine our bodies and everything on and in us at a molecular level.

Developed by Genia Photonics of Montreal, a company that specializes in lasers and fiber optics, this device allows its operator to instantly see traces of drugs, explosives or gun powder on your clothes, in your bags and even what you had for breakfast from 164-feet away. It gives "spectroscopic information" of everything including the pharmacological substances we either swallowed or are carrying.

The company has 30 patents on this new technology, and believes it will offer incredible biomedical and industrial applications.

Homeland Security has subcontracted with this company to install these scanners in airports and border crossings throughout the United States. Agents using them will be able to get any information they want without touching the subject, and usually without the person even knowing they were scanned.

Of course the idea is to identify explosives, dangerous chemicals and drugs and bioweapons being smuggled into the country, or moved at airports, before they can become the weapons of so-called "terrorism" or narcotics trade.

On the surface the new scanners sound like a good thing because they will give authorities a vital new weapon to use against the bad guys. But we all know that once such devices are available for use in airports and at the nation’s borders, they also will be in the hands of county and city authorities for use at the entrances to public buildings. They can be used at bus stations, subway stations, and public places like theaters and athletic stadiums. And you can bet that the police will have them mounted in their cars. Suddenly we will all be subjected to constant scanning for illicit activity everywhere we go. Can the police even use these devices to look through the walls of our homes?

According to reports the machine is small, attached to a computer running a program that shows the information received in real time, and it is mounted on a portable, rack-mount. Thus it can be placed just about anywhere. Because it reads on a molecular level, it will detect trace amounts of cocaine on your money, gunpowder residue on your shoes, or blood on your trousers. While you may be totally innocent of wrongdoing, there could be a hundred reasons why agents might choose to stop and search you at any public place.

So what does technology like this do to our Constitutional rights? How do we deal with the personal rights to privacy? How far-reaching will government authorities go in using these machines?

The irony in all of this is that the United States is now involved in an unending declaration of War on Terror that began with the staged 9-11 attacks. It is a war that cannot ever end because terrorism is an act that can be committed by individuals or small groups without warning anyplace in the world. There has always been terrorism and there always will be terrorism. Our government has successfully used fear of homeland terrorism to dismantle our freedoms, destroy the Bill of Rights, and declare perpetual warfare on innocent people around the world.

Turning laser scanners such as these on the people in the name of Homeland Security may be the final straw that brings America down. The only thing worse will be machines that read our thoughts. And you can bet someone is working on that too.