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  (Source: 20th Century Fox)
Have even a trace of gunpowder on you from a shooting range? You may be in for a "deep frisking"

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is tasked with fighting "the war on terror", but of late it has been accused of creating more terror than it prevents, with invasive frisking of childrens' genital areas and a proclivity for mocking passengers' bodies sexually behind closed doors.  But all that may be but a teaser for what is to come, according to a piece by Gizmodo.

I. Prepare to be Scanned and Detained

The piece details new "molecular scanners" which work something like Big Brother's wildest wet dream, detecting each an every chemical substance on your body.

The scanners are being commercialized by Genia Photonics and employ terrahertz speed laser pulses.  The laser hardware is capable of detecting -- even through clothing or windows -- the slightest trace amounts of chemicals on the human body.  Genia claims the scanner is ten million times faster and one million times more sensitive than any other scanner -- such as the millimeter wave-based detectors.

Genia scanners
The DHS is eyeing new laser scanners to scan and detain "suspicious individuals" at police checkpoints in public locations. [Image Source: Genia]

Genia writes that the scanner can "penetrate clothing and many other organic materials and offers spectroscopic information, especially for materials that impact safety such as explosives and pharmacological substances."

Thanks to the speed, the DHS is reportedly looking to deploy the scanners secretly at inter-state borders, international borders, and in airports.  

The deployment raises some thorny issues, given the scanner's ability to detect such small traces of compounds.  For example, smoke a bit of marijuana in a region where it's decriminalized or legal for medical uses, and you may now be arrested by DHS officers at the state border.  Alternatively, you might go shooting at the gun range, but the trace amounts of gunpowder left on your clothing might earn you a date with "Mr. Happy Hands" of the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) or DHS.

TSA pat down
You match the profile, prepare to be frisked. [Image Source: The Denver Post]

II. DHS Eyes Plotting Scanners in Shopping Malls and Other Locations

In fact, DHS agents are eyeing the possibility of rolling the devices out all across the country, scanning everyone in any public location possible for signs of suspicion.  

In-Q-Tel, the DHS contractor who is subcontracting Genia writes, "an important benefit of Genia Photonics' implementation as compared to existing solutions is that the entire synchronized laser system is comprised in a single, robust and alignment-free unit that may be easily transported for use in many environments… This compact and robust laser has the ability to rapidly sweep wavelengths in any pattern and sequence."



A scan takes only picoseconds and can be performed at distances of up to 50 meters, making it big brother's dream device.

III. Deployment is on Pace for 2013-2014

The creators are confident they can deliver on their objectives of ubiquitous privacy intrusion.  Founded by a group of laser and fiber optic Ph.D specialists, Genia is among several Universities and firms worldwide making similar ambitious claims of laser scanners with molecule-level sensitivity.

Shooting range
A trip to the shooting range could soon make you wind up in federal custody.
[Image Source: Flickr]

In Congressional testimony the DHS revealed that deployment was only a year or two away, meaning the devices could start popping up in 2013.

From there, there's no telling how far down the dystopian things could go with molecule scanner.  The scanner can sense signs of fear -- such as adrenaline -- even through car windows or in crowded shopping malls.  The DHS has already acknowledge publicly experimenting with such "future crime" profiling efforts.  In those projects the DHS expressed a desire to detain individuals in public locations who fit certain profiles that indicate they might be ready to commit a crime.  

Will anxiety about a big deadline at work lead you to be handcuffed in front of your children at the shopping mall?  There's no official word yet on such uses, but the hints are there, and the possibilities are frightening.

Sources: Genia, In-Q-Tel



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RE: Welcome to the New World..
By Quadrillity on 7/11/2012 9:04:36 PM , Rating: 5
Ok then. Don't come to us when the U.S. Government starts enforcing their food control policies and small arms treaty with the UN.

Down here, we know how to grow food, build shelter, and shoot. Have fun when s*** hits the fan buddy. And don't think it isn't coming soon enough either. We have been putting it off for a long time now.

(oh, we also have the vast majority of the military too. Good luck with that as well. Every military member I have ever met would rather rot in hell than turn against their own friends and family)


RE: Welcome to the New World..
By Oakley516 on 7/11/2012 9:35:30 PM , Rating: 1
Who gets California in this Civil War?


RE: Welcome to the New World..
By Bad-Karma on 7/12/2012 12:34:47 AM , Rating: 5
I'm not sure either side would want them.......


RE: Welcome to the New World..
By TSS on 7/12/2012 1:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
Offer it to the mexicans. It used to be their territory anyway. Not sure if even they want it though.


RE: Welcome to the New World..
By HrilL on 7/12/2012 12:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
I guess the south would because if you're not in a major population center on the coast then you most likely own guns, hunt, and still hate government intrusion.

The probably with CA is that while we have a lot of people that don't support any of the retarded things that go on in our state. Just the damn liberals out number everyone else yet only live in a small geographical area compared to the side of our state.


RE: Welcome to the New World..
By leviathan05 on 7/12/12, Rating: 0
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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