The Family Survival Center – Security Blog

Government using mobile x-ray scanners to spy on people in their homes

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August 31, 2010 (Source: Homeland Security Newswire)

Inspection with van mounted scanner // Source:

Inspection with van mounted scanner // Source:

Massachusetts-based American Science & Engineering is selling van-mounted backscatter X-ray detection system to law enforcement; these vans can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents.

As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans continues to grow, you should note that courthouses and airport security checkpoints are not 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.

Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at Billerica, Massachusetts-based American Science & Engineering, told Andy Greenberg of Forbes that the company has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter X-ray scanners mounted in vans. These vans can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents. 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 United States.

“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.

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Written by familysurvivalhealth

October 21, 2010 at 10:49 am

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Written by familysurvivalhealth

October 19, 2010 at 1:29 am

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DARPA wants “Minority Report” style pre-crime capability

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Source: GCN
Date: Oct 12, 2010

In the Tom Cruise film “Minority Report,” specially trained agents detect and arrest criminals before they commit their crimes.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking algorithms that will allow it to do something similar, according to Wired’s “Danger Room” blog. But instead of finding criminals among the general population, DARPA wants to find troops at risk of endangering themselves or their compatriots.

Recent incidents such as the fatal shootings at Fort Hood and the release of classified information via WikiLeaks has some military leaders on edge.

“The idea behind the Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales, or ADAMS, effort is to sift through ‘massive datasets’ to find the warning signs of looming homicide, suicide or other destructive behavior,” writes Spencer Ackerman for “Danger Room.”

He goes on to quote a DARPA statement: “The focus is on malevolent insiders that started out as ‘good guys.’ The specific goal of [ADAMS] is to detect anomalous behaviors before or shortly after they turn.”

read full article here

Written by familysurvivalhealth

October 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm