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DHS Tries To Hide Mobile Scanner Details

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the the-new-black dept.

Security 201

OverTheGeicoE writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year (PDF) with the US Department of Homeland Security, whose Transportation Security Administration has been investigating the use of x-ray scanning technology for covert use in more public places, like train stations and even ordinary city streets. TSA has tested interesting devices like the Z Backscatter Vans both privately and on members of the general public. EPIC recently received new documents from DHS. Some of the documents are almost completely black from redactions."

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Doing a good job, too (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135726)

The YouTube video in the first link is already yanked.

Re:Doing a good job, too (3, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135798)

If you repeat the same lie enough, people will start to believe it.

- We are doing this for YOUR safety. There is nothing here you need to worry about. Everything is OK.

Re:Doing a good job, too (0)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136684)

If you repeat the same lie enough, people will start to believe it.

- We are doing this for YOUR safety. There is nothing here you need to worry about. Everything is OK.

Brought to you by the people who believe in truth in advertising and truth in government.

Re:Doing a good job, too (2)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136982)

Just like THX 1138
police bot: we're here for your safety. You have nothing to fear. No one will hurt you
Jabs THX with riot prod.

Re:Doing a good job, too (4, Informative)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135842)

Re:Doing a good job, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37135928)

v for vendetta

Re:Doing a good job, too (2)

prowler1 (458133) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137324)

So if they are using backscatter technology, does that mean they are spamming everyone?

(sorry, really bad attempt at humour, need more coffee).

I don't condone this (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135756)

in trucks running around in the general public, but this might help to alleviate congestion at already borked up Mexican border crossings. I'm in SD, and I regularly hear of 2+ hour border waits during local traffic reports. Maybe this will help to speed up checks for vans and trucks. -- Oh, and Fuck the TSA.

Re:I don't condone this (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135896)

Won't help—this stuff penetrates clothes, not car bodies.

It seems like it would be really easy to build detectors for millimeter-wave radar. There's probably money to be had here—I'd want one, so I'd know to get off the street to avoid the radiation. It won't penetrate the walls of buildings, nor (I suspect) the glass in windows, so you'd be pretty safe just stepping into a shop when the detector goes off.

Of course, if they see people noticing and avoiding the scanner (i.e., opting out), they'll probably want to do precautionary pat-downs... :)

Re:I don't condone this (4, Informative)

psyclone (187154) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136200)

This looks like it scans cars, containers, and even buildings if they chose:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iABPKd0vFxQ [youtube.com]

Re:I don't condone this (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136444)

Holy shit! If that's for real, the people running this should be jailed for mass assault with a deadly weapon. Watching that video was like watching that movie someone shot of a person being X-rayed for several minutes. You basically knew the person in the picture had to have died of cancer, if they weren't hit by a truck or something first. This is supposed to save lives? At what cost?

Re:I don't condone this (2)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137592)

Man, that's right out of some dystopian scifi story.

Next thing you know they'll be "Freedom Checkpoints" to make sure you have you "Freedom Pass" to be allowed through.

Re:I don't condone this (2)

bendodge (998616) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137548)

Seems like it would also be easy resist electronically. Get a vacuum tube and make a high-powered, messy x-ray emitter and just hose the van with it. (Also, carrying an x-ray detector to ensure you have the right van would probably be courteous to innocent van drivers.)

I'm guessing the effect of an x-ray blaster on a van like this would be to wash out the image and maybe induce some concern in the operators about personal exposure. It could also get you in trouble if you just stood there and held it, but I'm sure some enterprising chap could make cheap, unattended units that one could simply embed somewhere.

I wonder - if powerful enough, could an x-ray emitter possible damage the van's sensors?

Re:I don't condone this (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136020)

I wasn't aware South Dakota had an international border =p

Re:I don't condone this (2)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136492)

Have to keep the nebraskans out.

Take a look at the FOIA doc (2)

RCC42 (1457439) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135778)

http://epic.org/foia_notes/foia_doc_20_snap.PDF [epic.org]

Apparently "(5)(b)" is the only thing we're allowed to know about this project. What the hell?

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135824)

It's actually (b)(5). I think we know what that means.

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (5, Funny)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135858)

You sank my battleship! :(

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135894)

We must sink their Battleship?

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135920)

Tom Ridge and Janet Napolitano are actually Morden and Anna Sheridan, respectively?

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136260)

Points for the epic Babylon 5 reference!

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136012)

Responding to myself: from the full version of the release [epic.org] , it looks like (b)(5) was an annotation added on top of some blacked-out sections to cite which section of the FOIA justifies blanking out. Some other more limited redactions on later pages have a box saying (b)(6) next to them. So it's not that they blacked out a whole page except for a section heading; they blacked out the entire page and cited (b)(5) as the reason.

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135984)

Does the original file have the "undo" history so we can see what's there before it was blacked out?

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136000)

This is where you file a FOIA complaint and they get to sit there in front of a judge and explain why they deliberately attempted to evade a properly filed FOIA request with such a ridiculous response.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, FOIA has no teeth, i.e. there's no way to prosecute these clowns for even such flagrant abuse. However, if a judge forces the information to be released and it is legally actionable information, they could potentially be charged with obstruction.

water washes away the hardest stone (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136672)

it's from the Tao Te Ching, and it applies to the FOIA.

you dont get what you want, but you get pieces of a puzzle, and slowly, over years, you piece the puzzle together. we are still finding out things about Nixon and the Pentagon Papers, we are still finding things out about war crimes in Vietnam, we are still finding out things about the Nazis, and about Stalin and the soviet Gulags and the NKVD.

the FOIA is a tool. its not perfect, but its one of the best tools we have.

forgive me for paraphrasing Carl Sagan about science in that last sentence.

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136060)

Reading the letter, what that is is the reason they redacted it - in this case because those (in fact completely redacted) pages (good grief, what a waste of toner!) are "opinions, conclusions, and recommendations included within inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters". That is, it appears all decision-making processes are exempt from your FOIA requests (which I frankly find to be quite bizarre from a UK perspective, but that's apparently in the FOI Act, the reason behind this being that the "release of this internal information would discourage the expression of candid opinions and inhibit the free and frank exchange of information among agency personnel").

That seems like kind of a shame. That sounds to me like exactly the kind of thing - the discussion underlying the decision-making in agencies - which perhaps ought to be more subject to public oversight, but ... hey, whatever.

I note the brochure compares the background radiation per day with the radiation exposure (of different wavelengths?) "per exam", which would presumably be about a second or so. Stop me if I'm wrong, but from what I remember from the discussion surrounding the Fukushima incident, that's not a useful comparison, even if you multiply by the number of second per day, because radiation exposure just doesn't work like that. Ah, marketing...

Re:Take a look at the FOIA doc (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136326)

Translation, we wouldn't want our government to avoid making decisions the people wouldn't approve of. Next thing you know, the people might get the idea the government exists at their pleasure and to serve them. Then democracy breaks out, OH NOES!

So what if (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37135832)

I'm walking down the street with a concealed handgun (perfectly legal in 30+ states) and the DHS van shows I'm packing heat. Next thing I know I'm on the ground with a knee in my back and automatic weapons pointed at me. Is this how it's going to work? Because if that's how it's going down, I see no reason not to overthrow this government now before it gets much worse. I'd rather live under anarchic self-rule than this nanny-state bullshit.

Re:So what if (3, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136058)

> I see no reason not to overthrow this government now
Some things are easier said than done, friend.

But if you want government unlike the status quo, a potentially significant start would be to elect Ron Paul President. Whether he'll really be able to accomplish much I don't know, but he's not your typical republicrat.

Re:So what if (2, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136320)

Hear, hear!

He's the only anti-war candidate in the race, and he's the only one who doesn't equivocate about the fact that the PATRIOT act is unconstitutional.

-jcr

Re:So what if (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136358)

Yet for all his hollow claims about liberty, he doesn't give a crap about your right to control your own body. Fucking hypocrite.

Re:So what if (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136644)

What? He's for the end of the war on drugs, and legalization of more than a few. Or are you talking about abortion?

Re:So what if (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136868)

> he doesn't give a crap
If you're needing some, I can refer you to other politicians who'll viritually bury you in the stuff.

In the meantime, I think you'll find no human being will ever make a perfect POTUS except for you. But once in a while a POTUS comes along that accomplishes good things nonetheless.

Re:So what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137636)

no human being will ever make a perfect POTUS except for you

So elect me.

Re:So what if (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137506)

Abortion isn't YOUR body being killed. Asshole.

Re:So what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136570)

Thus they'll try their damnedest not to let him get elected. If in fact it does happen, he'll be killed.

Re:So what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136400)

But if you want government unlike the status quo, a potentially significant start would be to elect Ron Paul President. Whether he'll really be able to accomplish much I don't know, but he's not your typical republicrat.

Good morning,

I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions but the popular vote doesn't elect presidents the Electoral College votes for who is to be president. So, it really doesn't matter who individual people vote for.

Aside from that, carry on.

Re:So what if (3, Insightful)

skr95062 (2046934) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136612)

But if you want government unlike the status quo, a potentially significant start would be to elect Ron Paul President. Whether he'll really be able to accomplish much I don't know, but he's not your typical republicrat.

Funny, I thought that was what Obama was going to do. After all he ran under the "Change you can believe in" and the "Yes, we can" slogans.

So far I have not seen any change in the way the assholes in DC operate. Same old bullshit from politicians "I will make a difference in DC". Although it looks like he finally figured out that "Yes, we can" is really "No, we can't"

What really blows my mind is how many people actually bought his bullshit and voted for the lying SOB. Yes, he is a lying SOB. There are numerous instances that prove it. This country would be much better off without 546 lawyers in DC.

Democracy is a government that is afraid of it's citizens, Tyranny is the citizens afraid of the government.

Which one we have is an exercise left for the reader.

Re:So what if (1)

deego (587575) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137544)

> Yes, [Obama] is a lying SOB.

I have to agree with that.

It really gets me how he famously promised to revisit the PATRIOT act if elected. What does he do when elected? Colludes with the Republicans to renew the act even as his own party voted 2:1 against it. He then had the gall to praise it as good for the country.

Re:So what if (2)

mojo-raisin (223411) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136186)

As a fellow believer of the 2nd Amendment, I think talk of "overthrow[ing] this government now" is quite premature and irresponsible.

We are still working through the courts to (re)gain our right to carry outside the home. Once that is gained and exercised by citizens in the North East and California, much of this 4th Amendment violation will simply disappear. It will no longer be practical.

Insurrection is silly.

No kidding (0)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136322)

It is particularly silly since you know his pussy ass won't actually do anything, he just wants to whine and play tough guy on the Interwebs and act like that accomplishes something.

Personally I'm not worried. There is no way my state government would play nice with that shit, since state law does allow for carry and that is their right to decide. I also doubt the TSA would be quite that stupid to try, because they know they'd get all kinds of sued for it by the state they tried it in.

Re:So what if (0, Offtopic)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136208)

But, this is the Obama administration. He wouldn't create any legislation that would do anything like this. It's not like he would send you to prison if you didn't pay for health care, nor deny such health care if he decided you were too old to bother with, nor be able for the same health care to be able to take any funds directly out of your bank account whenever they wanted to..It's not like he could ram such legislation through congress without having anyone read it.

Re:So what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136234)

Depends if you're white or .. "other"

Re:So what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136348)

I find it interesting that I can't have an Xray machine in my office unless I have trained and certified Xray personnel, but the DHS can go irradiate people without their consent whenever the hell they feel like it without any certification, expertise, or evaluation of the equipment.

This country has gone to hell.

Re:So what if (3, Interesting)

http (589131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136362)

It's not nanny state. The aim is interference, not nurturing.

So what if your an armed terrorist? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136394)

I'm walking down the street with a concealed handgun ... I see no reason not to overthrow this government now before it gets much worse.

I really hope this contraption picks thwarts your plot. We've had enough dipshits with guns "overthrowing the government".

One of you gun-toting lunatics already shot a congresswoman in the face and killed 10 innocent bystanders. Wasn't that enough for you people?

We live in a democracy, moron. If you don't like the government then vote for someone else. And leave your gun at home >:-(

Re:So what if your an armed terrorist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136724)

We live in a democracy, moron. If you don't like the government then vote for someone else.

Democracy? Really. It looks more like Tyranny everyday. Every time I vote for the lesser of two assholes the other one wins.

Re:So what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137226)

Don't worry, it'll also read your concealed gun certificate X-ray backscatter form #3275/800, conveniently attached to your gun's holster. Our system is not only super-safe, it doesn't raise false alarms. To be 100% positive, you can also use one of our DNA backscatter identification system modules, also priced very reasonably.

Total security and total safety at your fingertips, now. For just a pittance.

Re:So what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137252)

If there was some guarantee that all weapon toting thugs would be off the street, I might consider it. But of course drug gangs are "too powerful" to take down, so only mostly-harmless people will take the brunt.

Re:So what if (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137300)

> I'm walking down the street with a concealed handgun (perfectly legal in 30+ states) and the DHS van shows I'm packing heat. Next thing I know I'm on the ground with a knee in my back and automatic weapons pointed at me. Is this how it's going to work?

Of course. And if you cooperate fully and have all the proper documentation on you, and don't have the bad fortune of being in "the right place at the right time", they will probably let you go, and depending on the state and the precinct you might even get your weapon back. Whee.

But seriously, there are certain political factions that have been looking for something like this for decades. This could get really grim really quickly.

Re:So what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137404)

Extending the scenario a little bit, what happens if you managed to block the scanner? Will you be arrested? If not what is the point of scanning?

Either way it is a slippery slope.

Re:So what if (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137602)

I don't like this one bit, either, but in all honesty the scenario where they just SWAT down anyone carrying a concealed handgun is extremely unlikely.

Mainly, because there are too many of us.

I think it's worth remembering that generally, speaking, the people doing this stuff do not think of themselves as the bad guys.  Quite the contrary--they're not going to mess with  you unless they really think you're up to serious no good.

Security Through Obscurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37135844)

Because It Kept You Safe on 9/11!

Who would have thought? (1, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135846)

The government agency responsible for eroding the Constitution would not be open about what they are doing? Preposterous!

Write your congressional leaders today and demand the TSA be 1) immediately defunded, and 2) disbanded all together. If you really care, expand your note to include the entire DHS.

How to tell? (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135874)

Is there a sensor that could detect if one of these technologies is in use? I'd love to outfit my vehicle with a TSA Detector so I can know when my rights are being violated on the go, so I could post a photo of the offending scannervan on the Internet.

Re:How to tell? (3, Informative)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137092)

See http://www.techlib.com/area_50/xraydefender.htm [techlib.com] -- tho techlib.com isn't resolving right now (server down, I'll bet), so you'll just have to try an alternate source:

http://www.techlib.com.nyud.net:8090/area_50/xraydefender.htm [nyud.net] coral cache says gateway timed out...
http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/www.techlib.com/area_50/xraydefender.htm [archive.org] wayback machine doesn't have it archived...
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:SErH8Fhj52cJ:www.techlib.com/area_50/xraydefender.htm+site:techlib.com+backscatter&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&ie=UTF-8&source=www.google.com [googleusercontent.com] -- you can at least read the text on google, and get thumbnails of the images on the page:
http://www.google.com/search?oe=UTF-8&q=site:techlib.com+backscatter&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi [google.com]
Too bad the schematic isn't readable at thumbnail-size, but maybe techlib.com will be back up soon?

Re:How to tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137228)

Your nards shrivel up and turn black.

The DHS should be abolished (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37135886)

All of this has gotten out of hand. This is a major over-reach, not to mention creepy as hell.

Re:The DHS should be abolished (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136484)

Ya think?!?!

Backscatter detectors (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135906)

Are there any backscatter detectors? Or should I just assume that every black van on the road is there to irradiate me?

Re:Backscatter detectors (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135952)

I suppose good questions to ask might be:

Is it X ray or millimeter wave? (There seemed to be some confusion on that.)
If X ray, what wavelength and intensity?

With that information, it wouldn't be *that* hard to come up with a detection sensor that would at least pick it up. Wouldn't stop them scanning you, but you'd at least know you'd been scanned..

Re:Backscatter detectors (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136046)

This [hamamatsu.com] might be a good component to check out .. :)

Do I get paid? (3, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135908)

How much do I get for participating in these medical experiments. Better yet, how can I opt out?

Re:Do I get paid? (0)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136296)

If it's like Obamacare, you can opt out if you are a Union that has "donated" large sums of cash to his reelection campaign. Over 2000 of them have been able to opt out so far. How else do you think he get two $1.2 Million Canadian campaign buses build for him. Oh wait, he bought those campaign buses with federal government funds, so he wouldn't have to use any of his $1Billion in collected campaign funds. Nice return on the two $500 Billion "economic stimulus" packages laundered through his Union bud’s.

They suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37135948)

God I hate the DHS.

Patdowns? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135954)

Are they also planning to have pat-downs in major cities? Pretty soon, everywhere you go you will either have to go through an X-ray or get patted down, all for "security."

Re:Patdowns? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136392)

Since Clinton doesn't have access to interns any more, he can get his trills by working as a TSA agent.

papers, please! (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136764)

any day now... any day now.
---
"gee, I feel safer already."

KGB (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37135970)

Go and look up what KGB stood for, in translation to English. The Department of Homeland Security is it. In Soviet America, jokes tell Yakov Smirnoff. (probably to lie face down in the "party position.")

Re:KGB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137372)

Actually, it is the Committee for State Security. The Homeland was left just as insecure as it was before KGB.

From the youtube video... (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135994)

"The ZBV produces electronically generated xrays that detect substances containing low atomic number elements such as carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen.

These elements are often present in explosives and other contraband..."

not to mention lumber, tofu, soil, cucumbers, coal, ice cream, books, mayonnaise, ham, and blankets...

Re:From the youtube video... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136064)

not to mention lumber, tofu, soil, cucumbers, coal, ice cream, books, mayonnaise, ham, and blankets...

You forgot air.....

Re:From the youtube video... (1)

rdwulfe (890032) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136130)

Most people I know also contain a combination of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen too.

Re:From the youtube video... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136564)

all organic material contain some combination of C, H, N and O

Re:From the youtube video... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136542)

And human bodies.

exposing random citizens to x-rays? (3, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 3 years ago | (#37135998)

this is simply unacceptable. I wouldn't be surprised if people started carrying personal x-ray detectors. If you expose my children to x-rays while they're just walking in a public place, I have a serious issue with this. I can't even imagine what's gonna happen if a parent discovers their children have just been exposed.

simple (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136062)

coat a photo-diode in zinc sulfide. voila! detector

Yawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136126)

Yawn. (b)(5) refers to:

(b)(5) EXEMPTION - Privileged Interagency or Intra-Agency Memoranda or Letters

This exemption protects "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums of letters which would not be available by law to a party ...in litigation with the agency." As such, it has been construed to "exempt those documents, and only those documents, normally privileged in the civil discovery context."

so, it's probably information that's irrelevant to the FOIA request.

Re:Yawn. (1)

AVee (557523) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136382)

so, it's probably information that's irrelevant to the FOIA request.

Could well be. But I can't help but wander what kind of request would be required to be able to check that.

the reason (5, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136146)

your safety comes second and the governments ability to detect terrorists comes first, is because the death of US citizens is well known to be uncontroversial and tolerable, even on large scales such as katrina.

What is absolutely intolerable is terrorism, because terrorism undermines the governments control of the populous. its one thing if an earthquake kills three thousand people, but its entirely different when a single terrorist accomplishes it...the terrorist draws unwanted attention to the united states government, its foreign policy, its structure and its members position in the class system.

this is also incidentally why governments are loathe to negotiate with terrorists, regardless of the validity of their positions; a single person or idea should never be allowed to upset the balance of power as it stands.

Re:the reason (4, Insightful)

evanism (600676) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136310)

The days of "the united states" seem well and truly over. Economically, politically and socially it has turned to despotism, desperation and an absence of morals.

time to turn our attentions elsewhere while the poor old US eats itself alive with hate and fear.

Wonder how long it will be before the hate mongers generate a war with China?

Re:the reason (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137378)

You have me with politically and economically, but I don't know about socially, especially when it comes to "morals". Whose morals? "Morals" is generally just an excuse for totalitarianism, and enforcing arbitrary religious and social views on others who don't hold those views.

Re:the reason (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136532)

Well, the TSA really needs to do something to catch someone. They've spent billions so far, and have not caught a single terrorist. So they now have to expend even more money in an attempt to widen their search area.

Some things cannot be negotiated (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136700)

this is also incidentally why governments are loathe to negotiate with terrorists, regardless of the validity of their positions; a single person or idea should never be allowed to upset the balance of power as it stands.

Exactly how is one supposed to negotiate with a person or group who has no clear or rational motivation or who's goals are something horrible like genocide? There is no one who has been able to clearly articulate why some crazy people flew a pair of planes into the World Trade Center. We know *what* they did. But there is no clear answer to *why* because it was not a rational act by people with rational goals. Furthermore, if the demands of the terrorists are something that plainly cannot be accommodated or condoned (for example kill all non-muslims) then there is no basis for negotiation. For negotiation to occur there has to be a middle ground and with terrorists there almost never is one.

Nation states may be complicated but their behaviors are typically rational or at least comprehensible. Terrorists on the other hand typically have little clear purpose beyond the barbaric acts they commit. They may say they want something but it's almost always something either impossible or psychotic. A suicide bomber pretty much never accomplishes anything productive unless his/her sole goal was to become a murderer.

Re:Some things cannot be negotiated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137628)


For negotiation to occur there has to be a middle ground and with government false flag ops, there almost never is one.

United States may be complicated but their behaviors are typically rational or at least comprehensible. False flag ops on the other hand typically have little clear purpose beyond the barbaric acts they commit. They may say they want something but it's almost always something either impossible or psychotic, then later used to crack down with more unconstitutional shit. A government paid agent provocateur pretty much never accomplishes anything productive unless his/her sole goal was to become a murderer, and justify another filthy check to the unconstitutional DHS. With all the secrecy, the sheeple will never know until it's too late.

I'd like to take this moment to remind everyone, "It's too late."

There fixed if for you.

Re:the reason (4, Informative)

inviolet (797804) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136750)

your safety comes second and the governments ability to detect terrorists comes first, is because the death of US citizens is well known to be uncontroversial and tolerable, even on large scales such as katrina.

What is absolutely intolerable is terrorism, because terrorism undermines the governments control of the populous. its one thing if an earthquake kills three thousand people, but its entirely different when a single terrorist accomplishes it...

Not quite. The real death toll from Katrina, for example, is still classified. Were it published, it would significantly undermine public confidence in their government.

The published death toll involved a great deal of 'creative' counting. Oh yeah, lots died from electrocution, and from falling objects, and from heart attacks, and from lawless violence... but those aren't Katrina deaths, you see.

I dunno (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136342)

That looked a lot like PBS's Pledge Enforcement Van, too.

Time to wear tin-foil outfits. (3, Informative)

ad454 (325846) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136462)

As a cancer survivor, it appears that I will need to start to wear tin-foil outfits from head-to-toe for health reasons whenever I use public transit or visit government buildings and other "risky" place. Thank you Obama, this will really encourage me to reduce my car usage and carbon footprint.

Doctor Oz does not consider these scanners to be safe for the following 4 groups: cancer survivors, pregnant women, children, and elderly, and he recommends that they should avoid being scanned at airports.

  http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dangers-radiation-exposure-pt-4 [doctoroz.com]

Check around 4:10, also at 1:30 as well.

Credibility (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136778)

Doctor Oz does not consider these scanners to be safe for the following 4 groups: cancer survivors, pregnant women, children, and elderly, and he recommends that they should avoid being scanned at airports.

Doctor Oz is also on record as promoting homeopathy and other unproven "alternative" treatments [wikipedia.org] . Just because someone says it on TV doesn't mean they know what they are talking about or that it is accurate.

Personally unless I see some studies from extremely reputable journals like Nature, I don't consider them proven safe for any group. They may be reasonably safe but they may not be as well and DHS just saying "trust me" isn't good enough. I'm actually glad I rarely need to fly anywhere these days.

Re:Credibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137490)

And you don't see those ads for constantly recalled drugs? Not just the weight-loss-risky drugs but actual drugs they prescribe by a real doctor....... IMHO you're asking for it with the diet drugs.

You are really negative in your views about medicine. Find a doctor who can properly treat severe tendonitus/tendonosis...... Everything including surgery did NOTHING for me. NSAIDs, injections, you name it. Through my own research I discovered the power of MSM, Fishoil, Spirulina, and various peppers. Cured.

Open your mind a bit. It's not by accident the media has the public thinking anyone who even remotely challenges accepted thought labeled as some complete whako who thinks Bush consipired with Aliens who happen to live on the moon we never visited that's actually created from cheese. That's not the case at all...... It's rather uneducated to assume medicine never misses anything 100% of the time. Rational thought says both areas will discover their own unique treatments that have varying levels of success.... with medicine and otherwise.

Safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136476)

Eek! I don't like receiving radiation! For the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens against this new X-Ray attack by the DHS, how does one remotely disable an X-Ray backscatter machine? Focused beam of high intensity X-Rays directed at the backscatter's receiver?

protecting "our" citizens from "their" terrorists (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136814)

the government is seeking to protect the citizens from the terrorists by killing the citizens first by irradiation, before the terrorists can kill them, thereby dealing a crippling blow to the terrorists' plot.

So what do i coat my car with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136482)

So what am i to coat my car with so that these scanners cant see thrrough it? Im sure there has to be something is it lead just like an x-ray?

shout: WTB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136580)

WTB lead lined EVERYTHING!!! pst

Nothing to see here, move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136676)

Didn't the Germans X-ray the Jewish men standing in line at the post office in the 1930s? Perfectly harmless my behind.

Meh (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137016)

They should be easy to find. Just look for an SSID of 'DHS_MOBILE_SCANNING_VAN' to pop up in your wireless access point list.

How many lawyers... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137018)

I wonder how many lawyers have already figured out that any suspect that has evidence brought against them, evidence obtained with this technology, already has in hand an admission by the authorities that the suspect was subjected to x-rays against their will? Hell, even a probable cause statement for a warrant would require the admission of use of this technology.

Every prosecution could mean a reciprocal civil lawsuit for damages associated with X-ray exposure. I think it would be justified. If nothing else, it would bring the issue to into the realm of public awareness.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-ray#Health_risks [wikipedia.org]

There is a huge difference between this tech being in place at an airport, where the person going through it knows the risks, and mobile scanning--there is no consent with mobile, covert scanning.

It should be illegal to even MAKE these things, let alone use them.

Re:How many lawyers... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137294)

I wonder how many lawyers have already figured out that any suspect that has evidence brought against them, evidence obtained with this technology, already has in hand an admission by the authorities that the suspect was subjected to x-rays against their will? Hell, even a probable cause statement for a warrant would require the admission of use of this technology.

There's no risk for having the lawyers sticking their noses in. The PATRIOT act and Guantanamo are still alive, you know?

Re:How many lawyers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137302)

Bullshit. They didn't get the warrant because of the van. They got it because of an "anonymous tip".

Problem solved. You lose.

keep voting the way you always have (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137280)

and you'll get more of the same. want a change? want your freedoms back, or at least want a start back down the road to freedom? vote for Ron Paul, and every other libertarian candidate running that you are eligible to vote for, otherwise, democrat or republican, you'll get nothing positive.

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