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EPIC Uncovers: Mobile Scanners Not 'Certified People Scanners'

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the move-along-citizens-oh-wait dept.

Government 154

OverTheGeicoE writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center received more FOIA documents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding mobile x-ray scanners (a.k.a. Z Backscatter Vans). We've discussed these devices before. Perhaps the most interesting part is slide #11 ('Disclaimer About Scanning People') on page 6 of this PDF explaining that the radiation output of these devices is too high to comply with ANSI N43.17. In other words, they output too much radiation even by TSA's questionable standards for airport body scanners. Regardless, the slide ends with the author stating that the ANSI standard 'is not applicable to covert operations.' What might that assertion have meant to the presentation's intended audience?"

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So it's good for you? (0, Flamebait)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279134)

We irradiate meat to make it safer, so why not people?
Curiously, despite going through a couple airports in the NW US recently, I was only scanned in Seattle, where they appeared to be scanning everyone. In Portland, it was just standard metal detectors (I used Portland rather more than Seattle). In Vancouver Canada, it was also just metal detectors.

Does someone have the original? (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279196)

"the ANSI standard 'is not applicable to covert operations.' " parses alright. Still, for certainty of context, I'd like to read this in the original German language.

Re:Does someone have the original? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279508)

"the ANSI standard 'is not applicable to covert operations.' " parses alright. Still, for certainty of context, I'd like to read this in the original German language.

I'm thinking more of Vietnam-era policy.

"Private, I remind you that this .50 caliber machine gun is to be used against materiel, not personnel. Using it against human targets is in violation of the Geneva Conventions."
"Understood, Sergeant! I'm not aiming at the driver, I'm aiming at a truck's front window!"
"Correct, Private! Once that window's down, be sure to take a few shots at the helmets of the VCs in the back. And their uniforms! And their radioman's backpack!"
"Yes, Sergeant! And if that enemy radio operator's dumb enough to stand in front of his backpack while I'm firing at it, that's his problem, not ours! *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM*"

Re:Does someone have the original? (2)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280718)

Funny. I believe I heard a similar one once, about targeting communications infrastructure. To be interpreted as, you can shoot at his cellphone while he's using it. Any resulting deaths will be regarded as collateral damage.

Re:Does someone have the original? (3, Informative)

OverTheGeicoE (1743174) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279610)

ANSI standards documents are copyrighted. You can buy them, but you can't freely redistribute them, unfortunately.

Re:Does someone have the original? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280164)

ANSI standards documents are copyrighted. You can buy them, but you can't freely redistribute them, unfortunately.

Wooosh!

Re:So it's good for you? (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279214)

We irradiate meat to make it safer, so why not people?

Because 'safer' in this context means "Killing everything else that's not just dead meat". The dead cow can't get cancer.

Now I'm thinking about it.. whoosh?

Clue (1)

rpresser (610529) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279390)

GP was joking.

How do you destroy one of these machines? (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279602)

I mean, if you put a wad of foil in the microwave, you can get the thing to fry itself.

Would clothing with ceramic magnets in it do this to a backscatter xray or a tetrahertz mw scanner? I'm sure there's something short of an EMP that would at least deny service by such a device. Perhaps even scatter the same harmful radiation back on its operators?

This is an interesting line of inquiry. Like most forms of security, there are unexplored use cases that were never properly modelled for threat. I'm thinking this seems like an excellent practical topic for something we'd expect to see at DefCon - like this year's defeat of the CLIQ technology electro-mechanical high-security locks, mandated by Federal government.

I don't advocate this - simply applaud the ingenuity and sentiment.

Thoughts, anyone?

Re:How do you destroy one of these machines? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279976)

The operators probably have enough harmful radiation coming their way. Otherwise, they would be allowed to were dosimeters to actually check.

I'm sure you could damage the machines somehow through this approach, but then you'd have to be standing inside of a malfunctioning backscatter machine afterwards. I'd be afraid of the possibility of a resonance cascade.

Re:How do you destroy one of these machines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280328)

Well, what's it take to emit x-rays at the wavelengths used by the machines? Would a simple unshielded vacuum tube be sufficient?

I don't think it would be kosher, even for the purposes of illustrating how stupid the scanners are, to cast large swaths of xrays in a crowded area... but then again, the devices use backscatter so they're probably very sensitive and have frontends which are easily swamped without too much intensity.

Re:How do you destroy one of these machines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280350)

Would clothing with ceramic magnets in it do this to a backscatter xray or a tetrahertz mw scanner?

Ceramic magnets? Electromagnetic waves (like light, x-rays, terahertz radiation, and microwaves) are not affected by magnetic fields. What you want is called a corner reflector [wikipedia.org] . I don't know of any reflective material for x-rays, but for terahertz stuff it would be easy and they could be small. I could see making a highly reflective fabric from tiny corner reflectors that would be extremely bright to a terahertz scanner. However, they probably have some kind of input protection, so at best you'd just swamp the image.

Re:How do you destroy one of these machines? (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280506)

Giant axe.

Re:How do you destroy one of these machines? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280866)

Wielded by Giant?

Re:How do you destroy one of these machines? (2)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280512)

We should ask Derrick Smalls.

Re:So it's good for you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279358)

We irradiate meat to make it safer, so why not people?

Soylent (Radioactive) Green? Just follow our "production" vans around town!

Re:So it's good for you? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279406)

Naw, it means it doesn't scan people.

Which makes sense -- when I step in one, I feel like less of a person.

Re:So it's good for you? (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279844)

We irradiate meat after the animal is DEAD! At that point, there is no problem with DAMAGING THE DNA, RNA, and mRNA, because THEY AREN'T BEING USED ANYMORE!

Re:So it's good for you? (1)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280064)

We irradiate meat after the animal is DEAD! At that point, there is no problem with DAMAGING THE DNA, RNA, and mRNA, because THEY AREN'T BEING USED ANYMORE!

Most people's brains aren't used either...

Re:So it's good for you? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280116)

Whoosh

It was good for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280098)

Curiously, despite going through a couple airports in the NW US recently, I was only scanned in Seattle, where they appeared to be scanning everyone. In Portland, it was just standard metal detectors (I used Portland rather more than Seattle). In Vancouver Canada, it was also just metal detectors.

When I was leaving Seattle (Seatac), I told the TSA girl that was tasked with the difficult job of going "inni-mini" between the cancer box and metal detector to "rub my balls" instead. She was so offended, she called for a supervisor, who promptly found a guy to rub my balls for me. The girl looked shocked, like she'd just fallen off her high horse.

Next time, I think I'll ask for a happy ending.

Enforcment of Secret Law (5, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279138)

Is not subject to the constraint of public law.

Consent of the governed is not required or desirable.

Carry on.

Re:Enforcment of Secret Law (1)

kwoff (516741) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281014)

Also why we have Wikileaks and Anonymous. Consent of the (governed) governing is not required or desirable.

Re:Enforcment of Secret Law (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281158)

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have information warfare.

Re:Enforcment of Secret Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37281438)

Is not subject to the constraint of public law.

Consent of the governed is not required or desirable.

Carry on.

But is this not a violation of our rights? Consent has nothing to do with this. This is a blatant Constitutional Rights violation. Does the NSA/CIA/FBI have the authority to suspend our rights under the Constitution? This is the main question. When do we give up our rights posed under the Constitution to covert agencies? When do we we give up on our rights as US Citizens?

Take It (4, Funny)

newsman220 (1928648) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279140)

Cancer in the defense of freedom is not cancer at all.

Re:Take It (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279254)

Cancer in the defense of freedom is not cancer at all.

If you get cancer, they'll just offer to irradiate some more...

Re:Take It (5, Funny)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279258)

It's a good old de Freedom Lump!

Re:Take It (3, Funny)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280290)

If we don't get cancer then the terrorists win.

Re:Take It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280682)

Yes, those aren't cancer cells, they're patriot cells!

Just Say You're Drilling for Oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279150)

The ignorant masses encourage oil companies to poison their air and water in exchange for a fictitious economic benefit.

The Department of Homeland Security should just call itself "Amaco" and pretend to drill for oil.

Throw in a deceptive advertising campaign and the masses will cheer them on as cancer rates climb.

Re:Just Say You're Drilling for Oil (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279388)

The ignorant masses encourage oil companies to poison their air and water in exchange for a fictitious economic benefit.

The Department of Homeland Security should just call itself "Amaco" and pretend to drill for oil.

Throw in a deceptive advertising campaign and the masses will cheer them on as cancer rates climb.

I don't think you have to drill for stupid.

Re:Just Say You're Drilling for Oil (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279932)

It's Amoco, I believe. BP acquired Amoco in 2001.

Gee, what a shock (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279172)

Nobody saw that coming, right?

Here's a better question to ask: which official is going to wind up taking the fall for these wastes of tax dollars? So far, we know the following about these machines:
  1. They are very expensive
  2. Tests of the machines have shown that most knives and even guns can sneak through the machines undetected
  3. They are outside of what the TSA itself considers safe

This was an obvious sweetheart deal, and someone is going to have to get in trouble for it. Obama or his successor will probably pardon that person, since it will just be a fall guy and nobody wants to start an investigation that would keep expanding until half of capitol hill was implicated.

Re:Gee, what a shock (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279266)

by the time there's a fall to take, he'll have made so much money from kickbacks he won't care. Probably already doesn't care. Like those bankers....

Re:Gee, what a shock (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279504)

Or, more likely, will have a cushy job as a lobbyist for the company in question.

Re:Gee, what a shock (5, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279268)

You left out the fact that terrorism is so rare that even if they worked as described, the machines would kill more people than they save.

Re:Gee, what a shock (2)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281168)

You left out the fact that terrorism is so rare that even if they worked as described, the machines would kill more people than they save.

Yeah, but not all at once.

Re:Gee, what a shock (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279628)

These tests are expensive? No, they aren't.

Compliance is expensive, they already ran the test on one device and said they were compliant. Remember that? Compliance probably involves ongoing tests of the scanners, not just "oh hey we tested one and it was okay!". That of course, is more expensive.

Yes the machines are useless, and no they aren't safe. Meanwhile, this covert thing sounds like they're saying that they can't be governed because they're part of a different group than the TSA. That's how I took the covert thing. So who governs the "covert"?

Re:Gee, what a shock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280834)

Former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff is the person that has financial interests in the use of backscatter x-rays for the TSA. Chertoff is also the one that was pushing for their procurement.

Endanger people? Can't prove it! (4, Insightful)

NReitzel (77941) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279180)

The fact that backscatter scanners use X-rays in amounts that can't meet national standards isn't even an issue.

In point of fact, as long as nobody can prove that they have had a large radiation dose - tough with "nothing in pockets, etc" - then the TSA is off the hook. Time has taught us - those who listen - that politicians don't mind endangering or even killing people, as long as it can't be traced directly back to them, and as long as it doesn't actually apply to them, themselves.

Here's who to blame - with names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279806)

...as long as it can't be traced directly back to them.

Congress created the DHS to placate the panicky public who were demanding that the "government do something!" and the politicians were eager to win the votes and not appear to be "weak on terrorism" - yes, I know that's obvious.

BUT the DHS was formed well before the implementation of these scanners. The whole blame belongs on the shoulders of the administrator at the time, and Michael Chertoff [wikipedia.org] who used his connections to force this inferior technology down the throats of the TSA. Everyone knew that there were issues, but Rapiscan used bogus and junk science to convince everyone that their product was safe.

the responsible people are Michael Chertoff and the senior management of Rapiscan and all the members of Congress just because they are lying, stupid, scientifically illiterate, sacks of shit.

Re:Here's who to blame - with names (4, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279916)

I never knew anyone who ever desired the DHS or anything similar to it. I knew several people who thought that airplanes should have doors to the pilot's cabin that were locked during the entire flight, but that's a rather different matter.

The DHS was created by those who wanted to increase the "police state" nature of the country, and they were successful. The fact that all it's approaches are security theater is just what it was designed to do, not happenstance or bad management. Security theater keeps people feeling threatened, so that they are easier to manipulate.

Re:Here's who to blame - with names (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281002)

Congress created the DHS to placate the panicky public who were demanding that the "government do something!" and the politicians were eager to win the votes and not appear to be "weak on terrorism" - yes, I know that's obvious.

DHS was created on the recommendation of th 911 Commission, not the public. The public just didn't want to be killed by terrorists. I think if you you asked the average person how to make them safer "Let's create yet another giant Federal Bureau with overlapping responsibilities" would not be their first answer.

Re:Endanger people? Can't prove it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280494)

The fact that backscatter scanners use X-rays in amounts that can't meet national standards isn't even an issue.

In point of fact, as long as nobody can prove that they have had a large radiation dose - tough with "nothing in pockets, etc" - then the TSA is off the hook. Time has taught us - those who listen - that politicians don't mind endangering or even killing people, as long as it can't be traced directly back to them, and as long as it doesn't actually apply to them, themselves.

I've never had a backscatter scan done.

I always opt out and I always will.

Re:Endanger people? Can't prove it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37281338)

I fly maybe a dozen times a year, and I too have never gone through the new scanners. I usually fly through Newark, Philadelphia, and Chicago, so the scanners are there. I've just never been asked to go through one.

I did just look online and saw that 'radiation detecting stickers' exist. I'm curious if the TSA would scan one for me on the back of my driver's license, so I could see what I was in for. They probably won't, so I'd have to just wear a sticker and go in one myself. That's not happening though.

Re:Endanger people? Can't prove it! (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281498)

I've never had a backscatter scan done.

I always opt out and I always will.

I've never had a backscatter scan done, either. I always opt out of flying and I always will until those abominations are removed from the airports.

Oh, please (3, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279246)

Who are you, you think you are a citizen, a person? You think you have rights? Liberties? You must have read that silly document from 1787 or whatever. That doesn't apply anymore, didn't you know?

Didn't you know you are now property, an asset that is used as collateral for more government borrowing on the one hand and on the other you are a piece of meat to be used fighting in conflicts that help the bona-fide persons - real people with government connections.

Your silly notions of rights and liberties are of no concern anymore, and you, yourself agree with this every day. Every day you want government to do something for you, to tax somebody and to borrow from somewhere, to print more money so that your special interest gets the tiny crumbs of the royal table, those are you 30 pieces of silver to sell your soul (obviously nobody will be paying you in silver, that's too fat. They have US federal reserve notes for that.)

What, you think it's too harsh? Trollish? A flamebait?

How about you listen to this short radio episode [schiffradio.com] , the guest is Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitars. You will find out how a classic American company became an enemy of the state by providing 1200 jobs IN USA, that's right. The reasons? Who knows. The government doesn't have to tell the reasons, you peons, not even peons in the sense that you do work. You are just a number in the line up that they can use for displaying the meat mass, how much there is there to "count the votes" or whatever they need you for, and you aren't too good for organs anymore, being on FDA approved drugs and department of Agriculture subsidized foods.

You don't like the machine scanning through your body, your flesh and bones? Who is asking you?

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279394)

LoL. You can't tell people the truth and have them believe you...
It does not work that way.

You'll be told "something something tinfoil hat something" and people will ignore you because what you said is slightly unpleasant and does not align with their closed worldview.

Unfortunate yes... But the majority don't want to know these things.

And until the majority does care. The rest of us are pretty well boned comrade.

Re:Oh, please (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279594)

According to the Schiff site ( http://www.schiffradio.com/pg/jsp/charts/audioMaster.jsp?dispid=301&pid=53373 [schiffradio.com] ), one must be a premium member to download or listen to the excerpt.

Sad, as I was interested in listening to it.

Re:Oh, please (4, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279648)

Sorry, here is the LINK [noxsolutions.com]

If you only care about the guest of the show, the CEO, then scroll to minute 40.

Re:Oh, please (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279696)

Yep - I found it in some other way, not sure what. :) Just looking at the "on air" section on the first section of the site.

Re:Oh, please (1)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279642)

Gibson is an "enemy of the state" because they illegally import wood under 16 USC 3372. Hurrrrrrrr.

Re:Oh, please (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279788)

No they don't. Their imports are legal, the Indian exporter is not in any trouble, there are 2 certification letters, one from Indian government, one from forest stewardship council, some 3rd party auditor of these materials. You may want to listen to that audio after all (starts at minute 40). [noxsolutions.com]

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280518)

This was on reddit a yesterday and one of the top comments mentioned that the documents are false and the wood doesnt meet legal requirement. Since he was forwarding the wood between a couple other companies hoping he wouldnt get caught customs delivered the wood and then subsequently raided his place.

Re:Oh, please (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280548)

Are you ready to back up those accusations that the papers are fake?

How about answering this question: what legal authority does the US DOJ have to enforce FOREIGN laws upon US citizens at all, let alone foreign laws where the foreign country doesn't even see a law being broken?

Re:Oh, please (1)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280614)

This investigation started in 2009 because they were importing raw ebony under a fraudulent manifest, which is illegal whether the wood itself is legal to import or not. This is not just some case of big government picking on the innocent businessman.

Re:Oh, please (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281188)

This investigation started in 2009 because they were importing raw ebony under a fraudulent manifest, which is illegal whether the wood itself is legal to import or not. This is not just some case of big government picking on the innocent businessman.

No.

The government claims that some paperwork may be fraudulent. The government has not proved this, in fact they are still delaying the court case over this some 3 years later.

The government has not submitted evidence or proof in court that any paperwork is fraudulent or forged. Meanwhile, the government is holding some ~$500K-$1M in guitars and wood seized from Gibson. In neither raid on Gibson have any of the source-countries for the materials claimed any wrongdoing by Gibson.

Looks to me like some people at Fish & Wildlife/DOJ wanted a pristine Les Paul to display in an ebony and rosewood display case on the cheap.~

Strat

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279650)

I couldn't get past this libertarian idiots assertion of how great an AT&T merger with TMob would be, and how it would mean cheaper and better phones for all.

Oh, he used to be an AT&T exec you say?

Also, Gibson's problem is they are using endangered/extinct and rare woods in their guitars. Their supply chain has as much blood and corruption in it as if they were dealing in ivory or stringing their guitars with Siberian tiger bladders.

Re:Oh, please (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279746)

The episode [noxsolutions.com] .

Meeting with the guest starts at the 40th minute.

As to your assertions, they are all wrong. Indian side provided paperwork that the export is legitimate. The exporter on the Indian side is not bothered. The US justice department is pretending that the reason for the 2 raids of the company is Indian law, it's not that.

Indian government allowed the export of the rosewood and ebony boards. They have certified letter from Indian government and they have 3rd party independent auditor - forest stewardship council, certifying the legality of this export.

This is some government vendetta against that particular company and it's going to be interesting to observe what is going to happen there, because this may have a chilling effect on any employer in USA. Just today we heard about BP offices being raided in Moscow, Russia. USA is raiding its companies, shutting down guitar manufacturers, shutting down other companies that provide server space, etc. What's the difference between the most openly corrupt government of Russia and this covertly corrupt government in USA?

You are a piece of meat that exists at the whim of your political masters. You can't get away from this fact anymore.

Re:Oh, please (3, Interesting)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279950)

Wrong, on the Gibson front. Their problems have nothing to do with the wood, itself, being illegal; it has to do with the relatively recent changes to the Lacey Act(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacey_Act_of_1900), and how the US Government is enforcing Indian law. The wood that was taken, on two different occasion, mind you, was completely legal.

Prior to commenting on a subject, make sure you know what you are talking about. Your post just perpetuates blatantly false information, because you "heard/read it somewhere". As far as the raid that occurred this year(2011), it has to do with the wood that Gibson obtained was not finished by Indian workers, which is a violation of Indian law, not US law. As far as the 2009 raid is concerned, Gibson states that it obtained an affidavit that the exported wood was within the law that Madagascar had in place, at the time of the export(http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/8780-feds-raid-gibson-guitar-to-save-endangered-foreign-trees)

The Lacey Act, as it currently stands, is extremely unconstitutional. The US has no business, or authority, to enforce foreign law. Gibson's only fault is that it attempted to provide jobs to workers in the United States, and the United States has a law that bans such jobs, in this instance. We have too many restrictions on manufacturing, well, really, business as a whole, in this country.

The biggest problem I have with this, which is really equal to the whole illegal seizure issue, is the fact that the law enforcement agents were dressed in tactical gear and presented themselves as a unit going after a well armed foe. This only gives credence to the people that continue to shout about how the United States is become more of a "Police State" everyday. As an ex-law enforcement officer myself, I disagree with the way the "raid" was handled.

If Gibson had been made states to the tune of, "Fuck the police, we will kill any that attempt to seize our property", then I would say that the armed and tactical response would be warranted. As I doubt that occurred, or anything similar to that, the response by the engaging agents was unprofessional and unwarranted.

Re:Oh, please (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281548)

Do you have any products in your house with the little sticker that says, "Made in China"? Do you know for a fact that those products were not made in Chinese sweatshops or slave labor factories?

I'm not saying Gibson did nothing wrong -- I honestly don't know enough to have an opinion one way or the other -- but let's get realistic here. You cannot possibly know that every product you buy has a squeaky clean supply chain unless you grow the raw materials yourself, no matter how conscientious you want to be.

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279708)

The reasons? Who knows.

I read this morning that It was to enforce some Indian Law which makes it Illegal for foreing nations to Transform Indian Wood. Although, India exported the raw ressource to the USA (perhaps Gibson specifically) and I assume probably knowing it would be transformed there. so that's pretty much what I understand. So yeah, why did the US enforcements decide to enforce this specific Indian Law in this context? I have no idea.

Re:Oh, please (2, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280226)

How about you listen to this short radio episode [schiffradio.com], the guest is Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitars. You will find out how a classic American company became an enemy of the state by providing 1200 jobs IN USA, that's right. The reasons? Who knows. The government doesn't have to tell the reasons, you peons, not even peons in the sense that you do work. You are just a number in the line up that they can use for displaying the meat mass, how much there is there to "count the votes" or whatever they need you for, and you aren't too good for organs anymore, being on FDA approved drugs and department of Agriculture subsidized foods.

I have been following the Gibson Guitar story for a few days now. At this point, it appears that there is one of two reasons why Gibson is under this investigation. The first is because Gibson employed Americans to finish the wood rather than workers in either India or Madagascar. The second possible reason is because the CEO of Gibson is a Republican contributor.
Martin Guitars imports the same sorts of woods from the same locations, but they are not being investigated. Martin Guitars CEO is a Democratic Party contributor.

Re:Oh, please (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280340)

India doesn't have the problem with the wood not being finished there, the export was legal, the papers are in order. The reasons for this are political but as all political reasons there is something behind it about money.

Re:Oh, please (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280922)

And listen to the deafening cries of the media as they lament the abuse of Gibson Guitar at the hands of the current Administration.

Oh.

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37281332)

>Every day you want government to do something for you, to tax somebody and to borrow from somewhere...

Uh, yes I do. That's what government is for. They're there to defend ME, build roads for ME to drive on, to protect the environment I live in, etc. The more assets I have, the more there is to protect. The man living under a bridge has far less to lose as the result of an invader than the man in a mansion.

It costs money to do these things. Are we borrowing too much? Yes, but the politicians harping the most about it are the very ones most responsible. You don't go to war and cut taxes. You simply don't.

So, seriously now. What is your point? Taxes really are the price we pay for civilized society. Therefore the alternative to taxes is the end of civilized society.

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37281358)

USA is bankrupt, so you can start with that. The rest of your comment is exactly what was said earlier - selling your liberties for an appearance of civilization, while you won't get anything in reality.

Abolish Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279314)

Molestations at airports, those stupid scanners, and now this? This is just going to far. It's unnecessary and creepy.

What could it mean? Obviously... (3, Insightful)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279422)

Regardless, the slide ends with the author stating that the ANSI standard 'is not applicable to covert operations.' What might that assertion have meant to the presentation's intended audience?

It means, "what they don't know won't hurt them."

Re:What could it mean? Obviously... (2)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279654)

"what they don't know won't hurt us" I think was the intended correction. ;)

Re:What could it mean? Obviously... (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279716)

To the intended audience, yes, that's pretty much exactly what it would mean...

ZBV at the border (4, Interesting)

Windrip (303053) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279640)

Comments so far are missing a salient feature of these things: they are in use at the U.S. border.

Trucks drive past them at the border (oh, they're just mezkins...)

They are located north of the border, by approx. 30 miles (DHS calls it "defense in depth"). See them in my neck of the woods in Arizona on: northbound I/19, eastbound Hwy 82, northbound Hwy 83, northbound Hwy 90

To the assholes who have no problem with this: how many checkpoints do you drive through on your way to work?

You can see a picture of these vans via the earlier /. link

Re:ZBV at the border (1)

nazsco (695026) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280376)

mod this guy up.

Also, what will happen:
- terrorists: put a lead wall in their cars. drive around with bombs.
- regular citizens: respect the law. die of cancer.

Re:ZBV at the border (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281028)

Sucks to be the guy that's back and forth across the border every day... how much radiation is he going to get per year again?

Serial murderers think too small.. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279670)

Real murderers stand in front of Teleprompters in suits, and kill thousands and millions.

And get re-elected.

--
BMO

Re:Serial murderers think too small.. (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280104)

They could take a lesson from the CPU manufacturers. Serial murder just doesn't scale as well as parallel murder.

Re:Serial murderers think too small.. (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280652)

They could take a lesson from the CPU manufacturers. Serial murder just doesn't scale as well as parallel murder.

I think it's more of a SIMD vs MIMD issue.

Visit the USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279722)

Free lethal radiation for everyone!

I'd like to see how USA tourism companies will try to spin that one.

Just how much radiation are we talking here? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279754)

Yeah no shit it's beyond the safe limits for a person, but by how much? These things can look through the thick steel side of a shipping container or a dumpster.

What would this accomplish? (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279854)

Having a license to carry a concealed firearm, as many others in this country have, what does this accomplish? This would be an unreasonable search of my person, without a warrant, resulting in the inevitable "papers, please." Too many ways for that situation to end up poorly...

Re:What would this accomplish? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280256)

The courts have disagreed with your assertion and effectively neutered the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments when it comes to air travel.

Look up "implied consent."

Re:What would this accomplish? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280664)

The courts have disagreed with your assertion and effectively neutered the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments when it comes to air travel.

Look up "implied consent."

And I disagree with the court's decisions because they're simply wrong. Look up "wrong".

doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37279856)

This really doesn't matter anymore. There already are no contruction jobs left in the US, so the lower workforce is becoming more and more of a drag. The economy of the USA stopped depending on productivity some thirty years ago. The domestic economy is based on consumption instead of construction. The goal is keep just as much money flowing through benefits as to feed the consumerist habits: promote addictions fully within your control (smoking, sitcoms, guns, sugar), but clamp down hard on addictions that you don't control (ie narcotics) -- the economy is brittle so any money flowing freely is a danger to national security.

The foreign policy consists of making sure that american companies have their grubby fingers in just as much cookie jars as to not wake the natives. And if the natives start complaining, you just strongarm them into consuming your goods though Orwellian "free-trade" agreements. Don't worry about the Old World -- their leaders are all bent over facing east, and your corporations already own half their infrastructure and high-profile institutions.

For the really problematic areas, just ignite a local feud and sell weapons of minimal destruction to both sides; just enough to keep them occupied but not enough to let one party gain the upper hand. Be sure to switch sides every few years to keep the battle drawn-out, and use your domestic propaganda to make the US appear the victim, or the reluctant saviour, depending on the situation.

Nothing of value was lost.

Z backscatter detector (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#37279946)

Is there a way to detect these, like a wifi signal?

Re:Z backscatter detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280100)

Is there a way to detect these, like a wifi signal?

A Geiger counter?

Re:Z backscatter detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280158)

Sure, you carry a glass container full of noble gas. If it starts glowing, that's bad.

Re:Z backscatter detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280466)

You would need a portable X-ray detector. I would suggest you start out with one of those little white plastic things the dentists have you bite down on when you get dental X-rays.

Re:Z backscatter detector (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280612)

Is there a way to detect these, like a wifi signal?

Yes. Nuk Alert [amazon.com] . This is a keychain-sized sealed radiation detector with a 10-year battery life. It beeps from 1 to 10 times, based on the log of the radiation level. You can test it with a dental X-ray machine. Price about $170.

Obviously... (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280152)

the ANSI standard 'is not applicable to covert operations.'

Obviously, the implication is that "suspects" are not "people." And it seems everyone is a "suspect," as these things are being aimed at the public at large.

As a side note, I just had a mental image of them parking these trucks in a circle around a pile of wood and gleefully starting a bonfire (using the x-ray beams). They may have also parked in a circle around the Constitution.

Boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280214)

Perhaps we should boycott airplanes as much as possible. This may sound quite unpractical for people who need flights, but at least people should avoid this for tourism. Remember there are ~60 millions tourists from foreign countries. So marking US as a "no-go' destination for foreigners might lift some regulations and especially body scanners.
Boycott is an effective way but politicians might require body scanners for any transportation mode.

It's not a problem (1)

willworkforbeer (924558) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280472)

Page 12 says they are safe for scanning sheep, so there's no problem here.

Re:It's not a problem (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#37281070)

Yeah because an animal that lives 6-10 years will have exactly the same chance of getting cancer than one that lives 70+ years. /sarcasm

At what point ... (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#37280550)

... does being irradiated become a threat against which I am permitted to defend myself?

Some unmarked van with a couple of creepy guys pulls up alongside me. Then my X-ray detector pegs. It could be a lethal dose, so I'm going to use whatever force I have available to stop them.

A couple of rounds from my M107 should do the trick.

Re:At what point ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37280950)

Not sure which M107 you are referring to but i suppose it doesn't matter, they are all big. Anyways, if you have received a lethal dose.. you wouldn't be defending yourself at that point.. you would just be getting revenge. However, you could be saving other lives if they have not yet been killed by the dosage. Honestly, i doubt this thing will deliver lethal dosages. Though cancer dosages seems likely.

Re:At what point ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37281092)

It's a good question. Sadly, it's realistically irrelevant. The textbook answer might be that you could use force (deadly or otherwise) to protect yourself from harm/death. But you will never find a DA willing to overlook the defense of self, or a jury willing to look beyond your actions to the motivation or fairness behind them.

Not to mention, if you are in a state with an obligation to attempt to withdraw, you'll never be able to defend yourself against the argument that you can find somewhere else to be.

Re:At what point ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37281356)

Sad to say, but since politicians seem to be able to kill thousands with paperwork and then get away with it, what you are proposing here might be the last solution remaining against this. Really sad that things have gone so far out of hand.

Its Coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37281318)

How much longer do "they" think people are going to take this shit. If you keep pushing eventually the people are going to push back. Just ask Egypt, Syria, or practically any other middle eastern country!

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