1996-08-13 - “X-Ray Gun” for imperceptible searches

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From: “E. ALLEN SMITH” <EALLENSMITH@ocelot.Rutgers.EDU>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 52b6022602dc76ef76b94a19709f1d9484ff4dda7ea2dfd3d068f73c2ea4d0fc
Message ID: <01I876465KRK9JD5RL@mbcl.rutgers.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-08-13 02:30:13 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1996 10:30:13 +0800

Raw message

From: "E. ALLEN SMITH" <EALLENSMITH@ocelot.Rutgers.EDU>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1996 10:30:13 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: "X-Ray Gun" for imperceptible searches
Message-ID: <01I876465KRK9JD5RL@mbcl.rutgers.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

	I would wonder if a jamming device (preferably area-effect with a 
slowly randomly varying swathe of area, to avoid figuring out who was carrying
it) would be possible, or some variety of shielding (i.e., emitting waves
looking similar to flesh).

>   Direct Media
>      Copyright &copy 1996 Nando.net
>      Copyright &copy 1996 The Associated Press

>   SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Aug 12, 1996 09:47 a.m. EDT) -- The latest
>   weapon against terrorism can see right through you.
>   The Passive Millimeter Wave Imager can X-ray through clothing to "see"
>   a concealed weapon, plastic explosives or drugs. A police officer can
>   surreptitiously aim it into a crowd from as far away as 90 feet.
>   The new X-ray gun is becoming a symbol for an unlikely alliance of
>   civil libertarians and gun owners who fear the fight against crime and
>   terrorism may be waged at the expense of personal freedoms.
>   "I'm incredibly concerned," said John Henry Hingson, a past president
>   of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, meeting here
>   this past week. "The entire nation could become a victim of illegal
>   searches and seizures and the law is powerless to protect them from
>   these police abuses."
>   But in these nervous times following the the crash of TWA Fight 800
>   and bombings at the Olympics, Oklahoma City and the World Trade
>   Center, many Americans are now willing to trade some of their privacy
>   and civil liberties for greater security.
>   A poll last week by the Los Angeles Times found that a majority of
>   people -- 58 percent -- said they would curtail some civil liberties
>   if it would help thwart terrorism. Thirteen percent said it would
>   depend on what rights were at stake. The poll didn't ask people to
>   single out any rights.
>   The Clinton administration has proposed increased wiretapping and
>   other anti-terrorism steps, and is doling out research grants for
>   cutting edge anti-crime technology that once may have been intended
>   for only military use.
>   Two models are being developed of the Passive Millimeter Wave Imager,
>   a creation of Massachusetts-based Millimetrix Corp.
>   The larger one, about the size of a shoebox, is mounted on a patrol
>   car and pointed at the unsuspecting person. The gadget doesn't send
>   out X-rays; instead, it picks up electromagnetic waves emitted by
>   human flesh.
>   Anything that stands in the way of those waves -- like a gun -- or
>   anything that emits weaker waves -- like a bag of cocaine or a plastic
>   explosive -- will show up on a little screen in the patrol car.
>   Clothes emit no waves. Neither do walls, allowing the device to be
>   used from even outside a room.
>   A second model is a smaller, battery-operated version that an officer
>   can operate by hand, like a radar gun.
>   Millimetrix hopes to field test the larger model soon at a police
>   agency.
>   Hingson argues the device runs roughshod over bans against illegal
>   searches and seizures. The law says police can stop and frisk a person
>   only when an officer has a "reasonable suspicion" the person is armed
>   or involved in a crime.
>   Millimetrix points out that while the imager can see through clothing,
>   it still leaves people some privacy. The device's display screen, the
>   company says, "does not reveal intimate anatomical details of the
>   person."
>   Chip Walker, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, noted that
>   devices like the imager threaten the legal rights of people in 31
>   states who are allowed to carry concealed weapons with proper
>   licenses.
>   "We certainly support efforts to disarm criminals, but we need to be
>   careful that we're not painting with too broad a brush here," he said.
>   Walker said that as troubling as terrorism is, people may be playing
>   into terrorists' hands by giving up their privacy.
>   "One of the broader issues is that if we start giving up certain civil
>   liberties, that essentially means that the terrorists are starting to
>   accomplish one of their goals," he said.