Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mobile surveillance and what it might look like

A Guardian ST820...Sales restricted to army and law enforcement
BTC - The above picture is linked to a report about a device found underneath a car's chassis.  The device turned out to be a recently legalized device for federal location surveillance using GPS.  Concerns are increasing about the legal use and precedent for this type of public tracking.

In another instance of disturbing auto surveillance, David Lindorff writes about the risks to public health from mobile backscatter X-Ray machines performing invisible searches for persons hidden in vans or cars.  The proposed use for these machines is to find people being illegally trafficked or transported.  Here's how it actually works:
"In theory, the device is supposed to be safe for human targets, because it is operated at a distance, and because the beam is weakened by penetrating the metal of a vehicle before it reaches a person. But the flaws in this kind of reassuring safety calculus are readily apparent in a photo of a small truck carrying contraband that accompanies the Christian Science Monitor story. The X-ray image, after penetrating the truck cab’s metal body, clearly shows the contraband behind the driver’s seat, but it also just as clearly shows the shadowy outline of the driver of the pickup. Worse yet, even his window is half-way down, so there is no shielding at all of the X-rays hitting his head. Houses meanwhile, are most often built of wood, which offers little or no shielding protection." - Dave Lindorff 
Here's what a DHS Backscatter X-Ray van looks like:

*Special thanks to my friend, actor Tim Biancalana, who put the vans back on our radar. Biancalana's work can be seen in a film called ZENITH, due for release this month at the IFC Center.   The film casted another friend, Sander Hicks, who is now a historic figure in NYC's culture of controversial truth telling.

No comments: