Compliments of the CIA and Homeland Security: By Next Year, Privacy Will Be History

(h/t to Naked Capitalism)

Thanks to the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as early as 2013, privacy as we used to know it will be history.

Say hello to the Genia Photonics' Picosecond Programmable Laser Scanner. (It's coming soon to a public place near the very least.)

Forget about simple, everyday airport scanning tasks such as looking for trace amounts of explosives, this baby “fires a laser to provide molecular-level feedback at distances of up to 50 meters in just picoseconds…Forget trying to sneak a bottle of water past security…” this machine can tell its user “what you had for breakfast in an instant while you're walking down the hallway.”

If you’re walking past someone smoking a joint and you get some of their pot residue on your shoe shortly before entering into a place where this equipment’s being used, there’s a more than reasonable chance that you could be busted. Yeah, it’s that powerful.

As notes it in their article from yesterday, which is linked and excerpted below, it’s “observation without limits.” Put one of these extremely portable bad boys into a police cruiser, or better yet, a drone, which is already coming soon to a neighborhood near you (per my post from April 11th), and you could be zapped by one of these suckers right in the discomfort of your own home (again, without you even knowing it). As the article tells us, this device works through virtually any organic (think: wood-frame house) material…

Hidden Government Scanners Will Instantly Know Everything About You From 164 Feet Away
Jul 10, 2012 9:40 AM

Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.

And without you knowing it.

The technology is so incredibly effective that, in November 2011, its inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel to work with the US Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded "
in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the Director of the CIA and with the support of the U.S. Congress." According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies.

Their plan is to install this molecular-level scanning in airports and border crossings all across the United States. The official, stated goal of this arrangement is to be able to quickly identify explosives, dangerous chemicals, or bioweapons at a distance.

The machine is ten million times faster—and one million times more sensitive—than any currently available system. That means that it can be used systematically on everyone passing through airport security, not just suspect or randomly sampled people…

As Gizmodo notes it, there has been no discussion of the personal and/or privacy issues involved as far as the implementation of this technology’s concerned. It’s self-evident that it may be readily extended beyond airports and border crossings to “…police cars, with officers looking for people on the street with increased levels of adrenaline in their system to detain in order to prevent potential violent outbursts.”

The author asks: ”…will your car be scanned at stoplights for any trace amounts of suspicious substances? Would all this information be recorded anywhere?"

# # #

Some of my most recent posts at Daily Kos, from just the past six months, on our rapidly growing surveillance state…

Wired’s Mind-Blowing Scoop On “Stellar Wind” And The “Enormity” of U.S. Domestic Spying 3/17/12

NYT's Orwellian Lead: AG Holder Officially Signs Off On "Total Information Awareness" For All 3/23/12

NYT Lead: ACLU Documents Rampant, Warrantless Phone-Tracking By Police Throughout U.S. 4/1/12

Police Drone Surveillance Of Virtually Every U.S. Neighborhood Within The Next Five Years? 4/11/12

NYT Lead: U.S. Law Enforcement Made 1.3 Million+ Surveillance Requests Of Cell Carriers In 2011 7/9/12




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I've seen the future, and I don't like it

priceman's picture

Watch the knee jerk partisan claim it's not so bad. They didn't care about their 4th amendment anyway. Yaybama! No one has been prosecuted on Wall St, yet there is all this time to look through catalogs for new toys to screw the American people out of any privacy whatsoever.

Thank you for the warning, my friend.

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look forward, not backward

Shahryar's picture

it wouldn't be right to prosecute Wall Streeters because that's old news including anything they did yesterday. If they aren't doing anything crooked right at this moment then they're in the clear.

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If they would only use this technology for good, i.e.,

Glinda's picture

diagnosing patients upon the patient's request, that would be great. Gee, I wonder if the government would pay for the devices and technicians to operate them to better our supposed civil society we live in.

Nah, just dreaming am I.

Formed in Montreal in 2009 by PhDs with specialties in lasers and fiber optics, Genia Photonics has 30 patents on this technology, claiming incredible biomedical and industrial applications—from identifying individual cancer cells in a real-time scan of a patient, to detecting trace amounts of harmful chemicals in sensitive manufacturing processes.

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And it'll be in use ASAP

willibro's picture

You can be certain of that.

"All that Homeland Security money. Got to spend it somewhere." Jack Reacher, in Nothing to Lose.

During one of the Occupy events out where I live, I had the pleasure of speaking with a young man, early 20s, who had grown up in either Troy or Ithaca, NY. He'd been in the army for a straight hitch, never got deployed overseas, came back hoping to go to college, was living at home while he applied, looking for work. Found the police were driving an armored car (one of the IDE-resistant tubs they were just then sending to Iraq) that HS had given them, mounted with all kinds of infrared and other scanners. They had gotten into the habit of running around at night and scanning building heat signatures, looking for meth cookers and weed growers. As soon as they'd find something even mildly odd (to these hicks reading the scope), they'd do the usual full-on wannabe-DEA raid, breaking windows and doors and rousting grandmas in their pajamas.

It would usually turn out to be a plasma TV mounted on an wall too near the front of the house, leaky microwave, bad fireplace, furnace flue. Whenever they found no dope, they just packed up and left -- no apology, no nothing. Very few citizens tried to sue; it's a right wing town, and most people think anything a cop does must be right, even when it's an idiotic mistake. The few who did try to sue got casual visits from the same police and then withdrew their suits.

As soon as Occupy started up last year, my informant hit on the idea of doing an Occupy encampment to protest this and other things. Not much interest; about 20 people showed up. Like I said: a right-wing town. Three days later, his dad comes up and tells him: "Son, the police think it's time you traveled on. The way they put it, I think it might be a good idea." He left for NYC and Zuccotti park that nite. Then to Wisconsin when that got going. Then Oakland. Had no idea when he'd ever be able to go back to his hometown. Reminds me of stuff I used to read about what happened right after WWI, whenever someone got involved with IWW or any union effort.

I think you can be sure of several other things:
1. There will be no accountability, anywhere, anytime for all the false positives the army of hick cops and TSA rentals churn out with this thing. If they can't find concrete evidence of anything after holding you for 2 or 20 hours, they'll just let you go. And you'll be glad to be let go.
2. All of those false positives will end up in an NSA record (along with your emails and Facebook postings and browser history).
3. If you ever do decide to protest or raise your head at any later time, all of that will be educed as evidence against you.

Good to see you cross-posting here, Bob. Hope to see more of it. I miss reading you on GOS, but I refuse to give page-clicks to a for-profit autocracy, pretending to a "progressive" site, inhabited by Obamabots and run by a millionaire weasel.

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angel d's picture

I do my best to try to keep my head in the sand, but I fail.

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I dunno, angel

willibro's picture

I think you had it right the first time: It is kinda long for a comment! :-)

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ThAnswr's picture

Yeah, 4 more years.

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ThAnswr's picture

Welcome Bob. Good to see you here. Isn't it nice to discuss issues with adults?

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