Australian airports have begun trialing body scanning technology that neither emits any form of radiation, nor produces a naked image of the person passing through it in a move that is sure to throw a spanner in the works of TSA plans to roll out hundreds more irradiating scanners at American transport hubs.
According to UK-based security company ThruVision Systems, their “passive” scanning technology “operates by receiving natural TeraHertz energy from the person being screened and the environment immediately surrounding them.”
In other words, machines fitted with the technology collect the natural thermal energy that is emitted by all people and objects, and are able to identify any concealed objects from the different TeraHertz waves they emit, all without capturing high levels of body detail.
ThruVision states on its website that it’s mission is “To develop, produce and provide solutions that maintain security whilst protecting civil liberties.”
A 2010 press release by the company explains:
“Terahertz waves occupy part of the electromagnetic spectrum between radio waves and infra-red (heat). Terahertz waves are naturally produced all of the time by all objects and people. ThruVision Systems’ products only receive, they do not transmit. ThruVision Systems’ products do not illuminate people with any radiation such as X-rays or millimetre wave microwaves. The products provide imaging solutions for real time use on people either close by or at distance, indoors and out.”
ThruVision’s TS4 passive full-body screening system, which is capable of detecting metals, plastics, ceramics, liquids, gels and powders, is already being tested at Sydney airport and Melbourne airport, with plans to extend the trials to other Australian airports over time.
The TS4 is far less bulky than the standard radiation emitting scanners that the TSA is currently using, it can even be wall or ceiling mounted. It is capable of screening streams of people, rather than one individual at a time and it is also priced at roughly half the cost of a conventional full-body scanner.
With all this in mind there is absolutely no excuse for the TSA not to be using this technology instead of frying Americans with radiation and groping elderly women and children on a daily basis.
As we recently reported, the same type of safe scanners are already being fully employed by Sony distribution centers. The corporation says it asks employees to walk through the scanners to allay concerns over the potential for theft or copying of Blu-ray and DVD discs outside of the company.
Despite this technology already being in use, the Department of Homeland Security plans to roll out hundreds more millimeter wave and backscatter x-ray devices that it has already purchased.
These machines will continue to emit radiation that respected health authorities have warned will cause cancer. Despite claims to the contrary, the millimeter wave machines “tear apart DNA” to produce their image, while the backscatter devices fire ionizing radiation into the body.
Numerous highly respected universities and health bodies, including Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, the University of California, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, have all warned that the health threat posed by the scanners has not been properly studied and could lead to increased cancer rates.
Despite the TSA lying in claiming that Johns Hopkins had verified the safety of the scanners, Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at the Johns Hopkins school of medicine, has publicly warned that “statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays”.
A study conducted last year by Dr David Brenner, head of Columbia University’s center for radiological research, also found that the body scanners are likely to lead to an increase in a common type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma, which affects the head and neck.
As we reported last month, leaked documents published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center revealed how TSA workers became concerned over a “cancer cluster” amongst screening agents at Boston Logan International Airport, and how the federal agency tried to cover-up the complaints.
Despite these massive health concerns, the TSA has ignored all calls for it to use readily available scanners that do not emit any form of radiation whatsoever.
In addition, the scanners the TSA continues to use also still produce images of a person’s body that show intricate details of their genitalia.
Recent claims that the agency has added software to the machines that makes them “less invasive” have been proven questionable at best, given that the machines still produce unfiltered naked images. The agency is now merely masking them from public eyes with stick figures.
If the TSA has any interest whatsoever in addressing the health and privacy concerns of travelers who are being subjected to degrading and dangerous radiative naked body scanners, they immediately need to contact ThruVision and look at swiftly replacing the current devices with the non irradiating models, should thorough investigations confirm that they are both safe and satisfy the privacy protections outlined in the 4th amendment to the Constitution.
No one should be holding their breath, however, given that it would require more than a “software upgrade” on the TSA’s part. Every single machine would have to be entirely replaced, and thousands of Americans getting cancer just isn’t a good enough reason for the federal agency to spend a few million dollars making the changes.
In addition, the safe scanners are not owned by companies like Rapiscan who are clients of the massive post-9/11 private shadow Homeland Security industry. People like former DHS director Michael Chertoff, who aggressively pushed body scanners in the days after the highly suspicious Christmas Day bomber incident, do not make money out out radiation-free scanners, which is probably a very good reason why you don’t see the TSA in any rush to use them in airports.
Indeed, in the wake of the ridiculous “belly bombs” claims that terrorists are intent on surgically implanting people with explosives, the TSA is more likely to look into deploying even stronger scanners that can literally see inside the human body. Security personnel have been testing machines that use deep penetrating radiation, the same kind hospitals use to examine internal organs and bones.
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