The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
Now the city of New York, with its gun-grabbing mayor, is set to deploy revealing new x-ray scanners that will violate residents’ Fourth Amendment right to privacy to ensure they’re not taking advantage of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
According to local media reports, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said his force is currently testing the new technology, which is designed to hone in on guns without using the department’s well-established “stop-and-frisk” procedure. Now, not only will suspected criminals be targeted, but so will the vast majority of law-abiding New Yorkers who, once again, are going to be presumed guilty until proven innocent.
The New York Daily News said the department recently took delivery of a machine that reads terahertz, the “natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects,” which “allows police to view conceal weapons from a distance.”
“If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object,” Kelly told reporters. …
Civil libertarians have plenty to be upset about. So do ordinary New Yorkers.
A video image that was shown at a Police Foundation breakfast in early January showed a police officer, who was dressed in a New York Jets NFL jersey and blue jeans, with the shape of a gun outlined clearly beneath his clothing, when he was observed through the device.
Kelly says street testing of the device is underway. He said the device is small enough to be put in a police cruiser or set up on a street corner “where gunplay has occurred in the past,” the Daily News said.
Plans to use the revealing device were in play before the state’s latest round of radical new gun control legislation was passed, apparently. The police chief said his department has been working with London Metropolitan Police officials and a contractor “to develop a tool that meets our requirements.”
Apparently, a constitutional lawyer isn’t on the advisory team.
“We took delivery of it last week,” Kelly said Jan. 25 at the gathering at the Waldorf Astoria. “One of our requirements was that the technology must be portable.”
He added: “We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology. We’re also talking to our legal staff about this. But we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.”
So far, the city and the department has blown off concerns about potential privacy violations made by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which has expressed diffidence over the “virtual pat downs” that will no doubt occur.
Others, including some security experts, say the device will unquestionably lead to false positives and, in turn, stop-and-frisks that are not justified.
All of this comes on top of new gun control measures that were passed and signed into law so quickly by the state legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the process was a violation of the state Constitution’s three-day waiting period before laws are voted on. …
The article says, “The department just received a machine that reads terahertz — the natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects — and allows police to view concealed weapons from a distance.” yes it reads terahertz, but does it also emit radiation to increase its ability to read? If so, my view is that irradiating people with potentially harmful devices without consent is a physical attack. I believe the public has a right to self defense which would include disabling any attacker.
Great things are expected of terahertz waves, the radiation that fills the slot in the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and the infrared. Terahertz waves pass through non-conducting materials such as clothes , paper, wood and brick and so cameras sensitive to them can peer inside envelopes, into living rooms and “frisk” people at distance.
The way terahertz waves are absorbed and emitted can also be used to determine the chemical composition of a material. And even though they don’t travel far inside the body, there is great hope that the waves can be used to spot tumours near the surface of the skin.
With all that potential, it’s no wonder that research on terahertz waves has exploded in the last ten years or so.
But what of the health effects of terahertz waves? At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss any notion that they can be damaging. Terahertz photons are not energetic enough to break chemical bonds or ionise atoms or molecules, the chief reasons why higher energy photons such as x-rays and UV rays are so bad for us. But could there be another mechanism at work?
The evidence that terahertz radiation damages biological systems is mixed. “Some studies reported significant genetic damage while others, although similar, showed none,” say Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a few buddies. Now these guys think they know why.
Alexandrov and co have created a model to investigate how THz fields interact with double-stranded DNA and what they’ve found is remarkable. They say that although the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. That’s a jaw dropping conclusion.
And it also explains why the evidence has been so hard to garner. Ordinary resonant effects are not powerful enough to do do this kind of damage but nonlinear resonances can. These nonlinear instabilities are much less likely to form which explains why the character of THz genotoxic
effects are probabilistic rather than deterministic, say the team.
This should set the cat among the pigeons. Of course, terahertz waves are a natural part of environment, just like visible and infrared light. But a new generation of cameras are set to appear that not only record terahertz waves but also bombard us with them. And if our exposure is set to increase, the question that urgently needs answering is what level of terahertz exposure is safe…