Sunday, March 6, 2011

And you thought this was limited to airports

Before airport body scanners were on the radar of many freedom-loving Americans, Homeland Security was figuring out the next step for brutal assassination of the Fourth Amendment.
The Homeland Security Department paid contractors millions of dollars to develop and study surveillance systems that could covertly track pedestrians and check under people’s clothing with airport-style body scanners as they enter train stations, bus depots or major events, newly released documents show.
Thanks to the work of EPIC, we now know about these projects. Chertoff's Rapiscan received almost $2 million in 2005 to turn its scanner into one that would work on moving targets: people in a crowd. No consent would be given and people would be irradiated and virtually strip-searched without any knowledge or warrant. Northeastern University received a similar grant to investigate these types of devices around the same time.

The documents EPIC obtained also show that pilot programs for surveillance of all rail passengers were in place (presumably using only standard photography and videos and possibly infrared imaging) in New Jersey and elsewhere. Additionally - of course - the images were saved for analysis.