Monday, August 8, 2011

Backscatter vans: Coming to a street near you

I read about these types of devices when I first started this blog. The idea is that governments can scan vehicles for contraband. Aside from one report on a VIPR search at a truck stop, I have not heard much about the deployment of these scanners. Apparently Forbes covered a company that is making these machines, and The Truth About Cars has a good write-up about it. The scary part?
Hundreds [of the Z-backscatter devices] have been sold, to customers as diverse as the Department of Defense and small-town law enforcement agencies. The NYPD is one of AS&E’s thrilled customers.
I checked out the company's website, and, sure enough, they list various purchases of their devices to US and non-US government agencies alike. Furthermore, they have a contract from DHS to make general aviation scanners (to scan a whole plane).