A laser system that can measure the vibrational spectrum of the molecules on your body or the molecules of things you’ve come in contact with… and determine what they are? Sound like science fiction? Think again. The latest apparent ‘toy’ for the Department of Homeland Security, and coming to an airport near you… are laser scanners that will scan you (up to about 150 feet away), totally unknowing to you, and will be able to determine many things about your biology and/or the substances you’ve come in contact with.
The inventors of the technology, Genia Photonics Inc., have entered into a contractual arrangement with a company named In-Q-Tel, a strategic investment firm that delivers technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The technology is being developed for the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), an IQT customer agency.
Genia Photonics has what you call a ‘Picosecond Programmable Laser’, and “is the best solution for applications in the biomedical, industrial and defense and security communities due to its versatility and its multifunctionality,” said Dr. Alain Villeneuve, Chief Technical Officer of Genia Photonics. “This compact and robust laser has the ability to rapidly sweep wavelengths in any pattern and sequence.”
The machine can analyze everything in real time and can sniff out a lot more than just explosives, chemicals and bioweapons. A copy of a technical bulletin obtained from Genia Photonics and reported by gizmodo.com, says that its laser scanner technology is able to “penetrate clothing and many other organic materials and offers spectroscopic information, especially for materials that impact safety such as explosives and pharmacological substances.”
Gizmodo goes on to report that the Genia Photonics’ Picosecond Programmable Laser scanner is capable of detecting every tiny trace of any substance on your body, from specks of gunpowder to trace amounts of cocaine on your dollar bills to adrenaline levels to a sugar-sized grain of cannabis to what you had for breakfast…
The unit is small, portable, attached to a computer running real-time, and can scan ‘everyone’ in its path. They would be able to do it everywhere: airports, border crossings, the subway, a traffic light, sports events… everywhere.
A question is, which molecular ‘signatures’ will they be scanning for? and who decides them? What are the privacy implications of such a device? Will the molecular ‘signatures’ on your body be added to your NSA dossier? It seems that the U.S. government is planning to scan your molecular profile without your consent, and they plan to implement the technology between end of 2012 or during 2013. Got a problem with that?
Another nail in the coffin to privacy in America. Thank you DHS. Goodbye sweet America…
0 (today) 0 (week) 1 (month)