Madison Ruppert, Contributor
As ludicrously farfetched as the headline sounds, there is in fact a new laser-based scanner built by Genia Photonics – who is currently in “a strategic partnership and technology development agreement with In-Q-Tel” – which can detect traces of just about anything on your person from a stunning 50 meters, or 164 feet away in somewhere around 1/1000000000000th of a second.
One must realize that as disturbing as this may sound, it is really not all that shocking when you consider the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Future Attribute Screening Technology or the rise and continuing growth of nearly ubiquitous use of facial recognition technology.
Genia Photonics refers to the ability of these types of picoseconds synchronized programmable lasers to be used for “standoff threat detection.” Essentially, this is just a different way of saying the government will soon be able to scan your body, car or belongings for just about any molecule or substance they please without you knowing, all at unimaginable speeds.
If this is rolled out as soon as Tara O’Toole, under secretary for science and technology of the DHS, claimed it would be during her testimony on November 17, 2011, it will become just one of many parts of the American surveillance state.
O’Toole claimed that the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s first project with the U.S. intelligence community’s investment arm In-Q-Tel – which includes the work with Genia Photonics – is “expected to produce transition-ready technologies in the next 12 to 24 months.”
That means that as soon as 2013 we could see equipment somewhere around one million times more sensitive than what is available now. It can also scan ten million times faster than any currently available system and due to the portable nature, it can be used in airports to scan every single person.
According to Genia Photonics, their laser scanner technology can “penetrate clothing and many other organic materials and offers spectroscopic information, especially for materials that impact safety such as explosives and pharmacological substances.”
One can only assume that this means that the laser scanning system could not only be remotely inspecting passengers for explosives but also drugs or any other banned goods.
The claims made by the company – which holds over 30 patents on this technology – are, to say the least, quite extraordinary.
They are “claiming incredible biomedical and industrial applications—from identifying individual cancer cells in a real-time scan of a patient, to detecting trace amounts of harmful chemicals in sensitive manufacturing processes,” according to Gizmodo.
In-Q-Tel seems to be most attracted to the extreme portability and ease of use in many environments. On matters like this, all we can do is speculate, but I personally would be surprised if this wasn’t used as part of the nationwide growth of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) outside of airports.
Our partnership with Genia Photonics will build on the company’s success in the commercial market,” said Simon Davidson, Partner on In-Q-Tel’s Investments team, according to a press release. “Genia Photonics’ fiber-based technology will lead to unique possibilities for our customers in the U.S. Intelligence Community.”
In-Q-Tel also states, “an important benefit of Genia Photonics’ implementation as compared to existing solutions is that the entire synchronized laser system is comprised in a single, robust and alignment-free unit that may be easily transported for use in many environments… This compact and robust laser has the ability to rapidly sweep wavelengths in any pattern and sequence.”
This means that the DHS or any of their child agencies like the TSA could easily roll these out to the many places they now operate like major sporting events, train stations, highways and more.
If we can take the past as any indicator, we can trust that they almost certainly will end up using this technology as much as possible if it works as claimed.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.
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