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SCI/TECH: T-Ray Camera Sees Through Clothes, Walls--Goodbye Privacy!

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posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 10:46 AM
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Remember those cardboard novelty X-Ray Glasses from childhood? Well, the technology has come a long way since then. The first image released from the T-Ray camera, designed by the European Space Agency's StarTiger team, shows an image of a human hand from behind a 1/2 inch pad of paper. The camera works off of terahertz waves, and is able to see through clothing, smoke, walls, and other solid objects. The applications for obtaining images from space, security checkpoints, and medical diagnostics are also being heavily considered.
 



www.space.com
The technique employs a little-studied but ubiquitous radiation. Detecting T-rays allows a camera to effectively see through smoke, walls and even clothing or bandages.

Low frequency versions of terahertz waves are known as millimeter waves, and they behave much like radio waves. At higher frequencies, the terahertz waves straddle the border between radio and optical emissions. The technology is sometimes referred to as quasi-optics.

Similar but less sensitive technology is already used to examine sea-surface temperatures from satellites. A future T-ray observatory might study the tails of comets, experts say, and the frequency could also shed new light on the early universe and how the first galaxies formed.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


THE GOOD - Obviously the technology has many useful and benign applications with no side effects. Since the terahertz waves are observed and not created, the exposure to yet another form of radiation need not be worried about. The medical applications are very exciting, as terahertz imaging can penetrate the uppermost layers of skin, detecting cancers and other ailments that would otherwise be obscured. The ability to see a weapon through clothing makes security checkpoints much more secure. The applications for seeing through fog could dramatically save lives in automobiles and low-flying aircraft. The military aspects certainly haven't been ignored. DARPA has pumped at least $18 million into the project during the last 18 months.

THE BAD - If you through that a lack of privacy was a concern before, this is about to make things a whole lot worse. Each article I found carefully avoided mentioning any concerns about the fact that one can get a detailed image through one's clothes. Considering the speed of progress, it is only a matter of time before your camera-phone will be able to shoot photos of naked people wherever you are. Shielding contraband will be near impossible thanks to the very erratic signatures shielding throws off. This can be good or bad, depending on what constitutes the contraband (I'll leave that one up to you).

THE UGLY - The idea of a world where nothing is hidden can be a frightening concept. Imagine a world where you, your spouse, or children can be leered at, with nothing short of a thick solid object to provide modesty. Imagine a world where your neighbors, employers, or law enforcement can simply look through your walls, floor, or ceiling, at what you are doing, without a warrant, without satellite, without anything more complicated than a pair of T-Ray Sunglasses. Imagine how easy it would be for a burglar to see if anyone is home, for a would-be rapist or assassin to tell when one is alone at home, which room they are in, and where all their phones and defenses are at that moment. Imagine life in such a way that the physical properties of your entire existence are open to the public for easy viewing.

Now stop imagining, and start preparing, because that threshold just got crossed.


Related News Links:
www.startiger.org
www.qinetiq.com
www.eubuero.de
europa.eu.int

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
We have no privacy.. The government wont let us
politics.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 4/12/2005 by thelibra]




posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 10:56 AM
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On the Bad and the Ugly, I agree these are *risks*.

However, with new infiltration technology comes anti-infiltration technology. Once this is a mainstream device, there will almost undoubtedly be a way to counteract it, similar to lead shielding versus X-rays. So I really have no fears. Besides, to be honest it doesn't bother me if someone sees my nekkid body!



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 10:57 AM
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To look at this technology rationally and logically you'd have to wonder why such a potentially dangerous technology is publicised and even funded by the government.

I would think there are countermeasures or some kind of cloaking device that would obscure these T-rays or else the government wouldnt allow it. The government has a lot to hide and if the technology was used against them, with no defense, they would be in trouble.

Imagine spying on Area 51 with this technology? Any government would kill to find out whats going on in there and this technology, unchecked, would allow it.

Edit: Beaten to it


[edit on 12/4/05 by subz]



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 11:55 AM
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I will grant that counter-technology will eventually become available, but at a slower rate than the intrusion-technology that it defends against. Additionally, counter-intrusion is oftentimes illegal, especially on the forefront of tech such as the T-Ray camera. T-rays are naturally produced, and are right on the threshold between the radio and optical spectrum. To block it, one would either need to jam or block radio transmissions. Aside from laboratory circumstances, this is illegal. The same can be seen for encryption rates. Past a certain point, the point at which the government can crack them, they are illegal. The Homeland Security and Patriot Act measures are likely to increase the number of counter-intrusion methods that are considered illegal.

Even assuming all counter-intrusion tech becomes legal, which it won't, anyone driving a vehicle, or having a structure, made from whatever shieldng can be made, will become immediate suspects to be investigated, possibly even labeled "terrorist suspects" for the purposes of circumventing such minor things as courts of law and human rights.

And while I know some people have little concern for having their bodies stared at, I, for one, still prefer to have a choice as to whether or not it is revealed.



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 01:26 PM
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How can this be a submission with no option to vote? Also the sourced article is over two years old hardly a timely story.

posted on 4/12/2005 at 10:46 AM
(submission) (sci/tech) T-Ray Camera Sees Through Clothes, Walls--Goodbye Privacy!



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 01:35 PM
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Im sure once this T-ray hits the commercial market they will have some sort of protective material to counter act it, maybe in homes and in buildings it could be a special paint or something of that nature. As for the clothing, well better not be shy


Interesting article



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 02:26 PM
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For some reason I instantly thought about that scene in Total Recall where Arnold Schwarzenegger walks trought the security check point on the way to the subway. That's kinda spooky to think that they get to 'check you out' (especially for women) everytime you enter the subway. It'll probably will never come to that, but that's the worst case I can think of.



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 04:44 PM
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The chill went through me when I read about the invasion of privacy for men, women and children. Whats to stop some pervert from taking happy snaps of kids with this new device?

I can see this technology causing a major furor if it gets commercially released.



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 05:10 PM
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Wow, the priest never needed glasses before......
Wow, he never needed to take the children alone before......

I can see the church using this as a way to let priests be pervs without actually raping the kids.







 
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