Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Body scanners don't work

This video has been going around quite a bit. It's a clip from German TV that shows a physicist attempting to get contraband through a backscatter x-ray machine (the type being touted as a response to the underwear bomber). It's the first demonstration I've seen of the technology. Other images I've found have been mockups suggesting what might be seen.

The problems here are numerous. Bomb components weren't found, and a body cavity (in the video the man uses his mouth, but it's not the only *ahem* cavity bodies have) can hide anything.

Simple lesson: these body scanners are intrusive, expensive, and wouldn't have solved the problem.

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