Police Are Now Using “X-Ray” Vans

November 1, 2015


“The Atlantic”, Pro-Publica and other news outlets are reporting that authorities are now using x-ray vans to peer into cars, houses, containers and virtually anything they want to point the damned thing at. This is extremely disturbing news, since the technology uses an estimated 40% more radiation than that of an airport scanner. Now, without our permission, the police state can capture all our phone calls, computer messaging and watch us through walls. Here’s a few excerpts from “The Atlantic”:


“Dystopian truth is stranger than dystopian fiction.
In New York City, the police now maintain an unknown number of military-grade vans outfitted with X-ray radiation, enabling cops to look through the walls of buildings or the sides of trucks. The technology was used in Afghanistan before being loosed on U.S. streets. Each X-ray van costs an estimated $729,000 to $825,000.

Here are some specific questions that New York City refuses to answer:
• How is the NYPD ensuring that innocent New Yorkers are not subject to harmful X-ray radiation?
• How long is the NYPD keeping the images that it takes and who can look at them?
• Is the NYPD obtaining judicial authorization prior to taking images, and if so, what type of authorization?
• Is the technology funded by taxpayer money, and has the use of the vans justified the price tag?

Those specifics are taken from a New York Civil Liberties Union court filing. The legal organization is seeking to assist a lawsuit filed by Pro Publica journalist Michael Grabell, who has been fighting New York City for answers about X-ray vans for 3 years.
“ProPublica filed the request as part of its investigation into the proliferation of security equipment, including airport body scanners, that expose people to ionizing radiation, which can mutate DNA and increase the risk of cancer,” he explained. (For fear of a terrorist “dirty bomb,” America’s security apparatus is exposing its population to radiation as a matter of course.)

“Technologies––from x-ray scanners to drones, automatic license plate readers that record license plates of cars passing by, and ‘Stingrays’ that spy on nearby cell phones by imitating cell phone towers—have brought rapid advances to law enforcement capacity to monitor citizens,” the NYCLU notes. “Some of these new technologies have filtered in from the battlefields into the hands of local law enforcement with little notice to the public and with little oversight. These technologies raise legitimate questions about cost, effectiveness, and the impact on the rights of everyday people to live in a society free of unwarranted government surveillance.”

For all we know, the NYPD might be bombarding apartment houses with radiation while people are inside or peering inside vehicles on the street as unwitting passersby are exposed to radiation. The city’s position—that New Yorkers have no right to know if that is happening or not—is so absurd that one can hardly believe they’re taking it. These are properly political questions. And it’s unlikely a target would ever notice. “Once equipped, the van—which looks like a standard delivery van—takes less than 15 seconds to scan a vehicle,” Fox News reported after looking at X-ray vans owned by the federal government. “It can be operated remotely from more than 1,500 feet and can be equipped with optional technology to identify radioactivity as well.”

Back in January, in an article that got remarkably little attention, USA Today reported the following:
At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance. Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant. The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.
The all-seeing eye of DARPA’s “Total Information Awareness” system is finally here. For more information, please go to the link for The Atlantic article:


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2 Responses to Police Are Now Using “X-Ray” Vans

  1. Anadi on February 13, 2016 at 3:29 am

    NYPD has cataloging moesuqs and Muslim-owned businesses, recording the license plates of worshipers at moesuqs, infiltrating student groups and eavesdropping in Muslim neighborhoods in another state without any type of warrant and without notifying the Gov. Christie or anyone else in New Jersey. Following complaints by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker that they were not informed that the NYPD was conducting an investigation of moesuqs and Islamic student organizations in New Jersey, Attorney Eric Holder labeled the actions as “disturbing,” and the Justice Department launched a review.Some simple minded right-wingers turned that into Eric Holder Disturbed by the NYPD cracking down on terrorists

  2. wrong on March 23, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Xray scanners can only collect information and be held for 24 hours

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