Tag Archives | Security

Oops: Backscatter X-Ray Machines “Tear Apart DNA”

At Yahoo Tech:

The latest airport security trend is the backscatter x-ray machine, touted as a powerful way to virtually frisk a traveler for contraband without the embarassment of a strip search.

Though touted as completely safe because the level of radiation is so low, travelers have been nervous about the devices — and not just because it shows off a nice outline of their privates to the people manning the machines — but because they remain scared of the health problems they might propose.

Looks like a little healthy paranoia might have been a good thing. While the conventional wisdom has held that so-called “terahertz radiation,” upon which backscatter x-ray machines are based, is harmless because it doesn’t carry enough energy to do cellular or genetic damage, new research suggests that may be completely wrong.

Specifically, researchers have found that terahertz radiation may interfere directly with DNA. Although the force generated is small, the waves have been found to “unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.”

I’m not a doctor, but that just doesn’t sound good…

[continues at Yahoo Tech]

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Are Photo IDs a Waste of Time?

Security expert Bruce Schneier argues that checking photo IDs at the airport is a waste of time. “If you think about it, everybody has a photo ID. All the 9/11 terrorists had a photo ID. The Unabomber had one. Timothy McVeigh had one… We pretend there’s this big master list of bad guys and if we look you up against the list, we’ll know if you’re a bad guy and we won’t let you on the plane. It’s completely absurd. We have no such list!”

“The no-fly list we have is full of innocent people. It catches nobody who’s guilty and everybody’s who’s innocent…”

He argues that except hardening the cockpit doors, nothing else done since September 11 has increased security. “Everything else is window dressing – security theater. It’s all been a waste of money and time….”

“The way to spend money on security – airport security, and security in general – is intelligence investigation and emergency response.… Read the rest

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Full-Body Scanners Increase Cancer Risk

From noworldsystem.com:

There are two types of scanners we will have to endure at the airport; the millimeter-wave scanner and the ‘backscatter’ X-ray scanner. Both emit ‘high-energy’ radiation and are dangerous.

Body scanners have revolutionized the practice of medicine and has saved many lives, but we must question the government’s mandate to have people endure high-energy radiation in a non-life-threatening situation. We must protest the use of full-body scanners on children and young adults as they are at greater-risk of developing brain tumors and cancer from these machines. Cancer and tumors especially in the young will likely increase as more body scanners are being installed on a nationwide scale. There is just no “safe” dose of radiation, 50% of America’s cancers are radiation-induced.

People with medical implants such as pace-makers should also avoid electromagnetic pulse generating body scanners as they can significantly alter the waveform of the pacemaker pulse.

The millimeter wave scanners emit a wavelength of ten to one millimeter called a millimeter wave, these waves are considered Extremely High Frequency (EHF), the highest radio frequency wave produced.

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Fascism Watch: Police and Military Lining Up Against Obama

Klint Finley writes for Mutate:

To their credit, the “Oath Keepers” acknowledge the Patriot Act’s erosion of civil liberties as well. But where were they during the 8 years that Bush was president? Obama gets 400% more death threats than Bush but still lets people carry assault rifles around him, and the Oathers think that they’re being persecuted? Bush had people hauled away for wearing the wrong t-shirts.

I have little good to say about Obama, but I can’t say that his administration is less tolerant of dissent than Bush’s.

From the Oather’s Declaration of Orders We Will NOT Obey: “We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects — such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.”

I take this to mean they will start refusing to do warrantless searches for drugs? For 28 years the federal government has waged war on its people (a disproportionate number of them black), using militarized civilian law enforcement agents, and it’s only now that a not-right-wing-enough black president has been elected that they are worried?

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