TSA Scanners: Coming to a Sidewalk Near You?

New documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) show that since 2006 the Department of Homeland Security has been running pilot programs with mobile backscatter x-ray scanners (the same technology in those full-body airport scanners everyone's pissed about). That means driving the things around and scanning trains, cars—even pedestrians. From Forbes:

One project allocated to Northeastern University and Siemens would mount backscatter x-ray scanners and video cameras on roving vans, along with other cameras on buildings and utility poles, to monitor groups of pedestrians and assess what they carried. In another program, the researchers were asked to develop a system of long range x-ray scanning to determine what metal objects an individual might have on his or her body at distances up to thirty feet.

They wanted to "Assess" the program? More like Asses, right? It's a slippery slope now down to DHS requiring all citizens to walk around in clear latex bodysuits with our dangly parts fully visible. [Forbes]