Pornoscanners ineffective
Pornoscanners ineffective

Australia is installing the pornoscanners next year. Canada has the pornoscanners. The US is using the pornoscanners. But how effective are they?

According to the Journal of Transportation Studies: An evaluation of airport x-ray backscatter units based on image characteristics. Hat tip: Boing Boing

It is very likely that a large (15-20 cm in diameter), irregularly-shaped, cm-thick pancake with beveled edges, taped to the abdomen, would be invisible to this technology, ironically, because of its large volume, since it is easily confused with normal anatomy. Thus, a third of a kilo of PETN, easily picked up in a competent pat down, would be missed by backscatter “high technology”. Forty grams of PETN, a purportedly dangerous amount, would fit in a 1.25 mm-thick pancake of the dimensions simulated here and be virtually invisible.

No good for explosive. But at least it will stop those boxcutters:

An object such as a wire or a box- cutter blade, taped to the side of the body, or even a small gun in the same location, will be invisible. While there are technical means to mildly increase the conspicuity of a thick object in air, they are ineffective for thin objects such as blades when they are aligned close to the beam direction.

Oh well, another example of our taxes being put to good use. We have posted before on the health effects of these ineffective machines. We have also posted on the infringements of our liberty.