Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cheap x-ray vision?

I found another source for cool neato stuff. notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society links to a post in the MIT Technology Review:

New terahertz-detecting technology could make "intimate" body-search-at-a-distance cameras as cheap and easy as conventional video shots....

[T]erahertz waves pass through most types of clothing, allowing "intimate" body searches at a distance.

David (Mr. Ubiquitous) is concerned:

I’m getting a genie-out-of-bottles feeling with this, but is it really as damaging to personal privacy as it feels? Does this really ‘reveal’ anything truly important?

In the political sense, one could claim that this rights the balance between the government and the people. Formerly, only the government could afford to do this type of surveillance, but now Joe or Mary could conduct their own surveillance on anyone - the government, their co-workers, the neighbor with a hot body.

Which brings us to the religious and moral sphere:

In some cultures, specially those that regard covering the body and modesty as being god-given, this is clearly going to present massive challenges to social and moral norms.
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