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This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

New privacy threat, or just paranoia?

Article: 8950 of alt.hackers
From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)
Newsgroups: alt.2600,alt.cyberpunk,alt.privacy,alt.hackers
Subject: New privacy threat, or just paranoia?
Date: 28 Oct 1995 21:20:32 +0100
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Message-ID: 46u3ag$
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Status: RO

Here's something to give the hacker-mind some exercise... Or maybe some
thing for the a.f.u archives. Dunno.

I have heard that there is a move underway to develop a new way of snooping
our persons. It seems that the old "x-ray vision" technology
that you see in cheesy ads in the back of some magazines is not entirely
a joke. Human (and other animal) bodies really do give off electromagnetic
radiation at certain frequencies, and this can be intercepted. Using it for
"x-ray" vision yields an outline of the body under the clothes,
but not much detail. You can see that someone is wearing a padded bra,
etc. A cheap thrill for 14-year-olds with no life. BUT: It also will show
things under the clothing that block the radiation. E.G. A WEAPON.

Yes, it is rumored that the cops want to see if you are packing a weapon just
by driving/walking down the street with an improved version of those x-ray
vision specs. They will no doubt be particularly concerned about whether
shapely women are armed... Setting the legal questions aside for a moment,
as I am sure the Govt. can make the law work the way it wants, we need to
consider the technical side of this.

Can anyone confirm that this IS possible? Does anyone know the EXACT
frequencies that this technology uses? What can block it? Could protective
clothing be designed that isn't hugely bulky and/or expensive? I wonder if
we could popularize carrying metal plates shaped like .45 automatics and
f*k this whole idea. Or is the detail with this technology good enough to
see if the gun is realistic? Could a jammer of some sort be created?

The legalities of this are interesting. I think that everyone in THIS
newsgroup believes that "broadcasting" obviates one's right to
privacy. Cordless phones, for example, are considered fair game. What about
this sort of radiation that is coming off your own body? Do you think there is
any way to claim "privacy" and ban the use of this technology? And
what happens when this technology is common and the muggers start using it
to tell if you are armed before attacking? It would be ironic if idiotic use
of surveillance technology in the name of "public safety" made our
lives more dangerous. Will we all have to wear the fake guns, or REAL guns,
just to be safe?

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