The Times reports the trials of a
Passive millimetre wave radar imaging has been under development for the miltary for many years, and now seems to be expanding into the civilian police surveillance market.
It is astonishing that, apparently
"The existence of the scanner has been kept secret within Scotland Yard and only a few senior officers know of the project. Sir John and other commanders were given laboratory demonstrations this year.
A large version has already been tested on the London streets, from the back of a converted van"
Who gave permission for this military technology to be used on unsuspecting civilians ? Have these trials been licenced by the Radiocommunications Agency ? Could there be interference with the existing satellite, radio astronomy and radioloction frequency allocations in these frequency bands ?
Does this system seek to extend the range of the technology by illuminating the targets with powerful millimetre wave radiation source or is it restricted to just the low level of natural background radiation ? The images on the Qinetiq website show that the system works by having both a source of millimetere waves and a detector (look at the shadows of the feet in the images, the shadow is pointing in a different direction from that caused by sunlight)
How is this technology meant to work at night or indoors away from natural sunlight ?
Perhaps natural "black body" radiation (emitted from a warm human body can be used very close up, but this is subject to a very rapid drop off with distance in the detectable strength governed by the the well known fundamental laws of physics used in astronomy and engineering.
Exactly how powerful are the 30GHz to 90GHz millimetre wave radar transmitters ?
Who says that millimetre wave radar is "harmless" and can they actually prove this ?
What are the potential health risks to the operators and to the public ?
Where are the studies to ensure the safety of the public being irradiated with signals in this part of the electromagentic spectrum ?
The precautionary principle of safety should apply i.e. even if there have been no instant fatal casualties, that is no reason to permit the use of this technology to indiscriminantly scan the public.
The powerful argument can also be made that secret scanning of the public with a technology which can see under people's clothes is immoral and constitutes an illegal search e.g.
It is unfortunate that Liberty seem to have been coaxed into a statement which does not object to the secret deployment of this military technology against innocent civilians:
Civil liberties groups in the United States have complained about the technology and yesterday Liberty, the British civil liberties group, cautioned that it would have to be used with strict controls.
Liberty said: �It�s a question of responsible use. We can�t object to technology which helps to protect police and the public. The danger is technology of this sort has a potential for obvious misuse. It might be used for pure titilation.�
Based on how CCTV Surveillance cameras are used, especially hidden ones or ones which zoom in beyond normal human visual range, or which see in the dark, there is no question that such "see under your clothes" scanners will be abused
The question of wether such "see under your clothes" scanners, especially if they are used covertly in the street etc, create "obscene photos or images" i.e. illegal child porn also needs to be decided.
Adult genetalia can, apparently be made visible. The new offence of Voyeurism under the Sexual Offences Bill currently going through Parliament could also be relevant.