The Times has a story by their Transport Correspondent, who seems to be quoting a Qinetiq salesman who is hyping up the possabilities of Passive Millimetre Wave "see through your clothes" scanners on the London Underground.
However, the BBC have a report claiming that Qinetiq and Transport for London are denying any such plans.
"Meanwhile, QinetiQ, the privatised former Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, and London Underground have rejected claims made in the Times newspaper that body scanners are to be used on the Tube.
The two organisations say the report is "inaccurate" and there are no plans to use the scanners. QinetiQ is providing some equipment but cannot discuss it."
"Body scan machines to be used on Tube passengers By Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent
TUBE passengers are to have their bodies scanned by machines that see through clothing in an attempt to prevent further terrorist attacks. The millimetre wave imagers will be used to carry out random checks as people enter stations after services resume today.
Police and transport officials are also considering installing the equipment permanently at stations across the network. The technology is already used to catch illegal immigrants who hide in lorries at Channel ports but has not previously been used on the Underground because of the high cost and concerns about privacy.
The scanners can spot the waistcoat bombs usually worn by suicide bombers and automatically send an alert to nearby officers. Unlike other scanners, they can cover crowded entrances without the need for people to be stopped for individual checks.
The system works by measuring the solar radiation reflected by people’s bodies and measuring anything which interferes with the reflection.
Not quite. The Millimetre Wave frequencies do occur in the natural background electromagnetic radiation, so yes there is more of it around in sunlight: Nicrowave - Millimetre Wave (about 30 - 100 GigaHz) - TeraHerz - Infra Red - visble light
How "solar radiation" i.e. sunlight actually penetrates inside an Underground Tube Station, is, of course, a mystery.
It can be linked to closed- curcuit television cameras that will automatically pick out and follow a suspect until he can be stopped and questioned.
You cannot simply retrofit a normal CCTV camera in a vandal resistant hisung with Passive Millimetree Wave imaging technology !
QinetiQ, the privatised former Defence Evaluation and Research Agency which developed the technology, said the scanners could be fitted to all 270 Underground stations within 18 months.
Each station would cost from £150,000 to £2 million to fit depending on its size and the number of entrances.
Who believes that Qinetiq could actually manufacture and installing over 500 such devices in 18 months ?
Still for the best part of a billion pounds, they will no doubt subcontract out the manufacture to China etc.
Simon Stringer, managing director of QinetiQ’s security division, said: “We have been asked to deploy some of this equipment.
“It would certainly assist in preventing this sort of thing from happening again.
“After today, I expect the travelling public will be more prepared to put up with a greater level of surveillance.” Mr Stringer said. "
No we will nor ! Especially when, as the article does point out further on:
"As the Israelis have found, if you cause huge queues for security checks you merely create prime targets for terrorists. They just detonate their bombs in the queues."
So is this hype or not ? Is The Times quoting the Qinetiq man out of context ?