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Backscatter X-ray technology (as opposed to the more prevalent transmission x-ray), is a type of x-ray scan that can show some amazing detail. It’s still not being used widely in the US due to privacy considerations, but it’s being used in some places overseas, which at least in the UK, has prompted both privacy and health concerns. Of course, the scary images of people shown with guns is idiotic. (Or this scare image by AS&E showing the difference between traditional transmission x-ray vs. backscatter — showing a gun, liquid explosives and plastic explosives for the surprisingly well-equipped terrorist strolling on a plane).

At any rate, the next step in our Bold New World might just be a “Mobile BackScatter Van”, being marketed by AS&E (thanks Eric).

You can see a video at the company’s website, or on YouTube.

Alex Eckelberry
(And if you want to understand what I mean by security theater, watch or listen to this excellent overview by Bruce Schneier)