Possibly as early as 2013, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be able to beam a laser at us from 164 feet (50 meters) away, analyzing the molecules of our bodies, our clothes, our luggage, whatever meal we’re digesting inside our guts, whatever gun powder residue might have clung to terrorists, whatever drugs are floating around in our urine or glommed onto the soles of our shoes, and how nervous we might be according to our adrenaline levels, all without patdowns or having to touch us at all, without us even knowing it’s happening.

Human body, courtesy of ShutterstockThe news comes from a researcher who chooses to remain anonymous.

He’s currently completing his PhD in renewable energy solutions and published the news of this impending death of privacy on Gizmodo.

Regardless of his anonymity, the researcher backs up the premise with publicly available information.

For one thing, in November 2011, the technology’s inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel, an organization that defines itself as a bridge between the CIA and new technology companies, to work with DHS.

In-Q-Tel describes the technology as a “synchronized programmable laser” for use in the biomedical, industrial and defense and security communities.

The anonymous researcher writes that DHS plans to install this molecular-level scanning in airports and border crossings across the US.

The “official, stated goal” is to quickly identify explosives, dangerous chemicals, or bioweapons at a distance, he writes, and will likely be used to scan absolutely anybody and everybody:

The machine is ten million times faster—and one million times more sensitive—than any currently available system. That means that it can be used systematically on everyone passing through airport security, not just suspect or randomly sampled people.

The technology isn’t new: it’s just “millions times faster and more convenient than ever before,” the researcher writes.

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