Extremely secretive spy vehicles equipped with X-ray facility, Z Backscatter, will now be seen patrolling the city streets — NYPD hasn’t disclosed anything yet regarding why and how these vehicles will be used.
It is understood that these vehicles will be capable of monitoring the contents of your car’s interior and also of your homes. Evidently, this new trend seems to be a “counter-terrorism” measure.
These X-ray vans can penetrate through any vehicle’s body while it is driving past to check if there are weapons, drugs or explosives hidden inside it.
These sorts of vehicles are often used by immigration patrols. Moreover, these vehicles could see through the walls of houses and buildings including whatever lies beneath your coat.
Health and privacy issues:
General public and civil society is concerned about the actual use and type of information that will be stored by these X-ray vans. More so, people are concerned about the implications of such powerful X-ray rays on their health as well as on their privacy.
The NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is now being forced by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) to throw some light on the use of these vans.
Reportedly, a case is also being filed against the NYPD to release the records of these vehicles. Still, Bratton is keeping mum about the whole matter.
According to Bratton, “those issues I’d prefer not to divulge to the public at this time. I will not talk about anything at all about this — it falls into the range of security and counter-terrorism activity that we engage in,” reports the New York Post.
NYCLU might be filing an amicus brief because it wants the department to explain exactly why such vehicles are required and if these could pose harm to human health.
This is not the first time when a police department has been found using X-ray vans on U.S streets. In 2010, Fox reported how the authorities are using mobile X-ray vans in the cities.
X-ray van is not the only tool NYPD has been secretly using. In the past, the police department was caught using Stingray Spy Tool 47 times without a warrant.