Scanning Canucks

Trout River, N.Y., which borders Quebec, has been outfitted with devices intended to guard against criminal and terrorist threats. That’s the last of about 600 radiation detectors installed at northern borders in a continent-wide initiative to repel the smuggling of nuclear bombs and other malicious materials from Canada.

In an article on the National Post website, Ian Macleod says a U.S. proposal to collect fingerprints and eye scans from foreign travelers leaving U.S. airports has met with some objection. The U.S. already collects biometric data from travelers flying into the country, but critics say, “What’s the point of spending billions on scanning those leaving the country?”

The monitors at borders detect certain types of energy, and suspect vehicles are sent for further inspection to identify whether or not the source is a threat to the U.S. But the monitors have been criticized for their many false alarms, triggered by things like cat litter, and the lingering medical isotopes in people’s bodies. The U.S. Government Accounting Office has studied ASP monitors, which are more accurate but cost three times more than the PVT monitors now in use.

To read the National Post article, please click here:
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2200744