Van-Mounted Body Scanners, Z Backscatter Illegal Search

By: Staff
Staff Writer
Published: Aug 27, 2021

Van-mounted body scanners, known as Z Backscatters, could bring illegal searches.

Van-Mounted body scanners, Z Backscatter illegal search. The Z Backscatter body scanners vans are mounted to conduct searches. The van-mounted scanners are causing controversy over illegal searches.

Mounted vans with scanners might soon be a new tool for law-enforcement. American Science & Engineering, based in Billerica, Massachusetts, is the company making the Z backscatter vehicles. These are a state-of-the-art x-ray detection vehicles to combat terrorism and smuggling.

Body scanners are part of a new debate, but the company has already sold over 500 of these vans. Now they want to sell to local local law enforcement agencies. That means local police could be using them.

Scanners that are capable of x-raying passing vehicles on the road are used to check cargo. However, their biggest customer is the U.S. military, which uses the vehicles to search for car-bombs in war zones. It is unclear how law-enforcement agencies will be using these highly vehicles. Jay Stanley of ACLU's Technology and Liberty program wrote about the possible complication that technology could have in the hands of the law.

Illegal searches are now a growing debate. The Z Backscatter vans could be used by law-enforcement at road stops. This mean the police can automatically can a vehicle without consent.

"If they are in fact being used on public streets, that would be a major violation of the Constitution," Jay Stanley wrote. "In fact, it's hard to believe that any counsel at any government agency would sign off on allowing these vans to be used in that way. The use of this technology constitutes a search, and under the Fourth Amendment, a search can only be carried out with a warrant. There are exceptions to that, but none of them would apply if this technology is being used on public streets."