The story of the IR laser sniffer that can detect microscopic detail of the coffee in your stomach, the adrenaline in your veins and the soot on your shoes from 50 meters, which appeared a couple of days ago in Gizmodo, has been picked up by John Naughton in The Guardian. His piece is worth a full read.
Naughton gets the story exactly right, by placing it in context of lost liberties and the death of our aspiration to a genuinely open society. To the extent that we voluntarily give up the freedoms promised us int he Bill of Rights with acceptance of the security state and surveillance society, we voluntarily hand the win to the terrorists.
Ostentatious surveillance is the most prominent element in my experience of Torture without Walls. Because we know that the federales are perfectly capable of making their surveillance invisible, it is clear that ostentatious surveillance is simple, fully-intended bullying. Its intent is to terrorize. Whether or not the Magic Laser Scanner (MLS) exists or not, it serves the same function: to terrorize the general citizenry, like the poor man who was arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia for a speck of cannabis smaller than a pin head on the sole of his shoe.