Z Portal Strip Searches Cars at the Border, Is No Tunnel of LoveS

You know the recently deployed airport scanners that see through your clothes and show your bits 'n' pieces to some dude supposedly in a locked closet? Called backscatter, the tech been re-jiggered into a portal that cars crossing the border will have to drive through, allowing border agents to search your car without, you know, actually searching your car. The Z Portal will obviously strip-search anyone driving it, too, but a Customs spokesman swear it's less revealing than the staticky porn your dad used to watch on an old TV.Updated.

Update: Z Portal reiterates you don't have to fear border agents gawking at your junk: "The X-ray image generated does not create the detail that you describe because of the subjects' distance from the X-ray source and the movement of the vehicle through the X-ray beam. Additionally, the car is in the path of the X-ray beam so this also obscures the detail of the individual."

The first Z Portal is being set up at San Ysidro, a port of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego. Anyone who's "referred for a secondary inspection" will drive through a giant car wash that's not really a car wash, but a Z Portal. If you don't trust Customs' assurances no one will see your private piercings, you can actually have a border agent drive it through.

The purpose of the portal, obviously, is to find smuggled weapons, drugs and illegal immigrants that'll took our jerbs, while taking less time and posing less of a risk to border agents. Hey, it's better than a cavity search. But you still might wanna leave your laptop at home. [CNN]