By Allison Barrie
Baggage searches are SOOOOOO early-21st century. Homeland Security is now testing the next generation of security screening — a body scanner that can read your mind.
Most preventive screening looks for explosives or metals that pose a threat. But a new system called MALINTENT turns the old school approach on its head. This Orwellian-sounding machine detects the person — not the device — set to wreak havoc and terror.
MALINTENT, the brainchild of the cutting-edge Human Factors division in Homeland Security's directorate for Science and Technology, searches your body for non-verbal cues that predict whether you mean harm to your fellow passengers.
It has a series of sensors and imagers that read your body temperature, heart rate and respiration for unconscious tells invisible to the naked eye — signals terrorists and criminals may display in advance of an attack.
But this is no polygraph test. Subjects do not get hooked up or strapped down for a careful reading; those sensors do all the work without any actual physical contact. It's like an X-ray for bad intentions.
Currently, all the sensors and equipment are packaged inside a mobile screening laboratory about the size of a trailer or large truck bed, and just last week, Homeland Security put it to a field test in Maryland, scanning 144 mostly unwitting human subjects.
(More at Link)
A fine example of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars at work :-| ...
Granted, this device will be predominantly used for screening people at airports. Unfortunately the problem with stuff like this is that it inevitably expands in use, and the company that has designed it *does* want to use it for screening people at sporting events, and other public functions. Additionally technology tends to miniaturize with time (consider the fact that computers used to be the size of buildings and now can fit in your pocket as i-Phones and Blackberries). How long before we will have a Department of Pre-Crime like the 2002-film Minority Report?
I understand the need to keep people safe from terrorists, but if we abandon all our freedoms in order to do it, the terrorists have won.