Thursday, August 09, 2007

No end to the fascism

Homeland Security to secretly scan people's emotions

United States Department of Homeland Security will install new technology to secretly scan people using a lasers, cameras, eye trackers and microphones, according to an upcoming article in New Scientist.

An ongoing program, Project Hostile Intent aims to detect and model the behavioral cues that indicate an individual’s intent to carry out acts of terrorism, according to testimony of the American Psychological Association.

The cues examined in PHI are those that can be assessed remotely and in real time, and the procedures and technologies required to collect these cues are non-invasive and amenable to integration into busy operational contexts.

“The early test results have us cautiously optimistic,” said Larry Willis, the program manager for the project. “This technology has the potential to revolutionize the screening and interviewing process supporting access control for borders and critical infrastructure.”

The DHS’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) suggests that these sensors could include heart rate and breathing sensors, infrared light, laser, video, audio and eye tracking, according to New Scientist.

In addition to detecting these cues, this project examines whether this process can be automated through the use of sensors and detection algorithms and, subsequently, integrated with other technologies aimed at identifying individuals who pose threats to the homeland, e.g., biometric tools and databases, according to APA testimony.

The initial targeted customers of this research are Customs and Border Patrol and Transportation Security Administration personnel, and sensor will be installed in airports by 2010 with a nationwide roll out slated for 2012.

But experts New Scientist talked to were skeptical that the technology would be ready by 2010.

“I can’t imagine they will have any reasonable rates of success with such a system,” says Kerstin Dautenhahn of the University of Hertfordshire, UK, who specialises in teaching robots to understand human intentions.

People are also concerned about potential human rights and privacy challenges such a system could pose.

“It’s just like something from Minority Report," Peter McOwan, a computer scientist at Queen Mary, University of London told New Scientist. "They have been watching too many Tom Cruise movies.”

Original article posted here.

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