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demoman
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Posted on Sun, Oct 26, 2008 20:50

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. Related While I'd love to give you the full scoop on the unusual experiment, testing is ongoing and full disclosure would compromise future tests. But what I can tell you is that the test subjects were average Joes living in the D.C. area who thought they were attending something like a technology expo; in order for the experiment to work effectively and to get the testing subjects to buy in, the cover story had to be convincing. While the 144 test subjects thought they were merely passing through an entrance way, they actually passed through a series of sensors that screened them for bad intentions. Homeland Security also selected a group of 23 attendees to be civilian "accomplices" in their test. They were each given a "disruptive device" to carry through the portal ? and, unlike the other attendees, were conscious that they were on a mission. In order to conduct these tests on human subjects, DHS had to meet rigorous safety standards to ensure the screening would not cause any physical or emotional harm. So here's how it works. When the sensors identify that something is off, they transmit warning data to analysts, who decide whether to flag passengers for further questioning. The next step involves micro-facial scanning, which involves measuring minute muscle movements in the face for clues to mood and intention. Homeland Security has developed a system to recognize, define and measure seven primary emotions and emotional cues that are reflected in contractions of facial muscles. MALINTENT identifies these emotions and relays the information back to a security screener almost in real-time. This whole security array ? the scanners and screeners who make up the mobile lab ? is called "Future Attribute Screening Technology" ? or FAST ? because it is designed to get passengers through security in two to four minutes, and often faster. If you're rushed or stressed, you may send out signals of anxiety, but FAST isn't fooled. It's already good enough to tell the difference between a harried traveler and a terrorist. Even if you sweat heavily by nature, FAST won't mistake you for a baddie. "If you focus on looking at the person, you don't have to worry about detecting the device itself," said Bob Burns, MALINTENT's project leader. And while there are devices out there that look at individual cues, a comprehensive screening device like this has never before been put together. While FAST's batting average is classified, Undersecretary for Science and Technology Adm. Jay Cohen declared the experiment a "home run." As cold and inhuman as the electric eye may be, DHS says scanners are unbiased and nonjudgmental. "It does not predict who you are and make a judgment, it only provides an assessment in situations," said Burns. "It analyzes you against baseline stats when you walk in the door, it measures reactions and variations when you approach and go through the portal." But the testing ? and the device itself ? are not without their problems. This invasive scanner, which catalogues your vital signs for non-medical reasons, seems like an uninvited doctor's exam and raises many privacy issues. But DHS says this is not Big Brother. Once you are through the FAST portal, your scrutiny is over and records aren't kept. "Your data is dumped," said Burns. "The information is not maintained ? it doesn't track who you are." DHS is now planning an even wider array of screening technology, including an eye scanner next year and pheromone-reading technology by 2010. The team will also be adding equipment that reads body movements, called "illustrative and emblem cues." According to Burns, this is achievable because people "move in reaction to what they are thinking, more or less based on the context of the situation." FAST may also incorporate biological, radiological and explosive detection, but for now the primary focus is on identifying and isolating potential human threats. And because FAST is a mobile screening laboratory, it could be set up at entrances to stadiums, malls and in airports, making it ever more difficult for terrorists to live and work among us. Burns noted his team's goal is to "restore a sense of freedom." Once MALINTENT is rolled out in airports, it could give us a future where we can once again wander onto planes with super-sized cosmetics and all the bottles of water we can carry ? and most importantly without that sense of foreboding that has haunted Americans since Sept. 11.


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redlilly
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Posted on Tue, Oct 28, 2008 14:54

Demo-- where were you when I was trying this one on for size. I could of put this to good use. It would of saved me a lot of heart ache. And bad intentions.


Well behaved women rarely make history!

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DynaThom
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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 20:54

Quoting Junie2006: HaHa I bet you bought into buying x-ray specks when you were younger. Serves you right.

Actually I always hoped one of my uncles or cousins would give me a hand-me-down pair. I had good teachers. :^)


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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 20:53

Hmmmm!!. Maybe we should all be fitted with barcodes instead. Hell last time I went through an airport Id just had an argument with my mobile phone company. I wanted to climb down the phone and kill the F##ker on the other end. So would this scanner pick up that I had bad intentions and hold up the show while I was interrogated as to what was on my mind? and everything else about me. I wonder, would they let me go FREELY knowing I had murderous thoughts? jeez , who needs a mind reader !!!! Just get a microchip. Interesting, thanks Demo


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demoman
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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 16:54

junie, i think half the people standing in line at places like that are capeable of bad things by the time there ready to board the plane. DT... do you really think i would share my X-Ray glasses/scanner with anyone? hell no...lol Red, you may be on to something... a relationship potential scanner for women. A Gold digger scanner for men


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Junie2006
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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 11:16

HaHa I bet you bought into buying x-ray specks when you were younger. Serves you right.


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Junie2006
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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 11:14

Brave New World where we all have to act like emotionless lobotomised Zombies.


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redlilly
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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 10:44

Hey that would have helped me out a lot with the last situation I was in. I would have known I was being stood up and then I wouldn't have drivin an half hour to get to the date, justto have him not show. Not once, but twice. Me bad!


Well behaved women rarely make history!

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DynaThom
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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 08:04

Dang Demo - here I thought you were going to talk about something that allows guys to see through women's clothing - and vice versa!!! My intentions are ALWAYS good, although not always Honorable. DT :%)


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milfmom
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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 05:30

Perfect run the presidental canidates through it before voting day...


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Junie2006
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Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 01:45

Sensor for "Bad Intentions" Now that would be useful to help identyfy the woman who is up for bad intentions in the pub. Saves a smack in the face and a beer over your head. Don't believe all these psycholigical pick ups. usually play on intelectual ideas of human beings. anything over low levels of "nice" are seen as agressive. What about all those people who have already been pissed off at the check out and would love to blow the bloody place up and assualt a few airline staff but don't? JunieXXX


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