Dubious technology could frame thousands of innocent people as terrorists or criminals

Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pre-crime face scanning lie detector technology set to be rolled out in airports and other public venues will aid authorities in conducting ‘security interrogations’ of individuals, despite the fact that the new device is even less reliable than the dubious polygraph test, and could easily lead to thousands of innocent people being framed as terrorists and criminals.

“A sophisticated new camera system can detect lies just by watching our faces as we talk, experts say. The computerised system uses a simple video camera, a high-resolution thermal imaging sensor and a suite of algorithms,” reports BBC News.

“Researchers say the system could be a powerful aid to security services,” according to the report, adding that the technology is set to be rolled out first in airports for “security interviews” and that the system will also be used to conduct “covert truth tests in real time”.

The new system “successfully discriminates between truth and lies in about two-thirds of cases,” which equates to little more accuracy than chance alone, making it even less reliable than the notorious polygraph test, which has been widely dicredited and is habitually inaccurate.

The technology is focused around detecting emotions such as distress, fear or distrust, all of which a stressed traveler could undergo without necessarily being a liar. Indeed, such emotions would be expected in an environment where people are being naked body scanned, groped by TSA thugs, and subjected to lie detector interrogations.

In addition, such emotions could be registered when the subject fears not being believed by the authority figure. The person could be characterized as a liar when they are in fact completely honest.

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As with everything we’ve seen rolled out in the context of airport security, this invasive technology is eventually planned to become a staple of the 21st century police state.

Vowing not to fly won’t be good enough to avoid Big Brother’s gaze – this technology is ultimately designed to be used to control access to shopping malls, sports stadiums, and other public events.

As we have previously documented, the Department of Homeland Security’s FAST program is based around similar technology that professes to detect “malintent” by means of pre-crime interrogations and physiological scans.

Back in May, the DHS was busy conducting field tests of the technology at an undisclosed location in the northeast United States, suggesting its rollout is close to fruition.

A promotional video for the program shows individuals who attend “security events” being led into trailers before they are interrogated as to whether they are terrorists while lie detector-style computer programs analyze their physiological responses. The subjects are asked about their whereabouts, and if they are attempting to smuggle bombs or recording devices into the “expo,” proving that the technology is intended to be used at public events and not just airports. Individuals who do not satisfy the first lie detector-style test are then asked “additional questions”.

Just like the lie detector face scanner, the FAST program will undoubtedly frame thousands of people as terrorists and criminals without them even having committed any crime.

“Steven Aftergood, a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, a think-tank based in Washington DC that promotes the use of science in policy-making, is pessimistic about the FAST tests. He thinks that they will produce a large proportion of false positives, frequently tagging innocent people as potential terrorists and making the system unworkable in a busy airport. “I believe that the premise of this approach — that there is an identifiable physiological signature uniquely associated with malicious intent — is mistaken. To my knowledge, it has not been demonstrated,” Aftergood told Nature. “Without it, the whole thing seems like a charade.”


Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.

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