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The TSA Is Funding Airport Mind-Reading Scanners

The risks to personal privacy inherent in mind-reading technologies should concern the public about abuse of their rights.

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"A simple five minute automated interrogation during the Visa application process, or at the airport security checkpoint, would have most assuredly exposed the evil intention of Christmas terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before he ever boarded," SDS CEO Shabtai Shoval said in a press release.

But while these methods are still in development, other behavior-detection technologies, that have less to do directly with reading minds, are on the cusp of being ready for deployment. The Department of Homeland Security has given the green light to FAST, or Future Attribute Screening Technology, which uses a combination of biometric scanners to measure a person's pulse, breathing, pupil dilation and other signals that can determine "hostile intent."

While FAST isn't quite as intrusive as the WeCU system, it appears to be much closer to implementation, with field testing of the $20-million technology set to begin in 2011.

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