Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Technology without Reason: DHS Plans to Scan Bodily Functions

In the strangest yet predictable twist in the eight year long Department of Homeland Security saga, CNN reports that the DHS is planning to enact the use of bodily function scanners in selective airports in two short years. This high-tech surveillance initiative which reports has been dubbed FAST (Future Attribute Scanning Technology) seeks to measure such functions as personal heartbeat, eye movement and even muscle twitch data that would be compiled into a fused database used for screening purposes. This sort of lie detector would then place travelers through the appropriate screening process levels according to the perceived threat they could pose. Hence, if an extrapolation of the data reaches conclusions that a person may be in some way nervous or uncomfortable, any accusation of that could be considered probable cause for futher investigation and detention.

While government officials are lauding FAST as a way to combat terrorism and get closer to isolating unruly flyers as potential threats, the program has little scientific value. It is a mere tool to gather information that never will qualify as conclusive reason for needed interrogation or detention. It is simply absurd that through detections of bodily functions one can determine another's sole intent in acting in a certain fashion. This scheme is no other than a data-mining operation launched for the sheer purpose of getting more information on citizens, information which may be used after the fact to stipulate and accuse of them of wrongdoing and misconduct.

These sort of guilty-until-proven-innocent paradigms are dangerous to liberty and a direct violation of innate human rights. The creation of a science of "microexpressions" is a precursor and a promoter of pre-crime conviction and an evil that defies logic itself. The Orwellian Department of Homeland Security's continued march toward fascism is a crime of grand proportions and a farce of security.

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