thoughtcrime official now

Gil Hamilton gil_hamilton at
Tue Dec 2 15:18:58 PST 2008

> From: eugen at

> Behavioral screening -- the future of airport security?
> * Airport security screeners' focus is shifting towards studying
> intentions

> * Systems can detect signs of emotional strain, which may signal a
> passenger's intent
> * Other programs can study passengers' voice patterns for signs of stress


I'm not sure what you find so disturbing about this.  Sure, they're trying to
detect thoughtcrime but they're not going to send you off to a gulag as a
result of this alone (well, at least not in the more enlightened countries);
they will simply "select" you for further screening.  Anything that has the
potential of someday reducing the oppressiveness of the current security
clusterfuck is a plus in my book.

Let them watch and listen all they want.  If we weren't all being stripped and
orifice-searched like felons, we'd have a lot less to be "stressed" about in
the first place.

In the long run, of course, this system too can be defeated.  I'm sure it
works fine to detect a spur-of-the-moment suicide bomber (assuming there is
such a thing) -- or a scared-shitless first-time drug mule -- but a
dedicated-enough terrorist will make enough dry runs and view enough
simulations of likely subliminal pictures that he will not be overly nervous
when the big day arrives.

I'm also very skeptical that the technologies work as well in the field as
their corporate cheerleaders would like you to believe.  Wonder how many
actual terrorists they've tested the system on?  Do you suppose it works as
well as the polygraph?  The same sorts of claims were made when that was


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