View Full Version : NASA plans to read terrorist's minds at airports

08-18-2002, 10:34 AM
By Frank J. Murray

Airport security screeners may soon try to read the minds of travelers to identify terrorists. Top Stories

Officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have told Northwest Airlines security specialists that the agency is developing brain-monitoring devices in cooperation with a commercial firm, which it did not identify.

Space technology would be adapted to receive and analyze brain-wave and heartbeat patterns, then feed that data into computerized programs "to detect passengers who potentially might pose a threat," according to briefing documents obtained by The Washington Times.

NASA wants to use "noninvasive neuro-electric sensors," imbedded in gates, to collect tiny electric signals that all brains and hearts transmit. Computers would apply statistical algorithms to correlate physiologic patterns with computerized data on travel routines, criminal background and credit information from "hundreds to thousands of data sources," NASA documents say.

The notion has raised privacy concerns. Mihir Kshirsagar of the Electronic Privacy Information Center says such technology would only add to airport-security chaos. "A lot of people's fear of flying would send those meters off the chart. Are they going to pull all those people aside?"

NASA aerospace research manager Herb Schlickenmaier told The Times the test proposal to Northwest Airlines is one of four airline-security projects the agency is developing. It's too soon to know whether any of it is working, he says.

"There are baby steps for us to walk through before we can make any pronouncements," says Mr. Schlickenmaier, the Washington official overseeing scientists who briefed Northwest Airlines on the plan. He likened the proposal to a super lie detector that would also measure pulse rate, body temperature, eye-flicker rate and other biometric aspects sensed remotely.

Though adding mind reading to screening remains theoretical, Mr. Schlickenmaier says, he confirms that NASA has a goal of measuring brain waves and heartbeat rates of airline passengers as they pass screening machines.

"We're getting closer to reading minds than you might suppose," says Robert Park, a physics professor at the University of Maryland and spokesman for the American Physical Society. "It does make me uncomfortable. That's the limit of privacy invasion. You can't go further than that."

"We're close to the point where they can tell to an extent what you're thinking about by which part of the brain is activated, which is close to reading your mind. It would be terribly complicated to try to build a device that would read your mind as you walk by." The idea is plausible, he says, but frightening.

Published scientific reports show NASA researcher Alan Pope, at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., produced a system to alert pilots or astronauts who daydream or "zone out" for as few as five seconds.

Is it jsut me, or are they taking things a bit TOO far? :p whole article found here: http://washtimes.com/national/20020817-704732.htm

08-18-2002, 10:40 AM
They are taking this a bit far. It's bad enough that you have to take your shoes off, now this!?

...Like they said in the article, there are other things that can set of the meter or whatever they decide to use. There will be a lot of false alarms and a lot of angry passengers. And if they do pull of a "perfect" version of this device, I doubt that we'll see it anytime soon.

xXx Beaver xXx
08-23-2002, 07:15 PM
Its a bit oo far there.

America always used to have the worst airport security. In New Zealand we always had x-ray checks and only passengers could go tot eh gates.

When I went to the USA, they were [i]so[/] slack on the security, Sept 11th was waiting to happen.

- Triple X Beaver:spinface:

Black Ace
09-01-2002, 12:28 AM
Tenths of millions Americans traveled to the airport every hour, its not easy tracking everyone.

xXx Beaver xXx
09-01-2002, 01:02 AM
Tenths of millions Americans

What does the above mean? Please preview your posts.

Well, I did understand what you meant, but they should have made allowances for the amount of people coming in and out.

Like make larger airports, get more planes.

Security should always be the highest priority, not the amount of travellers (basically the amount of money) coming in.

- Triple X Beaver :spinface: