US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has completed a first round of
field-testing on a program designed to spot people who intend
to commit a terrorist act. Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) was
employed at an undisclosed location in the northeast, according to Nature News.
FAST measures a wide variety of physiological indicators, from the steadiness
of a person’s gaze to their heart rate, to judge a subject’s state of mind.
FAST differs substantially from the polygraph, however. It relies on
non-contact sensors, so it can measure indicators as someone walks through a
corridor at an airport.
project has drawn comparisons to the science-fiction concept of “pre-crime”,
made famous in the film Minority Report, in which security services are able to
detect criminal intentions. FAST has attracted criticism from researchers who
question the science underlying it. “No scientific
evidence exists to support the detection or inference of future behaviour,
including intent,” declares a 2008 report
prepared by the JASON defence advisory group. ~ Nature News, May
27, May 26 2010