Wednesday, January 02, 2008

No comment


George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Part 1, Chapter 5:
He did not know how long she had been looking at him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was possible that his features had not been perfectly under control. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself — anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

Us, now:
TSA officials will not reveal specific behaviors identified by the program — called SPOT (Screening Passengers by Observation Technique) — that are considered indicators of possible terrorist intent.

But a central task is to recognize microfacial expressions — a flash of feelings that in a fraction of a second reflects emotions such as fear, anger, surprise or contempt, said Carl Maccario, who helped start the program for TSA.

“In the SPOT program, we have a conversation with (passengers) and we ask them about their trip,” said Maccario from his office in Boston. “When someone lies or tries to be deceptive, … there are behavior cues that show it. … A brief flash of fear.”

(Seattle PI link via Ken MacLeod)

Stolen from Making Light.

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5 Comments:

Blogger DirkStar said...

Yea though I walk through the valley of Bush I will show no fear...

You made me glad I posted what I did tonight.

1/03/2008 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger spiiderweb™ said...

The title is "No comment" and then I realized the DVD cover was a comment.

I can't control myself.

1/03/2008 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Eli said...

As I understand it, this is how the Israelis handle airport security, and they've been very successful with it - consider what prime hijacking targets El Al flights must be.

No idea how many false positives they've had, tho...

1/04/2008 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger spiiderweb™ said...

I would suspect many false positives.

There are quite a few people who, when confronted by an authority figure get nervous, frightened, make false statements by accident and sweat.

The program may be effective, but I'm not so sure its worth doing.

But then, I don't really fear terrorists any more than a mugger. Which I also don't fear.

Perhaps I'm just dumb.

1/04/2008 08:59:00 PM  
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