from the March 2010 issue

Israeli mind-scanner may take over US airports

As part of stringent measures to increase airport security, US authorities may use an Israeli-made mind-reading scanner that allegedly predicts whether a passenger is a potential threat or not.

The Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) and the Homeland Security are considering the installment of a controversial mind-reading system that was recently developed by the Israeli-based WeCU Technologies, in all American airports.

The device, which functions by blending high computer technology and behavioral psychology, is essentially designed to "get inside the evildoers head" without the subject's knowledge and prevent him or her from placing the lives of fellow travelers in jeopardy.

According to WeCU Technologies CEO, Ehud Givon, people cannot help reacting mechanically to recognizable images which suddenly appear in unfamiliar places.

With that in mind, the system aims to project images onto airport screens, such as symbols affiliated with a terrorist group or signs only a terrorist would recognize.

Givon said while the WeCU system would use humans to do some of the observing, it would rely largely on concealed cameras or covert biometric sensors that can distinguish a rise in body temperature and heart rate, however slight it may be.

"One by one, you can screen out from the flow of people those with specific malicious intent," Givon claimed.

The controversial device has sparked an outcry among civil rights groups, who argue that a system that combs through your brain to look for evil intentions is "Orwellian" and akin to "brain fingerprinting."

The groups note that the US should not follow in Israeli footsteps with regards to Airport security.

The US is already subjected to widespread controversy over the appliance of full body scanners, which according to critics, are in violation of child protection laws as well as the right of travelers to privacy.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report March 2010

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