Airport security is now to resemble movies like Total Recall and Minority Report – case of life imitating art. a) thumbs-up b) thumbs-down
Two different technologies are being considered to be used for airport security. Remember the tunnel from the movie Total Recall that could scan someone (and their luggage) as they simply walked through it or how about the mind-reading ability from Minority Report that could predict someone’s intention to commit a crime before it was committed? Well, those technologies might be coming soon to an airport near you!
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The cool thing about the real-life 20 ft tunnel, similar to the one that Arnie (Schwarzenegger) walks through in the movie Total Recall, is that we will no longer have to take off our shoes, or empty out our pockets or remove pieces of clothing for us to pass through airport security. This actually feels good – no pun intended – as this will preclude us from being patted down by TSA officers. As you walk through this tunnel with all your luggage, including liquids, your laptop, cell phone and batteries and any metal object you have with you – the device / tunnel scans each object one-by-one for potential danger.
The idea is to have three such tunnels, side-by-side, in any given checkpoint. The tunnels will be available for pre-screened passengers who are divided into matching three categories called “enhanced,” “normal” or “known traveler.” These distinctions refer to the already-existing program where fliers can volunteer to share personal information ahead of time so that they may be subjected to a lighter scrutiny at checkpoints.
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The next device, which is under development by the US Department of Homeland Security, is more like the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. Disturbing on many levels, the DHS claims that this device can predict a person’s “intention” to commit a crime and therefore security can stop it before it occurs. In the movie they used psychics to predict such things, but in real life DHS is using computer algorithms and “hopes [they] will use factors such as ethnicity, gender, breathing, and heart rate to ‘detect cues indicative of mal-intent.’”
Now does that sound a bit like “thought crime” (1984 – George Orwell) to you? How will they decide who will be subjected to this? Oh, they did answer that…they’ll use profiling. And even if you forget profiling, questions of warrants and “probable cause” come to mind immediately.
Plus, tell me honestly, when you travel, aren’t you already a little nervous or at least a bit tense or anxious – not quite the same as when you are calm and at peace – as in when you are sound asleep in your own bed and not liable to commit a crime?
You can read more about this at CBS.
I got it! The only time we are all safe from each other is when we are asleep. Maybe the best way to travel these days is if we are put into stasis (hypersleep or suspended animation). Oh, but wait…unless you’ve watched Inception…Okay, if that were to come true we’re all…(you fill in the blank).
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