Nervous Travelers Mistaken for Terrorists?

Technology has now taken us to the next generation of TSA screening. The U.S. government is now implemeting equipment that can sense changes in pulse rate and breathing. These minute changes, invisible to the naked eye can even sense tiny changes in skin temperature and set TSA crews into action to further interview and assess a possible terrorist. Or, could they be hassling an innocent passenger that’s simply afraid to fly?

The US Department of Homeland Security has high hopes that screening biometrics, can weed out the bad guys, before they strike. Critics doubt such a system can work. The idea they say, subjects innocent travelers to the intrusion of a medical exam.

The futuristic equipment works on the same theory as a polygraph, looking for sharp swings in body temperature, pulse and breathing that signal, the kind of anxiety exuded by a would-be terrorist or criminal. Unlike a lie-detector test that hard wires subjects to sensors as they answer questions, the new technology scans people as they walk by a set of cameras.

The Transportation Safety Administration has recruited and trained over 2000 employees to pick out those passengers that seem nervous. The new system is designed to be portable and quick, and is hoped to scan people as they walk around the train station and airport. Those flagged by the machine would receive a more depth interview, directly in front of the camera that is set up to pick up even the slightest facial movements.

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