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So...who wants a brain fingerprint?

By AmberEyes in Technology
Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 06:39:27 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

The balance between privacy rights and the battle against terrorism could potentially be strained anew by a new technique called "Brain Fingerprinting".

Do you think a 10 minute security screening every few years of how your mind works can prevent terrorism? Read on for more.

Sponsor: rusty
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comments (24)
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"In our system, you are given a 10 minute computerized security screen only once every few years (and when necessary if a new threat is identified), to determine your "security risk profile." This can be done on the day of travel or anytime in advance, at your convenience. Once your data (your iris data, name (optional), and brain fingerprint security screen test results) are entered into a federal databank, it is inexpensive and quick (under 1 second) to authenticate you at airports, sports arenas, public buildings, etc. In fact, only an Internet connection (which could be wireless) is required for authentication. Where iris scans are cost prohibitive, an ID card used in conjunction with a biometric sensor (such as fingerprints, hand geometry, etc) can be used to achieve nearly equivalent speed, convenience, accuracy, and confidence. Depending on your risk profile and the current entry policy of the place you want to enter, you may or may not be allowed access."

-Steve Kirsch

The inventor of this device claims that it does not violate anyone's civil liberties. He insists that it does not discriminate based on sex, age, creed, religion, or skin color, but is he forgetting the basic civil liberty of privacy?

The procedure that a previously untested person would have to go through, in order to be sucecssfully identified, checked, and allowed through has several steps.

First, every couple of years, you must get your brain fingerprinted. You are shown video images that trigger a brain response (this response is called the P300 reaction) and EEG sensors record these responses. The images viewed may be things like a page from a terrorist handbook, the al Qaeda logo, a picture of a high ranking terrorist leader, or a photograph of a training camp. If your brain recognizes and makes a positive identification on the presented information, your risk factor increases.

By the end of the test, your information is collected and you are assigned a risk factor. Too many risk factors may lead you to be bumped from a flight, or require air marshalls to fly in the plane with you.

These tests would be repeated once every few years to update your risk information, and may be required or updated after a terrorist attack, or the identification of a new terrorist threat.

Secondly, you would present an identification number at the check-in counter of an airline. The employee pulls up a picture of your face from a federal computer, and checks to see if you look like that picture. If you pass through you enter the next step.

Lastly, the main security points that contain the metal detectors now contain an iris scanner as well. This iris scanner scans your iris in less than 1 second, pulls up your risk assessment information from a the federal database, and checks to see if you are permitted to fly without restrictions, or if you need special restrictions like required air marshalls to accompany you, no carry-on luggage, or other prohibitive measures.

Because this system is based on telecommunications for database storage, anywhere that can have internet access can potentially install this device. Biometric data is also stored in this system, so an agent who didn't have an iris scanner could use another form of identification such as a palm print or hand geometry.

The author suggests that installing these iris scanners in other high-risk areas, such as stadiums, would prevent terrorism threats as well.

Is this bunk science, or a 21st century possibility? Does this violate our civil rights, or has this been long overdue to protect us? Is installing this device in stadiums and other public places simply an extention of criminal-seeking cameras? Due to this system being internet based, could it be compromised by a malicious hacker?

And, even more frightening, can it really be as simple and foolproof as they say?


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Brain fingerprinting...
o A terrible invasion of my privacy rights! 23%
o If you want to be safe, we need to know who the risk factors are. 0%
o Hey buddy, go fingerprint THIS. 76%

Votes: 52
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o -Steve Kirsch
o P300 reaction
o Also by AmberEyes

Display: Sort:
So...who wants a brain fingerprint? | 33 comments (32 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Read the unabridged version (3.33 / 6) (#1)
by /dev/niall on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 03:48:52 PM EST

Nice topic! I urge you all to read the unabridged version, the author actually does their best to address a great many of the concerns above.

Also worth pointing out that the system is unlikely to ever see that light of day, since it would require a foolproof way of identifying people through biometrics, which in itself seems to be an unlikely possibilty even taking into account the recent attacks.
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot

Facial scanners already in use (3.60 / 5) (#2)
by ubu on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 03:53:08 PM EST

The latest print version of The Economist has an article on how facial scanners, common in Europe, are becoming increasingly prevalent in the States. It points out that at a recent Superbowl the scanners were justified for use in identifying terrorists, but the 14 suspects rounded up as a result were pickpockets and suspected muggers.

It's hard to believe that anyone is not outraged by this sort of thing.


This signature is a magical vanity summoner. (streetlawyer,Inoshiro,spiralx,alprazolam,eLuddite)
Great, so I (4.40 / 5) (#3)
by Dlugar on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 03:56:10 PM EST

Of course take the test, see a picture of bin Laden, "Ooh, I know that guy!" Bzzzt! Next the al-Qaeda logo and, since I know a little Arabic, it registers familiarity, Bzzzt!

Sorry guys. I guess I'll never be flying anywhere again. Oh well.


It depends on your personal knowledge... (3.00 / 5) (#4)
by chipuni on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:00:19 PM EST

From what I understand, this technology depends on you recognizing specific images, for example, the symbol of Al-Qaeda, or methods of hijacking. The more of these symbols that you recognize, the more likely you are to be a member of that group.

But... what about, for example, academic researchers, journalists, or nosy people like me? Wouldn't we who are intellectually curious be more likely to show up as a risk factor in these tests?
Perfection is not reached when nothing more can be added, but only when nothing more can be taken away.
Wisdom for short attention spans.

Just think (4.25 / 4) (#8)
by AmberEyes on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:14:27 PM EST

A Counterstrike player goes to take his brain fingerprint.

*blink* An image pops up of a Klashnikov 47.


Which makes you wonder. They obviously would have to get pretty specific to weed out the people who have casual knowledge of something, versus the people who intimately know these things. Just how far are they willing to dive into images relating to our national security and show them to the general public? So Mr. Terrorist sees an arial photo of a secret training ground and is denied passage on the plane (or rather, after seeing this, he simply exits the test). So he didn't get back on a plane. But he uses one of the payphones in the airport lobby to call up his sleeper leader and say "Hey, the Americans found that secret training base!"

Heh, I wonder if their image slides have a picture of a box cutter. God help us all.


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Scary (4.00 / 6) (#5)
by rusty on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:12:45 PM EST

Whenever people start talking about "100% secure and 100% accurate" I get really scared. There just ain't no such thing, and a mistake on the part of this thing could be monumentally disastrous for the mistake's victim.

Besides which, did anyone else get really strong flashbacks of THX-1138 while reading this?

Not the real rusty

Woah woah woah! (3.50 / 4) (#9)
by AmberEyes on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:17:05 PM EST

You mean Scoop isn't 100% secure and 100% accurate?

Well, that's it.

I'm packing up, and I'm taking my baseball, and I'm going home. Cheater.



"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Fingerprint THIS, John Ashcroft. (1.50 / 4) (#6)
by Ialdabaoth on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:13:39 PM EST

If the government wants to fingerprint MY, then they'd better send a squad of big brawny Marines with big fscking guns, because I'm not letting anybody into my head without a damned hard fight.
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley

When exactly... (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by TheCaptain on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 05:44:34 PM EST

does John Ashcroft come into this? Yeah...he's the head of the FBI now, but seriously...

The freaking article has a link to the original paper dated in 1993...the data in that paper dates back further than that. Ashcroft was elected Governor of Missouri in 1984 and held that post until 1993. I really don't think he had alot to do with the creation and/or testing of this...and as far as USING it, I don't think we know his stance...or at least I couldn't find one in the articles. Don't go throwing out his name just because of your own apparent feelings for him.

And as for the marines...quit flattering yourself and get a reality check.

[ Parent ]
Aw, shit. (2.00 / 1) (#19)
by Ialdabaoth on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 06:38:01 PM EST

I forgot the <joke></joke> tags again, dammit.
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley
[ Parent ]

Repeat testing? Clockwork Orange! (4.58 / 12) (#7)
by jabber on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:13:56 PM EST

So if I don't recognize bin Laden, and eject myself from the flight this year, I get to try again and again, every couple of years, until I become thoroughly familiar with all the test images, and my risk factor qualifies me for a permanent stay at San Quentin - as a terrorism prevention measure?? Wonderful..

How many of you know people who failed their driver's test, or some examination in high school or college, and upon taking it again, passed on familiarity and not knowledge? Well, this here would work the other way.. The ignorant get to travel, go to concerts, etc, and the well-informed are excluded from society.. Informational Harrison Bergeron's, the whole lot of ya!

Sure, lets add fuel to the conspiracy fire.. Ignorance is bliss and the government wants us to be dumb sheep.. Don't watch the News, just in case a picture of bin Laden will serve to get you fired in a future spot check..

What's that I hear? The sweet melody of old Ludwig Van.. Ay me droobs, meet me at the Korova Milk Bar for a Milk Plus and a night of some good old-fashioned Ultra Violence..

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

What about *other* terrorists? (3.33 / 6) (#10)
by kayiwa on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:23:32 PM EST

Do we know where ALL terror will originate from? What if I am a terrorist from Japan with no -known- connection to Osama son of Laden? I am allowed in free -no?
After all I have never seen Mr. Laden.
What about the homegrown ones? You ARE aware of the homegrown ones aren't you?

Print (3.14 / 7) (#11)
by finial on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:24:03 PM EST

How do you print a brain finger?

Terrorism is not about ability (4.00 / 7) (#12)
by Eimi on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 05:05:54 PM EST

It's not about what you can do, it's about what you choose to do. Under this theory, MacGyver (who can build a bomb out of a rusty bicycle, a toothpick, and a tampon) would be a terrorist, while some crazy guy who doesn't know much about anything but has some real anger issues and a knife wouldn't. Basing your assessment of who is a terrorist threat on who knows what about what methods and organizations isn't going to do squat about the real problem. I don't need to know details about the innards of a bomb in order to smuggle one onto a plane any more than I need to understand the concept of a carborator to drive a car.

Another interesting thing: anyone who actually works on putting these tests together would almost certainly fail, being familiar with all the bad and forbidden knowledge in it. In fact, anyone who knows enough to knowledgably discuss what does and doesn't belong on such a test is automatically a terrorist. Sort of worrisome, to me.

Here comes the thought police (4.00 / 2) (#16)
by bke on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 06:15:32 PM EST

If I understood the article correctly it's not just the recognition that is to be measured, but also if you aprove or disaprove of the images you recognize. But anyway I find the concept absolutely disgusting since it's a very real implementation of thought policing. It will effectively punish you for approving of terrorist acts or for thinking that some terrorist leader actually has something worthwhile to say. Making what people think a crime is the ultimate opression. Such ideas must be stopped att all costs and really the use of such technology, at least be the goverment should be severly limited by law.

Read, think, spread!
[ Parent ]

Just recognition (4.00 / 2) (#20)
by dennis on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 06:46:42 PM EST

I can't say for sure it's the same thing, but here's a 60 Minutes piece about a "brain fingerprint" that simply checks whether you recognize an image or not. In the case they mention it's being used to clear a guy of a murder he was convicted for - he didn't recognize a scene where the murderer was known to be.

[ Parent ]
It's the same thing (none / 0) (#27)
by Ian Clelland on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 04:03:28 PM EST

At the end of the article, the third person claims that Kirsch first heard of the idea from that same 60 Minutes piece.

[ Parent ]
Not thought police, Author claims (of course) (none / 0) (#26)
by Ian Clelland on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 04:01:04 PM EST

Actually, under the heading "Is this George Orwell's 'Big Brother'?", Kirch claims that this is not the case:

  • We cannot determine how you "feel" about things.
  • We cannot determining what you are planning to do in the future.
But this doesn't make the technology any better (ethically,) just less reliable (technically). It doesn't change the fact that this is the most repugnant idea I have heard in a very long time.

Now I'm going to have to read the article carefully again, in the hope that I will find out that it is just a very clever piece of satire.

[ Parent ]

Forbidden knowledge (4.00 / 1) (#17)
by dennis on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 06:20:33 PM EST

Yeah...we now have the ability to enforce restrictions on knowledge. Burning books is for amateurs.

[ Parent ]
Damn (4.00 / 6) (#13)
by fluffy grue on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 05:27:23 PM EST

I'd have rather hoped that they used a decent fingerprinting technique, such as what's used by the MMPI-2 psychological profile works; each question carries a certain weight (positive or negative) on a number of traits, and although the questions might not have anything to do with anything, the patterns and clustering in responses can lead to a very accurate metric, including defensiveness on certain subjects, and so on. It's like a large-scale Myers-Briggs exam which tests for psychosis and sucidal tendencies instead of happy feel-good "this is what you're good at" assessments.

Of course, even that is nowhere close to 100% accurate, and results can be rather vague in some cases; for example, when I took the MMPI-2 as part of my required GID counseling, it said that I had no measurable self-esteem but a high level of creativity. Does this mean that I'd be a likely subject to go into a suicide bombing run using unpredictably resourceful techniques? I'd hope not, but the feds might believe so...
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Inherent flaw? (4.20 / 5) (#18)
by dennis on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 06:22:47 PM EST

Is the P300 reaction, mentioned in the article, the recognition response? Because if so, following that link reveals a fairly serious flaw in the whole idea: "psychopaths failed to show reliable P300 amplitude differences between the target and non-target conditions."

I guess you can filter out everyone who knows how to crash the plane...except those who might actually want to.

Article: sensational, idiotic, and oblivious (4.66 / 6) (#21)
by sigwinch on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 06:54:33 PM EST

Sensationalism: A trained hijacker can slit your throat with a credit card.
He can try, but the probability is high that I'll disable him, especially if I'm not disarmed. If the probability of successfully disabling a passenger is 0.9 and there are 25 passengers that must be disabled, the overall probability of success is 7%. 0.9 is pessimistic as multiple passengers can gang up on a single attacker, which is a much harder position to fight from. If the passengers were armed with combat knives and indoctrinated by retake-the-plane-or-be-shot-down propaganda, the likelihood of success drops to nil.
Idiocy: Brain fingerprinting, a technique proven infallible in FBI tests and US Navy tests and accepted as evidence in US courts, can be applied to a new problem: the problem of accurately identifying trained terrorists before they strike. Had it been in place on September 11, it would have prevented all of the attackers from boarding the planes.
In electrical engineering, we have a technical term to describe that technology: complete, utter bullshit. Tight welded platinum mesh suitable for human implantation is available cheaply (a few thousand US dollars), and may be readily implanted between the skull and the skin. Doing so would shield brain waves and prevent them being received by external electrodes. (Implanted vision systems for the blind already have similar shields between the stimulating electrodes and the dura to prevent pain.) Electrodes and teflon insulated wires could be implanted at the same time and connected to an external device that could generate fake brain waves. Given one good engineer, a sympathetic physician, a supply of guerrilla borg, and a year's time, defeating the system would be extremely doable. Especially in his vision, where you can try the system anonymously as often as you want.

The history of warfare is one of measure and countermeasure. It is only a matter of a few years before any technology can be defeated. You must either have a strategy that is robust in the face of countermeasures, or you must develop new measures very, very fast.

Oblivious to strategy: Unlike most systems, the system described in this paper, if it had been in place in September, would have likely thwarted the 9/11 attack. It would also have likely thwarted the more difficult to defend against scenario described above. And it would thwart any attempts to repeat the 9/11 attack.
The other problems are moot anyway, from strategic considerations. The system would not have defended against THE Black Tuesday attack, it would have defended against A Black Tuesday attack. If an enemy is determined to attack, an partial security measure does not cause deterrence, it merely changes the form of the attack. It reminds me of the tank barriers erected against Germany before the World Wars: they were good barriers, but the Germans simply went around the ends when the time came.

What other attacks could they have used? Hundreds. They could have put low levels of LSD into the water supply: the affected financial firms could have radically destabilized stock and bond markets before it was detected. LSD and other psychoactives are cheap and easily synthesizable, and a calibrated delivery system would be easy to design. Or they could have used a poison like methyl mercury, which is exceedingly toxic and has permanent debilitating effects. The toxins from the various poisonous mushrooms are equally lethal. There are all sorts of nasty electrical tricks they could play, like putting in a transformer to double the voltage going into all the computers, or zapping the computers with a high-power magnetron.

Overall, my conclusion is that the system can be defeated by a moderately well-funded force, even if it did work it would be more expensive than viable alternatives, and it will merely cause the attackers to choose a different -- but equally effective -- strategy.

I don't want the world, I just want your half.

LSD breaks down too fast < - Chlorine (4.33 / 3) (#22)
by minra on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 07:46:43 PM EST

LSD in Water Supply: According to "Acid Dreams" by Martin A Lee & Bruce Shlain (Grove Weidenfeld Press) Jerry Rubin and the Yippies threatened to do this at the 1968 democratic convention in Chicago.
But it can't work (this too is "Complete and utter Bullshit" :-) LSD is a big unstable organic molecule. Breaks down too fast, esp in the presence of Chlorine. Besides, the amount you'd need to drop into the city aquifer in order to deliver 100 micrograms (modest dose) per glass of water, you'd need - well - LOTS of LSD.
According to another (reputable?) source, the US Army had stockpiled literally TONS of LSD in the 60s for use in aerial delivery. Reputedly, the stockpile decayed and wasn't replenished in the 70's. [makes sense - why dose the enemy when you can just kill him and spin the story in the media to make you look like a hero?]
aah. this IS fun. Cheers yall.
Reboot macht frei.
[ Parent ]
LSD & other psychoactives (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by sigwinch on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 08:25:46 PM EST

Interesting. My other choice was ergotamine (because fungus makes it and no lab synthesis is needed) but it contains lysergic acid (the LS of LSD) and probably breaks down too.
According to "Acid Dreams" ... Jerry Rubin and the Yippies threatened to do this at the 1968 democratic convention in Chicago.
Even if it had worked, would it have actually made things wilder and crazier? ;-)

Anyway, I was thinking about injecting it at the building, so the quantities would be reasonable (ha ha, a few tons) and there would be less time for degradation to take place. It would probably be possible to reduce the degradation problem by encapsulating the active material in liposomes (tiny bubbles with an oil membrane). Liposomes are fairly easily tailored and can be made from cheap, common substances (e.g., lecithin). They're already used to deliver drugs, so there is a large body of literature on how to make and tailor them.

I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

LSD breakdown (none / 0) (#29)
by Locus27 on Fri Oct 05, 2001 at 09:55:36 AM EST

Would it breakdown in milk? I wonder. What about juices? How about bread, could you bake it into bread? Hmm...

I'm more screwed on the chemical knowledge base that you mention, but someone earlier on mentioned that you don't need to know how to make a bomb to carry one into a public building and push a button. With a gallon each of formaldehyde, ammonia, and nitric acid (all easily attainable from hobby stores and grocery stores (though nitric can be a bit tough to find)), some sulfer, and enough silly putty, you can make enough RDX to take down a sizeable building... say.. one of the buildings of the Gateway Center here in the 'burgh. While you're buying one gallon of nitric, you may as well buy two. Stop buy the hardware store and pick up some paint thinner/stripper and cook up some TNT. Warm it gently though, it's twitchy stuff. Keep it warm and smei-fluidic (and for pete's sake, keep it away from open flames or electrical shock). The RDX that you made before should be a white crystalline structure. heat that slowly until it melts again, then gently pour into your happy TNT. Melt some sulfer and silly putty (wear a mask, this stuff stinks) and combine. Stir slowly and gently with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed, pour into cookie sheet or cake pan, let cool. Congratulations, you've just survived making Composition C. The combination of sulfur and inert plasticiser keeps the RDX from growing large crystals and becoming twitchy. If you made it right, you can actually light it on fire and throw it at a distant object and it won't detonate. I wouldn't suggest this though.

I wouldn't suggest making this at all actually, it's dangerous stuff. If you do decide to embark on this adventure, be smart. Use proper protective equipment (goggles, mask, chemical resistant gloves & apron) and nitrate in a well ventilated area (fume hood). If you blow yourself or someone else up, it's not my fault. If I gave youd etailed instructions on how to jump off a bridge, would you?

And thus ends your lesson in kitchen chemistry.

"You're one fucked up cookie."
-Shawn R. Fitzgerald

[ Parent ]

Social Issues (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by bored on Fri Oct 05, 2001 at 02:55:45 PM EST

If the passengers were armed with combat knives and indoctrinated by retake-the-plane-or-be-shot-down propaganda, the likelihood of success drops to nil.

I thought about this as soon as I heard all they had was knives. You don't even need a knife to stop an attacker with a knife. One reasonably athletic and intelligent individual can fight an attacker with a knife with minimal damage. Given two people without knives, against one with, it becomes even easier. The simple solution to this whole security problem is to stop teaching the public how to be victims and wait for the police to arrive and save them. Instead if people took a little more responsibility for their situations then this would have never happened. It would be almost impossible to make it work again the same way. As soon as someone starts to wave a knife and says he is taking over a plane and everyone will be ok, about 10 passengers will jump him risking their own lives to stop any greater potential danger. Increasing 'security' really only make the problem worse. Because the people who would act are handicapped.

Along a similar line, think about what happens when a bunch of people get together unarmed and an armed attacker shows up? The big school shoot-outs are like this. Outlaw guns, implement weak security so the legitimate people are unarmed, then when someone figures out how to get around the security everyone is screwed. If you cant be 100% sure that everyone is secure then your security is pointless. It only takes 1 person figuring out how to throw a automatic weapon over the fence at a concert then all the strip searching is pointless.

[ Parent ]
Wow. Orwell would be proud. (3.40 / 5) (#24)
by Kasreyn on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 01:31:57 AM EST

We don't need all those expensive telescreens and thought police examining your every facial tick. These guys are so kindhearted! Why, they give big brother the scoop, right up front. "Here are my mental processes, sir, feel free to judge me based upon them!"

How long until you can't enter a public building like a city hall without a brain scan that snoops for unpatriotic thoughts (like protests or dislike of government bungling)? How long before you can't buy a gun if any trace of violence is detected in your character (like anyone could pass such a test). How long before a time of war emerges and people with "unpatriotic" brain scans are imprisoned based upon it? How long before brain scans are sold for targetted marketing (wow, his scans show a preference for Crest toothpaste! Send him spam!).

How long before such technology gives rise to doublethink and crimestop? To people who deliberately self-censor their own MINDS? It's been shown that censorship of speech causes people to curtail their own speech. Censorship of minds... would it be any different?

Good GOD, this has got to be one of the most invasive, monstrous, and authoritarian ideas I've heard of yet. I can only pray it's a joke, or wishful thinking on the part of brown-shirt suckups in the tech sector. If man is not private inside his own SKULL, then where else can he be private?

Claims that this system could in any way be used fairly or justly are ludicrous. Use of such a system is abuse, and trampling of democratic ideals. I'll be damned if I ever submit to such a thing.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Yes, but... (none / 0) (#32)
by Shpongle Spore on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 04:14:08 PM EST

What if we could also use the same device the ensure only civil libertarians are allowed into government, so you could be sure it won't be abused? Of course the chances of a scheme like that working a virtually nil, but wouldn't it be fabulous to have all the benefits of this device with none of the risks, thanks to careful application of the device itself!

Ideas like that are why I'm a programmer and not a politician, I suppose.
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]

Intelligence = Great Risk to Society (5.00 / 3) (#25)
by vanbo on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 11:53:13 AM EST

The images viewed may be things like a page from a terrorist handbook, the al Qaeda logo, a picture of a high ranking terrorist leader, or a photograph of a training camp. If your brain recognizes and makes a positive identification on the presented information, your risk factor increases.

Great so if you are in anyway educated you get a higher risk factor which makes your life harder.

You a chemist? Guess you can't fly with lugage because you know how to make a bomb.

You a journalist? Guess you can't fly at all because you recognise known terrorists and symbols from their organisation.

Your right! (none / 0) (#33)
by k5er on Sat Nov 17, 2001 at 01:52:07 PM EST

I guess this is the beginning of a new organization. I say we name it "The Thought Police".
Long live k5, down with CNN.
[ Parent ]
Polygraph tests (3.00 / 1) (#28)
by SIGFPE on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 11:18:23 PM EST

Oh my god! If this device was let loose in a country (the only country?) where polygraph tests are admissible evidence who knows what will happen.

I remember watching a TV program a few years back on polygraphs. The inventor of one particular device was very proud of its accuracy which had been tested by getting groups of people to pretend to do things and then asking them questions about what they had done. He was entirely straight faced through the whole interview. Bizarre.

Scary (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by PlutoniumHigh on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:16:58 AM EST

The real problem is database itself. Having a national database of everone's tendancy for violance would be a gold mine for any terroist-type group. Sure would make recruiting a lot easier.

So...who wants a brain fingerprint? | 33 comments (32 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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