A Penny for Your Thoughts

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by barbell, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Is this the next step in the BDO regime?

    An opinion essay today at cnn.com argues against allowing recent developments in mind-reading science from being used by the government, though I think we all know that the unhinged elements of our current structure would love to get their hands on this little baby. It specifically speaks to reading thoughts as a way to predict behaviors, such as terrorism (sound familiar?), and alerts that developments in mind reading have been far more successfully than anyone thought they could be.

  2. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Didn't one of the alleged TSOs at the other place write that he could determine a passenger's intent?
  3. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Even if he could, what does it matter?

    Intent is not a crime, and yet this is where we are headed. The unhinged components of our Republic are literally shredding the very fabric of our collective soul.
  4. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Yes, but this technology is SO far from being perfected. These stories have been appearing in the press for a while now; they're way overhyped. This mind-reading stuff is still a pipe dream, and even given all the amazing advances in neuroscience, will probably always be. The brain is so complex, so unbelievably complex. (As an example, people who believe their own lies don't present as having lied -- their brains in imaging scans don't reveal that they've lied; those regions of their brain don't show increased activity, increased blood flow.) Yet you're right that that won't stop the idiots-non-savants of the National Security State from trying to use it.
  5. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Ineffective technology?

    A technology that can only catch the stupid, not the determined?

    A solution in search of a problem?

    I predict it will be at airport checkpoints within the year.
  6. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Sort of an extension of the FAST program DHS has been testing?

    Allowing the TSA to measure your heart rate, heat changes in your body, how many times you blink, and then allow them to attach electrodes (or something) to your head so they can figure out what you're thinking will add hours to the airport check-in process. If you're running to catch your plane, your heart rate is going to go up. If you hate flying, you're going to be stressed and will blink more. I'm sure the scanners won't go away or x-raying bags, so we have to add in that time too.

    The airport is a stressful environment even if everything goes right. Most people are stressed when they're there.

    But, for the sake of argument, let's just say the brain scans work as advertised. Something is going to have to be attached to your head to get a reading. And then what? They ask you a bunch of questions while you have a lot of other stuff going on in your head. 'Am I going to miss my flight?' 'Is someone going to pick me up?' 'Who does this idiotic TSA agent think he is, anyway?' Or even, 'Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb...' Etc, etc. How do you get mal-intent out of that?

    I predict failure.

    And we haven't even talked about the monumental privacy issues associated with such searching.
  7. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Never be allowed in this country. Do you think ANYONE wants their minds probed like this? Not a chance.
  8. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    I'm sorry smurfs aren't bright enough to pick up on when there being called dumbasses and they think they can read minds. Ha that's a laugh riot as there are to many expressionless people in the world they could never tell. Hasn't the massive failure of the BDO program proven this?
  9. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Oh, you mean like forced electronic strip searches and genital gropings? You're right...
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  10. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    I take it back---IF they restrict this to airports, you're right. If someone else has to pay, esp a clientele obviously unwilling to shove back...

    If they extend this to your town USA, there will be (expletive deleted) to pay. I'd welcome the attempt.....
  11. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    In one way, I wish TSA would extend the gropes to trains, buses and subways. The whole procedure would end suddenly and violently.

    They don't have the balls to do this, however, because they have a captive audience in the airports and recognize they can't get away with their abuse in other venues.
  12. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Sorry, I've just put my broken record of pessimism on the turntable again.
  13. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach


    The police occasionally stop people and search their bags on buses and subways - I don't think the TSA has been involved with this, but I could be wrong. The searches that I've read about have occurred primarily in DC, Boston, and NYC. In DC there is opposition and the ACLU is suing. In NYC it appears that the bag searches have been okay'd by a court.

    They are different than the airport searches though - bag searches, for the most part. Given the court rulings I suppose the police or the tsa could install metal detectors or body scanners, but it seems like overkill, won't capture terrorists, but will kill public transportation. I'm really not sure how they could possibly do that for buses either. Set up a little TSA scanning station on every other corner of every other street? Doubtful.

    No, I think if they're going to continue to do random bag searches at subways and/or buses, they're going to have to be quick about it because people have to get to work. The boss doesn't care why you're late, only that you're late. People who can afford to leave the subway and take a cab will do so, as can people who can afford to drive and park - just to avoid the extra hassle at the subway (which has enough hassles as it is). Kind of the opposite effect of convincing people they should take public transportation.

    By the way, when I was doing my NYC/DC search, I found this article about bag searches and the special needs doctrine. It lays out the test pretty well and isn't too jargony. Skip the first three paragraphs. And remember, it's essentially a 'reasonableness' test, which is a low standard.

    Personally, I'm on the side of the ACLU -- I think the searches are unreasonable and violate our privacy rights while giving us no benefits.
  14. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Sunny Goth, I've been vocal and active in my opposition to the DC Metro bag searches. I still take the Metro when I go to DC -- yesterday being an example -- and there's no way in (expletive deleted) I'm going to allow any of these goons to search my bag. Not that I'm likely to be targeted, I know -- it's usually young black men -- and so far I haven't seen any searches there. But I'm positively salivating at the prospect of someone trying to search me -- I'd give him a tongue-lashing you'd hear reverberating throughout the system. And when that eejit Michael Taborn, Metro Transit Police Chief, came out and said that if you don't comply, "you'll be followed, you'll be watched," I spread my ridicule thick around the blogosphere.

    What're you gonna do, Michael, send someone to "watch" me as I leave the Metro and stop on a street corner to touch up my lipstick? Oooh, scary! Follow me into a hair salon and search my wet head with a subpoena? God, the stupidity of these people.

    The Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition has also been active in fighting the Metro bag searches as well as the TSA in general. Needless to say (for TUGers, though others reading this forum might not know), the DC Metro got a pile of our money as a grant from DHS, just as thousands of police departments all over the country are getting, and they have to do something with it, so they come up with these cockamamie ideas.

    And, of course, as you'd expect, hundreds of thousands of Metro passengers are just fine with it -- the rallying cry of "Don't inconvenience me!" is loud and clear. I won't tell you how many of my friends and colleagues, including those esteemed journalists who've been at pains to tell me how "ethical" they are, have said, "What's the big deal? So you get your bag searched? It only takes a minute. And what do you have to hide anyway?"
  15. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    And what do you have to hide anyway?

    Arrrrrgggg! If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that, I'd be working on my tan in Hawaii for the next year (of course I'd lose my goth card in the process....)

    It really is about privacy v. convenience, whether it's a bag search, scanners v. gropes, or giving up personal information for 'benefits' at stores.

    And when that eejit Michael Taborn, Metro Transit Police Chief, came out and said that if you don't comply, "you'll be followed, you'll be watched," I spread my ridicule thick around the blogosphere.

    Wow. How did I miss an insane quote like that? :confused: So he's threatening to stalk people?
  16. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

  17. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    What an a**ho**!
  18. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Actually, this might be encouraging, even if he does come off as a jerk -- it appears that perhaps he's grudgingly acknowleding that their searches have no legal basis.
  19. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Does that mean that they cannot legally deny you access to public transit if you do not consent to a bag search? Or does it mean that they can legally deny you access to public transportation if you do not consent to a bag search, but you should be free to go without further harrassment?
  20. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    You'd have to leave that particular entrance, but you can freely go to another entrance. At the same Metro station! This whole thing is so (expletive deleted) stupid. Or you can choose to walk, take a cab, bus, whatever. Of course, they're banking on the likelihood that most people don't have time to do that so will consent to the search. Plus the fact that most people are easily intimidated by authority and will just comply.

    At a symposium I attended on this at UDC Law School back in April (and forgive me, I know I've told this story before in another thread), one of the audience members was a young law school student. A young black law school student. Who had just recently been singled out for a "random" Metro search. Even though he knew his rights better than most, he was still afraid to object. So he submitted. And who can blame him? A young black man in DC? He had every reason to be afraid.

    As for the legality of it, these searches have been upheld in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, so I'm sure they'll be upheld in DC as well. As the 5 panelists at that symposium concurred, change will have to be political, not judicial. It will have to come from people pushing back.

Share This Page