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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:18 pm
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SYD (usually), GVA (occasionally)
Programs: QF PS, EK-Gold, Security Theatre Critic
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Originally Posted by cptlflyer View Post
...This technique has been advocated by security experts for years because of its combination of relative effectiveness and being within U.S. discrimination laws (what you say in response to their questions is irrelevent -- it's how you respond that they are observing).
Are you able to point to any evidence whatsoever of the "relative effectiveness" of this technique? That is, other than Paul Ekman (who refuses to submit his work for peer review and who makes money by peddling his theories) or claims by the TSA/DHS that "we're pretty sure it works."

In 2008, a major report by the National Research Council reviewed behavior detection techniques and concluded:

Originally Posted by NRC report
Scientific support for linkages between behavioral and physiological markers and mental state is strongest for elementary states (simple emotions, attentional processes, states of arousal, and cognitive processes), weak for more complex states (deception), and nonexistent for highly complex states (terrorist intent and beliefs). ... Indeed, there is no consensus in the relevant scientific community nor on the committee regarding whether any behavioral surveillance or physiological monitoring techniques are ready for use at all in the counterterrorist context given the present state of the science.
In May 2010, the well-regarded science journal Nature published a paper in which they concluded:
Originally Posted by Nature
"No scientific evidence exists to support the detection or inference of future behaviour, including intent," declares a 2008 report prepared by the JASON defence advisory group. And the TSA had no business deploying SPOT across the nation's airports "without first validating the scientific basis for identifying suspicious passengers in an airport environment", stated a two-year review of the programme released on 20 May by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the US Congress.
TSA has never responded to this criticism nor undertaken the scientific validation that the GAO called for.

More recently, the journal Regulation published by the Cato Institute had an article by two medical professionals who apply the accepted analysis of risk/benefit tradeoff of medical screening to the TSA's SPOT program: "Screening Tests for Terrorists - Does the latest TSA procedure make us safer?" (pdf warning) Guess what? They also concluded that even from a purely statistical basis, the behavior detection program is bogus.

Originally Posted by Regulation journal
Utilizing this construct, we believe that Americans should not tolerate the charade of mini-interviews of all passengers. It would add virtually no additional security to our airports, but it would come at great cost. This is modern-day phrenology, with components of mysticism and mind-reading resulting in an avoidance of rational examination. There is a very real risk of systematic bias from the subconscious transference of the “behavior detectors,” repeated persecution of “nervous fliers,” and degeneration of detection into simple racism or religious appearance-based screening.
So I've got three reputable scientific studies; what have you got?
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