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  (Source: Amblin Entertainment)

An excerpt from the DHS document  (Source: cnet)
FAST pre-crime unit is used to collect information such as gender, age, and ethnicity

Someone call Tom Cruise, because "Minority Report" is taking a leap from fiction to reality -- except the real version, which is currently being tested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, doesn't depend on human psychics called precogs, but rather a screening facility with set algorithms.

This new "pre-crime" detection facility was discovered via a June 2010 DHS document that was acquired by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). The document states that information is currently collected and retained on "members of the public" as part of the pre-crime system, which is called Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST).

FAST is made up of algorithms that use factors including gender, age, ethnicity, heart rate, body movements, occupation, voice pitch changes, body heat fluctuations and breathing patterns to identify clues as to whether the individual(s) will commit a crime in the future.

The idea behind FAST is to prevent crimes from happening before individuals even have a chance to commit them based on the factors listed above. It is able to do this through the use of sensors that collect audio recordings, video images and psychophysiological measurements.

"The department's Science and Technology Directorate has conducted preliminary research in operational settings to determine the feasibility of using non-invasive physiological and behavioral sensor technology and observational techniques to detect signs of stress, which are often associated with intent to do harm," said Peter Boogaard, the deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security. "The FAST program is only in the preliminary stages of research and there are no plans for acquiring or deploying this type of technology at this time."

According to FAST program manager Robert Middleton Jr., there is currently a trial for the FAST program where DHS employees are the guinea pigs. A certain group of employees can give permission to partake in a more "rigorous" part of the trial.

So far, a FAST field test has been launched in an unknown area in the northeast U.S. A new field trial is expected to involve the public, according to another DHS document obtained by EPIC. This other document states that members of the public with experience in food service will be asked to attend a one-day VIP event, where some individuals will be asked to act normally while others will be asked to act as if they're going to act with mal-intent. FAST will be left to determine the difference. It's unclear whether the participants realize they're in a FAST study.

The second document obtained by EPIC also states that FAST could be used at security checkpoints in the future such as border crossings and airports.

FAST has some worried about the accuracy of the system, and the consequences if it falsely targets a member of the public. Also, privacy is another worrisome factor with these sensors capturing images and audio recordings.

"If it were deployed against the public, it would be very problematic," said Ginger McCall, who said security checkpoints at places like the airport are already stressful enough due to handsy TSA employees.

Sources: cnet, CBS News, Popular Science

Comments     Threshold

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By MegaHustler on 10/7/2011 4:45:22 PM , Rating: 5
Attention citizen!
The Computer has determined there is a 54% risk you will commit a class A crime at some point in the future. Please report for termination. And remember, the Computer is your friend.

RE: Paranoia?
By bubbastrangelove on 10/7/2011 5:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
Please give the computer a hug and say 'thank you' in a non-sarcastic manner before stepping into the permanent crime prevention chamber human.

RE: Paranoia?
By Cypherdude1 on 10/10/2011 11:24:08 AM , Rating: 3
Do you remember the DC Sniper? The FBI profilers said they would be white. They were using statistical number crunching methods on past crimes. They were wrong. Everyone was looking for a white van. They were wrong about that one too.

This is just profiling using computers. These methods work but only in a general way and when the criminals fit into a certain category.

RE: Paranoia?
By GetRealNow on 10/7/2011 5:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
Why is this upsetting citizen? The hard working techs at R&D are simply trying to snuff out those commie mutant traitors that threaten friend computer. The Happiness Officer will now dispense the proper mood enhancement pills to this Troubleshooter. Please fill out form 3 alpha, in triplicate, located in green junction terminal 31. You do have green level clearance? Right?

RE: Paranoia?
By AssBall on 10/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Paranoia?
By dark matter on 10/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Paranoia?
By dark matter on 10/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Paranoia?
By GetRealNow on 10/7/2011 7:15:06 PM , Rating: 2
Umm...I was running with the gag from the old RPG Paranoia. Remember citizen...the computer is your friend!

RE: Paranoia?
By seeker353 on 10/8/2011 1:23:58 AM , Rating: 1
There's a huge difference between an insurance company that uses an algorithm to look at your past behavior to adjust your premiums up or down a few dollars, and a machine that uses an algorithm to look at your heart rate and body temperature to notify law enforcemet that you're a likely candidate to be thrown in jail. Police state here we come.

RE: Paranoia?
By seeker353 on 10/8/2011 1:28:46 AM , Rating: 2
It would only provide a false sense of security anyway. People can easily cheat polygraphs, who's to say they can't cheat this machine be being calm and acting normal? After they murdered someone, they could say "it couldn't have been me, if I did it the machine would have said something".

RE: Paranoia?
By kfonda on 10/7/2011 8:02:55 PM , Rating: 5
You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.

RE: Paranoia?
By Omega215D on 10/7/2011 11:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
Good, I needed some toilet paper anyway. All you got are these funny little sea shells.

RE: Paranoia?
By xti on 10/8/2011 9:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
he doesnt know how to use the 3 seashells.. hahahahahha

RE: Paranoia?
By Camikazi on 10/8/2011 12:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
How the hell do those 3 seashells work anyway? I swear I have been wondering since I first saw that movie.

RE: Paranoia?
By DeluxeTea on 10/9/2011 11:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Paranoia?
By DJ Brandon on 10/10/2011 9:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
dude... THANK YOU!!!!

RE: Paranoia?
By Bob Loblaw on 10/13/2011 12:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
You're gonna need some after eating a rat burger in a sewer.

RE: Paranoia?
By FITCamaro on 10/8/2011 2:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
One of the best movies ever.

RE: Paranoia?
By DoctorBeer on 10/7/2011 8:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to City 17!

RE: Paranoia?
By Omega215D on 10/7/2011 11:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Which reminds me. I'm way behind on my beating quota.

Who wants to bet...
By troysavary on 10/7/2011 7:21:49 PM , Rating: 3
that ex-soldiers and Tea Partiers end up on the watch list while gangbangers, illegals, and Muslims stay off of it.

RE: Who wants to bet...
By Alexvrb on 10/7/2011 10:46:30 PM , Rating: 3
It isn't called the Department of Homeboy Security for nothing. The whole DHS should be canned, and a quarter of the recovered funds given to the FBI to "fill the void" (snort).

RE: Who wants to bet...
By mmatis on 10/8/2011 9:49:33 AM , Rating: 4
I hate to tell you this, but BOTH DHS and the FBI are more than neck-deep in running guns to Mexican drug cartels under BATFE Operation Fast and Furious. And the FBI has even gotten rid of the THIRD gun found at the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, because it pointed back to one of their own.

The stench is overwhelming.

RE: Who wants to bet...
By Camikazi on 10/8/2011 12:32:32 PM , Rating: 1
One question comes to mind... if you know this how are you alive? I mean if I were them I would have made sure you were gone or at least were involved in a horrible, yet unavoidable, accident to silence you.

RE: Who wants to bet...
By mmatis on 10/8/2011 3:37:55 PM , Rating: 3
I get my information from a right-wing web site:

They ARE right-wing, aren't they?

Scroll down to the following:
ATF audio: Border agent was collateral damage
ATF whistleblower called 'toxic' on secret tapes
ATF Fast and Furious secret audio recordings
Secret recordings in ATF case raise questions

Plenty more on that if you wish. The stench is overwhelming. And it smells like pig.

RE: Who wants to bet...
By Schrag4 on 10/10/2011 12:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I agree with your sentiment, at least one of those is sensationalist. The "ATF audio: Border agent was collateral damage" piece, specifically, leaves out a lot of very important details. The conversations in the piece are between a gun dealer, Howard, and an ATF agent. Howard followed the law and informed the ATF of potential (or downright obvious) straw purchases. The ATF told him to let them continue buying guns, and that they weren't letting the guns get into Mexico. After a while, Howard realized what was going on and tried to get his contacts with the ATF to incriminate themselves in these recorded conversations. Howard is the one who calls Terry (the slain border agent) "collateral damage", again to try to get the agent to trip up. The agent simply says "MMhmm", not really damning stuff there.

At any rate, this piece never mentions that Howard is essentially the "good guy" in this mess, trying to cover himself by getting the ATF to admit their wrongdoing. Of course CBS, being somewhat left-leaning, would never paint ANY gun dealer a "good guy". I for one think Howard is telling the truth and is genuinely a good guy. He didn't want these guns to end up in Mexico. He took the steps that he was supposed to to prevent it, but the ATF told him they were stopping the guns when in fact they were letting them walk. He had conerns about selling to these purchasers, but the ATF told him to keep selling to them.

The government claims that Fast and Furious was intended to somehow cripple the drug cartels. I really don't see how it would do that. I can see, however, the fallout (Terry's death) might sway people to support more gun control legislation, which is sad because this whole mess was the result of dealers being told to ignore the laws we already have. I believe that was the intent all along, though - to demonize gun dealers and make those weapons look evil in order to get tighter gun legislation pushed through. The real collateral damage is the Mexican people, in my opinion. I bet that for every US citizen killed by guns that the ATF told dealers to sell to straw purchasers and let walk, there are dozens if not hundreds of Mexicans killed by them as well. It's sickening, in my opinion.

RE: Who wants to bet...
By ekv on 10/11/2011 3:39:07 AM , Rating: 2
Here's another "right-wing" web site:

In all, 100 assault weapons acquired under Fast and Furious were transported 350 miles from Phoenix to El Paso, making that West Texas city a central hub for gun traffickers. Forty of the weapons made it across the border and into the arsenal of Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo
also known as "the Jaguar," has been identified by U.S. authorities as the enforcer for Sinaloa cartel chieftain Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman. The Fast and Furious weapons were found at one of Torres Marrufo's homes April 30 when Mexican police inspected the property. It was unoccupied but "showed signs of recent activity," they said.

The basement had been converted into a gym with a wall covered with built-in mirrors. Behind the mirrors they found a hidden room with the Fast and Furious weapons and dozens more, including an antiaircraft machine gun, a sniper rifle and a grenade launcher.

RE: Who wants to bet...
By Onimuto on 10/10/2011 10:14:08 AM , Rating: 2
Don't worrie eagle eye has him

RE: Who wants to bet...
By pandemonium on 10/8/2011 7:44:49 AM , Rating: 1
And why wouldn't Muslims stay off of it and Tea Partyers not go on it?

Someone needs to stop watching Fox News.

RE: Who wants to bet...
By FITCamaro on 10/8/2011 2:10:32 PM , Rating: 1
Considering DHS memos that have come to light since Obama took office have painted Tea Party types as potential domestic terrorists while when a Muslim tries to blow something up, they do everything possible to not say the person is a Muslim, I'd say his post isn't far off.

RE: Who wants to bet...
By mikeyD95125 on 10/10/2011 8:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
You group Muslims with gangbangers and "illegal aliens"?

I can't believe this post got rated up. Since when is full-blown bashing of a religious group tolerated on Daily Tech?

Very Bad Idea
By TheRealArdrid on 10/7/2011 4:42:39 PM , Rating: 4
What a perfect way to throw our constitutional protections out the window...

What's next? Guilty until proven innocent? Oh wait...

RE: Very Bad Idea
By Reclaimer77 on 10/7/11, Rating: -1
RE: Very Bad Idea
By thurston2 on 10/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Very Bad Idea
By thurston2 on 10/8/2011 4:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, the article was not written by Jason Mick, my bad.

RE: Very Bad Idea
By AssBall on 10/7/2011 6:52:33 PM , Rating: 3
Our society has been crapping on the constitution for several years.

Our justices of the supreme court set law standards when something is "not defined exactly by the constitution and they have ignored the constitution in the last few years because they are lobbiest's puppets.

What's next? Guilty until proven innocent? Oh wait...

What is next is people telling you what you can and can't buy, sell, create, encourage, educate, and speak.


miss the worst
By frozentundra123456 on 10/10/2011 12:29:02 AM , Rating: 3
Seems to me that this would probably miss the most dangerous criminals, the really pathological and fanatical individuals who have no fear or remorse about what they are doing.

And how would they implement this, reqiure everyone to come in to the DHS office and have sensors implanted??

I could possibly see a use for this in extremely high security areas, like military installations, intelligence installations, etc, but it is fraught with the opportunity for abuse and unwarranted accusations.

RE: miss the worst
By snyper256 on 10/10/2011 3:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, this is 100% ineffective on a psychopath.

Watch TV much?
By ksherman on 10/7/2011 5:43:55 PM , Rating: 2
This sounds almost like the exact premise of the new show "Person of Interest" that just debuted.

My guess is that a director from DHS watched the show a week or two ago, turned to some profilers and some guy from IT and asked if such a system was possible.

RE: Watch TV much?
By MattCoz on 10/9/2011 9:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, this is much closer to "Person of Interest" than "Minority Report".

What nonsense!
By MrWho on 10/7/2011 6:38:47 PM , Rating: 3
You don't need so much data to predict a crime. Just keep an eye on politicians - if you find one, you found someone who has, is or will be committing a crime!

By bug77 on 10/7/2011 5:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
As pure research, this has got to be terribly interesting.

How it will be used, we'll see when the time comes. If it will be used at all.

Prior Art...
By dflynchimp on 10/7/2011 6:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't a new concept. It's just profiling...digitized.

At least they're not really counting on meth-babies to fortune tell whether I'm going to MDK a telemarketer...

By NicodemusMM on 10/7/2011 7:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
"...some individuals will be asked to act normally while others will be asked to act as if they're going to act with mal-intent."

Acting as if you're going to commit a crime does not elicit the same physiological responses as preparing to actually commit said crime. Both of their test groups have no fear of repercussions associated with being caught. These people aren't worrying about jail, physical harm, death, etc. Someone about to commit a crime would worry about these things and that is what brings about the stress patterns the researchers are looking for.

~ Nicodemus

Random Profiling???
By garagetinkerer on 10/7/2011 9:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
I bet a lot of a brown men are going to find themselves in trouble... like the random searches done on some.

I don't know, but we all get angry sometimes. Question is how much, and do we act on it and how for that matter. I'm certain for one that machine can read what you're body signals are, but can it read your mind? I'm sure all of us have some thoughts about the pretty thing behind the desk, etc. Question is, where do you draw the line?. If you ask me, i know for one, no uses power responsibly. Power makes you drunk, and more of it can never result in anything good.

There's also ACTA. Seriously, i think we're not really far from the day when they implant a chip in us all. You know how that story ends...

I See...
By mmatis on 10/8/2011 9:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
dead pigs. And soon.

so.. which is it??
By kattanna on 10/10/2011 11:37:02 AM , Rating: 2
The FAST program is only in the preliminary stages of research and there are no plans for acquiring or deploying this type of technology at this time

So far, a FAST field test has been launched in an unknown area in the northeast U.S. A new field trial is expected to involve the public, according to another DHS document obtained by EPIC

so.. which is it?

By karndog on 10/10/2011 11:44:02 AM , Rating: 2
FAST is made up of algorithms that use factors including gender, age, ethnicity...

...Age....20-40 years old...
...Ethnicity...Middle Eastern....
...Loading result...


FBI failures
By johnsmith9875 on 10/13/2011 11:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
After the Anthrax attacks, the FBI profilers were sure it was Stephen Hatfill....they harassed him for years.
The FBI profilers were then sure it was Brice Ivins, harassed him until he finally killed himself.
Nobody really is sure he was the guy.

Profiling is part art, part science. Its a tool, nothing more.

Free us from free will
By Bob Loblaw on 10/13/2011 12:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
All hail the police state!

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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