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DHS To Use Body Odor As a Lie Detector

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the we-can-smell-the-truth dept.

United States 206

The US Department of Homeland Security is studying lies, damned lies, and smells. They hope to prove that human body odor could be used to tell when people are lying. The department says they are already "conducting experiments in deceptive behavior and collecting human odor samples" and that the research it hopes to fund "will consist primarily of the analysis and study of the human odor samples collected to determine if a deception indicator can be found."

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Something stinks around here (1)

d3vi1 (710592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164725)

First they hire a Microsoft dude, then they start smelling people.

Re:Something stinks around here (4, Funny)

sgbett (739519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164735)

They could be lining this up as the replacement for UAC!

Re:Something stinks around here (2, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165407)

Is it sad that even after all these years and having actually been forced to upgrade to Vista, I still think of this UAC [wikia.com] when people talk about it?

Re:Something stinks around here (1)

WTF Chuck (1369665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166233)

And the effects of that UAC are different from Microsoft's UAC how? OK, I will grant that no one has actually exploded yet.

Re:Something stinks around here (2, Funny)

UbuntuLinux (1242150) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164785)

Linux users have abominable personal hygiene and will overload/confuse the device. What can be done about this? Nothing - becuase it is MS technology and will be properietary, closed source and patented.

Re:Something stinks around here (4, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166413)

I went to a Magic, the Gathering regional tournament. The place was packed with liars! Same goes for the local comic book store, evidently.

SHIH MING-TEH SPOKE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164851)


.

Woot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165265)

If the government can detect our lies I say it's only fair that we should have use of this tech. To detect theirs!

If such a thing was allowed you can bet that Homeland Security would cut funding to this thing immediately and maybe even send the scientists to an undisclosed location.

We aleady have that (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27166279)

We already can tell when someone from the government is lying.

Their lips are moving.

Fix the thumbnail, sam.. (2, Informative)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164749)

It breaks the main page.
C'mon, it's not that hard to resize it before posting.

Re:Fix the thumbnail, sam.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164887)

I second that, it makes these articles look very odd. May be they need to have resized images that enlarge on mouse over or on mouse click or something.

it might work in some situations.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164771)

investigator: Suspect A, did you just fart?
suspect A: no! ..

Re:it might work in some situations.. (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165191)

Welcome to the Gitmo halitosis holding area. In order to pass your odor testing, you'll be required to eat only TexMex food for the next 21 days. If after that time you still fail, you'll be given permanent quarters on the other side of the facility.

You newcomers should take note. nobody likes terrorists. To show support of American, this holding area is sponsored by Scott bathroom tissue and The Fox news network. Please try to avoid shitting yourself stupid.

Re:it might work in some situations.. (4, Funny)

Comboman (895500) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165581)

Lawyer: I refer you to the case of Smelt It vs Dealt It.

Should be cheap! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164791)

All they need to collect the samples is already at hand.

Before you say Congress may help, no chance. The rarest resource on the planet is politician sweat.

Re:Should be cheap! (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164891)

>>>All they need to collect the samples is already at hand.

It just dawned on me. Collecting "scent samples" is the same thing the East German government did. For every citizen. Is Homeland Security taking us down that same road?

Beanz meanz fartz (4, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164999)

If they want odour, let them have it, full throttle. Eat chilli beans with garlic and cream cheese (or whatever supercharges your afterburner) a few hours before boarding a flight.
"I fart in your general direction! In fact, I fart uncontrollably in all directions!"

Re:Beanz meanz fartz (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165085)

If they want odour, let them have it, full throttle. Eat chilli beans with garlic and cream cheese (or whatever supercharges your afterburner) a few hours before boarding a flight. "I fart in your general direction! In fact, I fart uncontrollably in all directions!"

I seriously wonder if you could be denied onto a flight because of having uncontrollable flatulence. Only one way to find out...

Re:Beanz meanz fartz (4, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166427)

You can be denied entry onto a flight for any reason whatsoever - even "the security inspector x-raying your hand luggage didn't get laid last night".

Re:Should be cheap! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165065)

Yes, but that was a different reason. And pointless too.

They took "smell samples" from prisoners, to track them down with dogs. What they didn't know (or didn't want to know, you'll never be sure) was that dogs don't really track using the scent of the "game", they follow the trail it leaves on the ground until late in the hunt. And by the time the dogs are close enough to pick the target out by scent, you can use visual identification (i.e. see him).

In total, a huge load of bullcrap. In other words, fits nicely.

Re:Should be cheap! (4, Insightful)

silentsteel (1116795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165333)

Um, no. Every creature on earth has an unique scent. Scent will actually come out of a human being, or other "game" in cone shaped form. This is why search and rescue units will work a patch of land moving in the expected cone shape (based on what the dog picks up) when trailing a victim in a search. I have done search and rescue and that is the logic they use because it works. The first thing they do when a new volunteer comes on is show them how it works. Tracking, what you were referring to, also uses the same concept but, with the individual scent being left by brushing against the ground itself.

In a nutshell, this scares the hell out of me.

Re:Should be cheap! (2, Interesting)

silentsteel (1116795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166137)

For those that are wondering why this would scare me, coming from the perspective of search and rescue: Well-trained dogs who get the scent from something that the person they are searching for was physically touching at some point recent to the search, will hit on that person 999 times out of 1000. The prospect of a scent being put into a database to be pulled out by an algorithm leaves the possibility that there could be massive error before a dog ever gets to scent off of the sample. Or they could use a machine, and I for one do not trust a machine to be right 99.9 percent of the time, in a situation like this.

Re:Should be cheap! (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165707)

It just dawned on me. Collecting "scent samples" is the same thing the East German government did. For every citizen. Is Homeland Security taking us down that same road?

ROTFL. Welcome to the world most of us have been living in since late 2001 (official tinfoil-hat wearing paranoids longer than that). The major consolation is that Homeland Security will never be as competent as the Stasi.

(unless they're faking the blundering appearance to conceal a well oiled oppression machine.... naa, that's too paranoid even for me)

Hello, is that an armpit hoover? (3, Funny)

Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164821)

Hello, is that an armpit hoover? Or are you just pleased to see me?

I always make an effort to shower or bathe before I have a flight, especially if it is long-haul.

Now, I don't particularly care for the idea of a 'lie-sniffer', as it is just more tin-foil-hattery from leeches who can demand government funding to 'fight teh terrorists'. However, if they keep the guy that is a couple of hundred pounds overweight, and hasn't washed for a week, off the plane - I'll be happy.

Re:Hello, is that an armpit hoover? (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164947)

Pull back to Jay Sherman with a screen behind him,
      "It stinks!"

Best reply (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164863)

"I take the 5th amendment" or "I choose to remain silent"

Don't give the government anything, else they will use it later to entrap you or jail you. The right to free speech also includes the right to be quiet.

Re:Best reply (3, Informative)

howardd21 (1001567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164945)

That is great if you have time to be escorted to the security area for further questioning and investigation, but they are not going to let you get on a plane with that answer.

Re:Best reply (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165153)

>>>they are not going to let you get on a plane with that answer.

And that's one of the key reasons I don't fly (unless I'm going a long distance). It's too damned inconvenient. I'd rather just drive my own car, which gives me lots of legroom, lots of space for luggage, and my own personal stereo system for music or books-on-ipod listening.

Example: My coworkers flew from OKC to Minneapolis. I drove. They left home at 6 am and arrived at their hotel at 5 pm. I arrived about an hour later, but did not have to deal with security assholes, uncomfortable seats, lost/damaged luggage, or rude taxi drivers. Plus I got to pocket ~$1200 cash from my company (reimbursement for mileage). A nice pleasant road trip.

Give me the freedom/comfort of a car any day.

Re:Best reply (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165187)

Give me the freedom/comfort of a car any day.

Be careful, some of our more extremist friends on the left want to take that freedom away from you too. We should tax gasoline until it's $5/gal and force everybody to ride mass transit that may or may not exist, don't you know?

Re:Best reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165437)

Petrol at only $5 a gallon, that's a distant memory here in the UK. Quit whining.

Re:Best reply (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166079)

Going with Google Maps' predictions, he drove for about 12 hours straight, a distance of 785 miles.

Land's End, Cornwall (the most south-westerly point of Great Britain) to Inverness (most northerly city in Scotland) is only 730 miles.

Many people in the UK would fly that distance -- though it would be awkward, both places are very remote. But our alternative -- a train, with lots of legroom, space for luggage, a table, a power point for your laptop, a toilet etc -- doesn't really exist in the USA, outside a few locations.

(A train from Land's End (Penzance) to Inverness takes 14 hours, or 16 hours if you take a sleeper train overnight.)

Re:Best reply (1)

Archimonde (668883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165975)

I can understand the hassles of using the public airplane, but driving for ~11 hours is madness. There is no way one can convince me that you arrived in better shape then your coworkers, and at least driving for that much time is frankly extremely boring (can't sleep/surf/whatever at the time) and dangerous (fatigue etc).

Re:Best reply (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165233)

Well, okay, but here's the simple fact: DHS pulls aside for additional questioning or searches fewer than 10% of all passengers. If you don't want to be searched or questioned, simply don't give them a reason to do so.

In this case, there is plenty you can to alter your body odor. For example, wear a body powder containing baking soda. Baking soda absorbs odors, thereby giving them less odor to measure.

Re:Best reply (3, Insightful)

xelah (176252) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165865)

Well, okay, but here's the simple fact: DHS pulls aside for additional questioning or searches fewer than 10% of all passengers. If you don't want to be searched or questioned, simply don't give them a reason to do so.

That may be OK individually, but generally (not just with smells and aeroplanes) it's a dangerous route to go down collectively. Only a few are questioned, so everyone tries to conform to what they think the authorities consider normal. So the authorities lower their thresholds and then everyone becomes even more conforming, etc. It leads to everyone 'self-censoring' their behaviour to some degree to please government and security guard's prejudices.....it's far better for people to feel secure against unreasonable harrassment. It's not that your suggestion is necessarily bad - but if you can be bothered with baking soda then you ought to also be bothered opposing it politically.

Re:Best reply (1)

mb10ofBATX (126746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165055)

But what happens when you're silent but deadly? They're sure to find you out with this new tech.

Re:Best reply (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165183)

>>>But what happens when you're silent but deadly? They're sure to find you out with this new tech.

The Supreme Law of the Land says, "No person shall be... compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself". Any evidence they collect from your scent can not be used in court.

Re:Best reply (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165599)

If they ever let you get to court....

Re:Best reply (1)

lupinstel (792700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165823)

I believe more treaties recognize "He who smelt it, dealt it."

Re:Best reply (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166529)

A) This is the DHS, which means they usually don't try people, they "detain" people. No trial necessary.

B) When you're crossing a border, if you don't fully answer their questions, the best you can hope for is to get sent back.

Consumer version, please ... (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164865)

After all, it would be nice to be able to say that Office Depot's policy of lying to customers literally STINKS! [slashdot.org]

So how are they going to calibrate this?

Your Stink-o-Lie-Meter
1. Kid with hand in cookie jar
10. Madoff with hand in cookie jar
66. Used car salesman
666: Bush "They Have WMDs" salesman
2. "No, the dress doesn't make you look fat."
0. "It's not the dress."
9. "It's not the dress, and I ENJOY sleeping on the couch!"
4. It's a bug (it's not a "bug" - it didn't crawl in on its' own volition - fess up and admit you made a mistake).
40. It's a feature.
0. "They're real." (It's none of your business, Jack!)
9. "I didn't forget your birthday."
500. "We have a plan to deal with the current financial crisis" - ANY POLITICIAN - we KNOW you're just making this sh*t up as you go along.
499. "Bankruptcy is not an option." - GM head honcho Ron Wagoner

Re:Consumer version, please ... (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165271)

99999 - "*I* *did* *not* *have* sexual relations with *that* *woman*!"

Re:Consumer version, please ... (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165607)

Certainly, it is ridiculous and a waste of money. However if it did work, would the cake smell like a lie?

As Seen on TV! (1)

KefkaZ (1393099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164867)

Lie Away: Smell like a politician without the hassle of cheating constituents. Now available in Dick Cheney, Nixon, and Bernie Madoff scents.

Something (1)

igy (908081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164875)

Something's definitely fishy about that guy's answers...

A pack of dogs (4, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164877)

Just looking to smell the fear on you. Will it be able to tell if someone is actually lying or just really nervous that they're being questioned by a federal agency?

Re:A pack of dogs (3, Informative)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164935)

Will they care? The primary motivation is arrest statistics, and acting nervous infront of a federal agent is, by itself, probably enough for that.

Re:A pack of dogs (4, Insightful)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165021)

It won't be able to reliably tell anything about anyone, except perhaps that they were a little bit nervous about something, just *exactly* the same way current lie detectors do.

The problem with lie detection, as quite a number of people have said endlessly over the years, is that the assumption is made that a lie is something that somehow the body has a physiological problem with. Clearly this is swan songs of morality, as amorphous and dynamic as they are, being applied directly to the human nervous system, and somehow people are surprised to discover that there hasn't been a lie detector in the world that's been proven unquestionably to work at all.

Same as always (5, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165041)

Polygraph, and other assorted gadget do NOT detect lie. Ever. What they possibly detect is stress, (fear and its little cousin nervousness for example) which in some case may or may not be correlated to a lie. It is all based on putting the idea that "it works" in the mind of people it tests, and indeed sometimes law enforcement get confession from people (they CAN use the confession but may not use any lie detector crap, and recently even that was put under fire). There isn't really a good scientific background on it The Lie behind the lie detector [antipolygraph.org] .

Using odor instead of breathing heart beat and so on will not bring anymore science is this than pissing into a violin and expecting a concerto.

Re:Same as always (2, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165457)

Lie detectors of all types detect if you think you are lying and are stressed by this more than you were in the "control" part of the test ....

So if a lie is detected you could be
    a) lying
    b) think you are lying, but mistaken
    c) more stressed for other reasons

and if a lie is not detected you could be
    a) telling the truth
    b) think you are telling the truth, but mistaken
    c) as stressed for other reasons as in the control
    d) no worried that you are lying, and so not stressed
    e) using one of the anti-lie detector methods that have been shown to work ...

Note an operator has to be trained to use a polygraph because they have to use subjective assessment to avoid false positives and negatives: i.e. the testing is a subjective opionion

Most studies of lie detectors are done by lie detector manufacturers, and surprisingly they all seem to come to the conclusion they are reliable and foolproof

Re:Same as always (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165697)

...than pissing into a violin and expecting a concerto.

I think Phillip Glass tried that...

Re:Same as always (2, Interesting)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165869)

It's also worth noting that the lie detector has been involved in securing many FALSE confessions. DNA evidence later exhonerates the poor soul, but the lie detector was an important part of convincing him to sign the confession.

It's not just that the like detector is unscientific, it's that it is used to railroad people into confessing, rather than finding the truth.

Re:Same as always (2, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166569)

The DHS doesn't care. They just want a pseudoscience that can be used to detain people who don't do what they want.

Re:A pack of dogs (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165355)

How can you doubt our national intelligence agencies when they have "intelligence" right in their name?!?!? I predict this will be their most effective law enforcement and intelligence tool since the U.S. government created the Stargate Project [wikipedia.org] . It's tax dollars well spent!

detection speed (2, Interesting)

slackoon (997078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164913)

I wonder about detection rate. If someone is lying, how long would it take to detect the lie based on body odour, it's not like it would change in a second. This makes me wonder just how useful this would be?

Re:detection speed (2, Insightful)

rabbitfood (586031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165231)

Depending on the sort of molecule they're sniffing for, and the detection method, traces in the parts-per-billion range can be detected almost instantly. The limitation is often the speed at which you can get a billion bits of air through your nozzle - or the wind-speed your detection method can withstand. Honeybees, for example, make good detectors in some circumstances, but get miffed in moderate breezes and refuse to work at all if you blow their antennae off.

However, even if they have to parcel up the smells and post them to a lab in Wisconsin, it'll still be quicker and probably cheaper than six years in Cuba.

As for usefulness, I don't think that's the point. It's not meant to be useful, it's meant to give the government a justification for the presumption of guilt. Although the Bill of Rights and the Majesty of the Law are worthy of respect, they are historical throwbacks that aren't always appropriate for a fast-changing world. Any device that can improve the efficiency of justice, even indirectly, must be welcomed by hard-pressed taxpayers.

I thought the US had stopped French-bashing (2, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164927)

This stuff about body odour is clearly an attack on the French.

Since France is about to join NATO (which of course they call OTAN) this could lead to serious diplomatic incidents.

"You, Sir, are a dirty liar! The machine says so!"

"Sale espece de cochon, I have simply had snails in garlic with a bottle of Burgundy for lunch."

A little joke to make you think (2, Insightful)

fmachado (89905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164943)

Brazil and Argentina have historical disputes over who is the "best" on South America. Obviously it leads to some funny jokes on either side.

One closely related to USA auto induced paranioa state of mind says that an "argentino" and a "brasileiro" found a lamp. The argentino rubbed the lamp first but the brasileiro hold the lamp for him to do it. A genius emerged and saw the problem immediately: he could not grant 3 wishes, one of them would get 2 wishes and other 1. So he granted 2 wishes, one for each of them. Since the argentino rubbed the lamp first, he wished a great wall would appear on all Argentina frontiers so they could be isolated from the bad interference of their neighbors, being Argentina the greatest nation of all. Wish granted, the genius made a wall one mile high around all Argentina. Next the genius asked the brazilian what was his wish. He asked the genius before anything if the Argentina's wall was really high and resistant. The genius answered that nothing could break that wall. The brasileiro asked immediately: fill it with water.

USA is almost asking for problems when they think all the world want to attck them when USA is the most common attacker or influencer on all wars from World War II and later. They must take care with what they wish: it can be granted.

Disclaimer: I'm brazilian, so the joke is biased.

Re:A little joke to make you think (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165003)

That joke makes me very sad. I have a genius IQ, and yet I can't grant wishes.

Re:A little joke to make you think (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166089)

It's a rare "genius" indeed that doesn't comprehend that English isn't the Universal First Language.

Self-proclaimed geniuses that are actually arrogant average folk who are smart only when compared to their dumbass friends are a dime-a-dozen however.

Just something to think about.

Re:A little joke to make you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27166313)

It's fairly obvious that the GP wanted to draw the attention of the GGP to the fact that he means "genie" where he wrote "genius" using humour instead of the more common slashdot response "wrong word ur idit". Which would not necessitate that he really be a genius in real life.

Although the fact that his humour is lost on some, would hint strongly that perhaps he is.

Re:A little joke to make you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165133)

A big wall, eh? That'd make the US an even better place to store Americans than it is now.

Re:A little joke to make you think (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165223)

when USA is the most common attacker or influencer on all wars from World War II and later.

How was the USA the "most common attacker or influencer" in WW2 when we remained completely neutral until 1940 (destroyers for bases) and didn't actually enter the war until attacked (Pearl Harbor)?

Re:A little joke to make you think (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165475)

Just to play devil's advocate... it's called "lend-lease" and "naval blockades." Continue.

Re:A little joke to make you think (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166003)

USA is almost asking for problems when they think all the world want to attck them when USA is the most common attacker or influencer on all wars from World War II and later.

Let's see. WWII... main attackers and influencers were Japan and Germany. The US did a lot of attacking late in the war and quite a lot of influencing earlier, but it takes some serious revisionism to put the US ahead of the two main Axis powers. Korea started with an invasion of the US-backed South by the North. Vietnam started as a French conflict. The US gets "influence" for Afghanistan, but the Soviets did the main attacking. Even Gulf War I started with an invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Nicaragua was a proxy war, so you might count that as "influence" again. (And who knows how to count the Bay of Pigs?) The US was the main attacker in the Panama invasion, the Grenada invasion, and in Gulf War II, and probably some other conflicts I've neglected, but hardly "all wars". Believe it or not, there have also been quite a few wars the US wasn't even involved in at all.

A bad day for Linux users (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164955)

Time to wash, boys!

seems silly (2, Interesting)

redhat_redneck (733580) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164959)

I know personally that body odor differs by race, diet, and culture. Is that to say that if I eat at my local Pakstani resturant the night before trying to use the BO biometric, I may be identified as a Pashtun tribal warlord? Does this take into account that prescription medication could cause a change? Just by taking an antibiotic could I cause a false positive? I hate to think loading up on ginger or curry or treating an infection could mean I end up on the waterboard. This seems as useful as gait recognition. http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/newsrelease/GAIT.htm [gatech.edu] .... That really went nowhere and I seem to remember a massively huge database - like 2PB. But who am I to judge apparently nows the time to push for funding on crap projects.

My god! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164987)

"He farted! He is a terrorist!"

I can see it now ... (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165057)

[Prof. Farnsworth is searching for Terrorists with his Smelloscope]

Leela: Anything yet, professor?

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: I'm afraid the Smelloscope can't locate the terrorist. His fragrance is too mild. It's being overwhelmed by local sources.

[Everyone looks at DHS Goon Zoidberg]

DHS Goon Zoidberg: Hooray! Now I'm the center of attention.

so my govt pays for pseudoscience? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165067)

what next, phrenology?

phlogiston?

Re:so my govt pays for pseudoscience? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165311)

Our government has always paid for pseudoscience. See polygraph [wikipedia.org] , particularly the section on reliability of such.

B.O. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165079)

Barack Obama?

The fart jokes with this are endless (1)

mb10ofBATX (126746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165107)

I find your lack of honesty disturbing

You may be silent, but I can tell you're deadly

Lawyer: And what tipped you off that there was indeed a body in the closet officer?
Officer: The suspect farted.
Lawyer: Excuse me? He farted?
Officer: That's right - my fart analyzer detected an increase level of methane that led me to believe the suspect was hiding something.
Defense: Could it have been that he was just wanting to hide that he was farting - not that he was guilty?
Officer: If you were in that room, sir, you would have arrested him to. It was the least of things to be done.

Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165135)

1)Commit horrendous crimes
2)Start playing WoW
3)????
4)PROFIT

C'mere DHS (1)

DecimalThree (524862) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165177)

Pull my finger.

Ut oh... (1)

luciddr34m3r (1232248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165179)

I am so screwed.

My creed (1)

slackoon (997078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165197)

1. This is my odor. There are many like it, but this one is mine. 2. My stench is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

DHS Emulates East Germany's Stasi (3, Informative)

George Maschke (699175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165215)

As the co-founder of a website dedicated to exposing and ending waste, fraud, and abuse associated with supposed "lie detectors," I think this project stinks. It's redolent of the old East German secret police -- the Stasi -- who maintained a "smell register" of dissidents. For a short video commentary, see Smellograph [youtube.com] .

Re:DHS Emulates East Germany's Stasi (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165483)

Didn't they keep their "smell register" for use in tracking people with dogs, though?

Re:DHS Emulates East Germany's Stasi (1)

George Maschke (699175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165565)

That was the idea. But it wasn't a particlarly good or useful one. If you look at the article in the original post, you'll see that a secondary aspect of the DHS study (beyond lie detection) is to try to identify "odor fingerprints" by which individuals can be identified.

DHS should pay a visit to the US congress... (2, Funny)

dogganos (901230) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165225)

... There's the smell they are looking for.

Gamers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165249)

poor gamer's they will be always seen as liar's _

In the words of George Costanza... (1)

Joe Random (777564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165319)

Jerry, just remember: It's not a lie if you believe it.

All the more reason.. (1)

drewvr6 (1400341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165331)

this proves we can't trust those Europeans!

My Creed (1)

slackoon (997078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165365)

1. This is my odor. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
2. My stench is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

A better way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165463)

There is a much easier way to tell if someone is a problem, other than testing their body odor.

Gentlemen, let me introduce you to a little something I like to call "Phrenology"...

Life imitating... er... life? (5, Interesting)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165543)

This is just precious - the Stasi in the GDR (east germany to most) did exactly the same thing with their suspects.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,484561,00.html [spiegel.de]
http://scent-lab.blogspot.com/2008/07/body-odor-preserved-and-exhibited-at.html [blogspot.com]

People being interrogated would frequently be asked to sit with their palms face down on a piece of cloth, usually stuck to the chair. After the interrogation, the cloth would be removed and placed in a jar for later analysis. I don't believe it's ever been admissible as evidence in any western court, but that's obviously what the whole DHS "proof" is all about.

Quite why one would invest so many resources in this when fingerprints and DNA are already reliable forms of identification I don't know, and I strongly suspect that the "indicator" of deception will be flawed for much the same reasons the results of a polygraph are flawed - I can understand how someone who's stressed might well emit a different sort of sweat than someone who's just hot, but trying to define a "liars sweat" reeks (hohoho) of pseudoscience to me.

Who knows, maybe there's something in it, maybe the article is making too much of things, maybe I've got my paranoid hat on. But it still seems worryingly like the whole "this man is the serial killer cos his writing is all weird" argument to me.

Truth (4, Funny)

bartoku (922448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165561)

The new fragrance by Calvin Klein.

DHS has too much money (2, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165575)

If they have enough money to do this project, why haven't we cut their budget yet?

Re:DHS has too much money (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166181)

If they have enough money to do this project, why haven't we cut their budget yet?

Because government controls the masses, not the other way around.

Talk about racial profiling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165587)

Holy mackeral! Talk about racial profiling!

I know what this means (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165723)

the French, Hatians, and Quebecois are all liars.

Vegas? (1)

MacColossus (932054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165915)

They won't use this on flights back from Vegas. All the cheating husbands and wives that over gambled their nest egg and just got done lying to said spouse on the phone will gum up the system. "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" has a whole new meaning when you aren't allowed to board your flight home.

I don't like the smell of this (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166041)

Something just isn't right.

When in doubt, copy hollywood (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166203)

As if the "hit" Fox show Lie to Me weren't bad enough fiction, we're hit with this silly story. Lie detector tests are not always accurate and use much more elaborate measurements of the human body. What's next, the government is going to bring in Phil Helmuth to start reading criminals' tells?

Lies (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166319)

to determine if a deception indicator can be found.

      The only lie is the headline.

Re:Lies (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166561)

Smell detected: bullshit

I suppose it's one step up from goat's entrails (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166471)

All these things do is detect agitation, arousal, stress, illness, ambient climate, backache, annoyance and occasionally lies.

Any of these external factors could be caused by any number of reasons - most of which are present in spades at an airport. Maybe the first place to use them would be on the contractors who will make the money from selling this turkey to the government:

Question: "does it work?"

Detected answer: "no of course not"

Looking for indicators (1)

McGregorMortis (536146) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166579)

research it hopes to fund "will consist primarily of the analysis and study of the human odor samples collected to determine if a deception indicator can be found."

I think it's pretty certain that such indicators will be found, at least initially. They probably don't exist, or if they do, they probably will be about as reliable as today's polygraphs (ie, not at all). But they will be found nevertheless, for the simple reason that no indicators means no more money.

Ways to Beat this (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166595)

Wear Deodorant.
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