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Brain Scanning May Be Used In EU Security Checks

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the who-do-you-think-you-are? dept.

Security 132

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the Guardian: "Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning after EU researchers successfully tested technology to verify identities for security checks. The experiments, which also examined the potential of heart rhythms to authenticate individuals, were conducted under an EU-funded inquiry into biometric systems that could be deployed at airports, borders and in sensitive locations to screen out terrorist suspects." The same article says that "The Home Office, meanwhile, has confirmed rapid expansion plans of automated facial recognition gates: 10 will be operating at major UK airports by August." I wonder what Bruce Schneier would have to say about such elaborate measures.

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If it's a USian (0, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920627)

Just check its stomach for it doesn't have a brain, otherwise it had not voted twice for the idiot bastard son then once for his slave.

Next up: thought crime (4, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920643)

Because we can (ab)use this technology to identify brain patterns of illegal behavior.
The identification would be fool proof, but who cares when you can catch terrorists and pedophiles.

Re:Next up: thought crime (4, Insightful)

MindKata (957167) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920783)

"Because we can (ab)use this technology"

They seem determined to abuse technology as far as it can go. They need to learn that just because we now have ever more technology to abuse peoples privacy, that doesn't mean that's the right thing to keep on doing ever more. For example, just because we have the technology to knock down everyone's door, drag the people out of the house and strip search them in the road, that doesn't mean that's what everyone wants them to do. If they are just allowed to keep abusing technology as far as it can go, then we are walking into a horrific world. This abuse has to stop.

Re:In Soviet America (3, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920953)

They seem determined to abuse technology as far as *the abuse* can go.

Phrase: "Quantum of Terror"

"Hmm. Our ID test runs on heartbeats, measured in a comfy lab with plush seats and chocolate mints. But we Don't Like This Guy.

" 'Hey, you're a terrorist!!' "
(Subject's heart races)
"Oh look, he fails. He MUST be a terrorist! Wheee!"

It's Schrodinger's Nightmare.

Re:In Soviet America (1)

chabotc (22496) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921271)

Maybe we should revert back the the old ways of throwing suspects in the water with a stone tied around their neck. If they float, they're guilty and will be burned, and if they sink.. well at least they are innocent right?

Sure would cut down on the polluting business of air travel wouldn't it? :)

Re:In Soviet America (2, Insightful)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921571)

How do you mean revert back? [dailymail.co.uk]

thank you. (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921351)

I only looked at the comments here for this. I likes a good tinfoil hat!

while it's a bit screwy using brain scans, if they can eliminate false positives, it ain't so bad. We just need to make sure enough "good people" are descion makers in the new paradigm. We are all human.

without wanting to sound like a bad 80s rapper or 60s tripper... peace.

Re:thank you. (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922501)

>>>it ain't so bad.

"The right of the People to be secure in their persons...... unless a warrant has been issued by oath....." The government is violating your body by making intimate scans of your internal organs. You might as well tattoo numbers on your skin, because the offense against your property (your body) is as severe.

Power games... (1)

MindKata (957167) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923019)

The way you wrote "as far as *the abuse* can go." made me think at first it was a quote of what I said, but I see I didn't say that. :)

Anyway even though the people in power use their terrorist 'Wild Card' whenever they want to bring in yet more Big Brother moves, its not just about terrorists etc... For example, in the UK they had the IRA attacking for years and doing far more damage than any current terrorist, yet the UK lived happily without the need for the police state they are building now. Its not about terror. It hasn't been for years. Its now an outright power grab by the political elite in power, as they seek ever more ways to grab ever more power. (But then even terrorists want to be in charge and force others to follow their ways, so they also are acting ultimately out of a desire to be in power). The political elite constantly seek power over others, that's ultimately why they want to work in politics. They wouldn't last long in their jobs if they didn't seek power over others, as other people who do seek power, would undermine them in such a competitive environment. That means the most power seeking people tend toward the top in politics and they are the ones who dictate the rules and changes to laws etc..

It seems month by month the UK is becoming one of the the fastest growing police states in the world. Judging by the rampant self serving corruption in the UK government, its a warning to the rest of the world. For example:
http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?sortBy=2&forumID=6430&edition=1&ttl=20090512154613&#paginator [bbc.co.uk]

There is growing anger in the UK against their ever increasingly corrupt leaders. Its getting to the point where everyone needs to stand up and say no more to the current political elite. But the problem is this slip into a global Big Brother police state is happening all around the world, just at different speeds to the UK. Its just most evident in the most politically corrupt countries like the UK, but this same slide is happening in every country at different speeds as their political elite see new ways to gain ever more power. Its eventually going to take everyone in every country to stand up to their leaders and say no more abuse of technology for ever more power.

But getting people to stop the political elite is being slowed up by their politicians game of making people believe they are powerless, so they cannot do or say anything to oppose their leaders. They want to promote division between groups. Its rule by divide and conquer. Small groups can't stand up to a government. But remember the people in power are very much a small minority of the population and while the government think they run it all, if the general population decides to stand up and say no more, every government has to listen. (This divide and conquer tactic of slowing up attempts to oppose them, is ironically helping to build greater anger in societies, who are being made to feel ever more unfairly treated and so its building ever greater anger and pressure for change against the current system, until it does eventually explode in their faces).

We have two problems remaining before people will stand up and say no more. The first is the technology is beyond the understanding of the majority of non-technical people. That could be solved if the technically minded people gave a coherent message of anger against the technology. But the second problem is ironically caused by technologically minded people getting distracted by in-fighting about inefficiencies between communications of Big Brother technology. The Nazis had huge communication inefficiencies, but that didn't stop them making a horrific world.

All the in fighting plays into the hands of the political elite as they want divide and conquer arguments to divide groups. We technically minded people need to get past the in-fighting and arguing about technology and focus on the big picture of where we are all heading if this rampant abuse of all new technology continues without any coherent opposition.

To quote, "With great power comes great responsibility" - while thats just a quote, morally it makes a lot of sense, but a lot of the political elite keep showing around the world that they lack empathy towards others. A lot of them have their own interests at heart. This same behavior has been shown throughout history. They can't be trusted to be fair. They spend their lives seeking new ways to gain power over others. They are determined to abuse technology as far as they can and in doing so, will and are abusing everyone they have power over. There has to be limits. Currently the feature creep is so vast that we get news of yet more moves towards Big Brother in some part of the world, just about every other day at the moment. There has to be limits and some fairness or we are going to walk into a nightmare world where a minority in power totally abuse the majority of people, without limit, for their own gain. Knowledge is power and the polticial elite are determined to seek ever more power.

Re:Next up: thought crime (3, Insightful)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920805)

Exactly.

All these attempts at automated biometric identification just need to stop, now. None of it works. Facial / Iris recognition is far too unreliable to be used in any sort of serious context. Not even fingerprint recognition works reliably (or we'd all be bloody using it).

They need to stop pouring money down this black hole right now.

Re:Next up: thought crime (5, Insightful)

robably (1044462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921315)

None of it works. ... They need to stop pouring money down this black hole right now.

They need to stop now not because it doesn't work, but because eventually it will get to the point where it does work.

Re:Next up: thought crime (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921875)

It works now, haven't you noticed?

Since September 12, 2001, exactly zero passenger aircraft have flown into the World Trade Centre! That has to show that the system works!

Re:Next up: thought crime (1)

theun4gven (1024069) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922513)

Since September 12, 2001, exactly zero passenger aircraft have flown into the World Trade Centre! That has to show that the system works!

Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

Re:Next up: thought crime (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922859)

I hope you don't get modded troll or flamebait.

You're right though. The system has worked. It has ever since the passengers of Flight 93 heard what happened to the other hijacked planes.

Re:Next up: thought crime (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923049)

I don't think it will ever work reliably enough to serve its stated function.

Of course, it works well enough to serve its actual function currently, if you believe that the actual function is to serve as a cover for maintaining a massive database of every person in the UK, to allow unprecedented state tracking and control over its citizens. Of course, only the excessively paranoid would believe such a thing.

Re:Next up: thought crime (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921989)

Indeed. If they're going to go all police state on their citizens, they should just drop the pretense and start using required DNA registration upon entry to the country (or birth). Dump some funds into developing instantaneous DNA signature reading, and have done with it.

That way they can stop wasting money on phrenology and similar pursuits, and start to really Catch Some Bad Guys.

Orrrr... the people who live there can stand up and say that enough is enough. Personally I'd suggest the latter, but humans are humans the world over -- so it's quite unlikely.

Reality called (2, Informative)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921203)

We can't read thoughts. Our current equipment is far too crude to even identify specific neural pathways. All we can do is detect electrical activity or oxygen use in *regions* of the brain. At best they might be able to determine you are (possibly) anxious or fearful. So about as useful for reading thoughts as a polygraph (aka not useful at all).

I doubt we will ever be able to read thoughts because of the difficult of isolating neural pathways, and the fact that thoughts aren't encoded in a way we even understand. It isn't as simple as making a sensitive detector and then decoding a stream of data.

IAAPS (I Am A Psychology Student).

Re:Reality called (2, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921285)

Pah, I can tell from all the way over here that you are thinking about Natalie Portman.

Re:Reality called (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921909)

Every time you think about Natalie Portman, God kills a terr'rist.

Please, think of Natalie Portman.

Re:Reality called (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923153)

If it's not in hot grits, it doesn't count

Re:Reality called (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924461)

Grit and bare it.

Re:Reality called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922851)

Indeed you sound like a typical psychology student. Speaking about things you don't know.

Actually we can read crude patterns in the visual cortex to the point primitive images can be read. As with the primary auditory cortex, it's tonotopy is trivial enough to allow a MRI technician to identify the frequencies of sounds you hear provided they are simple tones. And there are just examples. We are now far beyond the "ooh his limbic system is all fired up"

Google "Riken" for example.

BTW, don't these punks know about cortical plasticity ? Brain organization is not like fingerprints you know...

Re:Next up: thought crime (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923859)

What are the health risks of having one's brain scanned repeatedly? I understand it's not X-ray technology, I'm just wondering if there are risks.

Terrorist Brain Patterns (5, Insightful)

bigdaisy (30400) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920647)

Do terrorists have distinctive brain patterns that would cause an alarm to go off?

All this does is help to confirm that the passport holder is the person to whom the passport was issued. The 9/11 bombers would all have passed this test, as they were travelling on their own passports.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920875)

Not so sure about brain patterns, but I hear they have a distinctive lump behind the ears. The shape of the nose seems to be an indication too.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920883)

And even if they hadn't, passports are hackable anyhow. They can change all that information on both the paper and the chip.

Also, how much work is it to keep thousands of brain scanners all calibrated the same?

And finally, what about false positives/negatives? Sure, fingerprints are 'unique', but we only sample a few points... It's actually possible to be wrong. Same with DNA, etc etc. Why is this any different? In fact, it's worse... Brains CHANGE over time.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921365)

Fingerprints can be wrong, but it's unusual. Unfortunately, you don't really know just how unlikely it is. A decent DNA test today uses so many points of comparison that the error rate is tiny, and, perhaps more importantly, can be precisely quantified.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (1)

dword (735428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921455)

Also, how much work is it to keep thousands of brain scanners all calibrated the same?

And how much does it cost? Over here (some country in the EU), running some old brain scanner in the hospital costs just over $300/scan.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (1)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923167)

your old brain scanner is probably an MRI, PET or SPECT scanner, which is a big and expensive machine. 1-2 million dollars. the scanner they probably use in this article will be a couple of orders of magnitude cheaper.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921693)

Sure, fingerprints are 'unique', but we only sample a few points... It's actually possible to be wrong.

It's really easy to be wrong when it's used incorrectly. [thedailywtf.com]

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924527)

How much work: a lot. MRI (if that's what they're using) maintenance is expensive and intensive. Simply keeping up with all the stuff that needs to be around for cooling the systems is a lot of work not to mention the safety procedures. Just about any medical procedure they will perform for this requires a lot of work and is dangerous for the individual it's being performed on. A simple xray can kill somebody if something goes wrong (ask Edison). MRI machines have a lot of magnetic force so a simple pen can become a deadly projectile.

Brains change: There is actually not very much known (yet) about brain plasticity. I know for instance that brain activity changes locations if for example a certain location was damaged due to head trauma (as small as a mild concussion), stroke or epilepsy.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920955)

My greatest issue with this scheme isn't the invasion of privacy. It's that the people who recommend it aren't nearly as intelligent as the parent comment poster.

I don't even think this is an invasion of my privacy. I do, however, realise that it's a money soak, a sham, another prop in the security theatre.

Sometimes I wish I didn't realise it. Then I wouldn't feel so ashamed to be part of this nation.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921369)

My greatest issue with this scheme isn't the invasion of privacy.

It should be.

I don't even think this is an invasion of my privacy.

It is, unless you think that your mind should be public domain material.

I do, however, realise that it's a money soak, a sham, another prop in the security theatre.

Right now, as this system is currently implemented, yes you are correct. In a decade, it will be refined enough for them to start scanning for "thought crimes". And no, I'm generally not the tinfoil hat type, but shit like this is damn spooky.

There needs to be a point where, as a basic human right, we say "No further- you can search my pockets and my bags, but keep your finger out of my ass and your scanner away from my brain."

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921639)

"...but keep your finger out of my ass and your scanner away from my brain."

That first one has already been and gone. You could be hiding pirated films up there!

The Hole [imdb.com] indeed.

Re:Terrorist Brain Patterns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921115)

It's not about terrorists. It's about intimidation and keeping the general populace in check.

Add a few years and your wildest tin-foil hat conspirationists turn from lunatics to visionaries.

Yes! Psi cops! (5, Funny)

Mendoksou (1480261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920655)

Using this in conjunction with the new Google Brain search should make spotting nefarious terrorists, murderers, drug traffickers and torrenters easy. The program should be run by Alfred Bester.

No fly list (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920657)

This passenger has the sloping brow and cranial bumpage of a plane-jacking terrorist.

Re:No fly list (0, Offtopic)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920709)

And you have the brainwave patterns of a stagecoach tilter!

Re:No fly list (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920979)

How appropriate, you fight like a cow!

Re:No fly list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921231)

Goes well with the cranial invasion of the rectal cavity posture of people considering to implement this.

What I'm always curious to know: if you got your head so far up your rear end to consider this viable, can you see any light? If so, you must be a Moebius idiot.

I guess the good news is that they're all together in one lab. Just lock it before they escape.

Video Games FTW! (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920671)

Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning

Time to start journeying to Wild Divine [wikipedia.org] . Learn to change your mental state for fun and profit.

Idiotproof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920711)

What about brainless idiots?
Will it work for them as well?

An officer pulls someone out of the crowd:
officer: "Sir please come with me, your identification did not work, you must be using some illegal gadget to mask your brainID!!"
guy: "Nonono, I'm a politician!"

Enough is enough... (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920721)

Enough security at airports, we get it, they're "safe." The real security threats are against soft targets with no protection at all. Any location with a large crowd is a target and they're also impossible to defend.

I can see why you want fingerprints on passports, but all the insane stuff since then (e.g. "makes you naked" (Backscatter) child porno vision) is just over the top and adds an insanely small amount of additional protection.

Let's remember:
- All 9/11 passengers used valid ID
- All recent terrorists have also used valid ID

Re:Enough is enough... (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920983)

- There's no security before check-in, and many times more people to harm.

Re:Enough is enough... (1)

IanCal (1243022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921627)

Well, the security stop didn't seem to be helping much.
Essentially what they did was take everything that they thought could be explosive and put them *8all together in a bin in the centre of security in a crowded airport*.
Well done, security, well done.

Re:Enough is enough... (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922729)

Ah. I see your legitimate criticism and raise you one "Why do you hate America?!"

Re:Enough is enough... (4, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921007)

Any location with a large crowd is a target

Indeed - such as the queue of people waiting to be fingerprinted and brain-scanned...

How many ways... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920727)

can this possibly go wrong?

While security is nice, there may be such a thing as going too far. Let alone it doesn't solve the problem of people wanting to commit a crime in the first place.

Rule, Britannia! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920739)

Poor UKians are now the guinea pigs of the surveillance scum.

Not that we don't have some of those here in Germany (Schäuble et al.), but at the moment UK seems to be the spearhead.

Ugh.

Yet they won't even take simple measures (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920741)

A former coworker who is a Syrian expatriate and I were talking about Islamic terrorism, and the conversation turned to Saudi Arabia. If you look at the profile of international Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia is disproportionately represented in terrorist groups around the world. I don't know if it's still true, but at its peak, half of the insurgents we killed in Iraq on any given day were Saudis.

If Western countries simply prohibited Saudi nationals from staying for any length longer than a vacation or business trip, it'd be easier to keep out suspected Islamic terrorists. If Western governments would also start shutting down Saudi-financed mosques and Islamic schools, that'd be even better. The Saudis are funding the radicalization of Islam around the world, and we'd be doing the majority of Muslims a favor by targeting Saudi Arabia and Saudi nationals for very direct, special attention as the majority of Muslims would be left alone to live in peace if that's their desire.

But of course the worst thing a Western government can do is to appear to be discriminating against someone for something, and to possibly even be limiting the expression of a religion, no matter how violently hostile and alien it is to the host society. We think we're taking the moral high ground when all we're doing is importing people who want to tear down our societies, and in the end we're hurting the honest immigrants who really want to flee that bullshit like my former coworker as much as we're hurting our own people.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (2, Interesting)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920815)

There's a fundamental flaw here, you assume that it would be just a matter of targeting Saudis. All this would do is make a smarter terrorist. Recruit from other countries, forge credentials, smuggle people in, or better yet attack targets outside our borders. I'm not against racial profiling on a moral standpoint, I'm against it on an effectiveness standpoint, because, simply put, it doesn't work. And neither will this brain scanning thing, people will find ways around it.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921111)

There's a fundamental flaw here, you assume that it would be just a matter of targeting Saudis. All this would do is make a smarter terrorist. Recruit from other countries, forge credentials, smuggle people in, or better yet attack targets outside our borders.

That won't change the fact that their most fertile recruiting grounds are in Saudi Arabia. In addition, forged identities have always been a problem. There isn't much that we could do now if Saudi terrorists went to Jordan and paid off a government office to give them valid Jordanian passports. We have the same problem with illegal immigrants paying off DMV workers in the US. However, making that a requirement of getting terrorist assets into the United States would create a serious barrier for all but the most connected terrorist groups.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921371)

You point out the flaw in your line of reasoning right in your own rebuttal.

Would create a serious barrier for all but the most connected terrorist groups.

The problem is that these are the ones that we have to defend ourselves against, the ones that fly planes into buildings. Racial profiling provides a very false sense of security as it only stops the small time and amateur people. Further more, the mere act of treating a group of people in that way can push them towards the well connected recruiters. To quote Benjamin Franklin

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

If we become the persecutors here, all we're doing is harming ourselves in the long run.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920823)

In Canada your post would be a violation of human rights and you would be sent to jail for it. They have already won, bow down to your Oil Producing Overlords.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (5, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921871)

Hardly. If he called for the total, world encompassing genocide of all Muslims, he could in theory get 14 years maximum. In theory. As it stands, he was not calling for genocide, of Muslims, or even the deportation of Muslims, simply limiting the time they can stay in the country legally. So, baring calling for genocide, you'll have to settle on the lesser charge of inciting hatred. Since in Canada, truth is a defense, you cannot complain about his statement about the proportionality of Saudis involved in terror attacks, unless of course he's lying. Further, discussions about public policy or religious doctrine are also exempt. Since he's calling for a discussion on how to deal with the issue, he'd be immune even if he were more hard line.

I'll summarize for you. In Canada, you cannot make speech that is "incites hatred". What does that mean? It's up to the courts to decide what inciting hatred means exactly. The courts have held that saying "The jews are a disease and Hitler was just trying to clean up the world" is "revolting, disgusting, and untrue" but not inciting hatred, and therefore overturned the $1000 fine against the journalist who wrote that.

People love to rail against the hate crimes laws in Canada. The worst are the provincial ones. Saskatchewan's law is notoriously encompassing, and basically says you can't even say something that makes another group "uncomfortable" or feel "undignified". Fortunately, their provincial courts don't care about that bit, and tend to overturn anything that makes it to their desks. The only real issue is that you're not entitled to council during the tribunal, though of course you are if you want to appeal it to the courts, which is highly recommended.

Never the less, in 32 years of Human Rights tribunals, there are perhaps a handful cases of them making a ruling against somebody for hate speech, and only 1 has held on appeal to the courts. People make a big hubbub about various Muslim groups filing complaints. Yes, the filed the complaints. Yes, the Human Rights Commission looked at the complaints. But they always dismiss it. Always! Besides that one neo-nazi who didn't even have to pay his fine, a few religious groups have been fined and had their fines overturned as well, all also in Sask. And the only hate speech conviction to ever be upheld, also in Sask, for distributing fliers showing various gruesome diseases saying they were God's punishment for homosexuality, and calling for the deaths or imprisonment of all gays. He also had fliers showing decapitated corpses saying "Islam is a religion of murder and Muhammad was a man of violence" and calling for preemptive violence against them, as well. I think he made it on the Daily Show after he finished 4th of 8 in a run for Mayor of Regina? Whenever people file complaints about magazine articles etc, the magazine doesn't care, the author doesn't care, and the Commission throws it out before it reaches the Tribunal. Despite the obnoxiously broad wording, the courts have always held the law to a much more reasonable standard of hatred. You'd be hard pressed to get in trouble over less than calling for actual violence and murder. Yes, if the OP had put his post in a magazine, then maybe the Muslim Council would file a complaint, just like if he said we should kick all the Jews out the ADL would file a complaint. But if history is any indication, the Human Rights Commission would dismiss the complaint before it ever got to the point where the magazine or author had to show up anywhere. And if for some reason they thought his post was MORE hateful than "Hitler was a hero and a saint!" the courts would certainly toss out the ensuing fine.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920895)

We think we're taking the moral high ground when all we're doing is importing people who want to tear down our societies

The point of a cultural melting pot is to take those people in and make them a part of the society, changing it and making it more worldly in the process. Unfortunately, we have done everything we can to be as isolated and insulated a global citizen as we can (as a nation) and most people still think affirmative action is something being done to benefit minorities.

>

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921161)

The point of a cultural melting pot is to take those people in and make them a part of the society, changing it and making it more worldly in the process.

Uhhh no. If you believe that, then you're seriously uninformed about the traditional justifications of the melting pot. The point of a melting pot is that it melts down the incoming materials and makes it part of the mixture. What you're describing is what is derisively called the "beef stew immigration policy" in which immigrants come in, don't really adapt and society becomes a hodge podge of different ethnicities which are ultimately united by economics and prosperity, not common heritage. Nations that go that route usually don't fare well once there is a serious downfall in the economy.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921317)

Nations that go that route usually don't fare well once there is a serious downfall in the economy.

It's a good thing that'll never happen here.
Oh crap.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27924679)

Different ethnicities which are ultimately united by economics and prosperity, not common heritage.

Isn't it better to be united by economics and prosperity than common heritage?

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (4, Insightful)

Yacoby (1295064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920937)

If Western countries simply prohibited Saudi nationals from staying for any length longer than a vacation or business trip, it'd be easier to keep out suspected Islamic terrorists. If Western governments would also start shutting down Saudi-financed mosques and Islamic schools, that'd be even better.

We can't do that. Do you know how much oil comes from Saudi Arabia?

That's how theocracy works (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921183)

Saudi Arabia is disproportionately represented in terrorist groups around the world

hmmm, I wonder how could that be [countrystudies.us] ?

the majority of Muslims would be left alone to live in peace if that's their desire

The problem is that a "moderate Muslim" is really an oxymoron. Islamic law very explicitly says that it *must* be applied to every circumstance in life, without exception.

This situation is very well analyzed in this book [wikipedia.org] . Islamic scholars like Sayyid Qutb [wikipedia.org] have put the situation in the following terms:

1) One must choose between evil or good

2) If one chooses the path of good, one must be consisten in it

This is a logical argument, no one can say anything against it. The problem is when people like Sayyid Qutb and his followers assume that "good" is equal to Islam, and any deviation from the strictest interpretation of Islam is evil.

Unfortunately, this interpretation is consistent with a careful reading of the Quran.

Differently from the Bible, which is a compilation of writings from different authors from many different times and places, the Quran was written in a short time at one place. The Bible has reports of historical and legendary events, intermixed with moral teachings. The Quran is mostly moral teachings alone.

Reading the Quran leaves many people with a strong sense of duty to perform those acts, to lead a life of moral righteousness, much more than the Bible does because it's much more concentrated on the moral commandments. I have read a translation of the Quran and was impressed on how those commandments seem to be worded in such a stronger way than in the Bible.

There are also some extremely [wikipedia.org] radical Christians [wikipedia.org] , it's true, but they have never reached such a high number of sympathizers as radical Muslims, at least not in the last few centuries.

I believe that if someone want to be a Muslim without following the radical path, then he must make an effort to study and analyze the Quran, like the radicals have done, and try to verify in which manner the moderate interpretation can be validated by the text. It seems to me that the radicals have been more successful in putting forward their interpretation.

Re:That's how theocracy works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921975)

Disclaimer: I am a Muslim, praise be to Allah.

My brother, you must understand that not all Muslims wish to taint the words of Allah by spilling the infidels' blood. This is why I ask that you convert or FACE THE SWORD OF HEAVEN!

ALALALALalaleeleeeleeeleeleeele!

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921441)

OTOH if you start doing this, you would loose the thing you wanted to protect in the first place.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921483)

If Western countries simply prohibited Saudi nationals from staying for any length longer than a vacation or business trip, it'd be easier to keep out suspected Islamic terrorists.

First of all, if they are a suspected terrorist why even let them in, to start with?

Here, let me fix the rest of that for you...

If all countries simply prohibited non-citizens from staying for any length longer than their visa allows, it'd be easier to keep out terrorists.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921959)

To graduate from my undergraduate history program, I had to write a 25-paper dedicated to the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia since 1980. Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest foreign investors in the United States. To bar Saudi businessmen from lengthy stays in the United States would be to invite even more financial ruin on this country, as they would all back out of their investments. And they have invested in almost every sector in corporate America. Also, in regards to terrorism, Saudi Arabia has taken some of the strongest steps to fight terrorism of any country in the Middle East. Unemployment, lack of civil infrastructure such as healthcare and housing, all of these breed discontented youth, many of whom turn to radical Islam. Saudi Arabia has been improving these sectors of their society in an effort to reduce the pool of potential terror recruits. remember all those European terrorists from the 80s? It's just like that, disillusioned and discontent kids listen to the wrong guy. And any rate, we have no right to shut down Wahhabi mosques and madrassas. Yes, it is a very conservative from of Islam. But, conservative does not necessarily mean radical. The majority of Saudis, like the majority of Muslims, are very peaceful and are against terrorism. What you propose would not fix the problem, it would only exacerbate it. It would turn even more people in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in general against us, and give radical Muslims even more ammunition against us.

Re:Yet they won't even take simple measures (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922249)

Who cares about Islamic terrorism? al-Qaida pulled off two operations in the US, one in 1993 and one in 2001, and got a big success in 2001. That was eight years ago, and it can't happen again. Heck, it couldn't be pulled off four times in one day, because the passengers on the fourth plane knew what was going on and stopped it.

By now, the number of deaths in the US from Islamic terrorism this century per year is under 500. Do you realize how many causes of death there are that kill over 500 people a year? Cutting drunk driving by ten percent would save far more lives than that.

The fear of terrorism is one of the biggest government scams in recent history. Keep the population scared, and they'll put up with anything.

Could brain formatting be next? (4, Funny)

xp (146294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920787)

What if airport security accidentally invokes brainscan with the --format flag? Also, does this mean brains are open source now?
--
Slow Poke [pair.com]

Re:Could brain formatting be next? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920945)

You can't format wirelessly, you have to attach a cable [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Could brain formatting be next? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920951)

Dude, cant wait until they have a scandisk & defrag... I definitely need one... I would settle for a reboot if I wouldnt lose all my data... backup strategies are not yet up to par

Re:Could brain formatting be next? (2, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921345)

My brain runs ReiserFS.
On second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea.

Re:Could brain formatting be next? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923015)

Open source brain

They're already developed that way.

Two people get together initially to start off the project. After that anyone that interacts with it shapes its development; although initially it changes quite rapidly, little patches are constantly applied throughout its life. A rare few become genuinely useful entities that improve all the others.

As the project begins to die, it becomes bloated and gets abandoned. Maintenance ceases. The valuable lessons accumulated over its life are then discarded as the next generation is created, stupid as a dunce brick with plenty of interoperability problems. The process continues, repeating the same old mistakes over and over again until the end of time.

Sound familiar?

Medical benefits? (3, Funny)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920795)

They'll have to up the minimum requirements for being the security check person from "some highschool" to "med school graduate"

Now offering free prostate exams with every flight!

Re:Medical benefits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921137)

Don't be silly, why would they advertize that now they're offering free prostate exams with every flight, when in fact they've always had that deal... you just have to know how to ask for it.

Re:Medical benefits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921261)

They only examine the prostate if you are 'randomly selected' for one.

Don't care (1)

danwesnor (896499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921035)

Thankfully, I'm immune to both brain scanners and zombies.

Not a big deal (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921051)

Maybe this is different in EEG, but in the context of fMRI, subject is likely the easiest variable to classify on. I've done some experiments on it myself as part of my doctoral work. Even something as simple as wavelet processing the data and performing k-nearest neighbor classification yielded 96% accuracy on a motor task fMRI dataset of moderate size, and that was just a baseline method I was using to compare a better one to! In fact, the effect of the task was being obscured by the subject, and we had to remove the subject means from the data before we could attempt to classify on task (what we really wanted to do) with any reasonable degree of success.

It's probably the nature of fMRI image acquisition itself that has prevented this from being used as a biometric, for obvious reasons (asking people to submit to fMRI scans at airports is neither reasonable nor practical, and even EEG requires too much preparation to use as a general screen, considering how long lines get already). It's definitely not the difficulty of classification holding it back.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923981)

How big was the population you were classifying? Dozens? Hundreds? Is classification still going to be easy with no collisions or miss-classifications once you are working with hundreds of millions or billions? What about when the subject has a headache or otherwise has an altered mental state?

(To be fair, this technology probably wouldn't be used to classify (i.e. given a scan figure out who it is) but rather to verify (i.e. check that a scan matches a particular ID) which doesn't really care about collisions.)

health info? (1)

rastos1 (601318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921085)

Is it possible to perform the scan without collecting medical information about brain/heart? If no, then it seriously violates private character of my health information. What is the guarantee that the information will not leak (read: get sold on black market to insurance companies, potential employers, ...)? Final question: what do I gain from this? More taxpayer money wasted on security theater?

Re:health info? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922341)

The "features" that these machines are interested are likely to be ones considered irrelevant by physicians. I expect that the software in the scanner processes and compresses the data in such a way as to make it useless for medical purposes. This would be done to speed and simplify processing and storage, not to protect your privacy, of course.

"No Brain" scan? (1)

donig (1380139) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921135)

So, if they don't detect a brain, then clearly you must be from The Home Office?

Presumably it fails when (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921281)

You have a stroke or a heart bypass?

On the plus side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921429)

At least according to TFA they're planning to spend [i]only[/i] £15M on biometric stuff this year. Compared to the what, billions, being spent on the ID cards that maybe we aren't going to ever make compulsory anyway, this is a drop in the lake.

Thought Crime (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921431)

Convicted by no action of their own, just observation of a brain scan.

This has serious consequences. Anyone can observe an action. Only a few can read brain scans. We must trust those that can read brain scans that what they say about them are correct.

We can now be a criminal due to a technology so advanced that the defendant has no ability to defend himself. It is essentially guilt by decree from the gifted (aka royalty).
 

Re:Thought Crime (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922415)

> Convicted by no action of their own, just observation of a brain scan.

No more so than by a fingerprint.

> Only a few can read brain scans.

No one can read a brain scan. This is just a (proposed) identification system. It would no more tell anyone what you are thinking than does face recognition (which it probably work no better than).

Re:Thought Crime (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924281)

You'd do well to look up fMRI and lie detector [wired.com] . Because they are proposing using fMRIs as lie detectors based on localized brain activity.

Dear Brain Scanners: +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921499)

Scan this, [youtube.com]
Mo%^erfu&kers !!.

Yours In Socialism,
Kilgore Trout

Entertaining False Positives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921515)

I'd love to see the studies that back up using any sort of brain based metric for identification. It's an ever changing organ and the expectation that a persons signature won't change as they age will probably lead to a lot of senile octogenarians being assaulted. It's a whole new kind of entertainment for the business traveler.
   

US already uses this technology at the Capitol (2, Funny)

z80kid (711852) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921601)

We already use this technology to safeguard admittance to our nation's capitol building.

If brain activity is detected, then you are not a Senator.

Waste of money (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921847)

Even if it wirks. The reason is simple: If you do know the terrorists, you just pick them up and put them in prison. If you do not know them, no amounth of identification technology will help.

Quite obvious, I would think.

Blueprint for Global Enslavement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921969)

All the wonders of technology will not only "improve" our lives but it will facilitate our collective enrollment without our knowledge or consent and its already happening.

Brainscanning will be used in the Pre-Crime future and the funny thing about the future, we think its about tomorrow but unfortunately, the future is here

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1070329053600562261 [google.com]

Migraine == I'm screwed (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922009)

I've had migraines all my life and have had EEGs done to diagnose the cause. I've seen my EEGs when I have a migraine and when I don't have a migraine; they are substantially different. Looks like travel through the EU might be a bit dicey for me in the future.

Re:Migraine == I'm screwed (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922453)

Depends on whether or not they can identify features that vary from one individual to the next but not in the same individual over time. Seems unlikely, but I'm not a neurologist.

The next logical step... (1)

blakelarson (1486631) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922141)

Mood rings. What color is "terrorist?"

Europeans will miss George W Bush (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922319)

Between all the cameras and facial scanners at the UK, and now brain scanners and other intrusive surveillance techniques being instituted at the EU, one could see a future where historians note that George W Bush was actually rather a brake on the deployment of new "security" technology, as opposed to his trans-Atlantic counterparts.

Misleading Title (1)

Phoenixlol (1549649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922579)

"Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning after EU researchers successfully tested technology to verify Âidentities for security checks." - This is the only information in the whole article about the brain scans. mre info plz :(

Humans are to adaptable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27923199)

I have some brain issues where part of my brain do not communicate well with other parts, resulting in my losing track of whatâ(TM)s going on in the âoenowâ; brain goes into hyper activity mode of me trying to understand the situation.

I spent about a year doing training with brain monitors to learn how to calm my own brain activity. I can now consciously change alpha / delta states within various parts of my brain allowing me to calm things down. It like those monks who are doing their zen thing, I can shut things down and go into a zen state in about 5 minute and make the world go away. A side effect I can also change my blood pressure and heart rate, fun to do it while the doctor is trying to get a reading of your blood pressure.

What I am trying to point out is that I can alter my brain activity at will and can most likely mess up their whole brain patterns biometric scanning, I can change mine own brain activity at will.

Doing this anonymously because of the personal nature of my problem.

don't worry (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923869)

EU funded science projects rarely lead to useful results.

The Bright Side (1)

tomsomething (1553077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924333)

The positive thing about this is that people are trying to develop more reliable biometric technology. It could be argued that an ID card, passport, employee badge, credit card, wrist band, or door key is an item used to prove identity and entitlement. Biometrics are a form of identification that comes closer to proving that you _are_ who you're supposed to be, not just that you have what you're supposed to have. Now, I'm not saying that this kind of technology couldn't be used invasively, but there are potential benefits to our own security as well.

Solution (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924737)

People being sniffing spray paint at airports. :(

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