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The system, dubbed FAST – or Future Attribute Screening Technology – was just an idea in 2007 and is now already in operation, according to the June 2010 document. FAST collected or retained information on unspecified members of the public in at least one field test conducted in an undisclosed location in the Northeast. A limited trial was also conducted with DHS employees.
The Justice Department is also using a System to Assess Risk (STAR) data-mining program that will let a user enter the names of terrorist suspects into a computer and calculate, based on 35 factors, how likely each person is to be a terrorist threat. According to Wired, STAR makes use of "a massive database of public records ranging from fishing licenses to bankruptcy proceedings. That system is owned by LexisNexis."
A team of world-leading neuroscientists has developed a powerful technique that allows them to look deep inside a person's brain and read their intentions before they act.
"Using the scanner, we could look around the brain for this information and read out something that from the outside there's no way you could possibly tell is in there. It's like shining a torch around, looking for writing on a wall," said John-Dylan Haynes at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany, who led the study with colleagues at University College London and Oxford University.
The use of brain scanners to judge whether people are likely to commit crimes is a contentious issue that society should tackle now, according to Prof Haynes. "We see the danger that this might become compulsory one day, but we have to be aware that if we prohibit it, we are also denying people who aren't going to commit any crime the possibility of proving their innocence."