End the Lie

Companies partner to forward ‘commercial-scale integration’ of intention scanning technology

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Cogito4M - Mobile System enables Cogito to be employed whenever and wherever it is needed. The mobile functionality allows interrogations to take place in central and remote locations alike (Image credit: Suspect Detection Systems, Inc.)

Cogito4M – Mobile System enables Cogito to be employed whenever and wherever it is needed. The mobile functionality allows interrogations to take place in central and remote locations alike (Image credit: Suspect Detection Systems, Inc.)

Suspect Detection Systems, the company behind Cogito intention scanning technology, also known as malicious intent (or malintent) detection technology, announced on Dec. 18 that they would be partnering with SDB Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based company, in order to market and distribute their products to U.S. law enforcement agencies.

This same type of technology is also marketed as “threat assessment” technology which, supposedly, analyzes individuals for behaviors which indicate potential terrorist activity or intent to commit some kind of criminal act.

However, as I have shown in the past, just about everything imaginable can be considered an indicator of potential terrorist activity including most bodily movements.

Thus, when systems are programmed according to the indicators provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) among others like state law enforcement and the military, most people could be flagged by the systems.

Yet the companies behind such technology continue to pretend that it is some kind of incredibly accurate practice through clever marketing practices and unsubstantiated claims.

The technology is nothing new, although most likely are completely unaware of its existence. Indeed, the technology has even been covered by mainstream broadcast news networks, although in a characteristically uncritical manner:

Interestingly, as the above clip reveals, the system has been tested in Israel and was developed in part by a former Mossad agent.

In the case of Cogito, they claim it “utilizes two sophisticated layers to detect a potential terror or criminal suspect at a point of entry, such as an airport, transportation terminal or border crossing,” according to Government Security News Magazine.

“First, potential suspects are rapidly identified among a crowd using a remote ‘intention scanning’ technology,” the article, which is likely just a press release, continues. “Suspects flagged by remote identification are then questioned by an automated interrogation system that can accurately identify whether the suspect intends to commit an act of crime or terror, or has ties to a criminal organization.”

Such “automated interrogation” systems are already being tested at border crossings in the United States.

The automated interrogation is then followed up by additional law enforcement action.

According to the Government Security News Magazine article, it is not just law enforcement agencies utilizing this technology to supposedly detect intent to commit a crime or to “determine a suspect’s association to a particular criminal action or organization.”

“Private sector security companies similarly utilize Cogito to detect intent to harm an employer’s interests, among employees, management or job applicants,” the article states.

“Suspect Detection Systems products bridge a gap because they discover the intent of a person or persons,” said Stephen Bryen, CEO of SDB Partners.

However, such methods are inconsistent at best and misleading at worst. The fact that biometric indicators vary widely from person to person is far too often ignored by proponents of such technology.

“Until now, screeners either had to find something incriminating, or have advanced knowledge through intelligence gathering of a potential threat,” said Bryen, pointing out that probable cause could increasingly be eliminated from the equation thanks to technology like Cogito.

“While screeners at airports and border crossings can ask questions of suspects they face two problems: they are guessing whether they really have a genuine suspect, often guessing wrongly; and accurately judging suspect responses is very difficult if not impossible. That is where Suspect Detection Systems has invented a hugely important gap filler,” claimed Bryen.

“We believe there are many applications for Cogito Technology and look forward to distributing this easy-to-implement, multi-layered security system in the United States,” said Bryen.

“Suspect Detection Systems has identified a partner with the experience and know-how to market and distribute proven security technologies in the United States, the nation that understands the role of technology in advancing Homeland Security,” said CEO of Suspect Detection Systems Gil Boosidan.

“We are confident that our alliance with SDB Partners has significant potential to lead to the commercial-scale integration of Cogito Technology in the United States — realizing a major goal of our company,” added Boosidan.

How exactly will this technology be implemented and where? Will it be relied on as heavily as the companies selling it would obviously like? Is this technology acceptable and accurate? Can it hold up under legal scrutiny?

All of these questions and more will have to be addressed as they work towards the “commercial-scale integration” of Cogito and other similar systems.

Let us know what you think in the comments section of this post.

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11 Responses to Companies partner to forward ‘commercial-scale integration’ of intention scanning technology

  1. Whaat December 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    This is straight out of minority report!!!! Unbelievable!!!

    Reply
  2. Nora December 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Holy crap, batman. What’s the sentence for pre-crime, pre-time?

    Reply
    • Anonymous December 19, 2012 at 6:47 PM

      indefinite detention

      Reply
  3. Anonymous December 19, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    this is just scary

    Reply
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