This is no polygraph, Barrie says. Subjects do not get hooked up or strapped down for a careful reading. The machine is "like an X-ray for bad intentions," with its "series of sensors and imagers that read your body temperature, heart rate and respiration for unconscious tells invisible to the naked eye -- signals terrorists and criminals may display in advance of an attack."
MALINTENT' has been described as the "brainchild of the cutting-edge Human Factors Division in Homeland Security's directorate for Science and Technology." It apparently uses facial scanners and body scanners, referred to as Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST). By reading the expression on one's face and comparing that expression to other faces on a database, computers can presumably read one's mood and mental intentions.
The homepage for the DHS Directorate of Science and Technology may be found here:
An organizational overview of their Human Factors and Behavioral Sciences Division may be found at this link:http://www.dhs.gov/xres/programs/gc_1218480185439.shtm
There one finds the following DHS description of the program dubbed "MALINTENT":
Homeland Innovation Prototypical Solutions - Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) Project
Project Manager: Bob Burns
Project Overview: The Homeland Security Advanced Research Project Agency (HSARPA) and S&T Directorate Human Factors Behavior Sciences (HFBS) Division Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) Project is an initiative to develop innovative, non-invasive technologies to screen people at security checkpoints. FAST is grounded in research on human behavior and psychophysiology, focusing on new advances in behavioral/human-centered screening techniques. The aim is a prototypical mobile suite (FAST M2) that would be used to increase the accuracy and validity of identifying persons with malintent (the intent or desire to cause harm). Identified individuals would then be directed to secondary screening, which would be conducted by authorized personnel. This project is part of the HFBS innovations portfolio (Homeland Security Advanced Research Project Agency Program).
No description or photo of the scanner is provided. However, we do have an image of analysts using the system, taken from the UK Daily Mail article cited above:
The DHS website offers an abundance of additional information on similar "mind reading" projects, lumped under the general heading of Hostile Intent Detection. For example:
Hostile Intent Detection – Training & Simulation Project
Project Manager: Larry Willis
Project Overview: The S&T Directorate Human Factors Behavior Sciences (HFBS) Division Hostile Intent Detection – Training and Simulation Project develops computer-based simulation to train behavior-based stand-off detection for future hostile intent using indicators from the interactive screening environment (Hostile Intent Detection – Automated Prototype) and the observational environment (Hostile Intent Detection – Validation) to support screening and interviewing interactions at air, land, and maritime portals. This project is part of the HFBS social behavioral threat analysis thrust area and suspicious behavior detection program.
Translation: DHS is funding several programs, just like MALINTENT, aimed at reading the mental intentions of individuals whose behavior is deemed "suspicious."
For further reference, see the MALINTENT Wikipedia article at this link: