News broke during the last week of September 2008 that the Department of Homeland Security has begun testing a new mind-reading device. According to the Department’s website, the Human Factors Directorate of Science and Technology has been working on Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST).

Although design specifics have not been made public, the MALINTENT prototype is a device that rapidly and remotely measures subjects’ body temperature, heart rate, and respiration. MALINTENT then compares these measurements with a matrix of physiological norms to generate conclusions about each subject’s future dangerousness. MALINTENT’s designers and proponents believe that this new technology will reliably distinguish perspiring perambulators and fearful flyers from true terrorists. These claims are difficult to assess because the results of the only publically disclosed tests of MALINTENT were subsequently classified.