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22 AUGUST 2011

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Article from BTNews 22 AUGUST 2011

US security measures

Boston (Logan) Airport has been chosen by the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) for a new security development.  Essentially copying a security system developed by the Israelis over the years it will be on trail for 60 days.  Called ‘chat downs’ all passengers are being asked a series of questions by a Behaviour Detection Officer (BDO) as they have their identification verified at a checkpoint.

The type of interview has proved to be remarkably effective not only at Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv but also at outstations where the Israelis have been allowed to position staff.  In essence it involves a brief conversation with a specially trained agent taught to notice unsatisfactory physical cues or answers to questions during the dialogue. 

According to the TSA, the analysis helps to determine if a passenger should go through additional screening at the security checkpoint and identifies “potentially high-risk travellers.”

However, looking nervous and averting eye contact are not considered to be giveaway signs, says the TSA, who are reticent on giving away details of the project.

Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, tried to halt the implementation of the trial saying it lacked “scientific validation”. www.tsa.gov

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