View Full Version : Does your face mimic one of these mug shots?

04-29-2007, 07:20 AM
When arriving at the airport to take your flight, does your face mimic this young lady's?


If so, you may very well be detained by TSA, and prevented from boarding your flight.

According to the New York Times, these photos illustrate what the TSA will now regard as suspicious behavior.

These are the six faces of the terrorist.

Now we must be careful not to wrinkle our noses, press our lips together, raise our upper eyelids, or Heaven forbid thrust forward our jaws.

Apparently TSA, taking a cue from some of Europe's and Israel's airlines, are instructing their security personnel to finally pay attention to the people going through security, instead of just looking at their belongings. The only problem is that they've apparently oversimplified the procedures and undertrained the security agents.

In Boston, it turns out, they've been teaching the police located at Logan International the same thing, by the same company, New Age Security Solutions, with mixed results at best. This past summer the techniques being taught produced at least one lawsuit, filed in Boston. It turns out a state policeman took on the wrong target. An MA state policeman (Again, this incident was not caused by TSA, but by MA State Police, who are being trained through a program indentical to TSA.) stationed at Logan Airport picked out, based on his behavior observations, the national coordinator of the American Civil Liberties Union's Campaign Against Racial Profiling. According to the New York Times report, the coordinator, King Downing, who is black, had just left a flight when he stopped to make a phone call, and noticed that a police officer was listening in, the lawsuit says. When the call ended, the officer demanded Downing's identification, asking again as he approached a taxi and then telling him he would be "going downtown" unless he provided it. Downing was let go after he showed his identification, but the encounter led to the lawsuit. Was it racial profiling? Did the Police officer's actions make sense in light of what he observed? Time and a judge and jury will tell.

What they're learning is Behavior Pattern Recognition (BPR). BPR is a system for observing people, their clothing, and mannerisms, identifying suspicious behaviors, and mounting an appropriate response.

Training in BPR aims to give people objective ways of evaluating behavior and identifying what is suspicious. It is a methodology for identifying suspicious people that you want to pay more attention to.

There are two levels of training used. First there is an employee awareness program, to build observational skills for detecting suspicious behavior that might be relevant to detecting terrorist behaviors. The techniques include observations of obvious behaviors such as sweating and other signs of nervousness and looking for behaviors which are quite different than those of typical airline passengers. The next level of training specific to security officers includes interviewing techniques called targeted conversation.

The problem is that security personnel at EL AL, from which these techniques have generally been copied are far better trained and supervised. In fact, BPR is only part of training at EL AL security, not the whole thing. In addition, EL AL security personnel are routinely and regularly evaluated on the job. At this point, there is nothing to suggest that TSA personnel are being well supervised, or regularly evaluated as to their performance using these techniques. Geez, to the casual observer, me, considering the incredible differences in TSA behavior in airports across the county, and the huge differences in their own rules' interpretations across the country, and their deliberate misinformation and misinterpretation of rules in many airports, it's hard to believe there's much of any kind of supervision of TSA employees anywhere.

TSA administrator Kip Hawley has consistently refused to provide any details about the administrative details of the training, supervision, and evaluation of the program. I can readily understand TSA not wanting to detail the training, as that would help a terrorist understand what and how the techniques being taught are all about, but how is the public to evaluate whether or not the program makes sense, is effective, and is not "overkill," if TSA won't disclose information about program supervision and evaluation. I am really tired of all this unnecesary secrecy. It's only designed to protect governmental butts, not the general public.

04-29-2007, 07:42 AM
I would say that at any given time I probably express all of the above at some point when I'm traveling. I suppose just wearing a ski mask during check in, security clearance and boarding is not an option...:cool:

04-29-2007, 08:21 AM
Not even if the polar express is blowing through the airport. ;)

I would say that at any given time I probably express all of the above at some point when I'm traveling. I suppose just wearing a ski mask during check in, security clearance and boarding is not an option...:cool:

04-30-2007, 03:12 PM
Flying when sad will soon be illegal! The last flight I took was due to a death in the family and I'm sure I didn't look happy. I guess I was lucky that they didn't detain me. More proziac here please so I can fly again. :p

04-30-2007, 09:01 PM
Gee, I look like sadness with eyebrows up. Ok, sometimes like "with lip corners down' but that all depends on how large a dose of Ridilen I have taken.