Israeli Airport Security Methods More Effective and Less Intrusive Than TSA Body Scans and Groping
The government may need to take a lesson from the Israelis on airport security. The new security check techniques are downright embarrassing and uncomfortable, causing people to lodge lawsuits against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and it's only going to get worse with the approaching holiday season.
View pictures of embarrassing pat downs at the Denver International Airport. Wouldn't you feel awkward too?
Of course Americans want to be safe, but aren't there less-intrusive security techniques that would be just as effective?
The Israelis have come up with some of the world's most innovative airport security technologies and guess what - they're both effective and non-intrusive! And they don't give Muslim women in burqas an exemption in the name of political correctness.
Rafi Sela, a top security consultant and former chief security officer at the Israel Airport Authority, advises governments and airport authorities all over the world. Below are some of the security measures his company AR Challenges has developed:
Suspect Detection System - Tracing the sweat of terror
Suspect Detection System (SDS) is an automated interrogation and background check technology for both travelers and airport employees. It's like a polygraph machine for catching terrorists - an advanced and automated filtering tool that can identify potential suspects from among tens of thousands of people.
With human selectors and security personnel there is always the danger of introducing human error into the security check. But SDS's VR-1000 has been built with the assumption that very sophisticated terrorists may not be on the wanted lists of Interpol police or Homeland Security.
The technology works like a lie detector to monitor the psychological and physiological fear of a terror suspect and to assuage Americans' fears of being "profiled." The test works like a robot, searching for cues that only terror suspects are likely to radiate.
WeCU - Here's looking at you
WeCU aims to blend high-tech with psychology. It presents symbols and images that only certain terror operatives will "see." Imagine suddenly seeing a picture of your mother projected on an airport wall. That's the idea behind WeCU, which collects unusual responses to its images to trace and foil suspects.While Sela likes the idea, he foresees that some governments, such as Canada's, may take issue with this particular technology that smacks of 'Big Brother.' "This company has an algorithm that in some countries would be viewed as an invasion of privacy - Canada will never install it. I've told Canada that you can't do security with political correctness. As long as you are doing it without a real plan, it will never work."
If one could combine SDS with WeCU, this approach of profiling terrorists wouldn't be so bluntly viewed as an invasion, suggests Sela.
MagShoe - Keep your shoes on
While numerous Israeli airport security technologies in use around the world are undetectable to the naked eye, many American travelers are already familiar with MagShoe. Instead of the sometimes embarrassing and always inconvenient procedure of removing one's shoes for airport security checks, the Israeli-made MagShoe lets travelers simply step up to be checked. The device needs only a few seconds to scan for concealed weapons.
If use of TraceGuard's system becomes widespread, the MagShoe will become obsolete, says Sela. But MagShoe is still very effective for tracing objects hidden around the ankle area. Find it beside scanners and x-ray machines across America.
Vigilant - Sleeping with one eye open
Vigilant's surveillance systems stay awake even if security personnel fall asleep. The Tel Aviv-based company, working with the Pelco company in California, has high-end installations already in place at various US locations including the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, and the Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah.
The intelligent digital monitoring system improves crime and terror prevention, not only in airports but also on American streets, like in Manhattan for example, one of dozens of locations that's hooked up to Vigilant's digital monitoring system. The company's Video Surveillance Center is a fully digital management solution that provides a surveillance wall. It's a turnkey solution for any surveillance center, airports included, that also includes a video motion detector.
ACRO-P.E.T. - Looks like a pen, sniffs out TATP
If the stewards on-board the recently foiled terror attack en route to Detroit had had this device, security ground personnel would have been better prepared for their task-at-hand, explains Prof. Ehud Keinan from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. In partnership with American researchers, the professor has developed a pen-like device that "sniffs" out TATP, a main component in explosive detonators, used in terror attacks in Israel, and a compound made famous by the shoe bomber.
Costing about $25 per "pen" and now sold through the Israeli company Acro Security, the ACRO-P.E.T. pen (Peroxide Explosives Tester) is one of a number of new chemical-based technologies that work to foil terrorists at airports, before they board an aircraft; and also to investigate suspicious cases and behavior while in flight.