, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 361-374
Date: 15 Jun 2011

National security behavioral detection: a typography of strategies, costs, and benefits

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Scholars of transportation and homeland security have begun to assess the relative costs and benefits of specific national security programs. Two programs that have generated significant attention in both popular media and scholarly literature are the Department of Homeland Security’s “Future Attribute Screening Technology” (FAST) and Transportation Security Administration’s “Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques” (SPOT). Both of these programs utilize behavioral detection techniques to assess risk by reading the intentions of individuals. This article makes two contributions to this debate. First, it delineates the various strategies of behavioral detection that are often conflated and presents a structure of approaches, reviewing the respective literatures on each to understand the effectiveness and drawbacks of each strategy. Second, to the extent that we have sufficient knowledge about each strategy in the public realm, the article assesses the benefits, both current and potential, of each of the strategies and provides a general sense of the value of behavioral detection.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12198-011-0079-y