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

  • Marcus HolmesEmail author


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.


Behavior detection Cost-benefit analysis TSA DHS Intentions Mind-reading 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityDepartment of Political ScienceColumbusUSA

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