The General Accounting Administration has criticized the TSA’s “Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques” (SPOT) program, designed to help catch terrorists by detecting suspicious behavior, as a waste of money that does nothing to enhance security.
The GAO said TSA tests of the program were flawed, and decades of published research on behavior detection “also draw into question the scientific underpinnings” of the program. Those studies show that the ability of trained observers to detect deceptive behavior is “the same as or slightly better than chance.”
In response, TSA notes:
Behavior detection techniques have been an accepted practice for many years within the law enforcement, customs and border enforcement, defense, and security communities both in the United States and internationally,”
Yeah, guys, that’s not a defense, that’s the problem.