SPOT, the TSA's billion dollar "behavioral detection" mind-reading program, is now apparently in use at Walt Disney World, Seaworld and other Florida attractions.
Orlando TSA officers trained 400 local cops and security for area attractions in the system, which teaches its practitioners to look for "a bobbing adam's apple," "trembling," "yawning," "excessive throat clearing," "improper attire," "gazing down," and "wide open staring eyes," as well as "being in disguise" as signs of potential terrorism.
The GAO and independent scientists who've audited SPOT say it performs no better than a coin-toss at catching terrorists. What it does brilliantly, though, is provide pseudoscientific cover for racial profiling.
In this regard, it's a great adjunct to Disney World's existing security theater, which includes a perfunctory, insulting bag-search that provides an excuse for further racial profiling.
A representative for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, which are owned by the same company, declined to comment. TSA, in response to The Intercept’s query, provided the following statement: “The Behavior Detection and Analysis (BDA) program is designed to detect individuals who exhibit anomalous behaviors indicating they fear discovery and may pose a risk to aviation security. The program was created by TSA, using behavior analysis techniques that have been successfully employed by law enforcement and security personnel both in the U.S. and internationally. No single behavior alone will cause a traveler to be referred to additional screening or will result in a call to a law enforcement officer (LEO).”
TSA Trained Disney, SeaWorld to SPOT Terrorists [Jana Winter/The Intercept]