Normal Topic New DOD polygraph Machine - RPA (Read 1449 times)
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New DOD polygraph Machine - RPA
Jun 16th, 2006 at 8:45pm
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To all concerned;

It appears our friends at DOD are attempting to request bids on a new machine called Remote Personnel Assessment (RPA). And are soliciting designs and bids.

Interesting read.

Link follows:

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18925335.800

Text:

THE US Department of Defense has revealed plans to develop a lie detector that can be used without the subject knowing they are being assessed. The Remote Personnel Assessment (RPA) device will also be used to pinpoint fighters hiding in a combat zone, or even to spot signs of stress that might mark someone out as a terrorist or suicide bomber.

In a call for proposals on a DoD website, contractors are being given until 13 January to suggest ways to develop the RPA, which will use microwave or laser beams reflected off a subject's skin to assess various physiological parameters without the need for wires or skin contacts. The device will train a beam on "moving and non-cooperative subjects", the DoD proposal says, and use the reflected signal to calculate their pulse, respiration rate and changes in electrical conductance, known as the "galvanic skin response". "Active combatants will in general have heart, respiratory and galvanic skin responses that are outside the norm," the website says.

Because these parameters are the same as those assessed by a polygraph lie detector, the DoD claims the RPA will also indicate the subject's psychological state: if they are agitated or stressed because they are lying, for example. So it will be used as a "remote or concealed lie detector during prisoner interrogation".

But finding ways to fulfil the DoD's brief will pose a practical challenge, says Robert Prance, an electrical engineer at the University of Sussex, UK, who specialises in non-invasive sensors. "They might capture breathing rate with an infrared laser that senses chest vibration, but how they will measure a pulse through clothes, for instance, is a very big question."

“The device will be used as a concealed lie detector during interrogation”If the RPA is ever produced, it is likely to prove controversial. A remote lie detector would face even more difficulties than standard polygraph tests, which were themselves the subject of a damning 2003 report from the US National Academy of Sciences. "There is no way a polygraph test can be carried out usefully without the subject knowing, because you actually want the person to worry about certain questions," says Bruce Burgess, an examiner with polygraph firm Distress Services of Leatherhead, Surrey, UK.

But Steve Wright, a conflict analyst at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, raises the prospect of people identified as suspects by the device being captured and subjected to secret "prisoner rendition" as a result. And he warns that the RPA could introduce a "chill factor" into everyday life.

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Re: New DOD polygraph Machine - RPA
Reply #1 - Jun 17th, 2006 at 3:59am
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Most likely to be just another psychological intimidation tactic.  I can see the signs now "This area monitored by CCTV and RPA."  All in an attempt to scare a believing reader into submission
  
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Re: New DOD polygraph Machine - RPA
Reply #2 - Jun 17th, 2006 at 6:06am
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FBI-Reject,

I did find the article most humorous, I think someone at DOD, has been watching Star Trek, one too many times, and thinks they can have a machine that can scan like a tricorder or the computer on the Enterprise.  Someone needs to be beamed up and out of there. I think this one is not even in the realm of possibility. But it does make good fodder for SCI FI fans.

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New DOD polygraph Machine - RPA

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