STUDENT ARTICLE: YOUR THOUGHTS MAY DECEIVE YOU: THE CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF BRAIN FINGERPRINTING TECHNOLOGY AND HOW IT MAY BE USED TO SECURE OUR SKIES Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2006 Law and Psychology Review
Law and Psychology Review

STUDENT ARTICLE: YOUR THOUGHTS MAY DECEIVE YOU: THE CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF BRAIN FINGERPRINTING TECHNOLOGY AND HOW IT MAY BE USED TO SECURE OUR SKIES

Spring, 2006

30 Law & Psychol. Rev. 171

Author

Brian McCormick *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Despite the current controversies over the broad powers given to the United States government under the USA PATRIOT Act, 1 some critics continue to call for increased security measures to combat terrorist activities. 2 Brain fingerprinting technology, the latest proposed weapon in the "war on terror," has been touted by its creator as "an accurate, economical and timely solution to the central problem in the fight against terrorism." 3 According to its supporters, this technology, which was developed by Dr. Lawrence A. Farwell, a former research associate at Harvard University and the current Chairman and Chief Scientist of Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories, Inc., 4 measures electrical brain activity to determine whether or not specific information is stored in a person's memory. 5 Proponents of the technology maintain that brain fingerprinting could provide an infallible method of identifying terrorists before they strike. 6 Despite this possibility, many critics remain skeptical. 7 This Note will explore the science behind brain fingerprinting technology, one proposed counterterrorism application intended to prevent further 9/11-style attacks, and the constitutional hurdles that could keep this technology from being utilized in the "war on terror."

II. BRAIN FINGERPRINTING

A. The Development of Brain Fingerprinting Technology

The processes used in brain fingerprinting are anchored in electroencephalograph (EEG) brainwave recording technology. 8 This technology, which was originally developed by Austrian psychiatrist Hans Berger in the late 1920s, uses electrodes placed on the scalp to register and record the electrical impulses created by ...
 
 
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