MALINTENT, the brainchild of the cutting-edge Human Factors division in Homeland Security’s directorate for Science and Technology, searches your body for non-verbal cues that predict whether you mean harm to your fellow passengers.
Sweet shit, are you kidding? The last time I was on a plane I meant harm to several of my fellow passengers: that big moth-ball smelling old dude who fell asleep on my shoulder, the screaming baby whose mother was too fried on no sleep to shut him up, and the bubbly flight attendant who wore way too much make-up and spoke with a severely exaggerated French accent. All of these people would have suffered my wrath if only I actually acted on those impulses.
Few people do, though (the ones who do are often labeled with any variety of psychosis, doncha know). I can only assume the DHS will be forcing planes to leave the tarmac with half-full cabins.
Air travel is stressful at the best of times, and most often made MORE stressful by these ad hoc and seemingly random security theatre measures. Chances are, you’re going to find a lot of passengers with a lot of ill will toward airport staff, fellow travellers, and even god and Jesus themselves. The claim is that this machine can differentiate between a terrorist and a harried traveler. Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.