TSA seeks technology to round up the usual suspects

The Homeland Security Department's Transportation Security Administration has asked industry to suggest technologies for detecting suspicious behavior.

TSA issued a request for information (RFI) Aug. 1 describing the types of technology it is interested in to tell whether travelers are acting suspiciously. Replies were due Aug. 28.

The agency's information request specified various aspects of the technology that TSA seeks to develop for detecting suspicious behavior. The agency stated that it has not yet decided whether to issue a request for proposals for the technology.

According to the RFI, desirable technologies for detecting suspicious behavior would have the following characteristics:
  • Useful for tracking travelers or employees in airports, train stations and bus terminals

  • Noninvasive, remote, covert, passive, automatic and suitable for area as well as portal use and

  • Potential sensing of physiological response or overt behavior associated with malicious intent.

  • The agency asked respondents to specify how technologies would function in theory and in operation, how quickly they would work, how reliable they would be, how much training their users would require, potential costs and resistance to countermeasures.

    TSA calls the project 'Technologies for Detecting Suspicious Behavior.' The market consulting firm Input Inc. of Reston, Va., forecast that the government may issue a proposal request this month.

    "The R&D group at the TSA lab is constantly seeking new technologies to assist TSA in providing state of the art technology to protect the American people," the agency said in a statement to GCN. "The RFI that was posted on Fed Biz Ops is a broad request for information to the private sector for the latest research and technology under development. It is a request for information and with no guarantee that a contract or grant will be pursued."

    Originally posted Oct. 5; updated Oct. 12 at 12:17 p.m.

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