This is the day on which we try to heal. It is very, very hard. Evidence of that, perhaps, comes from a story out of Britain. European aerospace companies, including the plane manufacturer Airbus, are at work on a scheme to make planes so secure that they wouldn’t be worth a hijacker’s trouble. If you smuggle an explosive through security, you’ll encounter bomb sniffers as you get on the plane. If you kill the pilots and try to take over the controls, you’ll find you can’t–they only work if you pass an iris scan. Point a gun at the pilot’s head and order him to crash the plane, and you’ll be stopped by a crash-avoidance system that not even the crew can override. (You can read text of the story HERE. The European consortium working on this, known as SAFEE, has a website HERE.) Most ambitious–and most likely to raise some argument: the Europeans are working on a passenger surveillance system. They’d sprinkle the cabin with cameras and microphones. The cameras would be linked to a computer system. The computer could tell if someone jumps to their feet while the seatbelt sign is on…or if someone is rushing toward the cockpit door…or even, conceivably, if someone is sitting nervously, looking like they’re about to do something evil. (Picture from a SAFEE simulation shows a passenger, spotted by automatic surveillance system as he gets up during flight. Picture provided by SAFEE.) The people I reached at BAE Systems in Britain today insist such a system would not violate people’s basic privacy. “The data wouldn’t be analyzed by humans,” said Catherine Neary of BAE, “it would analyzed by computer, and the data wouldn’t be stored.” But the problem with all such surveillance ideas is one of context. Let’s say you’re a dark-haired, muscular guy in seat 7B, and a very sophisticated computer system decides you look nervous. Are you actually nervous? Let’s say you are. Is it because you’re part of a plot, or because flying makes you uneasy? BAE says all the software would do in such a case is "trigger a low-level alert." Perhaps the flight attendants would keep an eye on you. Is that okay with you? Many of us would say yes–if I’ve done nothing wrong, I have nothing to hide. But what if you were planning to write your wife an anniversary love-letter before you landed? As always, I’m interested in your thoughts. Please click below.