Government Using 'Brain' Scans on Terrorists?

ByABC News
June 29, 2006, 1:48 PM

June 29, 2006 -- -- The American Civil Liberties Union has filed Freedom of Information Act requests to get details on the possible use of "brain scanning" technology during terrorist interrogations by the U.S. government.

In a press release, the group alleges that the most likely technology to be used -- functional magnetic resonance imaging -- produces real-time images of the subject's brain during questioning, including images and sound.

The group goes on to say that two companies are already marketing their "lie detector" services to the federal government beginning this summer, despite the ACLU's assertion that experts don't believe the technology is reliable.

"There are certain things that have such powerful implications for our society -- and for humanity at large -- that we have a right to know how they are being used so that we can grapple with them as a democratic society," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's technology and liberty project, in the release. "These brain-scanning technologies are far from ready for forensic uses, and if deployed, will inevitably be misused and misunderstood."

The FOIA requests were filed Tuesday with the Pentagon, the National Security Agency, the CIA, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

No one from the ACLU was immediately available for comment.