A monitoring analyst for the Aviation Security Services, reached the end of his shift when he heard the alarm. He looked at the screen. The alarm, a persistent ringtone, reminded him of a scanner beep at his supermarket checkout. He took pride in screening travelers passing through Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand.
He was tired and daydreaming, his chin touching his chest. He was planning the approaching weekend. The tepid remains of coffee sat at the bottom of a mug next to his keyboard. His supervisors ignored the rule about keeping liquids at a safe distance from electronics. It was important for operators to stay awake. Keyboards were easy to replace.
Knuckling his eyes, he’d been staring at the bank of television screens, eleven large LED displays streaming video images of deplaning passengers. Do they know they’re on TV? he wondered. Monitor number seven caused the alarm. He turned off the ringtone and looked at the monitor. The screen was in frame freeze, displaying a man's face.
The analyst adjusted the toggle and zoomed in. There was nothing remarkable about the face. He keyed a program and waited. There’s nothing on the no-fly list. Why was the image captured by the software program designed for facial recognition? He thought.
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