The Stanford School of Engineering has a monthly Ask the Expert series wherein a question is posed to a member of the engineering faculty. This month, the expert faculty is Professor Krishna Shenoy, and he is asked "Can we read thoughts, and are there ones we shouldn't". As Krishna responds, to a limited extent, the answer to that question is yes, enough that neuroethicists and neurobiologists are actively contemplating the future of those abilities. He goes on to describe the basics of his research, as well as research being done by Stanford Professor Bill Newsome. Krishna concludes by discussing the implications of recent advances in neuroimaging and interfaces between brains and machines.
Krishna's thoughtful response is easily readable both by neuroscientists familiar with the topic and by general members of the public. As such, it is well worth reading, and can be viewed over at the Stanford School of Engineering website.