Posts tagged pre-crime
By Susanne Posel
August 9, 2012
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor for New York and Raymond Kelly, police commissioner, are collaborating with Microsoft to create pre-crime and counterterrorism technology to aid federal intelligence and local law enforcement agencies domestic and international.
The Domain Awareness System (DAS) will be a very sophisticated software technology that aggregates and analyzes public information in real time that will produce comprehensive reports to be used by NYPD to ascertain potential threats and pre-crime activity.
By utilizing smart cameras and license plate readers, combined with Microsoft technologies NYPD personnel can search suspects, allegedly suspicious packages, and any other information at their disposal to control possible criminal action in NY.
Uploaded by GlobalResearchTV on Feb 18, 2012
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation posted a Request for Information last month calling on IT companies to demonstrate their ability to design software for monitoring, mapping and analyzing social media.
Find out more about the history of government spying and propaganda through social media on this week’s edition of Behind the Headlines.
An internal U.S. Department of Homeland Security document indicates that a controversial program designed to predict whether a person will commit a crime is already being tested on some members of the public voluntarily, CNET has learned.
If this sounds a bit like the Tom Cruise movie called “Minority Report,” or the CBS drama “Person of Interest,” it is. But where “Minority Report” author Philip K. Dick enlisted psychics to predict crimes, DHS is betting on algorithms: it’s building a “prototype screening facility” that it hopes will use factors such as ethnicity, gender, breathing, and heart rate to “detect cues indicative of mal-intent.”
The latest developments, which reveal efforts to “collect, process, or retain information on” members of “the public,” came to light through an internal DHS document obtained under open-government laws by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. DHS calls its “pre-crime” system Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST.
“If it were deployed against the public, it would be very problematic,” says Ginger McCall, open government counsel at EPIC, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C.
It’s unclear why the June 2010 DHS document (PDF) specified that information is currently collected or retained on members of “the public” as part of FAST, and a department representative declined to answer questions that CNET posed two days ago.
Elsewhere in the document, FAST program manager Robert Middleton Jr. refers to a “limited” initial trial using DHS employees as test subjects. Middleton says that FAST “sensors will non-intrusively collect video images, audio recordings, and psychophysiological measurements from the employees,” with a subgroup of employees singled out, with their permission, for more rigorous evaluation.
Peter Boogaard, the deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, provided a statement to CNET that said:
The department’s Science and Technology Directorate has conducted preliminary research in operational settings to determine the feasibility of using non-invasive physiological and behavioral sensor technology and observational techniques to detect signs of stress, which are often associated with intent to do harm. The FAST program is only in the preliminary stages of research and there are no plans for acquiring or deploying this type of technology at this time.
FAST is designed to track and monitor, among other inputs, body movements, voice pitch changes, prosody changes (alterations in the rhythm and intonation of speech), eye movements, body heat changes, and breathing patterns. Occupation and age are also considered. A government source told CNET that blink rate and pupil variation are measured too.
A field test of FAST has been conducted in at least one undisclosed location in the northeast. “It is not an airport, but it is a large venue that is a suitable substitute for an operational setting,” DHS spokesman John Verrico told Nature.com in May.
Although DHS has publicly suggested that FAST could be used at airport checkpoints–the Transportation Security Administration is part of the department, after all–the government appears to have grander ambitions. One internal DHS document (PDF) also obtained by EPIC through the Freedom of Information Act says a mobile version of FAST “could be used at security checkpoints such as border crossings or at large public events such as sporting events or conventions.”
It also says that the next field trial of FAST will involve members of the public who “have food service experience” and are paid “to work at a one day VIP event.” Most of the document is redacted, but each person is apparently told to act normally or to do something demonstrating “mal-intent,” such as being told to smuggle a recording device into the VIP event. The trick, then, is to see if FAST can detect which is which.
It’s not clear whether these people were informed that they’re participating in a FAST study.
McCall, the EPIC attorney who has been pressing the department to obtain these internal documents, said it’s time for the DHS Privacy Office to review the current state of the FAST project. What appears to be the most recent privacy analysis (PDF) was completed in December 2008 and contemplates using “volunteer participants” who have given their “informed consent.”
“They should do a privacy impact assessment,” McCall said.
DHS is being unusually secretive about FAST. A February 2010 contract (PDF) with Cambridge, Mass.-based Draper Laboratory to build elements of the “pre-crime” system has every dollar figure blacked out (a fleeting reference to an “infrared camera” remained).
Relying on ambiguous biological factors to predict mal-intent is worrisome, says McCall. “Especially if they’re going to be rolling this out at the airport. I don’t know about you, but going to an airport gives me a minor panic attack, wondering if I’m going to get groped by a TSA officer.”
Update 2:12 p.m. PT: A Homeland Security spokesman has just provided this additional statement to CNET: “The FAST program is entirely voluntary and does not store any personally-identifiable information (PII) from participants once the experiment is completed. The system is not designed to capture or store PII. Any information that is gathered is stored under an anonymous identifier and is only available to DHS as aggregated performance data. It is only used for laboratory protocol as we are doing research and development. It is gathered when people sign up as volunteers, not by the FAST system. If it were ever to be deployed, there would be no PII captured from people going through the system.” (The DHS Privacy Office has said that the system does contain personally-identifiable information and that FAST “is a privacy sensitive system.” DHS defines a privacy sensitive system as “any system that collects, uses, disseminates, or maintains” personally-identifiable information.)
Big Brother 2.0: 10 New Ways That The Government Will Be Spying On You And Controlling Your Behavior2
Are you ready for Big Brother 2.0? If you think that the hundreds of ways that the government watches, monitors, tracks and controls us now are bad, just wait until you see what is coming. We live in an age when paranoia is running wild. As technology continues to develop at an exponential pace, governments all over the globe are going to discover a multitude of new ways to spy on us and control our behavior. In a world where everyone is a “potential terrorist”, we are told that things like liberty, freedom and privacy are “luxuries” that we can no longer afford. We are assured that if we just allow the government to watch all of us and investigate all of us that somehow that will keep us all safe. But it isn’t just the government that is watching us. Now we are being taught to spy on one another and to report any trace of “suspicious activity” to the government immediately. The entire civilized world is being transformed into one giant prison grid, and many of the new technologies that are now being introduced are going to make things even worse.
The following are 10 new ways that the government will be spying on you and controlling your behavior….
#1 Are you ready for “electronic skin tattoos”? One team of researchers has created an extremely thin, extremely flexible “smart skin” that will open up a whole new world of possibilities. Wearing “skin-mounted electronics” might seem like a great idea to tech geeks, but it also could create a whole lot of new problems. The following is how an article in one UK newspaper described this new breakthrough….
The “epidermal electronic system” relies on a highly flexible electrical circuit composed of snake-like conducting channels that can bend and stretch without affecting performance. The circuit is about the size of a postage stamp, is thinner than a human hair and sticks to the skin by natural electrostatic forces rather than glue.
Yes, this kind of technology would be a great way to connect wirelessly to the Internet and it would be helpful for doctors that need to monitor their patients, but the potential for abuse is also there.
Once this type of technology becomes widespread, governments will be able to monitor the location and activities of their citizens like never before.
In addition, this type of technology could one day become mandated by governments. For example, someday you may be required to have an “electronic skin tatoo” in order to prove your identity or to participate in commerce.
Also, it is not too far of a stretch to imagine that “skin-mounted electronics” could be used to control large populations. Just remember, if you connect yourself physically to the Internet, that also means that the Internet is connected to you.
#2 According to a shocking document obtained by Oath Keepers, the FBI is now instructing store owners to report many new forms of “suspicious activity” to them. According to the document, “suspicious activity” now includes….
-paying with cash
-missing a hand or fingers
-making “extreme religious statements”
-purchasing weatherproofed ammunition or match containers
-purchasing meals ready to eat
-purchasing night vision devices, night flashlights or gas masks
According to WorldNetDaily, this document is part of a “series of brochures” that will be distributed “to farm supply stores, gun shops, military surplus stores and even hotels and motels.”
#3 The U.S. military has developed an invisible “pain ray” that is remarkably effective. The following is how a recent article posted on Alternet described this weapon….
It sounds like a weapon out of Star Wars. The Active Denial System, or ADS, works like an open-air microwave oven, projecting a focused beam of electromagnetic radiation to heat the skin of its targets to 130 degrees. This creates an intolerable burning sensation forcing those in its path to instinctively flee (a response the Air Force dubs the “goodbye effect“).
Sadly, this weapon is already being used in American prisons. How long will it be before it is used on the general population?
#4 Be careful about what you put up on Facebook or Twitter. Law enforcement agencies all over the globe are now focusing on social media as never before. For example, the NYPD has just created a special “social media” unit dedicated to looking for criminals on Facebook and Twitter.
#5 Facial recognition technology has now come of age. With the millions of security cameras that are going up all over the world, such technology is proving to be very useful for law enforcement authorities. In fact, police in London are using it to track down people that were involved in the London riots. The following is an excerpt from a recent CBC report that described these efforts….
Facial recognition technology being considered for London’s 2012 Games is getting a workout in the wake of Britain’s riots, with officers feeding photographs of suspects through Scotland Yard’s newly updated face-matching program.
Facial recognition technology is rapidly going to become part of our everyday lives. In fact, now even Facebook is using it. Eventually it is going to become very difficult to avoid the reach of this technology.
#6 “Smart meters” are going into homes all over North America and Europe. These smart meters monitor your home every single minute of every single day and they transmit very sophisticated data about your personal behavior back to the utility company.
They are already being used by police all over the United States in drug cases. If a smart meter catches you using an “unusual” amount of energy there is a good chance that your home will be raided.
The European Parliament has set a goal of having smart meters in the homes of 80 percent of all electricity consumers by the year 2020, and Barack Obama is working very hard to get them into as many American homes as he can.
#7 Our children are being trained to accept being under surveillance almost constantly. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending huge amounts of money to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of U.S. public schools so that government control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.
#8 Perhaps you thought that only Tom Cruise had to worry about “pre-crime”. Well, now “pre-crime” is popping up in the real world too. The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice has announced that it will begin using analysis software to predict crime by young delinquents and will place “potential offenders” in specific prevention and education programs.
#9 According to the ACLU, state police in Michigan are now using “extraction devices” to download data from the cellphones of motorists that they pull over. This is taking place even if those pulled over are not accused of doing anything wrong.
The following is how an article on CNET News described the capabilities of these “extraction devices”….
The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.
#10 LRAD sound cannons are already been used by law enforcement authorities to disperse large crowds inside the United States. So how much “damage” can sound do? Well, it turns out that sound can actually do a whole lot of damage. The following is how Alternet describes these cruel weapons….
The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, built by American Technology Corporation, focuses and broadcasts sound over ranges of up to hundreds of yards. LRAD has been around for years, but Americans first took notice when police used it in Pittsburgh to ward off protesters at the 2009 G-20 summit. It is generally used in two ways: as a megaphone to order protesters to disperse; or, if they disobey, as an “ear-splitting siren” to drive them away. While LRAD may not be deadly, it can permanently damage hearing, depending on how it’s used.
LRAD sound cannons do not discriminate. When they are being used to disperse protesters, any innocent bystanders in the area will be affected as well. If anyone gets too close to an LRAD sound cannon while it is in use, permanent damage can result. Small children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Sadly, the use of LRAD sound cannons is becoming more common. In fact, they have even been used to break up college block parties.
So is this the kind of world that you want to live in?
Do you want your children and grandchildren to live in a world where liberty and freedom are all but forgotten?
This world is headed toward a very dark place. These “Big Brother” technologies are going to become even more pervasive and even more oppressive. If this trend is not stopped now, someday these technologies will get into some very evil hands, and then all hell will be unleashed.