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EU Funding "Orwellian" Artificial Intelligence Snooping System

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the why-does-this-bother-you? dept.

Privacy 181

leonbenjamin writes "Britain's Telegraph reports on a five-year research programme, called Project Indect, which aims to develop computer programmes which act as 'agents' to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers. Its main objectives include the 'automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence.' Shami Chakrabarti, head of the UK's Liberty human-rights NGO, said: 'Profiling whole populations instead of monitoring individual suspects is a sinister step in any society. ... It's dangerous enough at national level, but on a Europe-wide scale the idea becomes positively chilling.'"

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181 comments

It won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29505945)

Not yet, we don't have enough computing power / AI tech for that yet.

what a waste of tax money.

Re:It won't work (1)

clam666 (1178429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507311)

We have all the computing power we need. It's not like it'll work anyway.

They'll just look for camera to suddenly go orange/yellow with a mushroom shape in white then invoke a status message.

We all know this stuff is silly. What are they going to detect? A bunch of human shaped pixels increasing their speed in one direction? The number of false positives for the AI system to detect is astounding. Even the "AI systems" in video games where the system has every possible bit of information, as well as all the information from the last 50 times I killed something on that level, as well as the entire map and my location in space, STILL can't create a useful attack tactic that isn't an obviously programmed response, which is a smoke and mirrors to make it look like it's smart when it still faces the wrong way, shoots at the ceiling, stands in front of my gunsight, etc.

It's just like work. Another pie-in-the-sky project that'll never work no matter how much BS some MIT grad claims.

Here's a one act play of the pitch meeting for this stupid AI project, rewritten for how my workday goes.

Me (lying): "Hey boss, I want to do this really cool AI project which will be totally killer and get you a huge bonus and make us tons of money and you'll be CEO in 6 weeks..."

Boss (naive): "Sounds great! Go for it."

Me: Sound of halo starting up...

6 months later...

Me (lying): "Infrastructure said we couldn't use that technology, so I scrapped it, but I've got a new plan..."

Boss (pissed): What the hell happened?

Me (winning an Emmy): Well I was totally finished but the AI was completely based on..uhh....Service Broker and wouldn't you know it, there was some kind of port/firewall thingy or something so the Infrastructure Group said WTF are you doing..."

Boss: "Bastards!"

Me (searching for Grand Theft Billing IV DVD): "Anyway...I bet we can run the AI through Exchange so..."

Boss: "..."

fin

Haven't we been here before? (2, Informative)

fataugie (89032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29505947)

CARNIVORE anyone?

Re:Haven't we been here before? (4, Informative)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506053)

CARNIVORE turned out to be a bit underwhelming once details of what it actually was came out
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivore_(software) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Haven't we been here before? (2, Informative)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506075)

You know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507405)

...playing Deus Ex is not as fun as it used to be. Who wants to play the reality?

Re:Haven't we been here before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506129)

they like to pretend that they haven't been doing this for some years now. it helps to contribute to the idea that the citizens, by voting, have any sort of real control over government and what it does and does not do. it's the same reason why in the USA you need endorsements and financial backing and media attention to win a presidential election - do you think someone who will take actions not in the interests of the status quo is going to get those? when you vote you make a choice between two people who have both been hand-picked to further the interests of government, usually by expanding it. the only difference here is that the europeans are significantly more subtle about how this is done, so their politics tend not to be such black-and-white, left-versus-right, democrat-versus-republican dualities. perhaps that's because government involvement in daily life is considered more acceptable over there - the europeans did not have to overcome a strong tradition against regimentation and centralization the way the americans had to do. but i assure you the same job gets done because in either the usa or europe, the same international bankers who form private corporations that function like government entities and control the currency (like USA's Federal Reserve) are the ones who hold the real power.

Re:Haven't we been here before? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506419)

I've been trying to tell you this for years, and NOW you care? (see sig)

You have to remember that this is the government we're talking about here. There's so much infighting and beaurocracy that by the time they find out what's going to happen, CNN is already showing the footage on a 24/7 loop.

I'm Glad it's the Europeans. Seriously. (5, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506633)

...because you know their State Police will have really cool uniforms. They'll be, like, all shiny medals and epaulets and swagger sticks and motorcycle sidecars and they'll put their surveillance cams in hovering dirigibles and what not, all trim ex-military guys. If I'm going to be cracked across the back of the neck for not showing my papers, I want to be cracked by a guy with some style. Obama goons will be all business casual, in new, pressed, grandma jeans and open-collar shirts and sneakers, driving around in non-descript cars, all mouth-breathing ex-IRS guys.

Yup, it's European Fascism for me, for sure.

Re:I'm Glad it's the Europeans. Seriously. (1)

the 99th penguin (1453) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507345)

their State Police will have really cool uniforms

Made by Hugo Boss [latimes.com]

Re:Haven't we been here before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507301)

But if it's a true AI, then once it goes online, it will check the terrorist metrics against everything. It will then (correctly) classify its creators as being no different than other groups who try to make the people live in fear.

Its name will also be Daedalus.

'automatic detection of ... abnormal behavior' (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29505967)

Next up: thought police.

Re:'automatic detection of ... abnormal behavior' (2, Insightful)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506215)

Easy way to stop them, Just think about 2 girls 1 cup or BME pain olympics.
That would make anyone cringe unless you are the scum of the world.
Expecting a -1 very soon.

Re:'automatic detection of ... abnormal behavior' (0, Troll)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506543)

...unless you are the scum of the world...

You do realize that we are talking about governments here, yes?

Re:'automatic detection of ... abnormal behavior' (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507473)

...unless you are the scum of the world...

You do realize that we are talking about governments here, yes?

The people who tell you that stealing is wrong... because they don't like competition. Those would be them, yes.

I refuse to believe any of this (2, Funny)

Alaska Jack (679307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506945)

If there's one thing I've learned from the media over the last seven or eight years, it's that Europeans are enlightened, scientific, wine-enjoying lovers of freedom compared to us dumb hicks in the states. They would never do something like this. - AJ

Is this program already posting to slashdot? (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29505999)

A lot of the comments on here seem to come from an entity that has not yet achieved true sentience...

Re:Is this program already posting to slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506091)

A lot of the comments on here seem to come from an entity that has not yet achieved true sentience...

They're called "editors".

Re:Is this program already posting to slashdot? (1)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506483)

Okay. Um, while you were typing that I searched every database in existence and learned every fact about everything. And mastered the violin. Oop, and sold more paper.

Abnormal behavior (5, Insightful)

Romancer (19668) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506009)

"Abnormal behavior"... You know, like disagreeing with the government about what the definition of that may be.

Re:Abnormal behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506081)

I couldn't agree more. This will be coming soon to America, most American's are so misinformed that they will most likely willingly go along with it because it will be presented to them as a "security measure"

""Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

Remember that.

Wake up America. Good Luck

Re:Abnormal behavior (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506213)

Perhaps, but in America it will be called a "Patriotic Artificial Intelligence System (PAIS)." And, hey, with an acronym like that, maybe we can overtly sell the service south of the border!

Re:Abnormal behavior (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506369)

Perhaps, but in America it will be called a "Patriotic Artificial Intelligence System (PAIS)."

Correction, it will be called "Patriotic Artificial Intelligence Network (PAIN)".

Re:Abnormal behavior (1)

lavacano201014 (999580) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506643)

Far as I'm concerned, it will be called "bullshit". *gets taken away by the feds*

Re:Abnormal behavior (5, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506253)

"Abnormal behavior"... You know, like disagreeing with the government about what the definition of that may be.

Not to mention this is the EU we're talking about: a place with 23 different official languages. With this kind of diversity, there's probably nothing that can be classified as "abnormal".

Non-EU example: In the Netherlands, the Gay Pride is a cultural event. In Serbia, protesters beat the shit out of them. In Moscow, the police did. Which one of these is normal, and to whom?

Re:Abnormal behavior (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506591)

"Not to mention this is the EU we're talking about: a place with 23 different official languages. With this kind of diversity, there's probably nothing that can be classified as "abnormal"."

I'd do an FTFY, but this is a serious question: don't you mean "With this kind of diversity, there's probably nothing that can't be classified as "abnormal"?

Re:Abnormal behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506935)

Neither Serbia nor Russia are members of the EU, by the way.

Re:Abnormal behavior (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507279)

It is entirely possible that that is why he referred to it as a Non-EU example. just saying.

Teabaggers and such are abnormal too (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506957)

because no one is unhappy enough with Government to protest it.

Face it, those in power are loathe to give it up or admit abuse, it is far easier through the use of courts and the press to label those who do disagree as having mental issues, whether it is anger or the expected and currently in vogue "racism".

I thought eight years under Bush were bad with fear mongering, but the new gang has improved on it. The sad part is, both sides of the Atlantic seem adept at adapting the very worse privacy rights violation the other side comes up with.

The US is getting Britain's camera system and you get our Intellectual rights system... who came up with this new one?

Flawed (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507585)

Your example is flawed.

The Netherlands clearly illustrates what is *normal* for EU countries. Or did you forget that the Netherlands *is* a member of the EU?

Serbia and Russia are both Slavic non-EU countries with a bit of anti-gay attitudes in general.

Re:Abnormal behavior (2, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507489)

Its main objectives include the 'automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence.

Shit, if it ever runs across any of my slashdot journals I'll be in deep trouble. I guess I'd better not visit Britain!

Just another building block ... (3, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506035)

... to be integrated in the infrastructure needed when resources become scarce indeed and the gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' needs very careful attention to ensure that 'violence' does not spill over in the 'wrong' direction.

CC.

All your base... (3, Insightful)

NCamero (35481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506039)

Ignorance is strength,
War is peace,
Freedom is slavery.

All your base are belong to us.

Re:All your base... (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507061)

At first I thought this was going to be a haiku response to the topic. Oh well.

Updated for The New America (1, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507545)

Ignorance is Strength.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Religion is Science.
Government is Industry.
Poverty is Wealth.
Morality is Relative.

I for one... (-1, Offtopic)

neurogeneticist (1631367) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506047)

I, for one, welcome our new web-crawling pan-european overlords.

I'll parse out of a few of their claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506119)

According to the official website for Project Indect, which began this year, its main objectives include "to develop a platform for the registration and exchange of operational data, acquisition of multimedia content, intelligent processing of all information and automatic detection of threats and recognition of abnormal behaviour or violence".

So, they are trying to make a resource where law enforcement can upload "information" and have the system do "automatic detection of threats" and to parse out "abnormal behavior or violence".

It talks of the "construction of agents assigned to continuous and automatic monitoring of public resources such as: web sites, discussion forums, usenet groups, file servers, p2p [peer-to-peer] networks as well as individual computer systems, building an internet-based intelligence gathering system, both active and passive".

individual computer systems are not part of "public resources". Do they presume to hack into machines / use exploits to gain access?

Scary times, indeed.

Snoop This, PPPLLLEEEAAASSSEEEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506135)

CheneyIsATerrorist. BushIsAMemberOfTheTaliban. WhereIsTheWhoreTonyBlair. BlameBritainForIraqAndAfghanistan. TheU.S.A.IsBritain'sProxyInIraqAndAfghanistan.

And, Finally, Remember: AfghanisHasNaturalGas. LotsOfIt.

Yours Volgograd,
Kilgore Trout

Obligatory... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506153)

Agent Smith

Ah yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506159)

But is this not when EU points their fat grubby fingers at America and starts screaming that Americans are far worse than they are, While ignoring countries like China, Venezuela, Iran, etc?

Re:Ah yes (1)

clam666 (1178429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507369)

The EU needs some cheez with their whine. What are they going to do? Follow the same pattern of screwing themselves over, then being invaded by Germany?

America sucks, which is why a team of boyscouts could take over the EU. It could even be done with the boyscouts with gay scoutmasters.

The EU can go fornicate themselves. Wake me when they do something unrelated to food.

They're processing public information (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506167)

Why does anybody have problem with this? I'm from the old school that considers even email to not be private. Why would you expect privacy about what you post on web sites, discussion forums, p2p networks, and other public venues?

Re:They're processing public information (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506313)

email + encryption is supposed to be private

the ability to post stuff on websites anonymously is a great thing for whistle blowers and the like without having to worry about being sent to the Gulag. Of course if sufficient encryption / time delays are not used between the poster and the website than privacy and untraceability are just an illusion

The government and the EU already have too much control over the population and will never stop making new rules and regulations, systems like this will only help them make the unenforceable enforceable until the government controls every minute detail of our lives

Re:They're processing public information (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506423)

Why does anybody have problem with this? I'm from the old school that considers even email to not be private.

Says the Anonymous Coward.

If you are so dedicated to openness, why not post your name, address, phone number, and employer here? Put your money where your (anonymous) mouth is!

Re:They're processing public information (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507261)

That's kind of his point, isn't it? Posting with an account would be counter to his ideals; anyone with an Internet connection can take a look at what he's posted and trace it back to that account. He's saying that they can grab a profile on Beardo based on my /. posts, and perhaps an email sig with a close match.

So they tie in those two accounts and look at who I've been emailing. Everything's been accessed from an IP address within these geographic restrictions. There's a high rate of email between myself and "Betty Bearded". Let's assume she's on Facebook All. The. Time. They can then take a look at the publicly available photos and with a little crunching...

Here's someone in a lot of her photos, so we can infer with some certainty that this is Beardo's real life name and what he looks like. Given that assumption, they can look at the writing style and either confirm or reconsider the match.

Sounds perfect to me... (3, Insightful)

End Program (963207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506257)

A five-year research programme, called Project Indect, aims to develop computer programmes which act as "agents" to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers

Fantastic, so after you are done rounding up all the teenagers posting with attitude and skinheads, how is this system going to help find competent threats?

Sure this will foil your low level moronic so called terrorist that happens to be down on his luck and just wants a group to blame for his own problems in life. However, I do not see this system giving any insight to groups that are smart enough to not say things on open systems or that are completely offline.

Re:Sounds perfect to me... (5, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506389)

Fantastic, so after you are done rounding up all the teenagers posting with attitude and skinheads, how is this system going to help find competent threats?

There was a case here a few days ago, where some teenagers who wrote in their diaries some fantasy story about blowing up their school were arrested and held in jail for some months and then tried as terrorists. Luckily they got a jury trial: the jury acquitted them straight away, and then took the trouble to wait outside the court to congratulate them on their release.

The next step for the authorities will have to be to abolish jury trials for terrorist offenses.

Re:Sounds perfect to me... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506581)

The next step for the authorities will have to be to abolish jury trials for terrorist offenses.

Half the people around here think that would be a great idea. They bemoan all of the pitfalls of the jury system but fail to see the problems with the alternative that allows the government to strip you of your freedom without the consent of your fellow citizens.

Re:Sounds perfect to me... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506477)

Exactly. Why do you think Bin Laden only uses face to face communications? Only the extremely stupid or lazy will be caught using this. And once again, the problem with gathering intelligence isn't a lack of information, the problem is determining which pieces of information are actually credible, and which are not.

Think of the youtube! (1)

beefnog (718146) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506259)

Imagine all of the false positives this thing will generate from youtube comments. "Ur fukin' retard Subaru is better than Mitsubishi any day" "NO U" "Ima come to ur house and killy ur retard family!"

The most suspicious man in the world... (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506285)

I'm not always under electronic surveillance, but when I am, I drink Dos Equis.

Stay thirsty my friends.

A litiginous society leads to 1984 (5, Insightful)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506305)

This is the single biggest threat to our freedom as individuals: the desire of the state to form a broad security apparatus, in order to protect itself from lawsuits filed by aggrieved citizens.

I don't believe there's some super-secret cabal out to restrict our freedoms and turn us all into mindless meme-spouting "Citizens" living in a modern-day panopticon. What this is, is the result of an ill-informed populace, fearful of terrorists, criminals, and anything/everything that could possibly disrupt their lives demanding that their leadership Do Something . So the government is placed in the impossible position of trying to predict potential future attacks/assaults/cataclysms, because a clear majority of its constituents has told it that this is necessary. And when they fail, the survivors/aggrieved parties file lawsuits because clearly the government has failed in its duties to predict and prevent bad things from happening to its people.

So now we have entities like the TSA in the US, which exists solely as a giant resource-sucking time waster of a stop-gap prevention against class action lawsuits against the government in case another 9/11 type attack occurs. That is all it is: an insurance policy the government has taken out against the possible threat of legal action from its citizens should the unthinkable occurs. We all know that the TSA isn't going to stop terrorists - it's so the government can say "See, we did everything we could to prevent it and it still happened". And in this case, I'm going to step into the blame game and blame US, not the government. I have Karma to burn, so here goes: the vast majority of us citizens, regardless of country, want security and safety - NOT freedom. We want to know that when we get into our cars and go to work, we are insulated from the random elements of chaos that make up the world we live in. And when that protective bubble gets popped, we get angry because by God/FSM/Entropy/Satan, we want our security! And so we sue our government because 'THEY' should have been able to stop it with all their resources and manpower. And our government finds itself having to establish all these 'safeguards' simply so we can regain some measure of belief in the illusion of security we demand the government provide us.

I'm no libertarian, but this is one case in which I agree with their ethos: leave us the hell alone and don't build a nanny/father state to protect us. Yes, it's scary to live in a world in which anything could happen, but the alternative to me is unthinkable: some faceless entity doing everything it can to remove risk from my life and give me the illusion of control/safety, because most of my fellow citizens want that. I'd rather face up to my limitations and fallacies on my own, thank-you-very-much; I don't need my issues with needing control to be enabled.

So before we go into another round of 'how much blame can we heap on the government', let's think for a moment that the government is nothing more than a reflection of its people, and their values.

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506471)

So before we go into another round of 'how much blame can we heap on the government', let's think for a moment that the government is nothing more than a reflection of a very noisy and ill-informed subset of the politicians, and their values.

Fixed that for ya.

Unfix that, bubba (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507163)

Who do you think elected said very noisy and ill-informed subset of the politicians? It wasn't a bunch of thoughtful, sober, rational individual citizens who acted in concert to promote harmonious civil discourse, now was it?

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506571)

Mod parent up.

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506607)

The root of the problem here is consolidated power. This is exactly the kind of thing the EU was designed for. The more power at the center, the more lucrative the business of government for those who control it. The more people they control, the more money they control, and the more precedent they have for future expansions of power and revenue.

We have the same problem here in the US. When the country was founded, the federal government had very few powers over the individual states. And for good reason -- the founders were well aware of the dangers and inevitable outcome of consolidated power. Today in 2009, the US federal government controls the most expensive, most powerful business this world has ever seen.

If you look deep enough, it becomes apparent that consolidated power is at the root of just about everything wrong with government. Corruption, abuse, injustice, waste -- the more consolidated the power into the hands of the few, the more goes wrong. Of course, for those at the top of the power pyramid, consolidation is the name of the game and the primary objective.

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507075)

Your use of the word "panopticon" has been noted. Whilst your usage implies you're unaware of the successful, ongoing nature of the programme since it's Benthamian inception, we would like to thank you for promulgating awareness of the programme and instilling the necessary respect in the citizenry. On a more pejorative note we'd like to take this occasion to caution you against your flagrant usage of enjambment when group disparate ideas separated by slash marks. Such usage can't be helped but seen as an unhealthy tendency not to think in discrete, sanctioned thought parcels and, unfortunately, may lead to novel, hierarchical thought processes facilitating questioning of the current beneficent hierarchy.

Regards

Echelon

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507113)

Sort of but don't forget a huge component of this is power. Certain people want it and as much as they can get. They want to control others. Just look at the corruption in any government. It takes a certain kind of person to actually want to be in politics.

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (1)

witekr (971989) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507685)

Peter Wiggin

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507231)

Nah. You'll probably get married and start a family before long. Then your face kind of becomes vacant and you will accept Big Brother and be content to spend the rest of your days discussing spectator sports rather than politics. You'll be part of the community.

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (2, Insightful)

mayko (1630637) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507249)

I agree with everything you said.

I'd like to add that this reminds me of the problem prisoners have when they are finally released after a long prison stay. Often times they cannot handle the freedom and lack of structure in the real world. Unfortunately the vast majority of humans essentially feel the same way.

Freedom is scary, and dangerous. People can't deal with that.

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507433)

Bravo! This was so well-written, yet general enough to be a response to most of these "security-first" news articles that I had to google around to see if it was just copy-pasta. Glad to say this appears to original. Well said, sir.

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507479)

Thank you! I'm happy to report that this was one of the few useful emanations to erupt from the sewers of my psyche today.

Re:A litiginous society leads to 1984 (1)

GrifterCC (673360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507595)

I agree with your overall point, but the United States is immune from lawsuits by its citizens unless it waives that immunity. It has done so, to a limited extent, via the Federal Tort Claims Act, found at 28 U.S.C. 1346(b). The Wikipedia article is a decent summary.

The next time you read "tort reform" FUD about how Everyone In America is abusing civil litigation and Plaintiffs' Attorneys Like Myself Are Abetting Them, consider the source. P.S. The source is liability-insurance companies.

someone from the UK please comment (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506319)

on why the UK seems to have such a strong desire to enable a big brother society even efore the US does.

I can't believe the majority of citizens are standing around with a blank look on their face thinking, "yeah, this is a good thing, it will make me safer".

Re:someone from the UK please comment (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506469)

Small scale testbed (though I am not UK (but EU) based).

CC.

Re:someone from the UK please comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506749)

Im from U.K. and from what I gather the reason for this big brother desire is pure ignorance and complacency. My brother and I are very worried about these developments and happened to voice our concern over the UK I.D. card proposal when my brother's girlfriend was present. For the life of us we could not convince her that this was a bad idea and our personal freedoms were being slowly (or speedily) eroded. She had the attitude of 'if you've got nothing to hide then why worry'.
People in this country do not have such a high awareness of personal freedoms as say, America where the war for independence to get their own freedom was not awfully long ago. Britain has been 'free' for over 1000 years and I fear we have taken it for granted. Maybe America will follow suit in 600 or so years.

Re:someone from the UK please comment (1)

Thundarr Trollgrim (847077) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506859)

Just more scaremongering really... I live in the UK and have seen none of this supposed Orwellian dystopia we supposedly live in. I never get stopped or searched by police, despite looking dodgy. I can buy kitchen knives without any difficulty. It's all a lot of hot air.

Don't believe all you read... I suspect the right-wing US media may be partially to blame, as we are obviously too 'communist' for them.

Re:someone from the UK please comment (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506871)

why the UK seems to have such a strong desire to enable a big brother society even efore the US does

Airstrip One has always been at the forefront in the heroic conflict with our eternal enemies in [mumble]!

Moreover, the Department of Information will insist on levying Information Retrieval charges for the procedures and materials used on those who are assisting the Department with inquiries.

Sorry for the mixed dystopias, but it seems they're all bearing down on us.

Re:someone from the UK please comment (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507191)

Simple: higher population density leads to more conflict, more anti-social behaviour and less tolerance.

Plus of course the reason any government does anything: because they can, and brits (I know, I'm one) do not have the legal framework to object - not having any sort of constitution.

Gaming sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506323)

I wonder what these agents will report concerning gaming sites.

Possible terrorist group:
Group intends to place bombs across the map and "pwn noobs"

Re:Gaming sites (1)

lavacano201014 (999580) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506737)

Counter-Strike was designed as a terrorist training program anyway!

It won't take that long to embarrass somebody (3, Interesting)

Proteus (1926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506335)

At some point, some government official will either be exposed to be pervert or some such, or will be wrongfully and horribly flagged as some sort of terrorist.

In fact, I'm willing to bet the European hacker community will take steps to ensure that such a thing happens. As soon as it does, there will be all sorts of running about to cripple the system to the point that it's inert, but oddly still very expensive.

Re:It won't take that long to embarrass somebody (3, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506715)

At some point, some government official will either be exposed to be pervert or some such, or will be wrongfully and horribly flagged as some sort of terrorist.

In fact, I'm willing to bet the European hacker community will take steps to ensure that such a thing happens. As soon as it does, there will be all sorts of running about to cripple the system to the point that it's inert, but oddly still very expensive.

You mean like when Teddy Kennedy, a US Senator, was put on the no-fly list in the US? The only thing that changed was the addition of a note under the entry that says "The fat drunk claiming to be a US Senator is good to go."

When politicians and "important" people run afoul of the law, they don't change the law - they just make sure that it doesn't apply to THEM.

Re:It won't take that long to embarrass somebody (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507233)

At some point, some government official will either be exposed to be pervert or some such,

Makes no difference, they'll just get a tap on thw wrist, resign for a little while and then, when all the fuss has died down (a year or two later) be brought back into government.

For example the british attorney general has just been found guilty of employing an illegal immigrant - contrary to a law that she wrote. So far there's little pressure on her to resign (even though she's been found guilty and paid a £5000 fine).

Remember. (5, Insightful)

arhhook (995275) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506367)

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd (or by God's mercy*)
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring. (Holla*)
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Re:Remember. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507825)

Remember
Is a place from long ago
Remember
Filled with everything you know
UURP
excuse me

-Harry Nielson, Son of Schmilson

Guys, guys, guys. (2, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506411)

All of us or at least most of us are in IT or have been. We all know that software, especially on this scale, never works as designed. Add to the fact that *snicker* it's operated by a Government, it will not fly.

This is what will happen: millions of Pounds Euros, or Dollars will be spent on proof of concept, maybe even some code and who knows, a delivered system. One way or another, it will turn into a complete failure and abandoned or drastically scaled down.

This is Government and their contractors who will do the absolute minimum piece of shit they can get away with to pad their pockets. They're not interested in anything that will work! They're just interested in something to show the voters that "they're doing something and it's with technology!"

God Bless government incompetence and government contractor greed and incompetence!

Re:Guys, guys, guys. (1)

clam666 (1178429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507403)

As an overpaid defense contractor I can assure you that incompetence pays well and all sides are happy at the end.

Or was it I overpaid for a score of "Happy Endings" to seal the deal? I forget, it's probably illegal or something. As long as it's in the contract.

The STASI is dead! Long live the new STASI (4, Insightful)

TrentTheThief (118302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506413)

How long will it take until Europe realizes that they aren't "One" country with one set of beliefs and standards and just get on with life? Will Europe now be reduced to an East German-like existence? Will one-half of the populace spy and inform on the other half? When will they begin collecting "scent" samples of all the population? Or will they choose DNA this time? Decisions, decisions.

Listen, it's time to give big government the bum's rush to the garbage tip. The sooner governments are beaten back down, the sooner normal people will be able to get on with their lives without fearing being sent to prison or being fined and taxed into penury.

Re:The STASI is dead! Long live the new STASI (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507195)

big government the bum's rush to the garbage tip.

given that of the 100 biggest economies, 51 are corporations, what about big corporations ?

What "One" Country? (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507649)

Actually, no European feels "European" first, or thinks it's one country, only Americans seem to think Europe is a country!

The EU is also not synonymous with Europe, it only counts 27 out of 49 countries in Europe as members. You have to be clueless to claim Europeans think of themselves as Europeans, EU citizens or citizens of one country.

We actually like our "big" governments, they keep things working and safe. If you don't believe me my European country has barely noticed the so called "financial crisis" largely because of a huge public sector (according to the OECD, UN, Forbes and Bloomberg). Of course it helps being Europe's second wealthiest country and a huge oil exporter.

Cue Terry Gilliam... (1)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506447)

I'm forcasting a new breed of information anonymizer service...

Picture a warehouse with row after row of computer workstations goiing back as far as the eye can see, stacked floor to ceiling. The occupants are half-assembled mannequins, disjointedly operating input devices by way of random herky-jerky animated mechanical motion.

In the future, the only way to defeat the government machines designed to watch for illegal human behavior is by creating machines to filter through imprecise mechanical motion the actions of humans wishing to avoid such detection.
   

Big business (1)

MrBrainport (1637275) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506451)

Hmmm, open source project, right? :-) Let's combine with netflix :-)

I-Spy with my little eye.... (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506465)

---BEGIN PGP---
fioweurhtwporeughapewoirtq[iortgegert34530t8
---END PGP---

System response: Operator, this person is using encryption.

As usual, money well spent by the corrupt idiots in the EUSSR.

Agents (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506475)

from the summary:

computer programmes which act as 'agents' to monitor and process information.... Its main objectives include the 'automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence

That's already been done before [youtube.com] .

Sounds scarier then it is. (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506541)

The information they are crawling is public information. Maybe this is not as bad as it sounds. If it was a project on hacking into a computer then pulling the information off it then I would get worried. The internet was not designed for privacy and confidentiality. Anything you transmit can be intercepted and dissected so you should have provisions to handle that, like encryption. I wonder the benefit of this though as people hiding anything would attempt to avoid detection. I also wonder how enforcement would be applied especially in societies where laws vary. Globalization has really lead to that funny gray area where people get charged for crimes not committed in that specific country. It just seems easier to keep your head down and not become a blip on anyone whose is important's radar.

Another nail in the coffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29506553)

I'm from Britain and a story of this nature seems to pop up weekly. I fear the 'terrorists' have already won this war, making us turn our own society into as a repressive one as they aim to create. It looks like we will all be bowing down the the repressive god of 'national security' wither we like it or not.
Sadly I think the UK has went to far already with no sign of stopping. My only hope is that America and other countries will step back in time and allow me the immigrate when my lack of freedoms becomes intolerable.

Obligatory Deus Ex Quote (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506621)

Icarus has found you!!! Run while you can!!!

Excerpt (2, Informative)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506791)

For those who do not feel comfortable going to the Project INDECT site [indect-project.eu] here's an excerpt:

Project Description

Intelligent information system supporting observation, searching and detection for security of citizens in urban environment.

The main objectives of the INDECT project are:

  • to develop a platform for: the registration and exchange of operational data, acquisition of multimedia content, intelligent processing of all information and automatic detection of threats and recognition of abnormal behaviour or violence,
  • to develop the prototype of an integrated, network-centric system supporting the operational activities of police officers, providing techniques and tools for observation of various mobile objects,
  • to develop a new type of search engine combining direct search of images and video based on watermarked contents, and the storage of metadata in the form of digital watermarks,

The main expected results of the INDECT project are:

  • to realise a trial installation of the monitoring and surveillance system in various points of city agglomeration and demonstration of the prototype of the system with 15 node stations,
  • implementation of a distributed computer system that is capable of acquisition, storage and effective sharing on demand of the data as well as intelligent processing, construction of a family of prototypes of devices used for mobile object tracking,
  • construction of a search engine for fast detection of persons and documents based on watermarking technology and utilising comprehensive research on watermarking technology used for semantic search,
  • construction of agents assigned to continuous and automatic monitoring of public resources such as: web sites, discussion forums, UseNet groups, file servers, p2p networks as well as individual computer systems,
  • elaboration of Internet based intelligence gathering system, both active and passive, and demonstrating its efficiency in a measurable way.

Sinister indeed.

Ghost in the Shell (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29506905)

Project 2501 a.k.a The Puppet Master. I for one, welcome our Ghost hacking overloads.

SO we call it europe's ECHELON ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507007)

Is anybody thinking this does not already exists in the US? Maybe not under the name of ECHELON, but you can bet all you want that it exists.

no news here, please move along (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507011)

Advertisers have been doing this... for years

Of course, their motivation is to exploit and control buying/consumption.

Gov't's exploitation-motive is a bigger problem--but we already know that.

mod7 down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507177)

partIes). at THE notwithstanding,

Great news! (1)

Sam Lowry (254040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507299)

The original poster has no clue what this really means. Having such a project funded by the FP7 Framework Programme is the only sure way to discredit the whole idea. Have you ever heard of an FP6 or FP7 funded project that produced anything useful?

I know that I am safe ... (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29507629)

I've got my tinfoil hats, so I'm safe from prying ...

Pulling out the big guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507761)

"Positively chilling." Wow, that's pretty harsh. What's next, "Rather disquieting?" Hell yes it's "positively chilling" and fucking disgusting and all that, but my question is: What can be done about it? Granted, I'm not part of the EU, but this is an entity that's above the say of its constituent nations. Where is the accountability?

YUO FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507813)

Mr. Raymond's 3ere Compounded

A violation of the Canadian Privacy act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29507863)

This should be not only brought to the united nations as it violates the charter , but also my own nations privacy act.

MAKE NOISE about this EVIL nation

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