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Monitoring Weapons Bans With Social Media

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the like-this dept.

Government 71

Harperdog writes "Kirk Bansak has a great article outlining a coming revolution in non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and bio-weapons, courtesy of smart phones and social media. Early theory on arms control foresaw 'inspection by the people' as a promising method for preventing evasion of arms control and disarmament obligations and serves as a starting point for understanding 'social verification.' As Rose Gottemoeller recently stated: '[Cell phone-based] sensors would allow citizens to contribute to detecting potential treaty violations, and could build a bridge to a stronger private-public partnership in the realm of treaty verification.'"

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71 comments

Better than... (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | about 2 years ago | (#40976199)

Better than the TSA raping us.

Re:Better than... (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | about 2 years ago | (#40976219)

Oh shit, this probably has marked as potentially having weapons.

Re:Better than... (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#40976317)

Crowdsource actionable violations? What a great idea. You'd have domain-expertise, on the spot, in real-time - for all cases.

There's no way that could be co-opted or manipulated by social engineering!

It would be like "Kony 2012" on steroids. [keepittrill.com]

All you'd need to do is add automated drone-strikes to this plan, and we will be living in the Humanitarian Utopia promised us by technology.

Re:Better than... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40976515)

It would be like "Kony 2012" on steroids.

What, everybody running and yelling around the streets naked?

Re:Better than... (1)

aurispector (530273) | about 2 years ago | (#40976835)

They might as well be if this is ever implemented. When a regime decides to flout a treaty, the do it behind military controlled fences staffed by people under threat of death.

Arms control required positive verification and free access. It always fails when one party is actively tring to avoid inspection: see North Korea prior to their nuke tests.

Re:Better than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40978249)

You do realize that law requires another thing. Law enforcement.

If we can't find near-uniform consensus to launch an attack on Iran's enrichment facilities, why bother at all ? If we find a smoking gun (like Iran's weapons-grade cascade, and north-korea's obviously proven weapons program), we need to attack, or we might as well shelve the idea of non-profileration.

Given that nobody's attacked either Iran or North Korea to remove their weapons programs, why even bother discussing "laws" about non-profileration ? Obviously the punishment for violating those "laws" is zero.

You know, Texans are right about one thing. If point a gun, like these laws, and refuse to pull the trigger under any circumstances, you're going to get hurt. Badly.

Re:Better than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40980931)

Except that there is no evidence that Iran has violated any laws or treaties to which it is a party.

Re:Better than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40980741)

It would be like "Kony 2012" on steroids.

What, everybody running and yelling around the streets naked?

With the steroids, at least the naked people would likely be pleasant to look at.

Re:Better than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40981939)

I don't know men growing breasts like women probably wouldn't look good to too many people.

Re:Better than... (1)

Criton (605617) | about 2 years ago | (#40979323)

You mean dystopia.

TSA will not want this in the states... (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 2 years ago | (#40976215)

It would show people when they are being x-ray'd.

Re:TSA will not want this in the states... (0)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | about 2 years ago | (#40977763)

FROM: Earth

TO: USA-Citizens

SUBJECT: Outside the USA

Dear Sir or Madam:

We want to kindly remind you that there are other countries on Earth, most of them inhabited by humans.

In accordance, we find it hard to understand that you react to a post concerning international treatries (which assume the existence of said several countries) just by looking at your country and thinking that it only applies to it.

Kindly regards.

More than 90% of mankind (too lazy to do the math right now).

Re:TSA will not want this in the states... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40978283)

From: AC
To: Parent commenter
Subject: Your message.

Its an American site, so you expect us to remove all talk of America just so you feel included?

Pound sand.

Kindly regards,
AC

Begs for false negatives (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40976217)

Doing something untoward? Give lots of falsified negative readings in your area to give the impression to observers that nothing is wrong.

Re:Begs for false negatives (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40976297)

Or hack the system and give your neighbors or other enemies lots of falsified positives so that the UN launches sanctions against them. A system like this would be more or less completely worthless, even assuming they could make the physical hardware accurate enough. Seismometers on a cell phone? Never mind, of course, that if there is a big enough sample for you to detect a bio-weapon, you will have a much bigger and more immediate problem to worry about than non-compliance with treaties. Specifically, the fact that you are probably already dead. Similarly with chemical weapons, although to a lesser degree.

Re:Begs for false negatives (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40976663)

A system like this would be more or less completely worthless, even assuming they could make the physical hardware accurate enough

The article was pure blue sky, and you seem to be thinking of primary data gathering.

Here's how it would really work in the real world (probably). So you've got a off the shelf U-235 reactor. And an adjacent reprocessing plant. You'd like to make a nice Pu-239 based a-bomb (nagasaki style, hold the wasabi). But there's this pesky non-proliferation treaty. What to do?

Your "U-235" plant contains 90+% U-239 as a non-fissionable filler material. OK so holding a chunk of U-239 in a neutron flux results in the formation of Pu-239. And holding Pu-239 in a neutron flux results in Pu-240. For reasons beyond this discussion Pu-239 is a really great material for big kabooms and Pu-240 is virtually Fing useless for big kabooms.

So you make abomb fuel by reprocessing the fuel, extracting the yummy goodness of Pu-239, like every month or so, before it can be corrupted into icky Pu-240 by sitting in the neutron flux, and putting the leftovers right back in the reactor to cook some more. Now if you don't want to make a abomb the fuel rods can sit in the reactor for years and years before the burnup ratio gets too high and/or corrosion sets in.

At least some of the non-proliferation people actually know this, so if you have a reactor they freak out if you reprocess your fuel every month, but they're pretty chill if you reprocess only lets say 3 times per decade. Now rather than hiring one poor bastard to follow each of 1000+ fuel rods around in person, you track reprocessing materials shipments. Most of that stuff is pretty weird. Zirconium tubes, or thick foil to make your own. Strange acids to dissolve fuel. Strange organic solvents to extract Pu from U (which is actually somewhat tricky... simpler than isotopic concentration but harder than separating, say, iron from sulfur). to the ratio of "good guy" to "bad guy" consumables use (and presumably, consumables delivery) is something like 100 to 1.

So you do some analysis and your average hazmat semi driver posts 0.x twits per mile and 0.y twits per delivery. Also your average reprocessing tech tweets 0.a times when he's Fing off and 0.b times when he's actually working. The point is you can build a model from the safety of your home based solely on traffic stats to measure that 1 to 100 ratio between naughty and nice.

So suddenly tweets indicating hazmat truck traffic go up 100x, mostly whining about bad food out on the road or whatever it is truckers whine about when they've got work. Ditto chemistry techs. Now you know what they're up to. And you don't need something blindingly obvious like "yo homies chillin with a sep funnel fulla Pu239 save some hookah 4 ur bro". All you need is "hmm, thats odd, the chemistry techs stopped tweeting from home during 2nd shift, all at the same time... as if they're putting on an 'illegal' second shift... hmm" combined with "hmm, thats odd, whining about backaches from transfering 55 gallon drums of solvent went up 100x on average at the same time". combined with "hmm, thats odd, every whiny bored unemployed chemist in the country suddenly stopped tweeting, as if they all got jobs"

And thats how you do it!

Re:Begs for false negatives (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | about 2 years ago | (#40976867)

Absolutely and completely worthless idea. Just because you set up an easy way for your peers to nark you out does not make it a viable or effective solution. When was the last time we could effectively ban ANYTHING even inside the USA? Let's see...

Alcohol? nope

Drugs? nope

Prostitution? nope

Illegal firearm ownership?

nope

Asinine...

Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40976239)

And it's a great way to get your ass killed or thrown into prison if you do it in the wrong country. It's also a great way to get shitty intelligence from fake reports [wikipedia.org] of WMD's. Hell, even in the U.S., whistleblowers are VERY rarely thanked (usually it costs you your job at the very least). How do you think some guy downloading the "Monitor My Country's WMD Activity" app will be treated in the third world?

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (4, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#40976343)

And it's a great way to get your ass killed or thrown into prison if you do it in the wrong country.

You mean like the USA?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning [wikipedia.org]

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (2, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 2 years ago | (#40976635)

There is a line between whistle blowing and treason. I suggest you look it up.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976721)

The line is whether you accept the government of the country in question calling it that or not.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40977659)

In your own head that is the line. We'll see how your feelings effect Manning's trial and potential continued imprisonment.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (2)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 years ago | (#40976775)

Yeah and I'm pretty sure that leaking something that is a state secret for national security reasons qualifies as treason.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#40977011)

Yeah and I'm pretty sure that leaking something that is a state secret for national security reasons qualifies as treason.

Not on its own, legally speaking, in the US, where the definition of treason (unique among all crimes) is specifically limited by the Constitution.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40977125)

There is a line between whistle blowing and treason. I suggest you look it up.

Is there?

Do you not think that whistleblowing Achmed in Assbackwardsistan would be committing "treason" by having his iPhone detect nuclear activity in his own country?

Or is that okay, because, well, we clearly need to liberate the fuck out of Assbackwardsistan, hey?

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#40978395)

That depends on the government.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#40979035)

telling the people that our troops are shooting up vans with kids for kicks is whistleblowing. Treason would be authorizing illegal torture programs which accomplish nothing except instigate more terrorism

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979405)

Actually, no, there isn't. Not a meaningful line, anyway.

If your country decides it needs nuclear weapons for self-defense, and you rat it out to its enemies - that's treason. The fact that your country may have (probably under duress) signed a treaty promising not to do that is irrelevant.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40982601)

There's a pretty clear line, in the case this discussion has adopted for case study. Whistleblowing is leaking classified information that incriminates someone after they've done something wrong . Treason is leaking information that says "hey, our troops are going to be here at this time, in case you wanted to know."

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#40980087)

Providing potential foreign aggressors with information about secret weapon development programs *IS* treason, regardless of the UN opinion about legality of such programs. In itself, nuclear weapons development is not a war crime.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40976771)

Don't forget Thomas Drake [wikipedia.org] . He was an NSA analyst who compared a billion dollar surveillance program with a million dollar surveillance program and concluded that the million dollar program worked far better. As was his job, he reported this and was told to stop asking questions. At this point he took evidence of billions of dollars of fraud and waste inside the NSA to the media. He was then charged as a spy.

Hey Obama voters. Were you aware that Obama has prosecuted more whistelblowers under the espionage act than all previous administrations combined. Obama is a radical authoritarian. Remember that when you cast your ballots in November.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976853)

"Were you aware that Obama has prosecuted more whistelblowers under the espionage act than all previous administrations combined."

May I ask, in good faith, for some references?

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40976949)

Gladly [alexanderhiggins.com] .

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#40976987)

That's terribly interesting. Given the current candidates, which one do you believe will be far more lenient on whistle blowers who expose their own dark secrets and pet programs?

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40977063)

Jill Stein is probably your best bet. I wouldn't trust Gary Johnson because of his support for private prisons. Nothing says justice like a profit motive for incarceration.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40978353)

I had already decided to vote Jill Stein. Glad to see thee are a few others out there.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

eepok (545733) | about 2 years ago | (#40977129)

I don't think racking up a total count of SIX is sufficient to refer to him as a "radical authoritarian". Also, was it OBAMA who initiated the proceedings or, say, the DOD and CIA?

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40977489)

I don't think racking up a total count of SIX is sufficient to refer to him as a "radical authoritarian".

Twice as many as all other presidents in history combined. Do I need to do the statistics and report how many standard deviations from the mean Obama is?

Also, was it OBAMA who initiated the proceedings or, say, the DOD and CIA?

As head of the executive, Obama is responsible for everything the DOD and CIA does.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

eepok (545733) | about 2 years ago | (#40978523)

Twice as many of any other president. But doubling a small number is not particularly notable.

Going from 1 to 3 is a 300% increase, but a difference of two.
Obama went from 3 to 6, a 200% increase, but a differernce of three.

What should be focused on are the cases, not the statistics of very small numbers.

Moreover, the president is *accountable* for the actions of those below him. His validity as a president can be jeopardized for their actions (accountability), but since he doesn't directly control them, he cannot be responsible for all their actions.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 years ago | (#40979539)

Umm... quick math lesson.

Going from 3 to 6 is an increase of 100%
Going from 3 to 3 is an increase of 0%

Though I suppose, going from the 3 total pre-O, adding his 6 for a total of 9 ... 3 to 9 is a 200% increase.

/maths

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40984823)

What should be focused on are the cases, not the statistics of very small numbers.

1) So you think just all of a sudden in 2008 espionage act cases got 30 times more common and Obama's election had nothing whatsoever to do with it?

2) the numbers are small, but the number of trials is reasonably large. If you reach into a bag 16 times(the number of presidents since the espionage act was passed) and pull out 3 orange marbles total, and then you pull out 6 orange marbles in a row, you know something has changed.

but since he doesn't directly control them, he cannot be responsible for all their actions.

He can directly control them. All he has to do is tell Holder that any more Espionage Act prosecutions will cost him his job, oh, and obey with the Congressional subpoena already(and prosecute Goldman Sachs and not Californian MMJ distributors). Obama is directly responsible for his personal failure to reign in his justice department.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40976445)

I agree, but I imagine there are some circumstances where it could work, if it's fairly passive on the user's part (no individualized choice to report) and their country agrees to the rollout as part of a treaty. Basically, countries A and B sign a treaty that says that both countries will roll out this WMD app or whatever, and then there are some regular-style inspections to make sure it's actually rolled out. Now both countries have armies of regular citizens who're walking around with the WMD app, and can't do much about it without causing a diplomatic incident. Maybe the citizens would even get paid something to make the overall scheme popular in both countries.

If it's up to individual citizens' initiative, then the plan does lack some plausibility. I think of this as making more sense when both countries genuinely are committed to the treaty but are worried about the other country reneging, so would really sign on to plausible symmetric inspection measures.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40976495)

Countries that agree to monitoring are unlikely to be a problem, because to agree to that they either have to be honest or very good at hiding things. In fact, countries in general are rarely a problem, because they have too much to lose from actually using nukes or bio-weapons when they know other countries will retaliate.

The real problem is individuals with such weapons, because many are crazy enough to use them.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40976571)

The real problem is individuals with such weapons, because many are crazy enough to use them.

Yeah, but how do you keep them off the ballot?

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40976951)

Yeah, but how do you keep them off the ballot?

The people who would press the red button first chance they got are usually too unstable to get there; Ted Bundy, for example, was active in political campaigns and could have been a politico, but couldn't keep his murderous urges under control for long enough. Those who could reach that point are surrounded by many others who would prevent them from doing so; if Obama pressed the red button tomorrow because it's Tuesday, you can be pretty sure that the people beneath him in the nuclear chain of command would refuse to launch.

Wacko cults, on the other hand, have no such restrictions.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40977069)

It doesn't have to go nuclear. We have mass murderers in office now. Bundy and the cults are pikers. Hell, the taliban are bit players, expendable hollywood extras. Politicians are the biggest killers in the world.

Re:Yeah, that's called "whistleblowing" (1)

flaming error (1041742) | about 2 years ago | (#40976505)

"Operator, please give me "011 86 800 æ'å'çZæå¼"
Black sedan appears. Caller disappears.

My mind is a dangerous weapon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976305)

Let me see you try to ban THAT!!!

no need for social media, to know which... (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 years ago | (#40976451)

...countries and violated and continue to violate the non-proliferation
treaty, or those that turn a blind eye towards some of those that do.

The problem is not a technical one. It's a political one.

not terribly practical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976453)

No citizen, in any country, without some form of security clearance has access to the sort of information that would make this worthwhile. Once they have the security clearance, passing on any of this information promptly becomes illegal .......

Re:not terribly practical (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40976805)

No citizen, in any country, without some form of security clearance has access to the sort of information that would make this worthwhile. Once they have the security clearance, passing on any of this information promptly becomes illegal .......

Come on AC try harder. See I have gathered data that shows that AC is a US educated chemist capable of performing plutonium extractions. Suddenly, instead of tweeting on a regular basis at ye olde oil refinery, AC has cut back on tweeting 99% with the occasional tweet right outside the gate of a suspected reprocessing plant. In fact known reprocessing plant workers tweet at the hookah stand and the restaurant and bazzar and gas station down the road from the plant all the time, just like AC tweets now. And AC's tweeting history based on time happens to precisely match the working shifts at the plant. Oh look AC took his resume off linkedin, maybe he isn't looking for a new job anymore. And although AC never directly discusses work, ever, looks like AC is really freaking busy at work and seems to be getting paid pretty well. Hmm I'm a little dense but maybe the plant has illegally expanded operations and hired AC on as a chemist. Times a thousand other plant workers.

It goes both ways. I bet a careful analysis of social media data in the areas surrounding certain US locations could tell you all kinds of interesting things about their employer that they don't want made public. Even nothing at all is a signal. Hmm property tax records indicate 20K houses but tweet traffic indicates 19K houses worth of tweet traffic... I'll take a WAG that the plant employs about 1K people and they have a policy not to do any form of social media. I now know the number of employees and at least one IT policy. Interesting... Imagine the fun you could have data mining an employment site like linkedin for ex-employees.

Yeah, that'll work (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40976471)

Do people really still think that weapons can be un-invented?

Re:Yeah, that'll work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976577)

No, but they apparently think they can be rendered moot by their iPhone's of Telling and Droids of Far-sight.

Riiiiight.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976531)

How many Joe Schmoe's do you know walking around Area 51 with their cell phones out?

I've heard of this before... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976549)

It was called Wikileaks, and governments weren't too happy about it.

Seems familiar (1)

camusflage (65105) | about 2 years ago | (#40976797)

I think I saw this in a movie once. Maybe we should ask Morgan Freeman how he feels about it?

Soviet Union Already Complished this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976807)

They paid half the population to spy on the other. The whole reason for having arms is to depose a tyrannical government.

Let's apply the standard 2nd amendment argument (0)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40976871)

Nukes don't kill people, people kill people. If we ban certain countries from getting nukes, they're going to get nukes anyway. All that bans on nuclear weapons do is prevent law-abiding countries from getting their own nuclear deterrents, so only the bad guys end up armed. The world will be a lot safer with more nukes, not less. Nukes keep people safer. In fact everyone should carry them as their patriotic duty.

Re:Let's apply the standard 2nd amendment argument (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40976967)

Nuclear weapons have arguably been the greatest force for peace in the history of the world. The only problem is that if the deterrent effect breaks down, we all die.

Re:Let's apply the standard 2nd amendment argument (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | about 2 years ago | (#40977685)

Vietnam, Korea, Czech Republic and many other want to object...

Re:Let's apply the standard 2nd amendment argument (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40978197)

Coincidentally, none of those had nukes, while the party invading them did.

Re:Let's apply the standard 2nd amendment argument (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40978935)

Vietnam, Korea, Czech Republic and many other want to object...

All of those were minor wars compared to the mass slaughter of the 20th century prior to the development of nuclear weapons. And as the other poster pointed out, none of them had nuclear weapons.

Re:Let's apply the standard 2nd amendment argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40982287)

This following applies just as much to the "Nuclear deterrent". It is only a matter of time:

Blackadder: You see, Baldrick, in order to prevent a war in Europe, two super blocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side; and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast, opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way, there could never be a war.

Baldrick: Except, well, this is sort of a war, isn't it?

Blackadder: That's right. There was one tiny flaw in the plan.

George: Oh, what was that?

Blackadder: It was bollocks.

Re:Let's apply the standard 2nd amendment argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40982719)

have you noticed that the 2nd amendment argument doesn't work for criminals? In the case we're referring to (Iran), the state seeking nuclear weapons production capability has made its intentions clear in that it wants to use the nuclear weapons in an aggressive capacity. If you say, "If I only had a gun, I would shoot you," no one in their right mind should give you a gun.
If you say "they're only bluffing," you can change your name to Chamberlain.

On the concept that banning it only prevents law-abiding people from doing it: 1) the person in question must not have criminal intent and 2) the acquisition process must be trivial, such as purchasing a gun in a back alley from an individual. Nuclear weapons delivery and development research and production requires a massive financial and intellectual effort that is non-trivial. Non-trivial matters are much easier to prevent criminals from achieving through law enforcement procedure.

Re:Let's apply the standard 2nd amendment argument (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40987163)

Nukes are becoming increasingly easy to produce. Does that mean we should just give up and say "Fuck it, everyone's gonna have one, so we might as well have one too"?

Huh, WTF? Big Brother in my phone? (1)

lexsird (1208192) | about 2 years ago | (#40977039)

What kind of sensors in cell phones? Are they talking about sniffing out nukes? Are we aware of the sensors in our cell phones? Or are we to be used like some cheesy Batman plot, with some agency/entity sniffing at our phones? Why stop there? Let's sniff out drugs, firearms, etc. Once all of that is gone, then we can work on people's attitudes, we can detect anger management problems. If you use the wrong language, it will know.

I am a minimalist when it comes to this kind of use of technology. Sure it sounds all fine and dandy for now, but it never goes away and the problem that it was created for will. That leaves an irresistible tool in the wrong hands each and every time. It doesn't go away, and there is always some asshole improving it.

And of course this only sets us up for a major problem if an A.I. gets off it's reservation. Think Skynet, sure we can laugh now, but are we not building up to something like that or even something more fucked up? Nobody listens to the "crazy guy" until it's way too late. I was bitching about weather pattern changes and the threat of global warming back in the 80s. It's not so fucking funny now is it?

Re:Huh, WTF? Big Brother in my phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40977227)

Actually it's a laugh riot now. Weather patterns have been changing since long before your daddy smoked his first bowl. You ought to try doing some research instead of relying on psudeo scientists that are bought and paid for.

Re:Huh, WTF? Big Brother in my phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40977353)

A weatherman predicting rain throughout the year is generally right at for at least a few months.

It will be useful (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | about 2 years ago | (#40977709)

When countries trying to violate their disarment treaties do secret development in the middle of the main street.

Now, if they did somehow try to hide it in military/restricted instalations, that would make this proposal senseless. But evil war-mongering, rearming tyrants would not do that, wouldn't they?

OK, what happens if? (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | about 2 years ago | (#40979377)

Lets imagine Let’s imagine an hypothetical country that wants to invade another country that is suspected of developing and manufacturing weapons. All they will need with this system would be some hacking to “verify” that this other country (let’s call it Iraq) has chemical, biological and nuculear weapons (If they are real or not is an entirely different matter)

Narrow, inherently corruptible concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40982669)

this idea is surely being fronted by those who fear nuclear radiation more than anything in the world, including killer bees, since no practical means of chemical, bioweapon or explosive detection is likely to fit into such a package. In order to be practical it must be able to discern isotopes. It will be manufactured by people who cannot even place the volume control buttons sensibly, or add 'features' like turning volume down silences the ringer completely. So keys in the pocket will flood the sensor network with jangling false alarms. Not to mention state actors who would routinely (and cheaply) flood the network with bogus readings to ensure that any meaningful data is lost in noise. Swallow a radiation marker for a medical scan and get your house raided for WMDs. Definitely time to change cell providers.
 

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