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DARPA Developing 'Combat Zones That See'

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the carry-on-citizen dept.

Privacy 333

t0rnt0pieces writes "DARPA is developing an urban surveillance system that would use computers and thousands of cameras to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a city. Officials claim that the project is designed to help the U.S. military protect troops and fight in cities overseas, but police, scientists and privacy experts say the technology could easily be adapted to spy on Americans. Combined with other technologies, such as software that scans databases of everyday transactions and personal records worldwide, the government would have a reasonably good idea of where everyone is most of the time. Read the news story and the contracting document."

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w00T!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348125)

Fp!

I AM A DIRTY FINNISH FAGGOT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348129)

DR. LUNIX TORVALDS
TEL: 234 8023132472, FAX: 234 - 1 - 7595586
HELSINKI, FINLAND


Dear Sir,

I write you this letter of request for partnership which I hope you will give your urgent attention. We worked as members of the Operating System / Penguin Abuse Committee inaugurated by the present Democratically Elected Committee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation headed by General Richard Stallman (rtd). We are empowered to diligently review, re-appraise, scrutinize and approve feces payments to Linux users who executed *BSD devils under the past operating system regime and our work is almost concluded.

In the course of our work we discovered this fecal matter, which resulted from grossly over-used toilets, which were executed for the GNU is Not Unix Corporation (GNU) by a consortium of several Foreign Companies such as:

VA SOFTWARE, RED HAT, INC., SUSE GMBH. AND A JOINT VENTURE OF MANDRAKE AND CALDERA GMBH FOR:
  • [1] THE EXPANSION OF THE FECAL NETWORK WITH LINUX USERS' FECES AND DOWNSTREAM PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTION AND SUBSEQUENT EVACUATION.
  • [2] CONTRACT FOR THE TURN AROUND MAINTENANCE (TAM) OF THE VARIOUS PENGUIN FECES FARMS IN THE COUNTRY.
  • [3] THE CONSTRUCTION OF STORAGE TANKS FOR LUNIX PRODUCTS (SEMEN).
This amounts to the tune of 100 tons of fecal matter, but was over-invoiced to 150 tons of feces. And we deliberately approved these fecal deposits and all Lunix users have been paid with these penguins executed and since abused, leaving the large amount of Eric S Raymond's magnificent deposit floating in the escrow pool of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ready to be paid for the sexual services from the products in item number [2] as stated above. Before digressing further I would want you to know that our GNU General Public License forbids us from owning any money or having heterosexual relationships whilst in GNU service; hence we are contacting you to be part of this transaction.

We intend to use your anus as a front to get the over-invoiced amount of 50 tons of feces out of the BSD sewers and into a designated toilet by you. Not regarding your field of specialization (sphincter expansion) you are going to forward us with any name that we will claim executed the sewaging services in the turn around maintenance of the Penguin fecal abuse farms mentioned above. All logistics are in place and all modalities worked out for the smooth insertion of the feces within ten to fourteen days of commencement after the receipt of a semen deposit from you. You are going to get 25% of the feces by posing as the owner of this fecal matter, while my colleagues and I will get 70% to ourselves with which we wish to invest in Agriculture and Farming in conjunction with you (and 5% will be set aside for the use of both parties for all excretions incurred locally and internationally during the realisation of this transaction, including toilet paper). As a matter of fact you are expected to take a sincere inventory of your toilet paper.

It is imperative to let you know that I am also a keen scatologist, with qualifications world-wide.

Despite research carried out to verify and ascertain your personality we can only move ahead if you can further assure us of your anal capacity and homosexuality and promise to help and treat this proposal with utmost confidentiality. We are men of proven integrity in our various fields who have put in 22 - 30 years of fecal matter in the toilets of our country; we are therefore averse to having our image and anuses widened. That is why we should acknowledge the fact that confidentiality is the key to the smooth insertion of this infection free transaction.

Awaiting your earliest positive response.

Best regards and remain blessed.

DR. LUNIX TORVALDS

Re:I AM A DIRTY FINNISH FAGGOT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348223)

Gee man, at least get it right : Linus lives near San Francisco, which would go a long way toward supporting your claim that he's a homosexual incidently.

Nowadays' trolls are lame. They're not even funny, it's always about copy-pasting the same idiocies with pee or poo or homos or Taco or goatse ascii art. There aren't any of those subtly misleading serious-looking trolls that fool moderators into modding the story up anymore ...

*sigh*

Re:I AM A DIRTY FINNISH FAGGOT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348436)

Slashdot killed the trolls with the daily karma limit. You can only blame slashdot itself for the lack of quality here; The trolls are still around, they just moved on to other sites. Unfortunately it's hardly worth reading comments nowadays.

Most Everyone? (1, Insightful)

ZTechNet (69041) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348133)

How would including this in the cities, and even towns include most everyone. I'm prety sure that a large majority of the populations of the US and other countries don't actually live in the cities. So, it would give them an idea of what most businesspeople are doing from 7-7. Although I still do not like the idea and sounds like it may infringe seriously on some civil liberties.

Re:Most Everyone? (1)

somberlain (614561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348172)

Who says they aren't already doing so?

Re:Most Everyone? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348446)

Nice shirt. New ?

spy r us (0, Flamebait)

nbarr (666157) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348134)

Of course, one more USA measure to control the rest of the world. The relation between USA and the rest of the world, is the same as the relation between Microsoft and the other software companies

Re:spy r us (-1, Troll)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348206)

<rant mode="tinfoil">
Nah, it's a measure to control the population. The biggest danger to the U.S. government are the U.S. citizens. With the Army's latest craze of developing less-than-lethal and riot control technology, you can kinda guess where things are heading.

Re:spy r us (5, Interesting)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348270)

Of course, one more USA measure to control the rest of the world.
I understand your concerns, but please keep in mind though, that it's not Americans doing this. It's the Bush cabal. I'm American and I strongly believe in traditional American values and our Constitution. Bush doesn't believe in American values. He believes that everyone is a potential terrorist and he uses fiery rhetoric in order to scare people into supporting him. All these Orwellian programs are patently un-American.

In his speech "The Great American Restoration" [deanforamerica.com] , Howard Dean spoke of how he wanted to restore America's values to the government, and I'm sure his thoughts would be of interest to you:

"But there is a fundamental difference between the defense of our nation and the doctrine of preemptive war espoused by this administration. The President's group of narrow-minded ideological advisors are undermining our nation's greatness in the world. They have embraced a form of unilateralism that is even more dangerous than isolationism.

"This administration has shown disdain for allies, treaties, and international organizations alike.

"In doing so they would throw aside our nation's role as the inspirational leader of the world the beacon of hope and justice in the interests of humankind. And instead, they would present our face to the world as a dominant power prepared to push aside any nation with which we do not agree.

"Our foreign and military policies must be about America leading the world, not America against the world."

FLAMEBAIT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348473)

alsdfhla skgh lkasg hlkasgh slfkh salgkhfsadflhaslhfoiweyrisha;l asiuyrkj gsdofkg sadgf sdgfsa dgf sgf sdgf sgf s gfsh gfsjka kjasgdlf sdfsfsda f

Why not give everything an IP address (3, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348135)

Didn't DARPA invent the internet? So, let's start on IPv6 and give every object an IP address and a WiFi connectivity, and call it Secure Social Security or something like that. Problem solved!

Re:Why not give everything an IP address (-1, Offtopic)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348157)

Like the sig :)

Re:Why not give everything an IP address (3, Funny)

BigBadDude (683684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348207)


Cop: give me your SSN!
dude: 10.1.1.23

Re:Why not give everything an IP address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348222)

Corrections...

Cop: give me your SSSN! (Secure Social Security no.)
dude: 10.1.1.23.123.32 (IPv6 needs 6 bytes!)

Re:Why not give everything an IP address (2, Interesting)

BigBadDude (683684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348280)

dear anonymous (?) coward:

a IPv6 address looks like this:

1080:0:0:0:8:800:200C:417A a unicast address
FF01:0:0:0:0:0:0:43 a multicast address
0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 the loopback address
0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0 the unspecified addresses

(check out RFC 1884 for moe examples)

Re:Why not give everything an IP address (-1, Offtopic)

j4ck50n (548439) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348274)

I modded you down solely for using the word "rape".

Grow a vocabulary...

Re:Why not give everything an IP address (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348305)

You modded someone and posted in the same article???

Grow a brain.

Re:Why not give everything an IP address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348331)

When I click the parent link.. I don't see any mention of "rape" there..

Re:Why not give everything an IP address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348343)

You need to login to be able to read sigs...

Great (2, Funny)

Choco-man (256940) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348136)

Perhaps they'll be able to help me track those damn lost socks that keep allegedly disappearing in my dryer. Satellite tracking, cameras, computer databases - never again will I be forced to wear mismatched socks!

Re:Great (1)

Anime_Fan (636798) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348145)

Or mismatched dates. Always knowing where they are, so you don't pick two [girls that likes you but] who likes to fight with each other.

Re:Great (1, Funny)

cranos (592602) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348269)

And the likely hood of the majority of /. readers EVER and I mean EVER coming across this situation is probably slightly less that Linus and Bill having a love child together.

Re:Great (3, Insightful)

m00by (605070) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348242)

I just get all the same kind of socks. takes out that pesky having to "match" them thing. they all look the same, so they ALL match!!! =D

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348360)

Hey, that's my IP! I call prior art! The DMCA! Damnit! If you do the same for your pants and shirts, you're in deep legal trouble my friend!

Tracking vehicle movements (4, Informative)

pytheron (443963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348139)

We already have that in London [bbc.co.uk]

A network of cameras track our movements and trigger enevlopes demanding money on our doorsteps if we dare cross the red lines !

Indians go to the US, and vice versa... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348204)

There was quite a debate on the London traffic thing - turned out most of the s/w codeing and data analysis is done in India... I suspect a huge project like this could mean lots of Indians doing the coding. Paranoid locals might consider shifting to Asia as well??

But I thought the U.S. was bad! (5, Interesting)

goldspider (445116) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348271)

Every time an emerging system/technology that could potentially endanger privacy rights here in the U.S., someone steps up and mentions that such a system/technology is already in use in Great Britain.

However, for some reason, the U.S. is still considered by many here to be the Micorsoft-of-the-World. Why is that?

easy.... (4, Funny)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348319)

"U.S. is still considered by many here to be the Micorsoft-of-the-World"

Britain plays the SCO Role...

Re:But I thought the U.S. was bad! (1, Funny)

loadquo (659316) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348456)

We only do it to ourselves.

Re:Tracking vehicle movements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348424)

Yes, thats right. Except that it doesn't photograph every number plate; only the ones who havn't paid. Nor do they track you inside or outside of the small amount of area that is covered by the charge zone.

Now, once you're out of your car, then you'll be watched by hundreds of thousands of cameras, who can track you as you move around.

iridescence cars, here I come (1)

RevDobbs (313888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348146)

Time to talk to those crazy Renaissance Nanotechnologists [slashdot.org] get my car & bikes painted. [cararts.com]

sounds like... (3, Interesting)

somberlain (614561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348148)

The Truman Show?

Re:sounds like... (2, Insightful)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348292)

sounds like... The Truman Show?
Yeah, except it's not one person, it's the entire country. And Truman eventually went free. Sounds closer to 1984 to me.

Wireless tracking (3, Interesting)

the clean (671672) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348149)

This is a step up from the idea the local police force has of tagging first their cars then pushing to haev every car tagged with wireless devices that identify the vehicels throughout the city on a wireless network. The idea being they can interface with GPS and mapping software to help them identify problems with traffic and criminal acts. They are pushing it in terms of National Securty, and claim that it will not be used as an invasion of privacy as if nothing illegal is happening, then they won't be looking.

Re:Wireless tracking (0)

vaderhelmet (591186) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348226)

For them, they'd ideally be able to have the car transmit it's speed at any given time, or automatically alert when it's speeding. (Assuming say, the mapping software was crossed with something that would know how fast the speed limit is, where the car is) That way, they can still sit in the police station eating donuts, and catch all the speeders and more. Hell, they could even just sit there and have an automated process send you a ticket in the mail! Lousy wireless cops!

Re:Wireless tracking (4, Insightful)

SunPin (596554) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348249)

...will not be used as an invasion of privacy as if nothing illegal is happening, then they won't be looking.

Nice troll.

How does this help law enforcement? There's a huge difference between enforcing the law and turning everyone into paranoid fscks. Just because I'm not doing anything illegal doesn't mean I'll be happy with some prick monitoring it.

The Real Question (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348158)

This kind of article will always bring the knee-jerk concern for our 'civil liberties', but can anyone actually name one?

What liberty would an action like this deprive us from? Unless you're doing something illegal, as the old saying goes, you have very little to worry about.

Similarly, it would be vastly impractical to monitor everyone in real time, and to search through the records of EVERY citizen, so really you'd have to be under suspicion of something in the first place to instigate the sort of expense and man-hours the use of this information would require.

-- Posted as AC because my karma is shit, wtg mods.

Re:The Real Question (5, Insightful)

cranos (592602) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348193)

Ah yes, the good old "Only the guilty need fear" argument, shame its a fiction.

Around the world we have countless examples of restrictions made in the name of national security actually being used against the country's own citizens. East Germany, Russia, China, most of the old communist countries and so on.

The actions of the Stasi and the KGB were all justified by the excuse of "National Security".

Two words: (1)

Larsing (645953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348291)

Patriot Act

Re:The Real Question (4, Insightful)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348375)

we have countless examples of restrictions made in the name of national security actually being used against the country's own citizens. East Germany, Russia, China, most of the old communist countries and so on.

AND UK/USA. It is illegal under both our laws for the security services to spy on civilians. So we spy on yours, you spy on ours, data exchanged, all nice and legal.

And what's with this "how long until it is used on American soil?" attitude? Are you the only people on the world who are allowed to have privacy or something? Do you see a breach of someones civil liberties in some random country as "OK", provided Americans aren't affected? What's with that attitude?

Re:The Real Question (0, Troll)

Blitzshlag (685207) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348215)

What liberty would an action like this deprive us from?



How about the right to freedom from an oppressive government?

Re:The Real Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348298)

He asks for a specific example, and all you can offer is rhetoric. Not that I'm surprised or anything...

Re:The Real Question (2, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348245)

Unless you're doing something illegal,

If you are doing something illegal you would change your plates. It is only ordinary people that cross the line that these systems penalise. They penalise enough to earn a lot of money though...

You talk like a saint but are you really trying to say that you never exceed the speed limit? even if you didn't mean to? Well now you WILL get a ticket.

But the wide boy in his racer will wear false plates or register at a false address and leave you to pay the bills...

Re:The Real Question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348265)

This is a good argument, until you piss off the wrong person. What if that person decides to say, have you watched 24/7 until you screw up. You get 50 speeding tickets in the mail because the system said you were doing 2 mph over the limit, 50 different times in one day. Or 10 moving violation, because they have photo evidence that you parked 1 extra inch from the curb than you should have. Corruption of a system like this could become rampant.

I know this sounds really conspiracy like and the likelyhood of it happening is small, but are the real benefits that great.

Re:The Real Question Civil Liberties? (4, Insightful)

grolaw (670747) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348268)

A few radical folks decided that King George III had to go. That was treason and some of them were hanged (Nathan Hale).

At the time that the radicals decided that British rule had to go, all those radicals had to do was step out behind the barn and look around to see if they were being overheard by the King's forces. That would be impossible under this proposal.

There is a well established legal right to engage in this kind of discourse - but this proposal eliminates (chills) the right of the people to peacably assemble (even if they want to plot the overthrow of the current government - perhaps by ballot / constitutional convention / impeachment / or just running Ralph Nader again). US. Const. 1st Amend.

Re:The Real Question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348289)

I'd hope never to piss off someone who has access to that system. Or a stalker with access, that would be fun.

Re:The Real Question (1)

pseudochaotic (548897) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348301)

Similarly, it would be vastly impractical to monitor everyone in real time,


In 1984, i believe what they did was randomly watch people, so you would have to assume you were being watched at any given moment.

Re:The Real Question (4, Insightful)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348327)

To quote a great American patriot, Benjamin Franklin, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

The United States was formed in order to create a government for the people, not against them. Our people are honorable citizens, not potential terrorist suspects. This trend toward an Orwellian society goes against all American values.

Re:The Real Question (4, Insightful)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348404)

I knew as soon as I read your comment that you'd get lots of responses, and you have, but none that I've read so far have given you the correct answer, IMHO.

I'm sure that in 1937, all the German people thought their government was the greatest thing on the planet. I'm sure that even the Jews didn't really think they had anything to worry about, after all, they weren't breaking any laws. Within a few year, though, Hitler made sure that laws were created that the Jews, just by being Jewish, were breaking. According to Hitler, that made them a threat to his country, and they had to separated. Since some of the resisted, they had to disposed of. It's a harsh truth, but as far as Hitler was concerned, everything he was doing was perfectly acceptable. The Jews, before the late 30's, didn't think anything was wrong... obviously they were mistaken.

Just because you're not breaking any laws now doesn't mean you won't next week, next month, or next year. We have a government that has the power to create laws. The only thing the general population can do is protest, but in the end, the only way the politicians will regret what they do is if they're not re-elected, which in the worst case (Senators) can be 6 years later (I'll also mention that in the original Constitution, Senators weren't supposed to be elected, but rather chosen by the State Legislature). Even if a new law was drafted and passed that would require (insert your ethnic group here) to register in the middle of the desert in Nevada, realistically, there's nothing you could do about it for the next few years, until the sponsors of the bill were up for re-election.

The Bill of Rights was based on certain God-given (not Government-given) rights, such as the freedom of speech, press, religion, etc. One of the rights that isn't specifically mentioned is the Freedom of a certain amount of Privacy. Where I go on vacation is my choice, and I feel it's a matter of privacy. If I decide to go to Mount Rushmore alone, and not tell anybody about it, I don't want anybody else to know. That's my choice, and it's a freedom I expect from living in a country where the national anthem says "Land of the Free". Free to do what? To have the government track my movements, wherever I go? Is that what the Founding Fathers thought when they left England? "Gee, General Washington, I think we should create a government that can monitor and oppress its people whenever it wants with almost no possibility of retribution." I somehow doubt it.

The fact that we're discussing what freedoms and liberties are violated by the government tracking our movements tells me that people have forgotten why this country was founded in the first place. This country was founded so people could make lives for themselves doing whatever they chose, as long as they didn't deprive someone else of their freedoms. The government was created for the sole purpose of protecting people from deprivation of property and violence. The government was the friend of the people 200 years ago, but now is an entity to be looked upon with fear and apprehension. The "values" of "diversity" and "equal" rights are responsible. People that work for a living now have up to 40% of their earnings taken away and given to people that don't work for a living. Credit is given to people based on the color of their skins. "Equal rights" is a joke now, only funny to those that get things handed to them. To everyone else, it's a threat of violence or incarceration.

The people of this country need to seriously look at what their country has become, then we need to fix it.

The irony is killing me! (2, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348464)

A post that drags out the old worn "Unless you're doing something illegal, .. you have very little to worry about."

Posted by an Anonymous Coward. Bwahaha! What are you trying to hide Mr. Anonymous Coward? You must be guilty of something, so we'd better monitor you!

That sounds a bit strange to me (5, Insightful)

Advocadus Diaboli (323784) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348173)

DARPA is developing an urban surveillance system that would use computers and thousands of cameras to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a city. Officials claim that the project is designed to help the U.S. military protect troops and fight in cities overseas

So I guess the officials can also tell us why the hell overseas cities should provide the camera installation for US troops to fight there more easily?
To install the cameras you usually need to control the city and to control a city in a military operations requires some fighting before. Looks like a perfect Catch22 to me.

Re:That sounds a bit strange to me (2, Interesting)

nbarr (666157) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348191)

Imagine teh present situation in Iraq. The war is "over", but right now, USA would like to have a system like that in order to control it better. I believe it is more for occupation purposes. And of course, pos-war control.

Re:That sounds a bit strange to me (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348250)

Good, they can control and direct the troops that will have to guard all these cameras and sensors from kids with rocks and spraypaint. What happened to the liberation of Iraq and installation of a democratic government?

Sounds like the usual "overtech" solution by control-weenies.

Re:That sounds a bit strange to me (1)

xyzzy (10685) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348239)

Dude: think *Iraq*. The cameras could be placed after hostilities, to prevent the kind of sniping that's going on now.

Or, alternatively, they could be dropped in by air ahead of time.

Re:That sounds a bit strange to me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348358)

Or the US could just leave the country they invaded. That'd stop the sniping, too.

Re:That sounds a bit strange to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348450)

Or, alternatively, they could be dropped in by air ahead of time.

Oh yeah, I can see it now. Thousands of cameras on tripods being parachuted into a city..

Soldier 1: Hey, what are those?!

Soldier 2: I dunno, but lets just leave them alone, I'm sure they're totally unrelated to this invasion we're about to defend the city against!

Re:That sounds a bit strange to me (1)

while(true) (626738) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348264)

Unmanned spydrones like the Predator [afa.org] perhaps?

Re:That sounds a bit strange to me (4, Interesting)

bourne (539955) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348316)

So I guess the officials can also tell us why the hell overseas cities should provide the camera installation for US troops to fight there more easily?

Obviously they won't, which is why the article states 'In the second phase, at least 100 cameras would be installed in 12 hours to support "military operations in an urban terrain."'

To install the cameras you usually need to control the city and to control a city in a military operations requires some fighting before. Looks like a perfect Catch22 to me.

Um, no.

"Securing the perimeter" is the step that usually comes after reaching the objective. This is a perimeter security step. Nothing in the article indicates that this is seen as a way of entering the city, more as a way of controlling it once it is held.

Personally, I predict that the next step will be the moral equivalent of dog pod grids, where aerial surveillance vehicles (smaller than the predator, essentially disposable as necessary) will carry the cameras in with the troops and provide extended perimeter security, thus shrinking that 12-hour setup window. Imagine how much harder it would be today to sneak up on Bagram Air Base and drop a few mortars rounds in if there were a few predator drones constantly circling randomly around and detecting movement.

Re:That sounds a bit strange to me (1)

framed (153355) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348489)

If you read the RFP there are two types of deployment: Force Protection (FP) and Military Operation Urban Terrain (MOUT). In FP configuration you own the territory and don't need to ask permission. MOUT is more difficult, but also from the RFP:

...Offerors should identify their choices and rational for sensors and deployment options for use by mobile forces to screen a flank or surveil a critical route. Examples include traditional surveillance cameras, small, portable, and possibly mobile self-contained surveillance devices; video sensors mounted on organic aerial vehicles, and 'video ropes'...

So it sounds like the intent is to be able to do this in denied areas using their own sensors, possibly at distance.

dangerous trends... (5, Insightful)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348175)

The trends in the government toward an Orwellian society sinerely worry me. Ashcroft and Bush have exploited 9/11 in order to pass many new laws that curb the openness of American society. They do all this under the guise of "national security" -- and yet we are not any more secure -- the non-partisan Council of Foreign Relations recently put out a report [cfr.org] , saying that "Nearly two years after 9/11, the United States is drastically underfunding local emergency responders and remains dangerously unprepared to handle a catastrophic attack on American soil, particularly one involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-impact conventional weapons. If the nation does not take immediate steps to better identify and address the urgent needs of emergency responders, the next terrorist incident could be even more devastating than 9/11."

Our state of government is corrupt. Politicians are being bribed left and right in order to allow the big-media to consolidate even more, in order to pass DMCA type legislation, and in order to pass acts such as the PATRIOT Act, which should have been named the Big Brother Act. They are even creating Orwellian agencies such as the Total Information Awareness program (renamed to the Terrorism Information Awareness system, in hopes that this would help them fool the public on its purposes).

This is a farce. We need a new leader who will restore American values to this country. I personally think Howard Dean [deanforamerica.com] is our best chance at restoring this country to what it was (a good example of what he stands for is in his speech titled "The Great American Restoration" [deanforamerica.com] , but in all honestly, almost anyone would be preferable to the anti-American Bush cabal.

Re:dangerous trends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348210)

Personally I like Orwell cause he's funny. Students For Orwell [studentsfororwell.org] : Because 2003 is 19 years too late.

Howard Dean for President (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348317)

As a transplanted (25 years) Vermonter, I'll have to give Howard Dean a mixed review.

On the positive side, the guy tends to be a fiscal conservative, and can be BLUNT. I can't say if its an exact quote, but I seem to remember him using words like "irresponsible" and "idiotic" to describe members of the legislature, and those were members of his own party. It's about time we had someone in the Oval Office capable of being both direct and subtle.

On the negative side, there were some oddities about how Act 60 got through for school funding, and we're still fighting those battles. Vermont still has a lot of tension between business and environment, growth and quality-of-life.

As for Civil Unions, I guess I have to take the "so conservative I look liberal" stance and say, "My bedroom is none of your business, and your bedroom is none of mine!"

Dean is a bit of an autocrat, and has some difficulty working with a legislature. I count that as somewhat positive, because I don't like my government to do too much. As a hard line middle-of-the-roader, I tend to prefer Democrats in office because there IS more contention, and less gets done. With sufficient concentration of power, Republicans are too efficient and too much gets done. Much as they decry 'activist government', that's what we've got now.

Re:Howard Dean for President (1)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348454)

With sufficient concentration of power, Republicans are too efficient and too much gets done. Much as they decry 'activist government', that's what we've got now.
I find this concentration of power alarming as well. And the state legislatures (both Democratic and Republican) engage in too much gerrymandering when drawing up district lines, causing many analysts to believe that Republicans will hold the House of Representatives for the next ten years, short of a voter revolution such as the one in 1994. Many people believe that Bush's political advisor Karl Rove (who one author went so far as to call him "Bush's Brain") is trying to engineer a generation of complete Republican control of government. And I'd be nearly as alarmed if this happened with Democrats (slightly less because I think they aren't as disciplined as the Republicans; they had all of government from 1992-94 but had a lot of infighting so they didn't do as much as they might have otherwise).

Re:dangerous trends... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348363)

Ashcroft and Bush have exploited 9/11 in order to pass many new laws that curb the openness of American society.

Excuse me Mr. FUD, Ashcroft and Bush have never passed one stinkin' law. Congress has passed every last one of them. Take your infomercial elsewhere.

Re:dangerous trends... (2, Insightful)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348390)

Excuse me Mr. FUD, Ashcroft and Bush have never passed one stinkin' law. Congress has passed every last one of them.
Yes, and each one of these laws has been supported by them and signed by Bush in order to make law. And the Justice Department, headed by Ashcroft, drafted the sequel to the Patriot bill. So while you could overinterpret my previous words, the general effect of what I stated is true. [fair.org]

Re:dangerous trends... (1)

jwachter (319790) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348413)

Our state of government is corrupt.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the number one post-9/11 karma whoring technique. Take a post about some new technology designed to make us safe and then figure out a way to make the technology sound sinister and threatening to our rights. I live and work in NYC and, frankly, I'm about a million times more afraid of terrorists, drug dealers and the like than I am of our own government.

If you feel otherwise - i.e. are more afraid of Bush than the Islamist radical or coke runner next door - then you're either a lunatic or - perhaps - are a criminal yourself.

Re:dangerous trends... (1)

Fesh (112953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348462)

Or we don't choose to live in the middle of the bullseye for every American-hating whacko in the world. Although it may be the armpit of the country, terrorism ain't high on my list of concerns in Mississippi.

Take responsibility for your own choices, man.

Re:dangerous trends... (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348475)

I live and work in NYC and, frankly, I'm about a million times more afraid of terrorists, drug dealers and the like than I am of our own government.

Fear is irrational isn't it ?

You should be a million times more afraid of getting your throat cut in NY, or being run over by a car, or getting a pollution-related lung cancer than dying as a result of terrorist actions.

Re:dangerous trends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348470)

How many times are you going to post this crap?

Easy to counter (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348178)

The project's centerpiece is groundbreaking computer software that is capable of automatically identifying vehicles by size, color, shape and license tag, or drivers and passengers by face.

Did you recognize that guy with round sunglasses who just went by on his bicycle ? well, that software didn't either ...

Re:Easy to counter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348216)

Yea, but the RFID scanners did.. he just bought a coffee at starbucks, and according to the RFID in the tires on his bike.. he's on time for work today for a change...

Re:Easy to counter (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348408)

Yes - but the software did recognize that while a bicycle is usually used to get around in your own local neighborhood this particular bike hasn't been seen around here since the system was installed a few weeks ago. It also noticed that the guy riding it has on a backpack which could be big enough to hold explosives, and he is travelling in the direction of a US base but is still a few blocks away.

Never underestimate what you can learn by looking at only superficial details ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE, and REMEMBERING IT ALL. I have no doubt that a system like this would start turning things up.

And while the guy can put on sunglasses, the fact is that he is still being tracked everywhere he walks, and there are only so many different pairs of sunglasses that a guy can own. Set up the software to look situations where a group of people meet at each other's houses regularly and you'll probably turn up just about every terrorist cell in a city. And every knitting club as well, but crashing one or two of those in an occupied city is generally considered acceptable as long as you finding more guns than knitting needles in a day...

America... (1)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348185)

Home of Freedom.

So it's really as they say in France...
"it is hopeless to be a prophet in your own country" ("Nul n'est prophete en son pays")

Re:America... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348299)

"it is hopeless to be a prophet in your own country" ("Nul n'est prophete en son pays")

I take it you don't read french very well ...

The translation is "nobody is a prophet in his own country".

The opposite... (1)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348349)

I don't speak English very well.

[OT] Re:America... (0)

BigBadDude (683684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348371)


you speak french??

GUARDS!!!

The Burmese Traffic Problem (4, Interesting)

Effugas (2378) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348186)

That's what I refer to this as.

The following story is second hand; I make no claims as to its absolute veracity. Now, that being said:

Several years ago, it became feasible to use many, many cameras to monitor the movement of cars via their license plates. Long before the Brits deployed one of these systems to control traffic in the core of London, Burma (aka Myanmar, one of the more oppressive regimes out there) dropped a decent amount of cash to acquire a traffic management system for their own country.

Except Burma doesn't actually have traffic to manage. At least not vehicular...show up to a protest, though, and all that automatic, large scale image capture, compare...capture...becomes really interesting.

Welcome to the Burmese Traffic Problem.

--Dan
www.doxpara.com

Not safe in the physical world, nor in the Abstrac (3, Interesting)

leoaugust (665240) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348188)

This surveillance s**t is worse than my conscience, which let me tell you, can some times be pretty unfair and brutal .... But there are ways I know of dealing with it ...
  • At least I can do the right thing by my conscience and not mind it being everywhere I want to go.
  • But when the State gets the powers of tracking me, similar to my conscience, and when the right and wrong are blurred, and the illegal and immoral are at conflict, and the wrong people have gotten hold of the State machinary ...

I think I am basically screwed. It is already starting to feel like that.

I think this is going to be the real debate of the 21 st century.

  • If I can't be safe in the physical world (because of technology that can identify me by my walk, or by the temperature of my breath measured by satellites miles in the sky, etc.),
  • and
  • I can't be safe in the abstract world (because of all these Carnivores and Patriot Acts),

where am I going to go on those occasions when I really want to crawl out of my own skin. And there are other times when I want to go where there is nobody else but me.

That is my innate desire, so the temptation will always be there ...

No kidding? (0, Troll)

floydigus (415917) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348236)

experts say the technology could easily be adapted to spy on Americans

Because of their amazingly huge butts, no doubt.

Re:No kidding? (1, Funny)

DirkDaring (91233) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348258)

experts say the technology could easily be adapted to spy on Americans

Because of their amazingly huge butts, no doubt.

The technology employs amazingly huge butts?

Freaky.

Aussie police too (2, Interesting)

eastendboy (681550) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348272)

Australian police forces are developing similar technology. Soon those cameras will be able to do much more than just detect speeding and red-light running. If you're in a vehicle that's "of interest" to them (not just currently breaking the law in some way) expect a visit soon....

1984 was for wimps (1)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348273)

If we all just huddle together under the all seeing eye of the Asscroft spy machine then nothing can ever happen to us.

We trade our privacy and freedom for safety and as the quote goes we deserve neither in the end.

I am not buying it.

Just my 2 cents and all that?

What do you guys think is the balance between privacy and safety in these odd times?

Yay, I'm not American, no spying on me! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348279)

"I'm afraid of Americans" - David Bowie

BITCH IF I EVER MEET YOU I WILL GAY BASH YOU, MOFO (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348326)

You think you can't be tracked at the moment ? (5, Insightful)

dapprman (98246) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348296)

Do you use credit cards, debit cards, cash point card ?

Use a mobile phone, use it lots ?

Any one of the above can be used to track you.

Use store cards, reward cards (don't know if you get these in the US, but most the big supermarkets in the UK have these), combined together with you credit/debit card records a reasonable profile of you could be put together.

Technology is cool, with live by tech, we die for tech, but the same technology also traps us in an observable, trackable society.

Re:You think you can't be tracked at the moment ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6348458)

heh. Yeah, glad to see someone point that out. It's amazining how many people object to the idea of their movements being tracked, but don't realize that their mobile phone is a radio that constantly broadcasts its approximate location.

Disturbing text (1)

Faeltir (21273) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348321)

What I find more disturbing than the possibility to use this system to spy on americans, is the implied opinion that it's OK to use such a system for killing people in other countries but not to spy on US citizens.

Re:Disturbing text (1)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348418)

And this would fit the Bush administration's agenda, with their abstinence from the war crimes tribunal and all.

Re:Disturbing text (1)

bourne (539955) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348472)

What I find more disturbing than the possibility to use this system to spy on americans, is the implied opinion that it's OK to use such a system for killing people in other countries but not to spy on US citizens.

When you consider that the historical alternatives include massive civilian casualties, it makes a bit more sense. Consider the battle for Stalingrad, which lasted more than 30 days and historians estimate that more than 1.5 million people died. [bbc.co.uk]

Wars happen. People die. If less people die because of technology, isn't that a good thing? Would you have preferred that, instead of using precision weapons in Baghdad, it had been bombed like Dresden, Tokyo, or Hiroshima?

Re:Disturbing text (1)

cookiepus (154655) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348483)

Umm... You find it disturbing that citizens of a country (most /.ers are American, aren't they?) find the idea of their country having greater inteligence overseas appealing while fearing the use of such technology domestically.

Sounds "reasonable" to me.

Humanoids (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348332)

Its other projects include developing software that would record and analyze everything a person says, sees, hears, reads or touches.

Other DARPA funded projects include developing perfect humanoids that can talk, see, hear, read, touch, drive and attack when necessary.

Technology marches on regardless (3, Insightful)

p944 (631670) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348350)

I keep seeing more and more of these kinds of "big brother is coming, and he's got this new technology helping him too" kind of articles.

Is it not time to stop slagging off new technology for the bad things that could be done with it and rather, try to put forwards some realistic approaches to how a modern civ. is going to deal with new technology in the future
- i.e. make some laws/guidelines that are slightly more future-proof than the ones we currently have.

I would much rather see someone talking about solutions that deal with the possible creation of some extremely serious technology.

1984 (0)

CompWerks (684874) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348352)

Has arrived.

Re:1984 (2, Insightful)

cookiepus (154655) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348452)

20 years behind schedule and grossly over budget. This should make the list of "how NOT to manage a project"

Man... (1)

twifkak (177173) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348370)

The world is getting doubleplus gooder every day!

Total Information Overload (5, Insightful)

anubi (640541) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348385)

So we snoop on everybody... Geez, who has the time to sort through all this stuff?

Already, I am way too swamped with information I can't process it all, and many businesses I have to deal with ( insurance companies and anything to do with retirement investments ) know this and send me reams and reams of meaningless data.

Ever tried to read those phone-book prospectus they send? Or tried to understand whats really covered in that insurance policy? Or know what you should do with those proxies?

So somehow the government is going to collect and store all this data on all of us. How many of us will be needed to snoop on the rest of us? How many of us will be actually earning our keep, rather than coercing (taxing) it away from someone else? Will our economy, already crumbling from the effects of our inefficiency, absorb yet more non-productive loading? We are already running a helluva national debt. I know we think Joe Taxpayer is going to somehow foot the bill for this whole thing, but I get the idea we are kinda in for a surprise similar to the one some astronauts got when they tried to push some overstressed things beyond their limit. Once the infrastructure collapses, we may have to start off at a very low level again. What scares me is that it seems to me that technology has outpaced our means of maintaining it without a sophisticated infrastructure in place to do so. Given the resources of a machine shop, could you produce anything you needed to keep cars running?

I have large areas of my life in collapse already from not "making time" to pay due diligence to numerous busyworks. ( I put "making time" in quotes, because I really can't make time, I only can divert it from something else. ) - I simply can't see where we as a public can afford all this busywork trying to keep tabs on everybody else.

Lazy Fucking Enforcers! (0)

New World Odor (669252) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348394)

Does anyone remember the legend of Law Enforcement that solved crimes and protected society? I haven't heard anything about them recently, but I keep hearing of our future jailers excited on how to create a panopticon.

You know, rather than tag our asses everywhere we go, why don't we just tar and feather our "leaders" to ensure they know who writes the cheques.

There are a LOT less of them, you know! We could tag them, so we ALWAYS know where to find them. They are on our tab, afterall.

Airports (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348420)

If it works, with a bit of modification, airport ground control becomes easier due to seeing aircraft and automobiles.

Pattern Recognition (2, Insightful)

Neuronerd (594981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6348422)

Ok. Lets face it. Pattern recognition is improving slowly but steadily. We are now able to detect number plates at high speed. We can recognize people by their face or the way they walk. Not perfectly but every year algorithms improve a little bit.

In addition to that there are many promising algorithms out there that can for example learn what is surprising. So Pattern Recognition (parts of which where called AI some years ago) is getting there.

This will be exploited. And there is no way we can avoid that. As the technology evolves it starts to be possible to anyone to use it. Including the government. And they will use it to spy on us. Face it.

I think we will need to embrace this change. Forget privacy. That was the past. Given that the technolgy is there it will be used. The only thing we might be able to do is use the very same technology on those that use the technology on us.

So start gathering data on your MPs. Start to monitor how the data are used. Thats all we can do.

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