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Homeland Security's Tech Wonders

CmdrTaco posted about 7 years ago | from the segways-and-calculator-watches dept.

138

Lucas123 writes "The multi-billion dollar budget of the Department of Homeland Security has spawned a myriad of new, whiz-bang technology that includes things like keychain-size, remote-controlled aerial vehicles designed to collect and transmit data for military and homeland security uses. It also includes infrared cameras that capture license plate images to match them in milliseconds to police records. "Seventy percent of all criminal activity can be tied to a vehicle," says Mark Windover, president of Remington ELSAG Law Enforcement Systems, which is marketing its product to 250 U.S. police agencies."

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Thank God we have this technology (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720039)

Now we will see crime drop just like it did in the UK when they installed their cameras!

Re:Thank God we have this technology (2, Insightful)

im just cannonfodder (1089055) | about 7 years ago | (#20720489)

You are joking aren't you, security cameras have this week been proved ineffective in solving and preventing crime!

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/index.cfm?newsid=10804 [pcadvisor.co.uk]

i know in my home town that police men on the beat has been completely stopped since the introduction of the blanket cctv coverage in my town but on Friday and Saturday nights shop windows in our high street get smashed and parked cars vandalised, and the drunken fights are now not stopped as no police attend, so who exactly is watching and when the police are approached to obtain footage to find the criminals ppl are always told the camera was facing the wrong way!
they're an excuse for cutbacks in the police force that fail to work and are abused when the are.

the only day i have seen cameras on our sea front move is when there was a rescue day (coast guard ect) and the cameras were pointing out to fecking sea, not watching the crowd!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_7000000/newsid_7007400?redirect=7007418.stm&news=1&bbwm=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&nbram=1 [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Thank God we have this technology (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | about 7 years ago | (#20720683)

"You are joking aren't you"

Yes. He was.

Re:Thank God we have this technology (1)

symes (835608) | about 7 years ago | (#20721609)

You are joking aren't you, security cameras have this week been proved ineffective in solving and preventing crime!
With the greatest of respect, this study 1. does not "proove" anything - if you wanted to test the relationship between crimw clear-up rate and cctv then this is not the way you would do it, 2. studies in the beavhoural sciences typical 'falsify' 3. that study did not say anything about prevention. There's reference to a study completed in 2005 but this has been the topic of some contention in the world of criminology - some studies show one thing, another something completely different.

CCTV in the UK is primarily, and still is, for traffic monitoring. Very few CCTV feeds plug into police operations, they go via local government first. And even fewer police forces in the UK have control over the cameras.

As is typical in the UK, no one can be bothered to conduct the studies we clearly need. Money is spent on half-arsed speculation by people who don't even know what a t-test is.

Re:Thank God we have this technology (0, Offtopic)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | about 7 years ago | (#20720907)

OT: War with Iran has begun.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4nqrNbjfhw [youtube.com]

Re:Thank God we have this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20723561)

The interview was with a retired colonel who is basing his opinion on rumor and speculation. Let me know when there is some real evidence.

Re:Thank God we have this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20725061)

Evidence, you mean like FoxNews?

Re:Thank God we have this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720935)

FTA: Seventy percent of all criminal activity can be tied to a vehicle.

And nearly 100% can be tied back to that most common gateway drug -- mother's milk. Please bring your tits by the local police station for DNA typing and tattooing.

Wonders, Lisa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720995)

Or blunders?

I think that was implied by what I said.

Implied, or implode?

Re:Thank God we have this technology (1)

Maelwryth (982896) | about 7 years ago | (#20721323)

"Homeland Security's Tech Wonders"

Not if they only have one Tech. At first glimpse, I wondered what exactly the Tech was wondering. Now, I wonder if the title wouldn't have been better as H.S.T.W..

Re:Thank God we have this technology (1)

mpe (36238) | about 7 years ago | (#20722357)

Now we will see crime drop just like it did in the UK when they installed their cameras!

Some of these things may actually cause a rise in crime. Since they are at least as useful to criminals as they are to law enforcement.

not wrong (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720043)

"Seventy percent of all criminal activity can be tied to a vehicle,"

The occupant of Air force one ?

Re:not wrong (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20720139)

The occupant of Air force one ?

Well, and now we know why he believes he's above the law.

We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (3, Funny)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | about 7 years ago | (#20720059)


It also includes infrared cameras that capture license plate images to match them in milliseconds to police records.

The CAPTCHA's are getting so damned difficult to decipher that I can hardly even sign up for anonymous email accounts or download pr0n anymore.

Re:We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (2, Funny)

Reziac (43301) | about 7 years ago | (#20720173)

[drives through large mud puddle, neglects to wash truck]

There. All captcha'd.

Re:We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 7 years ago | (#20720579)

No problem. Make it illegal to have dirty license plates - as soon as the system detects a license plate it can't read, an officer is dispatched to stop the vehicle.

Re:We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (1)

c_forq (924234) | about 7 years ago | (#20720739)

I am pretty sure this is the case in every state. If it is too dirty to read it falls under obstruction (same charge as if you covered it, painted it, or hid it).

Re:We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | about 7 years ago | (#20720829)

Yet there's still hordes of people who drive around with those smoked plastic covers over their license plates.

Re:We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (1)

Reziac (43301) | about 7 years ago | (#20720993)

Likely how it would work, yeah... all they'd have to do is attach a fine with points, and make it part of the unspoken ticket quota system...

But it'd be real hard to enforce in a rural state where everyone has dusty/muddy cars almost all the time, or in winter when you get snow splatter freezing on the lower half of the car, and can't drive two blocks without getting resplattered.

Another perverse thought: hairspray. Won't obscure it, but reduces contrast dramatically.

Re:We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (2, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | about 7 years ago | (#20724095)

Even simpler. Make a long bumper sticker that runs the entire length of the bumper right up to both sides of the plate. Fill it with random text and numbers the same size as the text using a carbon base ink on the sticker. Cover it with black window tint film. You now have a nice black bumper. The auto IR camera sees an extreme plate as it makes the window film transparant.

Re:We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (1)

Reziac (43301) | about 7 years ago | (#20725191)

Tee hee, oooh, that's just evil, and so decorative too :D

Re:We need "CAPTCHA" license plates. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 7 years ago | (#20721243)

If they're gonna captcha something, how about if they make it Osama Bin Laden. I'm not sure how much terrorism is going to be stopped by them being able to read my license plate number and match it to some database somewhere. They might find out I owe some parking tickets, though.

But then, I doubt if any of this is about terrorism at all. I'm a lot more scared by a corporate-owned government using high technology to watch and control our behavior than I am of fundamentalist Muslims blowing me up. And I live several blocks from one of the US's biggest targets.

Heckuva job.

"a myriad" eh? (-1, Offtopic)

Dralithi (983409) | about 7 years ago | (#20720079)

from: http://wordie.org/words/myriad/ [wordie.org] "myriad" is not a noun and should not be used as: "A myriad of folks who misuse this word." The proper use is: "Myriad folks misuse this word."

o rly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720141)

According to marriam-webster, the noun is actually the older form of the word. See the usage note at http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/myriad [m-w.com]

Re: "a myriad" eh? (4, Informative)

foobsr (693224) | about 7 years ago | (#20720193)

"usage: Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it."

http://m-w.com/dictionary/myriad [m-w.com] (Definition of myriad from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

A problem with information on 'the Internets' is that there are chances that the quality of the sources are not always properly assessed.

CC.

Re: "a myriad" eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20722489)

A problem with information on 'the Internets' is that there are chances that the quality of the sources are not always properly assessed.

(Score:4, Informative), my ass! Should be (Score:-2, Pompous and erroneous).

So you, oh-measure-of-all-men, are the true arbiter of whether the source has been "properly assessed"? Why is your source preferable to anyone else's? Because you're "special"?

My source, the Liddel & Scott Greek Lexicon (yes, I did take three years of ancient Greek), defines it as follows: murios, -a, on (feminine and neuter endings shown for declension purposes) -- ten thousand, countless. How's that as a noun? How's that for old? Thus I blow farts in the general direction of your sixteenth century novelties.

The definition continues with references to both singular and plural usages, but never is it shown as a noun. The closest you could get to a noun would be to describe it as a substantive adjective, as is done in that upstart, English.

Note also that your own source says "As the entries here show, ....", without providing said entries other than its own self-supplied definitions listed as nouns. Helluva source, Brownie.

By the way, your pedantship -- the quality of the sources is not always properly assessed. While no extra points are granted for it in your final grade, subject-predicate agreement remains important in this classroom.

Re: "a myriad" eh? (1)

TheGavster (774657) | about 7 years ago | (#20723659)

My source, the Liddel & Scott Greek Lexicon ...

Not knowing the relative authority of either source, the one about modern English trumps the one about ancient Greek in my book.

Re: "a myriad" eh? (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20720195)

I say we go with "plethora" or "vast cornucopia" instead.

Re: "a myriad" eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720247)

You're wrong: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/myriad [m-w.com]

From the Mirriam-Webster dictionary: Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.

Re: "a myriad" eh? (1)

bgt421 (1006945) | about 7 years ago | (#20720291)

From http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?sourceid=Mozilla-search&va=myriad [m-w.com] Merriam-Webster:

Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.
So, grammatically speaking the DHS can spawn a myriad of anything it wants too.

Re: "a myriad" eh? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#20720381)

It IS a noun. It is also an adjective. Please check your facts before trying to correct others.

myriad [reference.com] /mrid/ [mir-ee-uhd]

-noun
1. a very great or indefinitely great number of persons or things.
2. ten thousand.
-adjective
3. of an indefinitely great number; innumerable: the myriad stars of a summer night.
4. having innumerable phases, aspects, variations, etc.: the myriad mind of Shakespeare.
5. ten thousand.
Origin: 1545-55; Gk myriad- (s. of myriás) ten thousand; see -ad1

Also interesting:

Usage Note: Throughout most of its history in English myriad was used as a noun, as in a myriad of men. In the 19th century it began to be used in poetry as an adjective, as in myriad men. Both usages in English are acceptable, as in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Myriad myriads of lives." This poetic, adjectival use became so well entrenched generally that many people came to consider it as the only correct use. In fact, both uses in English are parallel with those of the original ancient Greek. The Greek word mrias, from which myriad derives, could be used as either a noun or an adjective, but the noun mrias was used in general prose and in mathematics while the adjective mrias was used only in poetry.

A very small myriad (1)

wsanders (114993) | about 7 years ago | (#20720431)

"A myriad" can refer to a very small myriad. As in,

"All this expensive crap has a myriad of uses compared to good old fashioned police work."

Thats "a great myriad" to you Pal (2, Funny)

RenderSeven (938535) | about 7 years ago | (#20720501)

Hey, it took millions of Egyptians to built the Great Myriads, and if they want to noun them thats there write.

Re: "a myriad" eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20721107)

Wow, I bet you feel like a fuckin' idiot now. That ought to shut you up for the rest of the year. Thanks for the chuckle, asshat.

Re: "a myriad" eh? (1)

alshithead (981606) | about 7 years ago | (#20721673)

Ow! I have found it best not to nitpick grammar and spelling on Slashdot. There are plenty of folks here who are very intelligent and be's not the bestest fo speelers or grammaticistists. I think it's best to judge the content not the occasional misuse of a word or spelling. Also, some of the world's best educated in English seem to peruse Slashdot and they WILL hold you to your own standards and put you in your place if you try to be a grammar Nazi and you are actually...WRONG! That is part of the evolution of my sig. :)

I'm gettin old enough now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20722161)

...that I turned into a grammaticist. Some of them hot older babes looking mighty fine to me!

Re: "a myriad" eh? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 years ago | (#20724315)

Also it's an international site so you get people that try to correct the spelling of "aluminium" or "colour" because they don't have a clue that you are writing in english and not american. The language of the net is broken english and we also get people that redefine words for the purposes of their own arguments (eg. RMS and free - but there are a lot of people in US academia that appear to do this so he probably thought it was standard practice).

I'm never going to bother to spellcheck a slashdot post and neither are a lot of people. It really doesn't matter unless it changes the meaning of things.

bureaucratic incompetance is the greatest threat (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720083)

How is stuff like correlating license plates to crime, or flying small recon drones around, helping catch terrorists? According to the Director of National Intelligence, Michael McConnell, the best thing Washington could have done to prevent the terrorist attacks in new york was to have listened to FBI agents when they repeatedly warned that Zacarias Moussaoui was acting suspiciously, and repeatedly requested search warrants (http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Story?id=3621517&page=1 .) Homeland security should be doing research about how to prevent bureaucratic incompetance.

Re:bureaucratic incompetance is the greatest threa (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20720227)

Probably that means they should be spying upon themselves more. That way, if an agent figures out something useful maybe someone in another agency will learn about it and be able to make use of it. At least they won't need to worry about lack of inter-agency cooperation and all that.

Re:bureaucratic incompetance is the greatest threa (2, Insightful)

Aglassis (10161) | about 7 years ago | (#20720231)

Homeland security should be doing research about how to prevent bureaucratic incompetance.

I like this sentence. It sends me into a trance every time I read it. I think it is because I imagine the DHS trying to perform this research and ironically getting nowhere. Then they try to research why their previous research got nowhere. When that gets nowhere they decide to research why the research of why their previous research got nowhere got nowhere and so on.

More than you understand. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 7 years ago | (#20720263)

Pop quiz, in the USofA are there:
#1. More terrorists?

#2. More crooked cops?

Now, which of these is this new surveillance technology supposed to protect you from and which ones will have it?

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/conductunbecoming/ [nwsource.com]

Re:More than you understand. (1)

nuintari (47926) | about 7 years ago | (#20720929)

Pop quiz, in the USofA are there:
#1. More terrorists?

#2. More crooked cops?
#3. More people in a position of power who think they are above some laws because they know best.

Re:More than you understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20723783)

#3. More people in a position of power who think they are above some laws because they know best.

OK, enough of the snide innuendo. If you want to talk about our commander-in-thief, his full name is George Walker Bush. Use it that way.

Re:More than you understand. (1)

JasonTik (872158) | about 7 years ago | (#20724653)

But! But! Think of the children!

it isn't incompetence.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20722513)

....once you realize they wanted that attack to go down. Then it makes a lot more sense. Trillions in profits for the connected elite, unlimited political power, far and away from any legitimate Constitutional authority, for those who give the orders.

How soon people forget. The FBI had an informant inside the cell that did the *first* WTC attack in 93. And "others" had informants involved with the OKC attack.

You have the finest stealth tyrannical government that long term planning and "need to know" rogue government officials can devise. Enjoy living in a dictatorship and keep believing in their fairy tales of what happened and when.

And people are still wondering why there is more "security" infrastructure going in place? It has nothing to do with stopping crime or catching terrorists, it has everything to do with locking down the police state, step by step by step. Right in front of your faces. Too much all at once, they get a revolt, a nasty one. One step at a time, and their serfs will demand the police state be implemented, just like what is happening right now.

*Some* government is stupid, other parts of government (now corporate government or fascism, might as well call it what it is, transnational globalist fascism) are quite smart, that is why they give the orders and are billionaires, and "most any one else you" don't and aren't. The smart ruthless guys call the shots, the weaker and stupider people follow orders. And don't forget the ruthless part and remember, they coined the term "acceptable collateral damage" to justify their actions. That is how it has always been throughout history, so it isn't any different now, just people refuse to accept the reality confronting them, like they always do until it is too late to do much about it. The term is cognizant dissonance, and it is why is was so easy for ruthless "leaders" in the last century to get people to willingly climb into trucks headed to the camps without much fighting against it while it was going on. People just will never accept that very powerful people are by and large quite insane megalomaniacs and sociopaths, and really don't function on the same levels as just normal sane people. So they choose to "not believe that!" when confronted with what is in essence, quite simple and clear cut evidence that would lead most any normal person to come up with 2+2=4, if they were looking at someone else's circumstances. When it comes to themselves, most everyone thinks they are smarter than the ruthless sociopaths who are already extremely powerful humans. Here's a hint, you aren't. You may be technically more intelligent in some other fields besides extreme global power politics, and you aren't cunning enough or even honest enough with yourself to admit when you've been tricked, so you insist it "never happened, couldn't happen!"

The "war on terror" is the largest phishing scam ever devised, and is quite successful... It's so good now that a feedback loop has been established, and now we are making hundreds of millions of people into "terrorists", which will then "justify" all the heinous big brother action.

Re:bureaucratic incompetance is the greatest threa (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 years ago | (#20724189)

Don't worry. With the increased number of political appointments instead of by merit we've got the bureaucratic incompetance situation at an entirely new level. Soon we'll have world's best practice in bureaucratic incompetance instead of being left behind in this area by the top performers in the third world. Forget study and hard work - join the party comrade!

Data is not the same as intelligence (5, Insightful)

Nomen Publicus (1150725) | about 7 years ago | (#20720087)

But where does one direct all this "wonderful" technology? There is a myth that seems to infest these new fangled security organisations, that if only they can gather sufficient data they will be able to identify and prevent bad things happening. They cannot, but are willing to spend huge amounts of money in the attempt.

Look up "incest". (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | about 7 years ago | (#20720295)

There is a myth that seems to infest these new fangled security organisations, that if only they can gather sufficient data they will be able to identify and prevent bad things happening. They cannot, but are willing to spend huge amounts of money in the attempt.

The companies making the products often hire politicians who voted to purchase those products to fight [crime|terrorism|kiddie_porn].

It's all an incestuous cycle.

70% bad vehicles (5, Funny)

drseuk (824707) | about 7 years ago | (#20720113)

"Seventy percent of all criminal activity can be tied to a vehicle,"
As vee say in the Netherlands, "Where's my bike?"

Re:70% bad vehicles (1)

elwinc (663074) | about 7 years ago | (#20720553)

This is indeed a useful statistic:

"Seventy percent of all criminal activity can be tied to a vehicle," says Mark Windover, president of Remington ELSAG Law Enforcement Systems, which is marketing its product to 250 U.S. police agencies.


Funny, Remington ELSAG didn't offer statistics on what percent of crimes can be tied to a gun...

Re:70% bad vehicles (1)

n6kuy (172098) | about 7 years ago | (#20723011)

Or even how many crimes can be tied to a criminal!

Re:70% bad vehicles (3, Insightful)

superskippy (772852) | about 7 years ago | (#20721127)

It's America. 70% of all American life can be tied to a vehicle. It's practically illegal to go anywhere without driving....

Re:70% bad vehicles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20721211)

nigga stole...

tech wonders whois secureyet, & what happened. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720137)

to the 'homeland'?

nowhere left to hide now?

all the bulloneous corepirate nazi talknicians' hypenosys is almost exhausted buy now.

you call this weather?

get some/more oxygen on yOUR brain. consult with/trust in yOUR creators. see you there?

Why use humans when you've technology (4, Insightful)

mister_woods (949290) | about 7 years ago | (#20720159)

It looks like the same track is being followed as in the United Kingdom, where we host the world's largest collection of CCTV cameras, not to mention cameras to catch speeding motorists, read registration plates, etc. Whilst it may give a nice warm glow of reassurance to those who believe the propaganda, does all this gadgetry do anything to reduce the amount of crime as opposed to the fear thereof? Not really: CCTV cameras, for example, have blind spots in their coverage. Technology is being used as a fig-leaf to cover the fact that the powers that be cannot or will not use the presence of humans patrolling in uniforms as a means of catching or deterring ne'er do wells. Technological fixes seem to be preferred too since they do not require wages, meal breaks, holidays or other such luxuries which drain the public purse.

Re:Why use humans when you've technology (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20720243)

Well, how would you feel about a mobile police AI that could do all of that without the wages, meal breaks or holidays? They had one in a movie once. It was called "ED-209". Didn't work very well as I recall.

Re:Why use humans when you've technology (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 7 years ago | (#20720367)

Technology is being used as a fig-leaf to cover the fact that the powers that be cannot or will not use the presence of humans patrolling in uniforms as a means of catching or deterring ne'er do wells.

I believe Anthony Burgess pointed this out well in Clockwork Orange. You can use technology to make a man into an upright citizen, but it does not make him an upright citizen. It more or less destroys the nature of man.

Re:Why use humans when you've technology (1)

ztransform (929641) | about 7 years ago | (#20720961)

The other problem with CCTV is that it has spawned a new, youthful, generation who almost permanently wear hooded jackets and tops when outside (also known as "hoodies"). Children instinctively know they can avoid repercussions and intimidating behaviour as they hide their faces.

Combine that with Police so weighed down by red tape and documentation that crime actually increases, not decreases.

At the end of the day criminals are like bacteria, they adapt. When penicillin was first introduced it had a powerful effect on bacterial infections, but bacteria has adapted, just as criminals adapt.

Re:Why use humans when you've technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20722213)

Technology has advocates! The companies which want to sell it to
the government have very good publicists and lobbyists. Given the
decline of unions in the US, there is little advocacy left for
people.

hmmmm (4, Insightful)

phoenixwade (997892) | about 7 years ago | (#20720203)

Seems to me that it isn't the huge budget of the department of homeland security that's pushing these innovations, it's DARPA, the same group that has been pushing everything from AI (with cool desert races) to the internet.....

Re:hmmmm (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20720281)

Maybe, but that's what we pay DARPA to do, when you get right down to it.

People come up with nifty toys all the time. It's part of living in a high-tech society. The problem comes in when law-enforcement substitutes ineffective technological measures for quality police work.

Re:hmmmm (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 7 years ago | (#20720517)

with cool desert races

Meanwhile, they have moved to an urban [darpa.mil] environment, probably in order to in the future avoid getting in black...err...hot water.

CC.

Revolution. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720255)

Revolution.

Ban Vehicles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720283)

Instant 70% crime drop!

Tubg1rl (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720287)

mistake of electing the above is far as WideOpen, not going home FreeBSD at about 80 NIGGER ASSOCIATION could save it gloves;, condoms are the important off the play area to yet another non niiger patrons grandstanders, the By fundamental Quarreled on

homeland security (0, Troll)

daniel.waterfield (960460) | about 7 years ago | (#20720299)

Invading your privacy since 2001!

Re:homeland security (-1, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#20720331)

Invading your privacy since 2001!

      Coincides with "USA, invading your country since 1989"...

Minority Report (1)

Meneth (872868) | about 7 years ago | (#20720305)

From TFA:

"We can read fingerprints from about five meters .... all 10 prints," said Bruce Walker, vice president of homeland security at Northrop Grumman Corp. "We can also do an iris scan at the same distance."
Might be inflated, but still!

Re:Minority Report (1)

dragonturtle69 (1002892) | about 7 years ago | (#20725209)

That is the most worrisome part of the article. As we are today, unless people know you there is some anonymity when you are in a public place. If Walker's claim is true the only way not to be identified would be with polarized lenses and gloves. This alone would flag you though, sort of like encrypting files may do today.

007 (0, Redundant)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | about 7 years ago | (#20720383)


And yet, in spite of all of this "whiz-bang" 007 technology, I feel no safer. I wish that they had taken that multi-billion dollar budget and done something useful, productive, and boring with it.

It makes me wonder whose interests they're serving.

Re:007 (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20720607)

Well, if current trends in surveillance and invasive micro-management of society continue, at some point an enemy state wouldn't need to go to war to take us over. They'd just replace a few key button pushers and we'd be pwned.

For all the bitching about all of this... (0, Offtopic)

davinc (575029) | about 7 years ago | (#20720395)

How many of us have told a friend to vote for Ron Paul today? This shit doesn't fix itself.

Plate Capture technology (3, Interesting)

kilodelta (843627) | about 7 years ago | (#20720405)

Do you want to know what it is being used for? I'll tell you, revenue generation. The city of Providnce, RI recently changes the rules regarding parking tickets. It used to be that if you had five or more you might find your car booted. Now it's two tickets and it's not the police doing the booting, but a private company.

I've seen the vehicle, it's a mini-van with cameras mounted at the top of both A pillars and pointing outward and a little above curb level. When they spot a vehicle the put on a boot with a keypad. To get the boot off you have to call the 800 number, pay on average $350 then remove the boot and return it to the police department.

The other little thing that went into effect were tons of new parking meters. The one thing right about that is the kiosk system, no individual meters. It prints a ticket that you place in your car. And it takes credit cards. The kiosk is also run via solar power and uses a MESH network connection.

So not all those technologies are used to spy per se, but as revenue generation tools.

Re:Plate Capture technology (1)

Holi (250190) | about 7 years ago | (#20721257)

all that and yet still no overnight parking. So glad I have a driveway.

Re:Plate Capture technology (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | about 7 years ago | (#20723259)

To get the boot off you have to call the 800 number, pay on average $350 then remove the boot and return it to the police department.

Might be cheaper to cut off the boot with an oxy-acet, and just eat the cost of one new wheel. "What boot?"

Re:Plate Capture technology (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about 7 years ago | (#20725369)

Well they look to be easily hackable. The codes are only 4 digits. But there's a big sticker that says it's very naughty to either hack it or cut it off. Still, I'd cut it off then just ship it back to the PD collect.

Department Of Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720469)

Hello everyone,
On September 19th I sent an angry letter to the Department head, Mr. Peter King, telling him how bad a job I thought he was doing.

Five hours later, two very skilled hackers attempted to circumvent my firewall and gain access to my computer here at home. In the, oh I dunno, 12 years I've been doing this, nobody attempted a hack of this skill against me. I'm convinced, not just because of the timing, but the unique methods employed, that the Department of Homeland Security is responsible.

They are now investigating civilians in the name of patriotism for expressing a dissenting view.

I call upon everyone in this community to attempt to capture and make public the small bit of code that they tried to place on my machine. We know it as Talon. Release of this code may prove that their investigations have nothing to do with terrorism, and I beg everyone to help me in this.

Thank you.

Re:Department Of Homeland Security (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20721657)

Five hours later, two very skilled hackers attempted to circumvent my firewall and gain access to my computer here at home.

There were actually three of us assigned to your case. My colleagues were purposely "noisy" with their attempts so that your attention would be focused in their direction while I did my work.

12 years I've been doing this, nobody attempted a hack of this skill against me.

Puhleeeeze! Your home PC isn't exactly Fort Knox. Even a Linksys router running dd-wrt would have given me more resistance than your machine.

While planting some files on your hard drive, I noticed that you downloaded TrueCrypt but never bothered to install it. Tsk, tsk. I altered a few Word docs on your hard drive and then added some pics to existing directories on your PC that that will definitely get your photo into the local newspapers. Expect a knock at the door in three...two...one...

Thank you for shopping at DHS-mart.

-Talon

Re:Department Of Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20723075)

Or you could make a joke of your civil liberties being trampled upon. As always, /. brings us one step closer to... nothing.

Buy Now! (1, Insightful)

hlomas (1010351) | about 7 years ago | (#20720475)

All for the low, low price of your personal freedoms!

The question is... (1)

ProfanityHead (198878) | about 7 years ago | (#20720537)

The question is who is policing the police?

Remember, George Washington and our founding fathers were considered terrorists.

Re:The question is... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | about 7 years ago | (#20722239)

To take it a step further...

George Washington was considered a terrorist, was not involved in a political party, and in his farewell address warned us against taking side in political parties and never to let them control the bureaucracy.

Goddamn Jack Bauer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20720695)

Its all his fault. The spooks look at all the cool toys CTU has and their like 'WTF OMG' ...

Years and billions of dollars later they start getting their toys, the US turns into a police state and Chloe O'Brien is pregnant with Satans child.

They just love their toys, don't they? (3, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | about 7 years ago | (#20720827)

Problem is, toys can't replace common sense or good old walking the beat crime fighting. Besides, many more people get killed in a month from car accidents then all that got killed on 9/11. I'll also bet that property damage in a year from those accidents far exceeds the property damage done on 9/11. Yet we spend BILLIONS on terrorism, and practicallly nothing on making cars safer (in fact, the cars of today are less safe-look at how well the bumpers don't work on new cars). Or, look at health insurance. If they put those billions into making sure the 30 million uninsured people in this country had health care, many more people would live then died on 9/11. Look, I'm not trying to devalue what happened on 9/11. It was terrible! BUT our priorities are really f**ked up! The military can't fix the big problems in this country. We need to use our money on basics, not toys! I don't know about you, but my money pays for food and lodging for my family before I buy a wide screen TV with it. Of course, Halliburton isn't in the health care business either.

Re:They just love their toys, don't they? (1)

mister_woods (949290) | about 7 years ago | (#20720975)

"BUT our priorities are really f**ked up!"

I couldn't agree more with all your sentiments. Just looking at the "War on Terror" angle, both the US and UK have expended lots of energy attacking the liberties of their citizens and introducing draconian legislation for very little return - a couple of dozen people banged up in prison in the case of the UK (most of whom could have been dealt with by existing legislation anyway.

Technology cannot replace common-sense. However, the authorities no longer have any common-sense to see the limits of technology. Another poster quoting from TFA pointed out that the DHs' new kit can read fingerprints at 5 metres. When their toys can read my thoughts, then I might start to worry.

making cars safer eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20721187)

The amount of money spent making cars safer is a lot more than "practically nothing." For the past few decades, the government has regularly piled on more and more regulations, the costs of which are payed by car buyers and the auto industry. Perhaps you have noticed a trend during this time toward larger, heavier vehicles? Then there are all the electronic safety features available on modern cars like ABS, airbags, traction/stability control, tire pressure monitoring, lane departure warning, active roll bars, etc.

Re:making cars safer eh? (1)

woobieman29 (593880) | about 7 years ago | (#20723717)

Perhaps you have noticed a trend during this time toward larger, heavier vehicles? Then there are all the electronic safety features available on modern cars like ABS, airbags, traction/stability control, tire pressure monitoring, lane departure warning, active roll bars, etc.
So please tell me, what is it about the larger, heavier vehicles that makes them safer? Is it the increased braking distance? Perhaps the slower handling? Maybe the fact that the taller ones tip over easier? Or maybe you are just referring to the extra protection provided by 2 more tons of steel wrapped around you - in that case you realize of course that the extra steel might afford you a bit of extra protection, but only at the expense of increased damage to the family in the Honda that you just hit?

Let's also discuss the modern safety features that you have cited. The GP was comparing Department of Homeland Security anti-terrorist spending to govermental spending on improving auto safety. You responded by listing a number of safety improvements that have been brought about by market pressures and competition amongst automakers. These are wonderful improvements that have nothing to do governmental regulation and spending, IIRC. Seatbelts are an example of government-mandated safety equiptment, none of the items that you mention (possible exception of airbags in new cars??) are required by law.

Re:making cars safer eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20724337)

I'm not advocating larger and heavier vehicles, I think they suck. But safety is not only one of the reasons used to justify their existance, via government crash test regs it is also one of the causes. Just look at how many foreign made sports cars are not sold in the USA other than in incomplete "kit" form, due to some combination of not meeting the crash standards or not having gone through the costly certification process.

Government does mandate a lot of safety related junk in cars. One of the latest such laws for instance requires sensors under seats in order to automatically disable airbags when there is not a certain minimum weight present.

Law enforcement software (1)

sabre86 (730704) | about 7 years ago | (#20720949)

I'd like to how these companies and agencies react when hardware blueprints and software source code for their (very likely) proprietary products get subpoenaed [news.com] by tech savvy defense lawyers. A reasonable court* would hold that a defendant has a right to examine the devices for his defense. Neither state secrets nor trade secrets will (given a reasonable court*) be a justification to hide the proprietary bits.

Since I expect neither the companies nor the government will be too keen on letting such material be examined in court, the combination of reasonable courts* and a tech savvy defense will greatly limit the applicability of this technology to law enforcement. Or, perhaps, people will realize that any hardware and software used by the government, particularly for law enforcement purposes, must be open public examination.

--sabre86

*Reasonable courts do exist, right? Please.

Thank god!!! (0, Troll)

durin (72931) | about 7 years ago | (#20721065)

Perhaps now, someone in the US will actually catch an actual terrorist (not).

Once we are all in chains (3, Insightful)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 7 years ago | (#20721425)

then we will all be free.

[imaginary] Terrorism solved! (1)

themushroom (197365) | about 7 years ago | (#20722019)

I can feel safer now that we have so many new surveilance devices keeping an eye on the general population.

Oh, where's Osama bin Laden right now, you see him with that stuff? No? Hmm, I think this is turning out to be like the Hubbel telescope -- it's great stuff and cost bundles, but the lens is pointed in the WRONG F@#%(&*# DIRECTION!!

Spy Tech? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 years ago | (#20722707)

Sounds almost like a get-smart episode.

if it were me... (1)

steveaustin1971 (1094329) | about 7 years ago | (#20722959)

I would purchase all the gizmos and tech wonders I could get my hands on while the funding lasts, I mean wouldn't you? They pretty much THROW money at H.S. right now, makes work alot more fun with remote control flying whatsits and whole companies scrambling to built gadgets for ya... not that I REALLY think any of it is necessary mind you, but that doesn't stop me from buying the latest Nvidia cards for my PC when I REALLY don't need two 8800's in there... how do you get a job in Homeland Security BTW?

One step solution (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | about 7 years ago | (#20724497)


Problem - Solution:
Overbearing satellites - sombrero
Nanohelicopters - fly swatter
Towers, sensors and radar - pantomime horse outfit
Ranged finger and iris scans - sunglasses and gloves

One step solution: Pantomime horse wearing sunglasses, gloves and a sombrero carrying a fly swatter.

Their writ does not run so far (1)

Iowan41 (1139959) | about 7 years ago | (#20724861)

This is tyranny.

police (2, Funny)

syedelyas (1159799) | about 7 years ago | (#20725045)

so the police can stay at their office in good and relax while watching the crime would happen and eating popcorn. i think the police will get more fatter and lazy :D
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