Posts Tagged ‘Computerization of Society’

Ignorance Is Futile Exclusive:

Nanotechnology poses inherent threats greater than anything we’ve ever faced. This heavily modified Hollywood film shows what such a takeover by tyrants via nanobots could look like.

Currently billions of dollars per year are dumped into nano research by governments and corporations worldwide.

Nanobots that can penetrate past the blood-brain barrier to attach to neurons for mind control are like nothing we’ve ever faced. These could be released into the drinking water supply or administered via vaccine shots.

Even Ray Kurzweil realizes this threat. From a repost from his site:

Another class of terrorist-selective defenses could be keyed to the intentions, rather than to the actions, of potential actors. Future medical nanotechnology should enable intrusive involuntary brain scans of sufficient fidelity to accurately measure and report internal psychological states and motives. But here too there are several difficulties. First, all human beings on Earth would have to be continuously monitored for “terrorist” intentions. This monitoring duty would probably fall to some government (or related institutional) entity, and a corrupt government entity could not be prevented from scanning for “freedom fighter” intentions as well. Such scanning would elevate Brin’s “transparent society” to a new level to intrusiveness—we might call it the “transparent mind”—which would be even more anathematic to civil libertarians and would offer even greater potential for abuse. Second, the amount of data to be processed might be so enormous as to require the intervention of an AI (as in the previous example) to sort it all out, whether the AI was a stand-alone system or embedded in a human/machine hybrid system. Third, it is but a small step from passively monitoring brain states to actively controlling those brain states using nanotechnology-based neural nanorobotics, which would enable the push-button disposal of critics by tyrants. Thus, the freedom fighters would again be disabled along with the terrorists.

It appears quite likely, though perhaps not inevitable, that eventually, somewhere in the world, a tyrant will emerge who is equipped with some of the most sophisticated nanotechnological instrumentalities available. This tyrant would likely employ these advanced technical means to eliminate within his own borders any possibility of freedom fighting or terrorism, both of which he might rationally presume could be directed at him or his vassals. Other technically sophisticated societies might or might not have the will or the means to oppose this tyrant, and still other societies might decide to emulate or join him; therefore, his emergence and ascendancy cannot be ruled out.

Recognizing that global tyranny is a logical end-state of the unchecked spread of nanotechnology-enabled dictatorships that are capable of employing perfect mind  control, those who subscribe to the policy doctrine of preemption might rationally conclude that it is necessary to actively liberate other societies that have already decided to capitulate (“entrust their future”?) to a nanotechnology-enabled autocrat. But might not budding tyrants rationally conclude that any developed nation population that treasures individual freedom above most other moral values should be exterminated preemptively in order to eliminate the most obvious threat to their global ambitions? Consider that humanity may have survived the Cold War because at key moments of crisis, both sides opted for survival over domination. In future conflicts, if either side is significantly less dedicated to survival than to domination, then, like a terrorist, that side will not be deterred from seeking domination at all costs.

Could mere discussion of these issues create a self-fulfilling prophecy? It is true that if potential future tyrants come to believe that people in general are unlikely to have the desire or will to resist them, or that people will be so effectively disarmed of personal weaponry by their well-meaning but overprotective governments that individual armed resistance would become futile, then deterrence of nanotechnology-enabled tyrannies is minimized and the emergence of those regimes may be accelerated. But this should affect only the timing, and not the ultimate fact, of such emergence. If the technology allows it—and it does—then eventually some tyrant will seek to close his iron fist around the throat of humankind. We need to decide what, if anything, we ought to do about this.

His “solution” is for us to deliberately inject ourselves with “defensive” nanobots, which only creates entire new sets of problems.

Of course, there will be great concern regarding who’s controlling the nanobots, and over who the nanobots may be talking to. Organizations such as governments or extremist groups or just clever individuals could put trillions of undetectable nanobots in the water or food supply. These “spy” nanobots could then monitor, influence, and even control our thoughts and actions. We won’t be defenseless, however. Just as we have virus scanning software today, we will make use of patrol nanobots that search for (and destroy) unauthorized nanobots in our brains and bodies.

Congress has acknowledged this issue:

Every exponential curve eventually reaches a point where the growth rate becomes almost infinite. This point is often called the Singularity. If technology continues to advance at exponential rates, what happens after 2020? Technology is likely to continue, but at this stage some observers forecast a period at which scientific advances aggressively assume their own momentum and accelerate at unprecedented levels, enabling products that today seem like science fiction. Beyond the Singularity, human society is incomparably different from what it is today. Several assumptions seem to drive predictions of a Singularity. The first is that continued material demands and competitive pressures will continue to drive technology forward. Second, at some point artificial intelligence advances to a point where computers enhance and accelerate scientific discovery and technological change. In other words, intelligent machines start to produce discoveries that are too complex for humans. Finally, there is an assumption that solutions to most of today’s problems including material scarcity, human health, and environmental degradation can be solved by technology, if not by us, then by the computers we eventually develop.

And:

The NNI is clearly geared toward developing the technology on a broad front, correctly seeing it as the source of tremendous benefits to society. Its mission is not to see whether we should go forward with research and development. It is to go forth boldly, while trying to discover and deal with possible risks.

Another governmental document, “Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance” sheds more light on this:

But it is important to note that there is a melding of human and S&E development here: human development, from individual medical and intellectual development to collective cultures and globalization, is a key goal.
…Four transforming tools have emerged: nanotechnology for hardware, biotechnology for dealing with living systems, information technology for communication and control, and cognition-based technologies to enhance human abilities and collective behavior.
…Far from unnatural, such a collective social system may be compared to a larger form of a biological organism. Biological organisms themselves make use of many structures such as bones and circulatory system. The networked society enabled through NBIC convergence could explore new pathways in societal structures, in an increasingly complex system (Bar-Yam 1997).”

Here’s the real wowzer:

Hive Mind
If we can easily exchange large chunks of knowledge and are connected by high-bandwidth communication paths, the function an d purpose served by individuals becomes unclear. Individuals have served to keep the gene pool stirred up and healthy via s exual reproduction, but this data-handling process would no longer necessarily be linked to individuals. With knowledge no longer encapsulated in individuals, the distinction between individuals and the entirety of humanity would blur. Think Vulcan mind-meld. We would perhaps become more of a hive mind —an enormous, single, intelligent entity.

Yes, that’s from an actual government document.

This is also interesting:

Doug Dorst, a microbiologist and vaccine critic in South Wales, says these advances have an immense appeal to vaccine makers. “Biotech companies and their researchers have quickly moved most funding initiatives towards nanotechnology to increase the potency of their vaccines,” he said. If microorganisms inside of vaccines can be coaxed into targeting or invading specific cells, they could achieve their goal at an accelerated rate over conventional vaccines. “Depending on which side of the vaccine debate you’re on, whether pro or con, nanobots inside vaccine preparations could advance their effectiveness exponentially by either dramatically improving or destroying immunity depending on their design,” he added.Dorst claims that present day nanobot technology could just as easily be used to advance biological weapons as they can to advance human health. “For every fear that biotech propaganda proliferates about deadly diseases and how vaccines prevent them, it is one more lie to incrementally convince the masses that vaccines are effective.”

The worry for Dorst is that one day vaccines “will do what they’ve always been intended for…control of the global populace.”

Here goes some various nanotech advances:

New sensors built using nanotechnology could read and write information directly into the brain.

A Battery-Free Implantable Neural Sensor
A tiny radio chip implanted in a moth harvests power and senses neural activity.If the promise of nanotechnology is to be fulfilled, nanoparticles will have to be able to make something of themselves. An important advance towards this goal has been achieved by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) who have found a simple and yet powerfully robust way to induce nanoparticles to assemble themselves into complex arrays.

Brain implants that can more clearly record signals from surrounding neurons in rats have been created at the University of Michigan.

Team develops DNA switch to interface living organisms with computers.

Enzyme computer could live inside you.

DNA-wrapped carbon nanotubes serve as sensors in living cells.

There’s also the health threats of  nanoparticles themselves:

And on that note here goes a cool video made by my friends over at Transalchemy:

NZHerald:

…there is a dark side to the success story that’s been spreading across the blogosphere. A complex but riveting Big Brother-type conspiracy theory which links Facebook to the CIA and the US Department of Defence.

The CIA is, though, using a Facebook group to recruit staff for its very sexy sounding National Clandestine Service.

Checking out the job ads
does require a Facebook login, so if you haven’t joined the site – or are worried that CIA spooks will start following you home from work -check them out on the agency’s own site.

The story starts once Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had launched, after the dorm room drama that’s led to the current court case.

Facebook’s first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome ‘The Diversity Myth’, he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC.

The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company’s key areas of expertise are in “data mining technologies”.

Breyer also served on the board of R&D firm BBN Technologies, which was one of those companies responsible for the rise of the internet.

Dr Anita Jones joined the firm, which included Gilman Louie. She had also served on the In-Q-Tel’s board, and had been director of Defence Research and Engineering for the US Department of Defence.

She was also an adviser to the Secretary of Defence and overseeing the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is responsible for high-tech, high-end development.

It was when a journalist lifted the lid on the DARPA’s
Information Awareness Office
that the public began to show concern at its information mining projects.

Wikipedia’s IAO page says: “the IAO has the stated mission to gather as much information as possible about everyone, in a centralised location, for easy perusal by the United States government, including (though not limited to) internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, driver’s licenses, utility bills, tax returns, and any other available data.”.

Not surprisingly, the backlash from civil libertarians led to a Congressional investigation into DARPA’s activity, the Information Awareness Office lost its funding.

Now the internet conspiracy theorists are citing Facebook as the IAO’s new mask.

Parts of the IAO’s technology round-up included ‘human network analysis and behaviour model building engines’, which Facebook’s massive volume of neatly-targeted data gathering allows for.

Facebook’s own Terms of use state: “by posting Member Content to any part of the Web site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license to use, copy, perform, display, reformat, translate, excerpt and distribute such information and content and to prepare derivative works of, or incorpoate into other works, such information and content, and to grant and authorise sublicenses of the foregoing.

And in its equally interesting privacy policy: “Facebook may also collect information about you from other sources, such as newspapers, blogs, instant messaging services, and other users of the Facebook service through the operation of the service (eg. photo tags) in order to provide you with more useful information and a more personalised experience. By using Facebook, you are consenting to have your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States.”

Is the CIA really providing the impetus and the funding behind the monster growth of this year’s biggest dot com success story? Maybe only the men with the nice suits and ear pieces can answer that.

The Register:

Loveable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called his first few thousand users “dumb fucks” for trusting him with their data, published IM transcripts show. Facebook hasn’t disputed the authenticity of the transcript.

Zuckerberg was chatting with an unnamed friend, apparently in early 2004. Business Insider, which has a series of quite juicy anecdotes about Facebook’s early days, takes the credit for this one.

The exchange apparently ran like this:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb fucks

The founder was then 19, and he may have been joking. But humour tells you a lot. Some might say that this exchange shows Zuckerberg was not particularly aware of the trust issue in all its depth and complexity.

Facebook is currently in the spotlight for its relentlessly increasing exposure of data its users assumed was private. This is nicely illustrated in the interactive graphic you can find here or by clicking the piccie to the right.

In turn, its fall from grace has made backers of the ‘social media’ bubble quite nervous. Many new white collar nonjobs created since the mid-Noughties depend on the commercial value of your output, and persona;l information. (Both are invariably donated for free).

But there’s a problem.

Much of the data created by Web2.0rrhea is turning out to be quite useless for advertisers – or anyone else. Marketeers are having a harder time justifying the expenditure in sifting through the Web 2.0 septic tank for the odd useful nugget of information.

Facebook’s data stash is regarded as something quite special. It’s authenticated against a real person, and the users tend to be over 35 and middle class – the ideal demographic for selling high value goods and services. In addition, users have so far been ‘sticky’ to Facebook, something quite exceptional since social networks fall out of fashion (Friends Reunited, Friendster) as quickly as they attract users.

Facebook also has something else going for it – ordinary users regard it as the natural upgrade to Hotmail. In fact, once the crap has been peeled away, there may not be much more to Facebook than the Yahoo! or Hotmail Address Book with knobs on: the contact book is nicely integrated, uploading photos to share easier, while everything else is gravy. Unlike tech-savvy users, many people remain loyal to these for years.

Obama doesn’t want us to have to hassle around having to log into sites and services we use, fumbling around with passwords and online ‘handles’. Instead he wants to build an “Identity Ecosystem” where our personal identities are tied to every single device we use, right down to the flash memory chips we plug into our cameras and other devices.

Government Computer News:

Imagine signing on to your computer, logging onto a secure Web site or handling a sensitive document electronically — all without needing a user name or password.

The draft national strategy for building a new “identity ecosystem” that the Obama administration released June 25 would accomplish that, according to its developers. The ecosystem would base authentication on trusted digital identities instead.

The plan, named the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, would lay a blueprint for an online environment in which online transactions for both the public and private sectors are more secure and trusted. The strategy identifies the federal government as “primary enabler, first adopter and key supporter” of the identity ecosystem.

In the language of the strategy, “In the envisioned identity ecosystem individuals, organizations, services, and devices would be able to trust each other because authoritative sources establish and authenticate their digital identities.” What that means in real terms is that trusted providers such as a bank would issue security credentials that would then be accepted by other online resources such as social networking sites and e-mail providers. Rather than using a user name and password, the person would have the crediential on a device that would authenticate his or her identity to the computer and, by extension, to services that accept the credential. The strategy includes references to smart cards, USB drives, mobile devices, software certificates and trusted computing modules as possible authentication technologies.

The strategy provides a hypothetical case of of a woman whose husband has recently been in the hospital. She is able to access his medical information using her cell phone because everyone involved in the information exchange uses a “trustmark” that signifies they adhere to the identity ecosystem framework.

Make sure you don’t lose your phone somewhere, or someone can log in and make purchases without even having your personal passwords. Forget about having multiple anonymous email addresses for logging into the various things you might do online. You wont need to worry about all that hassle anymore, Obama’s new version of Big Bro’ has it all covered.

Individuals going online to send e-mails, make purchases and check their medical records would be able to forgo the dizzying array of user names and passwords and instead obtain more secure credentials for completing those transactions, under a proposed White House cyberspace policy issued Friday.

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace lays out the Obama administration’s strategy for enhancing the security of business conducted online. An interagency team, led by the Homeland Security Department, spent a year developing the strategy, seeking input from about 70 industry advisory councils and associations.
www.federaltimes.com…

The title of the thrust is itself a euphemism. Titles such as ‘Identity Dragnet’, or ‘Identity Tracker’ just don’t ring a bell the way the cute and cuddly, all loving, all caring “Identity ECOSYSTEM’ does.

From the document:

Privacy protection and voluntary participation are pillars of the Identity Ecosystem. The Identity Ecosystem protects anonymous parties by keeping their identity a secret and sharing only the information necessary to complete the transaction. For example, the Identity Ecosystem allows an individual to provide age without releasing birth date, name, address, or other identifying data. At the other end of the spectrum, the Identity Ecosystem supports transactions that require high assurance of a participant’s identity. The Identity Ecosystem reduces the risk of exploitation of information by DRAFT National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace June 25, 2010 2 unauthorized access through more robust access control techniques. Finally, participation in the Identity Ecosystem is voluntary for both organizations and individuals.

Sure it will start off voluntary, and then a ‘cyber attack’ ‘will occur’ and there you go they have the involuntary framework already in place. National ID has nothing on this, at all.

This isn’t just about bank security, it’s about everything from sending emails etc.

And of course they’ll word it where there’s privacy, but the Big Bro’ WILL know everything that each and everyone of us is doing. They’ve already proven total disregard to privacy laws and due process in literally every possible facet of the realm, don’t forget.

And it isn’t just your bank card, it is EVERY single device and component thereof.

Even if it were feasible, which apparently they think it is after spending a year developing it, this is one of the worst ideas I’ve seen yet out of either BushCo. or ObamaCo.

Thinking further, them merely building the infrastructure to be able to do this will in effect make it so. If they can do it, they will, as government proves again and again.

Do they really need to have my name attached to my video card, memory sticks, CPU, monitors, motherboard, cable modem, wireless Internet router, camera, flash memory sticks, mouse, keyboard, printer, DVD burner and hard disks? (to use just one example)

I often figure they already do. Perhaps this is their way of publicly legitimizing it much how BushCo. handled unveiling Total Information Awareness NSA spying on the grand scale, Fusion Centers and all of that.

People forget that Congress ruled TIA as unconstitutional, and ordered it to be shut down.

September 26, 2003
Privacy and civil-rights groups have hailed Congress’ decision to effectively kill a controversial Pentagon program to construct a powerful computerized surveillance system that critics feared would lead to unprecedented spying into the private lives of U.S. citizens.

The final bill also banned the government from using the technology envisioned by TIA in any other program.

The House of Representatives voted 407-15 to approve the conference committee’s bill on Wednesday, while the Senate approved it Thursday by a vote of 95-0.

“Congress has reaffirmed the fundamental privacy rights of all Americans,” said Timothy Edgar, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which had lobbied against the TIA since its existence was first exposed by the New York Times one year ago. “This is a resounding victory for individual liberty.”
www.globalissues.org…

Now it has been applied far and wide, into every department and agency, and this new measure is the icing on the cake.

Maybe it’s also about knowing when we sell individual components to our friends, so they can swoop in and tax us for it.

CLICK FOR BBC VIDEO