Posts Tagged ‘Tracking’

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:

Advertisements

Telegraph:

As the communications device grows in popularity, technology experts and US law enforcement agencies are devoting increasing efforts to understanding their potential for forensics investigators.

While police have tracked criminals by locating their position via conventional mobile phone towers, iPhones offer far more information, say experts.

“There are a lot of security issues in the design of the iPhone that lend themselves to retaining more personal information than any other device,” said Jonathan Zdziarski, a former computer hacker who now teaches US law enforcers how to retrieve data from mobile phones.

“These devices organise people’s lives and, if you’re doing something criminal, something about it is going to go through that phone.” Apple has sold more than 50 million iPhones since the product was launched in 2007.

Mr Zdziarski told The Daily Telegraph he suspected that security had been neglected on the iPhone as it had been intended as a consumer product rather than a business one like rivals such as the Blackberry.

An example was the iPhone’s keyboard logging cache, which was designed to correct spelling but meant that an expert could retrieve anything typed on the keyboard over the past three to 12 months, he said.

In addition, every time an iPhone’s internal mapping system is closed down, the device snaps a screenshot of the phone’s last position and stores it.

Investigators could access “several hundred” such images from the iPhone and so establish its user’s whereabouts at certain times, he said.

In a further design feature that can also help detectives, iPhone photos include so-called “geotags” so that, if posted online, they indicate precisely where a picture was taken and the serial number of the phone that took it.

“Very, very few people have any idea how to actually remove data from their phone,” Sam Brothers, a mobile phone researcher for US Customs and Border Protection told the Detroit Free Press.

“It may look like everything’s gone but for anybody who’s got a clue, retrieving that information is easy.”

PeterGreenberg:

Search engine giant Google took the travel industry by storm last week with a $700 million purchase of ITA Software, a flight-information software company.

ITA offers flight times, availabilities and prices to airlines and Web sites that include: TripAdvisor, Bing, Hotwire, Orbitz, Continental, American Airlines, and Alitalia.

The multi-million-dollar deal would not only put Google in direct competition with Web sites such as Kayak and Cheapflights.com, but it potentially could transform the online travel industry.

For several months, the rumor mill had been churning with news of Google’s interest in ITA, causing the travel industry’s key players to scramble to position themselves.

Several travel Web sites, including Kayak.com, threw in competing bids to buy the Boston-based ITA, but were outbid by Google.

Google’s purchase would give the company control of ITA’s ubiquitous flight pricing software, making Google a force to be reckoned with in the travel world.

Government Computer News:

The research organization for U.S. intelligence agencies is looking to fund projects designed to yield revolutionary innovations in intelligence collection.

That organization, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), has asked industry and academia through a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)  to propose research that dramatically improves the value of collected data. IARPA said it plans to give out multiple awards for the research and isn’t interested research for topics that are already being ongoing IARPA programs.

The effort is being run by IARPA’s Office of Smart Collection. The office is one of three parts of IARPA that handles that organization’s high-risk, high-payoff research.

In the announcement, IARPA said it’s looking for research “to dramatically improve the value of collected data from all sources.” The organization is interested in:

  • Innovative ways to identifying novel sources of new information
  • New ways to assess collection systems for improved performance
  • Sensor technologies that better the reach, sensitivity and power for collection of broad signal or signature types
  • Tagging, tracking, and location techniques
  • Electrically small antennas
  • Agile architectures that distill useful information at the collection and
  • Innovative ways to ensure the veracity of data collected from multiple sources.

IARPA said it will accept proposals until through September 30, 2011. The resources available for research depend on the quality of the proposals and the availability of funds, IARPA said.

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

Read Write Web:

Data about the geographic locations of people and things will in the near-term future become a massive flow of sensor, satellite and citizen input made freely available to developers through government and other collaboration programs. It will be available in real time, to and from mobile devices, and be machine processed to pick out objects and patterns that can be used as hooks for mashups.

That’s the vision of geospatial specialist Matt Ball, articulated in a high-value blog post today titled How will the geospatial data market evolve over the next ten years? The post provides a great look at the way the future may take shape, if current trends unfold as expected.

“The next ten years,” Ball writes, “will be a time of many changes, but will also bring a greater empowerment of the GIS [geographic information systems] user given the amount of available data, with much of it for free.”

Volunteered Data

Ball points to Open Street Map as a free, collaborative location platform that “nearly matches that of the commercial providers, and in some cases it surpasses it for accuracy and level of detail.”

Open Street Map is a good example of an emerging location platform. See, for example, TopOSM, a collection of topographical maps based on Open Street Map. Blogger Leszek Pawlowicz described the state of that project in detail last month.

Along with web-based volunteered data, mobile is aimed to become a force of deep disruption. Ball puts it very well, like this:

The better location precision of these devices will help greatly in both the collection of accurate geospatial data, and the delivery of helpful location-aware applications. The mobile platforms are quickly dwarfing all other computing platforms in terms of their number, and their pace of innovation. This trend will continue to the point where we have less robust computing platforms, but much greater connectivity to each other and the details that are of interest to us.

Higher-Level Developments

Ball also offers inspiring descriptions of the rise of sensor data, machine processing (“machine learning and automated extraction tools that pull information from data”), real-time data, standards and government mashup contests. (To take a peek into the conversation about remote sensing and machine extraction of geographic entities for mapping, check out this forthcoming conference by the International Cartographic Association in November.)

The resulting landscape is one that could look like this, he says: “The ‘app for that’ mentality could easily take hold toward a ‘data for that’ ability, with the software developer orchestrating the different data feeds in order to create custom solutions.”

It’s an awesome vision of location data as a platform for innovation, something we’ve discussed before specifically in reference to location based social networks and aerial surveillance video APIs.

Ball believes this will emerge as a key area of specialization, knowledge work and innovation. We’re apt to agree, which is why we track developments in location technology closely and so appreciate articulations like Ball’s of the space.