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Surveillance Selfie: Drones, Phones and The Coming Big Data Beast

21st Century Wire says…

We should really be questioning right now – the social and nonethical imperative which is currently driving the adoption of these new technologies.

Smarter Planet
(Photo Credit: Bin im Garten)

Surveillance technology is moving by leaps and bounds, and artificial intelligence (AI) is now able to detect and track multiple targets over a wide area. Add facial recognition and data profiling to the mix, and it’s a recipe for a full-on AI grid future.

The ultimate hands-free surveillance selfie – compliments of Big Brother.

Now, imagine a day when you’re simply walking down the street and pointing to something in the air. All of it is being captured on a 1.8 billion pixel video stream from the sky. They already know your identity and location with the phone in your pocket. They just might already have your face. Or worse, they are “predicting” that a crime is about to take place. They’ll close the Big Data loop by storing the video footage with your profile, and later mash it up with other potentially ‘suspicious’ activity in the area.

This all can happen thanks to DARPA’s latest creation, the ARGUS camera – Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance (www.darpa.mil). 21WIRE first heard about ARGUS in early 2013, and you can read more about the technical aspects of the project on Engadget’s website.

Editor’s Note: A previously published technical description on DARPA’s website now returns a message of “Access Denied” to the public.

According to the video below, ARGUS “melds together video from each of its 368 chips to create a 1.8 billion pixel video stream” all in real-time and archived. Wow. Watch:

21WIRE readers know that DARPA is no stranger to transhumanist designs. But their latest development with high resolution imaging systems fits like a glove with the larger narrative coming from the technocratic elite:

‘Trust us. We’re making your planet smarter…’

‘Smart Cities’ are the Next Phase in the 21st Century Surveillance Grid

The Analyst Report

The century of ‘big data’ will be the century of unprecedented surveillance. The dream of tyrants down through history has been the total monitoring, control and management of the public, with the ability to predict the behaviour of entire populations the most efficient means of achieving this objective. For millennia, this has mainly existed in the realm of fantasy, however with the vast leap in technology in recent decades, this idea is becoming less a dystopian science fiction movie and more the daily business of totalitarian high-tech regimes.

Most readers are now familiar with the predatory surveillance practices of agencies such as the NSA and GCHQ, which high-level NSA whistleblower William Binney describes as “totalitarian” in nature, adding that the goal of the NSA is “to set up the way and means to control the population”. Yet many people may not be aware of the next phase in 21st century surveillance grid; the ‘smarter city’.

Promoted by some as a low-cost and efficient way of managing the workings of a city, others see the surveillance implications of such initiatives as chilling to say the least. Smart cities are broadly defined as digitally connected urban areas filled with ubiquitous sensors, monitors and meters, which collect data on every aspect of the city; from energy usage, to transport patterns. This data is then analysed and used by city planners to ‘improve decision making’.

Today, more than half the world’s population lives in urban areas – a trend that is set to accelerate into the future – meaning the smart city concept is going to affect the lives of billions of people around the world. India is at the forefront of this push as it plans to build 100 smart cities in the coming years, with Singapore set to become the world’s first smart nation. Smart cities are not just confined to Asia however, as Glasgow (where I’m writing from), Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans and Cape Town are just a handful of cities involved in IBM’s “smarter cities challenge”.

Continue this article at The Analyst Report




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