Microsoft Kinect Abre o Caminho para Espionagem Doméstico

POR LUIS R. MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | 06 ABRIL 2012

A tirania não é horrível só por causa do caos que provoca, mas também pela maneira que estende seus tentáculos antes de apertar o cerco sobre as populações inocentes. Tirania virá em uniforme, diz um provérbio. Mas na maioria das vezes o uniforme é somente o último passo no processo de controle total de uma sociedade. Hitler, talvez o melhor exemplo do que os tiranos podem realizar, não chegou ao poder com seu exército de bandidos em “camisas pardas” arrombando portas e invadindo propriedades. Foi um processo gradual que inteligentemente conduziu uma série de ações através de uma série de passos que acabou com os alemães pedendo medidas tirânicas em nome do bem comum.

No século XX, depois que Hitler foi deposto e no tempo que passou no século XXI viram a ascensão de níveis de tirania que somente HG Wells foi capaz de imaginar. Este é um sinal de que tiranos fantoches não são a pedra angular da tirania, mas as mulas que carregam a tirania através das décadas. Apesar que a tirania do século XXI parece ter suas raízes no mesmo princípio que se originou no início dos últimos dois séculos — asegurança — este princípio só pode se tornar uma razão para que a tirania seja bem sucedida quando ela se torna uma necessidade. Mas a segurança não é mesmo o princípio mais importante que movimenta os regimes tirânicos. Para um governo assumir o controle de maneira temporária ou permanente,  ela usa outras ferramentas para completar o ataque à liberdade e o progresso de uma rede de segurança fora de controle. Esta ferramenta é de tecnologia.

Levaria muito mais tempo para atingir um estado completo de tirania se tiranos tentam impor esse estado pela força. É por isso que homens e mulheres por trás dos regimes opressivos usam dois de seus melhores aliados para conseguir seu objetivo: o tempo e os avanços tecnológicos. Mudanças progressivas durante longos períodos de tempo de uma forma que as condições planejadas préviamente destinadas a promover um certo objetivo, são mais bem aceitas pelas pessoas que estão preocupadas com sua segurança 24 horas por dia. Esta é a razão pela qual um clima de insegurança, juntamente com a implementação de políticas que reduzem a liberdade e desviam a atenção da perda de liberdade são uma combinação perfeita para a melhor versão da tirania do século XXI. No caso da nossa sociedade moderna, a dependência tecnológica tem assumido o papel que a escassez de alimentos e conflitos, por exemplo, desempenharam no passado.

Uma das melhores formas de realizar a política tirânica é manter a população distraída, enquanto as políticas são criadas, aceitas e colocadas em funcionamento. Em uma época onde a insegurança econômica facilmente distrai as pessoas e não deixá-las abrir os olhos e ver o que realmente está acontecendo, a tecnologia, agora mais do que nunca, desempenha um papel monumental no avanço da agenda tirânico criada muitos anos atrás. Não apenas países, mas as empresas e indivíduos adotaram a tecnologia como parte de suas vidas diárias, mas passaram a depender em um grau que não é mais uma opção simplesmente “se desligar”. As transações financeiras, o comércio, a gestão de recursos e a educação são apenas algumas das áreas em que a tecnologia se tornou um mal necessário. O problema é que, na sua maior parte, os usuários de tecnologia tem apenas uma vista míope do que é oferecido por avanços tecnológicos. Este é um problema porque a tecnologia é definitivamente uma espada de dois gumes.

Quando se trata de tecnologia e suas aplicações, os dois gumes da espada são geralmente definidos como (1) a comodidade que proporciona para nossas vidas diárias, e (2) o tipo de aplicações que pode ter. O pensamento unidimensional sempre limita-se aos benefícios e a conveniência. Na verdade, estes são os termos em que a tecnologia é sempre apresentada. Por outro lado, as consequências não tão positivos ou mau uso da tecnologia é o que sempre é escondido do público desavisado, que só entende os avanços tecnológicos como forma de entretenimento. E o ópio de uma população que está machucada financeiramente, mentalmente e carece a capacidade – foi concebido assim – para ver além das suas necessidades de entretenimento. O pensamento bidimensional ou tridimensional, cria novas e diferentes formas de entendimento. O pensamento tridimensional também mostra a ponta da espada, que corta facilmente a ignorância e permite que os regimes opressivos alcançem sua tirania, contanto que sempre é reconhecido pelos tiranos, mas não por usuários de tecnologia.

É desejável ter uma ferramenta de busca que sabe o que queremos encontrar, mesmo antes que escrevemos palavras na tela do computador? Claro que é. Mas as pessoas devem perguntar: Como é que a empresa por trás da ferramenta de pesquisa consegue criar esta nova tecnologia? Será que tem outras aplicações? serão estas aplicações tão benéficas quanto os resultados de pesquisa? Google anunciou publicamente que irá utilizar cada câmera e microfone incorporado em computadores para espionar as pessoas a criar perfis para fins comerciais. Embora essa forma de espionagem é já alarmante, é preciso perguntar o que mais eles vão fazer?

É confortável ter aparelhos novos e mais eficientes em sua casa? Sim. No entanto, é nossa tarefa investigar se a conveniência desses dispositivos compensam a perda de privacidade, por exemplo. Recentemente, o chefe da CIA, David Petraeus, disse publicamente que a organização juntamente com a Agência de Segurança Nacional (ASN), estaria usando os avanços tecnológicos para espionar as pessoas através de seus aparelhos domésticos usando a tecnologia de passar informações através das linhas de energia elétrica. Esta técnica, aliás, não está limitado aos Estados Unidos. Na verdade, nestes momentos, a América está construindo uma instalação do tamanho de sete estádios de futebol que vai acolher o maior aparato de inteligência do planeta. A NSA é conhecida por seu programa Echelon e trabalhar com Centros de Fusão a nível nacional nos Estados Unidos. Tanto o Echelon como os Centros de Fusão são a maior força de espionagem com a capacidade de operar em todo o mundo.

É desejável ter um dispositivo de comunicação que nos permite falar com qualquer pessoa, em qualquer lugar, desde que haja um sinal eletromagnético disponível? Claro. Mas, novamente, devemos também saber que, além de questões de saúde, os celulares são basicamente espiões portátieis para que os donos das corporações, que não conseguem dormir à noite pensando em maneiras de espionar tudo o que fazemos, possam alcançar seu sonho. Recentemente, os telefones móveis da Apple e Google foram notícia por sua capacidade de gravar os movimentos dos usuários e deliberadamente enviar as informações para um servidor controlado por inteligência artificial (AI). Esta informação foi recolhida sem que os usuários estiverem cientes; sem o seu consentimento ou permissão.

O que pensa sobre este assunto o Eric Schmidt, CEO da Apple? “Se você tem algo que você não quer que ninguém saiba, talvez não deveria faze-lo em primeiro lugar.” Por que os usuários de tecnologias, como telefones celulares, não percebem que os iPhones, os telefones da Microsoft e Android de Google vão ser usados para fazer muito mais do que uma chamada telefônica? Porque a tecnologia tornou-se — não por coincidência — o ópio do povo. Os consumidores foram doutrinados e programados pelos sistemas de educação para perder sua capacidade de pensar criticamente e inovar. Historicamente, os seres humanos tornaram-se usuários em vez de criadores. Por pelo menos um século — na sociedade moderna — os criadores são os tiranos que perceberam que a tecnologia poderia ser usada para escravizar, enquanto funciona como uma distração para as massas decadentes.

Tal como os romanos tinham os seus jogos de gladiadores, hoje temos jogos de futebol, programas de TV e, claro, nossos iPhones, laptops e consolas de jogos de vídeo. Você já ouviu falar de Kinect? Se não, esta plataforma de vídeo games da Microsoft é a mãe de todas as ferramentas de espionagem para uso doméstico. Se você gosta do McLanche Feliz ou Jack-in-a-Box, você vai adorar Kinect. Enquanto todo mundo estava dormindo, os tiranos descobriram uma maneira de fazer-nos desfrutar da nossa servidão, e tem feito um excelente trabalho. Não só distraem as pessoas com jogos de vídeo que tornam-as em psicopatas ou retardados mentais, mas também serão vítimas diretas de espionagem que é realizado pelo complexo militar-industrial. O âmbito das tecnologias como a Kinect, apenas anuncia-se como moda e diversão, mas vai além do que a maioria dos usuários pode entender. Com empreiteiros militares já trabalhando em maneiras de “melhor” usar a tecnologia incorporada no Kinect, eles dizem publicamente que pretendem espionar as pessoas através da consola de jogos para roubar suas informações.

Mas, que é o que há exatamente dentro de Kinect? Como explicado pela mídia, a mais recente plataforma de jogos Microsoft Xbox 360 tem:

* Quatro microfones, ou dispositivos binaural

* Duas câmeras

* Um diodo emissor de infravermelho

* Um ventilador

* 64 MB de SDRAM DDR2 Hynix

* Um pequeno motor

* Um acelerômetro de três eixos

* Um Sensor Primer PS1080-A2.

“Kinect é baseado na tecnologia do Sensor Primer para detectar movimento. Este chip é o cérebro do Kinect – todos os sensores estão conectados a ele para o processamento antes de transmitir imagens com profundidade fina de cor para o Xbox.”

Se a descrição acima é um desafio tecnológico para você, ou simplesmente não esta interessado nos detalhes técnicos, porque tudo o que interessa é se divertir com Kinect, está em apuros. O Sensor Quadaural pode ouvir e identificar até cinco vozes diferentes. As duas câmeras podem tirar fotos e gravar vídeos. O transmissor de diodo infravermelho (IR), cria e gravar imagens térmicas das pessoas na sala, que é uma ferramenta poderosa para a identificação biometrica. O disco rígido e a memoria de 64 MB garantem que todas as informações coletadas são armazenadas convenientemente para facilitar o acesso de usuários externos — espiões militares e hackers — e o Sensor Primer, o cérebro, completa a lista de ferramentas que qualquer maluco doente por ter controle completo sob todo e todos sonha com ter. O chip simplesmente detecta qualquer movimento na sala onde Kinect esta.

Infelizmente, esta tecnologia não está limitada a Kinect. Outras consolas como Nintendo Wii e Playstation já usam componentes similares que são vendidos como a melhor maneira de melhorar a experiência de jogo. Que bom para os criadores! Eles fazem o mesmo que os criadores das TVs inteligentes, os receptores de TV por satélite e por cabo, e os refrigeradores para uso doméstico, fizeram: Levar o Big Brother para dentro das casas. Isto é o Big Brother  em uma caixa.

Quais são as recomendações para evitar o Big Brother em nossas casas através da tecnologia Kinect? De acordo com um “combatente da liberdade” é uma boa idéia “desligar Kinect da tomada quando não esta sendo usado.” Sério? O que acham de não comprar um Kinect? Como é que as pessoas tornaram-se tão semelhantes aos animais de estimação? Dizer coisas como “compre um Kinect, ou um Playstation e desligue-o quando não estiver em uso,” E como dizer que “é OK comprar refrigerantes, mas apenas beber um gole de cada vez para que o aspartame neles te mate lentamente, não de repente.” ou então dizer que “é OK comprar um telefone celular, mas apenas usá-lo com pouca frequência para que o câncer te mate em uma ou duas décadas no lugar de um ou dois anos.

Verdadeiramente nos tornamos escravos que não só nos sentimos confortáveis com nossa escravidão, mas também adoramos a nossa servidão.

Acho que HG Wells foi incapaz de descrever o cenário que seria uma Nova Ordem Mundial.

Você pode compartilhar nosso conteúdo original, desde que respeite a nossa política de direitos autorais, conforme mostrado em nosso rodapé. Por favor, não corte os artigos de The Real Agenda para redistribuir por e-mail ou na Internet se você não cumpre com as nossas políticas de direitos de autor.

Microsoft Kinect Abre el Camino para Espiar en el Hogar

POR LUIS R. MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | 05 ABRIL 2012

La tiranía no es horrible sólo por el caos que causa, sino también por la forma en que extiende sus tentáculos antes de apretar la soga a las poblaciones inocentes. La tiranía vendrá en uniforme, dice un proverbio. Pero la mayor parte del tiempo el uniforme es sólo el último paso en el proceso de lograr un control total en una sociedad. Hitler, quizás el mejor ejemplo de lo que los tiranos pueden llevar a cabo, no llegó al poder con su ejército de matones en “camisas marrón” derribando puertas e invadiendo propiedades. Fue un proceso gradual que de manera inteligente llevó a cabo una serie de acciones a través de una serie de pasos que terminaron con los alemanes pidiendo medidas tiránicas en el nombre del bien común.

El tiempo que pasó en el siglo XX, después de que Hitler fue depuesto y el tiempo que ha pasado del siglo XXI, han visto el surgimiento de una tiranía con niveles que sólo HG Wells había sido capaz de imaginar. Esta es una señal de que los tiranos títeres no son la piedra angular de la tiranía, no son más que las mulas que transportan la tiranía a través de las décadas. A pesar de que la tiranía del siglo XXI parece tener sus raíces en el mismo principio que se originó al comienzo de los dos siglos anteriores – la seguridad -, este principio sólo puede convertirse en una razón para que la tiranía surja si se le transforma en una necesidad. Pero no es ni siquiera la seguridad como un principio el principal impulsor de los regímenes tiránicos. Para que un gobierno opresivo temporal o permanente tome el control, este utiliza otras herramientas para complementar el ataque a la libertad y el progreso de una red de seguridad fuera de control. Este complemento es desde luego la tecnología.

Se necesitaría mucho más tiempo para alcanzar un estado completo de tiranía si los tiranos intentaran  imponer este estado por la fuerza. Es por eso que los hombres y las mujeres detrás de los regímenes opresivos usan dos de sus mejores aliados para lograr su objetivo: el tiempo y los avances tecnológicos. Cambios progresivos a través de largos períodos de tiempo de una manera en que las condiciones pre-diseñadas promuevan un determinado escenario, son mejor aceptadas por las poblaciones que están preocupadas por su seguridad 24 horas al día. Esta es la razón por la cual un ambiente de inseguridad, junto con la aplicación de las políticas que reducen la libertad y desvían la atención de la pérdida de esa libertad son una combinación perfecta para lograr la mejor versión de la tiranía del siglo XXI. En el caso de nuestra sociedad moderna, la dependencia tecnológica ha asumido el papel que la escasez de alimentos y el conflicto, por ejemplo, que jugaron un papel importante en épocas anteriores.

Una de las mejores maneras de llevar a cabo políticas tiránicas es mantener a la población distraída mientras que las políticas se crean, se aceptan y son puesto a funcionar. En una era donde la inseguridad económica fácilmente distrae a la gente y no le permite abrir sus ojos y ver lo que realmente está pasando, la tecnología, ahora más que nunca, juega un papel monumental en el avance de la agenda tiránica pensada hace mucho tiempo. No sólo los países, pero las empresas y los individuos han  adoptado la tecnología como parte de su vida cotidiana, sino que han pasado a depender en un grado que ya no es una opción simplemente “desconectarse” de ella. Las transacciones financieras, el comercio, la gestión de recursos y la educación son sólo algunas de las áreas en las que la tecnología se ha convertido en un mal necesario. El problema es que, en su mayor parte, los usuarios de tecnología sólo tienen una visión miope de lo que ofrecen los avances tecnológicos. Este es un problema porque la tecnología es, sin duda, una espada de doble filo.

Cuando se trata de la tecnología y sus aplicaciones, los dos filos de la espada se suelen definir como (1) la comodidad que proporciona a nuestras vidas diarias, y (2) el tipo de aplicaciones que puede tener. El pensamiento unidimensional siempre se centra en los beneficios y la conveniencia. De hecho, estos son los términos en los que la tecnología siempre se presenta. El otro lado, las consecuencias no tan positivas o el mal uso de la tecnología es lo que siempre se oculta al público desprevenido, que sólo entiende los avances tecnológicos como entretenimiento; el opio de una población que está herida económicamente, mentalmente y que carece de la capacidad — pues así fue diseñado — de ver más allá de sus necesidades de ocio. El pensamiento bidimensional o tridimensional, crea nuevas y diferentes formas de entendimiento. La forma tridimensional de pensamiento también ve el borde cortante de la espada, el que corta fácilmente a través de la ignorancia y que permite a los regímenes opresivos lograr su tiranía, siempre pues es siempre reconocida por los tiranos, pero no por los usuarios de tecnología.

¿Es conveniente contar con una herramienta de búsqueda que sabe lo que queremos encontrar, incluso antes de que lo hayamos escrito? Claro que lo es. Pero las personas deben preguntarse: ¿cómo funciona la empresa detrás de esa herramienta de búsqueda y como logra este avance tecnológico, y que otras aplicaciones tiene esta tecnología y si son o no tan beneficiosas como los resultados de búsqueda, o si son beneficiosas del todo. Google ha anunciado públicamente que va a utilizar cada cámara y micrófono integrado en los ordenadores para espiar a la gente con el fin de crear perfiles con fines comerciales. Aunque esta forma de espionaje es ya alarmante, uno debe preguntarse ¿qué otra cosa van a hacer? ¿Es cómodo tener nuevos y más eficientes electrodomésticos en su casa? Claro. Sin embargo, es nuestra tarea investigar si la comodidad de estos dispositivos vale la pena si perdemos nuestra privacidad. Por ejemplo, recientemente, el jefe de la CIA, David Petraeus, dijo públicamente que esa organización junto con la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional (NSA), estaría utilizando los avances tecnológicos para espiar a la gente a través de sus aparatos electrodomésticos usando la técnica de pasar información a través de las líneas y cables de electricidad. Esto, a propósito, no se limita a los Estados Unidos. De hecho, en estos momentos, Estados Unidos está construyendo una instalación del tamaño de siete estadios de fútbol que albergará el mayor aparato de espionaje en el planeta. La NSA es bien conocida por su programa Echelon y su trabajo con los Centros de Fusión a nivel nacional en los Estados Unidos. Tanto Echelon como los Centros de Fusión constituyen la mayor fuerza de espionaje con la capacidad de operar en todo el mundo.

¿Es conveniente contar con un dispositivo de comunicación que nos permite hablar con cualquier persona, en cualquier lugar, siempre y cuando haya una señal electromagnética disponible? Por supuesto. Pero, de nuevo, también debemos saber que, dejando a un lado las cuestiones de salud, los teléfonos celulares son, básicamente dispositivos portátiles de espionaje para un grupo de corporaciones cuyos propietarios reales no pueden dormir por la noche pensando en maneras de espiar todo lo que hacemos. Recientemente, los teléfonos móviles de Apple y Google hicieron noticias por su capacidad para registrar los movimientos de los usuarios y deliberadamente enviar dicha información a un servidor controlado por inteligencia artificial (IA). Esta información fue recogida sin que los usuarios estuvieran conscientes de ello, sin su permiso o consentimiento. ¿Qué tiene que decir al respecto Eric Schmidt, CEO de Apple? “Si usted tiene algo que usted no quiere que nadie sepa, tal vez no debería estar haciéndolo en el primer lugar.” ¿Por qué los usuários de tecnologías como los teléfonos móviles no se dan cuenta de que los iPhones, teléfonos de Microsoft y Android de Google se pueden utilizar para hacer muchas cosas más, además de llamar a alguien? Porque la tecnología se ha convertido — no por casualidad — en el opio del pueblo. Los consumidores han sido adoctrinados y programados por los sistemas educativos para perder su capacidad de pensar críticamente y de ser innovadores. Históricamente, los seres humanos se han transformado en usuarios en lugar de creadores. Por al menos un siglo — en la sociedad moderna — los creadores son los tiranos que se dieron cuenta de que la tecnología podría utilizarse para esclavizar al mismo tiempo que funcionaba como una distracción para las masas decadentes.

Al igual que los romanos tenían sus luchas de gladiadores, hoy tenemos los juegos de fútbol, programas de televisión y por supuesto nuestros iPhones, ordenadores portátiles y consolas de juegos de video. ¿Has oído hablar de Kinect? Si no es así, esta plataforma de juego de Microsoft es la madre de todas las herramientas de espionaje para el uso en el hogar. Si te gustan los Happy Meals o Jack-in-a-Box, te encantará Kinect.  Mientras todos estábamos durmiendo, los tiranos descubrieron una manera de hacernos disfrutar nuestra servidumbre, y han hecho un trabajo excelente. No sólo la gente se distrae jugando juegos de video que, o bien los hacen psicópatas o entonces los transforman en retardados mentales, sino que también van a ser víctimas de espionaje directo el cual es realizado por el complejo militar-industrial. El alcance de las tecnologías como Kinect, que sólo se anuncian como dispositivos de moda y de diversión, va más allá de lo que la mayoría de sus usuarios pueden comprender. Con los contratistas militares ya trabajando en formas de “mejor” usar la tecnología incorporada en la consola de juegos Kinect, así como diciendo públicamente que tienen la intención de espiar a la gente a través de ella para robar su información, ¿qué es lo que hay exactamente dentro de Kinect? Según lo explicado por múltiples medios de comunicación, la más reciente plataforma de juegos de Microsoft Xbox 360 tiene:

* Cuatro micrófonos, una en primer lugar, según el consejero delegado de Kyle Wiens. “Hemos desmontado dispositivos binaurales antes, pero esta es nuestra primera configuración de un sensor quadaural!”

* Dos cámaras

* Un diodo transmisor de infrarrojos

* Un ventilador

* 64 MB de memoria SDRAM DDR2 de Hynix

* Un pequeño, diminuto, motor

* Un acelerómetro de tres ejes

* Un Sensor Primer PS1080-A2. “Kinect se basa en la tecnología de Sensor Primer para detectar  movimiento”, explica Kyle. “Este chip es el cerebro del Kinect – todos los sensores están conectados a él para el procesamiento antes de transmitir con profundidad refinada imágenes de color a la Xbox”.

Si la descripción arriba es un desafío tecnológico para usted, o si simplemente no está interesado en los detalles técnicos en absoluto, porque todo lo que le interesa es divertirse con Kinect, está en problemas. El Sensor Kinect Quadaural permite escuchar e identificar hasta cinco voces distintas. Las dos cámaras son capaces de tomar fotografías y grabar vídeo. El transmisor diodo infrarrojo (IR) puede crear y grabar una imagen térmica de la gente en la sala, que es una poderosa herramienta de identificación. La unidad de disco duro y la memoria de 64 MB se aseguran de que toda la información recogida se almacene cómodamente para facilitar el acceso de usuarios externos — espías militares y piratas informáticos — y el Sensor Primer, el cerebro, completa la lista de herramientas con las que cualquier fanático del control soñaría. El chip simplemente detecta cualquier movimiento que se lleva a cabo en la sala donde Kinect esta. Lamentablemente, este tipo de tecnología no se limita a la consola Kinect de Microsoft. Otras consolas de juegos como Nintendo Wii y Playstation ya utilizan componentes similares que se venden como la mejor manera de mejorar la experiencia de juego. Que bueno por los creadores! Lo mismo hacen los que fabrican los televisores inteligentes, los recibidores de TV por satélite y cable, y los frigoríficos de uso domestico, que al igual que Kinect no son más que Big Brother en una caja.

¿Cuáles son las recomendaciones para evitar que Big Brother entre en nuestras casas a través de la tecnología Kinect? De acuerdo a un ‘luchador por la libertad’, es una buena idea “asegúrese de desconectar Kinect siempre que no lo está utilizando”. ¿En serio? ¿Qué tal no comprar un Kinect? ¿Cómo es que las personas se han vuelto tan parecidas a los animales domésticos? Comprar un Kinect, o un Playstation y desconectarlo cuando no se esta usando, es como decir que esta bien comprar bebidas gaseosas, pero solamente beberlas un sorbo a la vez para que el aspartame en ellas te mata lentamente y no de repente. Es como decir que esta bien comprar un teléfono celular, pero solamente utilizarlo con poca frecuencia para que el cáncer tarde una o dos décadas en aparecer en lugar de uno o cinco años.

Verdaderamente nos hemos convertido en esclavos quienes no solo nos sentimos cómodas con nuestra esclavitud, sino que también amamos nuestra servidumbre.

Creo que HG Wells se quedo corto cuando describió el escenario que sería un Nuevo Orden Mundial.

Usted puede compartir nuestro contenido original, siempre y cuando respete nuestra política de derechos de autor, como se muestra en nuestro pie de página. Por favor, no corte los artículos de The Real Agenda para redistribuir por correo electrónico o en Internet si usted no cumple con nuestras políticas.

Loving your Servitude: Microsoft’s Kinect Console Paves the Way for In-Home Spying

By LUIS R. MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | APRIL 5, 2012

Tyranny isn’t awful only because of the mayhem it achieves, but also because of the way it spreads its tentacles before it tightens the noose around unsuspecting populations. Tyranny will come in a uniform, says a proverb. But most of the time the uniform is just the last step in the process of achieving total control in a society. Hitler, perhaps the best example of what tyrants can accomplish, did not come into power with his brown shirt goon army stomping into people’s homes. It was an incremental process that intelligently carried out a series of actions through a series of steps which ended with Germans begging for tyrannical measures in the name of common good.

The remaining time of the twentieth century after Hitler was deposed and what has passed of the twenty-first century, has seen the rise of tyranny to levels that only H.G. Wells had been able to envision. This is a sign that puppet tyrants are not the bedrock of tyranny; they are just temporary mules that make it portable throughout the decades. Although twenty-first century tyranny seems to be rooted on the same principle that originated it back in the previous two centuries — security –, this principle can only be turned into a reason for tyranny if there is a necessity for it. But it isn’t even security as a principle the main driver of tyrannical regimes. For a temporary or permanent oppressive government to take control, it uses other tools that sort of complement the loss of freedom and the advancement of an out-of-control security grid. This complement is of course technology.

It would take much longer to achieve a complete state of tyranny if the tyrants intended to impose this state of affairs through force alone. That is why the men and women behind oppressive regimes use two of their best allies to achieve their goal: time and technological advances. Incremental changes through long periods of time in a way that conditions are engineered to promote a certain scenario are better accepted by populations who are worried 24 hours a day about their security. This is the reason why a heightened environment of insecurity together with the implementation of policies that reduce freedom and deviate attention from the loss of freedom are a perfect combination to bring about the best version of tyranny in the twenty-first century. In the case of our modern society, technological dependence has taken on the role that food scarcity and conflict, for example, played in previous eras.

One of the best ways to carry out tyrannical policies is to keep a population distracted while policies are created, accepted and put in place. In an era where self-security and economic imbalances are easily distracting people from opening their eyes and seeing what is really going on, technology is now more than ever playing a monumental role in advancing the tyrannical agenda thought out a long time ago. Not only have countries, companies and individuals embraced technology as part of their daily lives, but they’ve also become dependent to a degree that is no longer a choice to simply ‘get disconnected’ from it. Financial transactions, commerce, resource management and education are just a few of the areas in which technology has become a necessary evil. The problem is that technology users for the most part only have a myopic view of what technological advancements offer. This is a problem because technology is undoubtedly a double edge sword.

When it comes to technology and its applications, the two edges of the sword are usually defined as (1) the convenience it provides to our daily lives, and (2) the type of applications it can have. One-dimensional thinking always focuses on the benefits and the convenience. In fact, these are the terms in which technology is always presented. The other side, the not so positive consequences or misuse of technology is what is always hidden from the unsuspecting public, who only understand technological advances as entertainment; the opium of a population that hurts economically, mentally and that lacks the capacity — by design — to see beyond their leisure needs. Two-dimensional or three-dimensional thinking renders new and different ways of understanding. The three-dimensional way of thinking that also sees the sharper edge of the sword, the one that easily cuts through ignorance and that allows oppressive regimes to bring about their tyranny, is always acknowledged by the tyrants, but not by technology users.

Is it convenient to have a search engine that knows what you want to search, even before you type it in? Sure it is. But one needs to ask how does the company behind the search engine achieves this and what other applications would this technology have and whether or not they’d be as beneficial as the search results, or if they are beneficial at all. Google, has publicly announced that it will use every camera and microphone embedded in computers to spy on people in order to create profiles for commercial purposes. Although that way of spying is already alarming, one must wonder what else are they going to do. Is it comfortable to have newer, more efficient appliances at home? Sure. However, it is within our purview to investigate whether the comfort these devices bring are worth loosing privacy. For example, recently, the head of the CIA, David Petraeus publicly said that that organization along with the National Security Agency (NSA) would be using technological advances to spy on people through their appliances. This by the way is not limited to the United States. In fact, as we speak, the United States is building a seven football-stadium-sized facility that will house the largest spying apparatus in the planet. The NSA is well-known for their Echelon program and their work with Fusion Centers nationwide in the United States. Both Echelon and the Fusion Centers make up the largest spying force with the capacity to operate around the world.

Is it convenient to have a communication device that allows us to talk to anyone, anywhere, as long as there is an electromagnetic signal available? Absolutely. But again, we should also know that, leaving health issues aside, cell phones are basically portable spying devices for a group of corporations whose real owners cannot sleep at night thinking of ways to learn about everything we do. Recently, both Apple and Google devices were in the news for their ability to record users’ movements and deliberately sending such information to an Artificial Intelligence-controlled hard drive or server somewhere. This information was collected without the users being aware of it, without their permission or consent. What did Eric Schmidt, Apple’s CEO had to say about it? “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Why isn’t the public able to realize that iPhones, Microsoft phones and Android Google phones can be used to do many more things besides calling someone? Because technology has become — again not by accident — the opium of the people. They have been indoctrinated and programmed by the educational systems to lose their ability to think critically and to be innovators. Historically, humans have been transformed into users instead of creators. For at least a century — in modern society — the creators are the tyrants who figured out that technology could be used to enslave while it functioned as a distraction for the decadent masses.

Just as the Romans had their gladiator fights, we have football games, TV shows and of course our iPhones, Laptops and Game Consoles. Have you heard about Kinect? If not, this Microsoft gaming platform is the mother of all spying tools for in-home usage. If you like Happy Meals or Jack-in-a-Box, you’ll love Kinect. That’s right. While we were all sleeping, the tyrants figured out a way to make us like our servitude, and they’ve done a superb job. Not only will people be distracted playing games that will either make them psychos or dummies, but they’ll also be victims of direct spying by the military industrial complex. The reach of technologies like Kinect, which are only advertised as trendy, fun devices, goes beyond what most of its users even begin to fathom. With military contractors already working on ways to ‘better’ use the technology embedded in the game console, as well as publicly saying they intend to spy on people through it to steal their information, what exactly is there inside Kinect? As explained by multiple media outlets, Microsoft’s latest Xbox 360 has:

* Four microphones — a first, according to CEO Kyle Wiens. “We’ve taken apart binaural devices before, but this is our first quadaural sensor setup!”

* Two cameras (pictured).

* An IR transmitting diode.

* One fan. Wiens says that for a 12-watt device, Microsoft seems very paranoid about heat dissipation and blames this paranoia on the infamous red-ring-of-death problems that have plagued the 360. “This is a good thing for consumers, but we can’t help but wonder if they’ve gone overboard in the cooling department,” Kyle said.

* 64 MB of Hynix DDR2 SDRAM.

* A “tiny, diminutive, even” motor (pictured).

* A three-axis accelerometer.

* A Prime Sense PS1080-A2. “Kinect is based on Prime Sense’s motion detection technology,” explains Kyle. “This chip is the Kinect’s brains —– all the sensors are wired into here for processing before transmitting a refined depth map and color image to the Xbox.”

If you are technologically challenged or simply are not interested in technical details at all, because all you care about is having fun with Kinect, you are in trouble. The Quadaural sensor enables Kinect to listen to and identify up to five different voices. The two cameras are capable of taking pictures and recording video. The Infrared (IR) transmitting diode can create and record a thermal image of people in the room, which then becomes a powerful identification tool. The 64 MB hard drive makes sure that all the information collected is comfortably stored for easy access by outside users — military spies and hackers — and the Prime Sense sensor, the brain, closes the gift list that any control freak would dream about. The chip simply detects any movement that takes place in the room where Kinect is. Sadly, this kind of technology is not limited to Kinect. Other game consoles like Nintendo Wii and Playstation already use similar components which are sold as the best way to enhance gaming experience. How thoughtful of the creators! Much like the makers of the latest television sets, satellite boxes and fridges, Kinect is simply Big Bother in a box.

Any recommendations to stave off Big Brother from coming into our houses? According to a ‘freedom fighter’, it is a good idea to “make sure you disconnect Kinect whenever you are not using it”. Really? How about not buying a Kinect? How cattle-like have people become! Have your Soda pop, but make sure you drink it only one sip at the time so that the aspartame in it kills you slowly. Buy a cell phone, but use it less often, that way the cancer will take a decade or two to appear. We have indeed become comfortable slaves who not only enjoy but actually love our servitude.

I guess H.G. Wells fell way short of what a New World Order would look like.

You may share our original content as long as you respect our copyright policy as shown on our website footer. Please don’t cut articles from The Real Agenda to redistribute by email or post to the web if you don’t follow our policies.

Luis Miranda is the founder and editor of The Real Agenda. For more of his stories, subscribe to our article feed. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Email article ideas and insights through the Contact page.

The Corporate Internet Based Reconnaissance Operations

United States government contractors partner to spy on everything to “keep us safe”.  Internet Based Reconnaissance Operations (Echelon)

Tom Burghardt
Global Research
July 6, 2011

Last week, the White House released its National Strategy for Counterterrorism, a macabre document that places a premium on “public safety” over civil liberties and constitutional rights.

Indeed, “hope and change” huckster Barack Obama had the temerity to assert that the President “bears no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety and security of the American people.”

Pity that others, including CIA “black site” prisoners tortured to death to “keep us safe” (some 100 at last count) aren’t extended the same courtesy as The Washington Post reported last week.

As Secrecy News editor Steven Aftergood correctly points out, the claim that the President “has no greater responsibility than ‘protecting the American people’ is a paternalistic invention that is historically unfounded and potentially damaging to the political heritage of the nation.”

Aftergood avers, “the presidential oath of office that is prescribed by the U.S. Constitution (Art. II, sect. 1) makes it clear that the President’s supreme responsibility is to ‘…preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ There is no mention of public safety. It is the constitutional order that the President is sworn to protect, even if doing so entails risks to the safety and security of the American people.”

But as our former republic slips ever-closer towards corporate dictatorship, Obama’s mendacious twaddle about “protecting the American people,” serves only to obscure, and reinforce, the inescapable fact that it’s a rigged game.

Rest assured, “what happens in Vegas,” Baghdad, Kabul or Manama–from driftnet spying to political-inspired witchhunts toillegal detention–won’t, and hasn’t, “stayed in Vegas.”

Cyber Here, Cyber There, Cyber-Surveillance Everywhere

Last month, researcher Barrett Brown and the OpMetalGear network lifted the lid on a new U.S. Government-sponsored cyber-surveillance project, Romas/COIN, now Odyssey, a multiyear, multimillion dollar enterprise currently run by defense and security giant Northrop Grumman.

With some $10.8 billion in revenue largely derived from contracts with the Defense Department, Northrop Grumman was No. 2 on the Washington Technology 2011 Top 100 List of Prime Federal Contractors.

“For at least two years,” Brown writes, “the U.S. has been conducting a secretive and immensely sophisticated campaign of mass surveillance and data mining against the Arab world, allowing the intelligence community to monitor the habits, conversations, and activity of millions of individuals at once.”

Information on this shadowy program was derived by scrutinizing hundreds of the more than 70,000 HBGary emails leaked onto the web by the cyber-guerrilla collective Anonymous.

Brown uncovered evidence that the “top contender to win the federal contract and thus take over the program is a team of about a dozen companies which were brought together in large part by Aaron Barr–the same disgraced CEO who resigned from his own firm earlier this year after he was discovered to have planned a full-scale information war against political activists at the behest of corporate clients.”

Readers will recall that Barr claimed he could exploit social media to gather information about WikiLeaks supporters in a bid to destroy that organization. Earlier this year, Barr told the Financial Times he had used scraping techniques and had infiltrated WikiLeaks supporter Anonymous, in part by using IRC, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

According to emails subsequently released by Anonymous, it was revealed that the ultra rightist U.S. Chamber of Commerce had hired white shoe law firm Hunton & Williams, and that Hunton attorneys, upon recommendation of an unnamed U.S. Department of Justice official, solicited a set of private security contractors–HBGary, HBGary Federal, Palantir and Berico Technologies (collectively known as Team Themis)–and stitched-up a sabotage campaign against WikiLeaks, journalists, labor unions, progressive political groups and Chamber critics.

Amongst the firms who sought to grab the Romas/COIN/Odyssey contract from Northrop when it came up for a “recompete” wasTASC, which describes itself as “a renowned provTASC, ider of advanced systems engineering, integration and decision-support services across the intelligence, defense, homeland security and federal markets.”

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, TASC’s head of “Cybersecurity Initiatives,” Larry Strang, was formerly a Vice President with Northrop Grumman who led that firm’s Cybersecurity Group and served as Northrop’s NSA Account Manager. Prior to that, Strang, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, was Vice President for Operations at the spooky Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

Brown relates that emails between TASC executives Al Pisani, John Lovegrow and former HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr, provided details that they “were in talks with each other as well as Mantech executive Bob Frisbie on a ‘recompete’ pursuant to ‘counter intelligence’ operations that were already being conducted on behalf of the federal government by another firm, SAIC, with which they hoped to compete for contracts.”

In fact, HBGary Federal and TASC may have been cats-paws for defense giant ManTech International in the race to secure U.S. Government cyber-surveillance contracts. Clocking in at No. 22on Washington Technology’s “2011 Top 100 list,” ManTech earned some $1.46 billion in 2010, largely derived from work in “systems engineering and integration, technology and software development, enterprise security architecture, intelligence operations support, critical infrastructure protection and computer forensics.” The firm’s major customers include the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s geek squad that is busily working to develop software for their Cyber Insider Threat (CINDER) program.

Both HBGary Federal and parent company HBGary, a California-based security firm run by the husband-wife team, Greg Hoglund and Penny Leavy, had been key players for the design of malware, undetectable rootkits and other “full directory exfiltration tools over TCP/IP” for the Defense Department according to documents released by the secret-shredding web site Public Intelligence.

Additional published documents revealed that they and had done so in close collaboration with General Dynamics (Project Cand Task Z), which had requested “multiple protocols to be scoped as viable options … for VoIP (Skype) protocol, BitTorrent protocol, video over HTTP (port 80), and HTTPS (port 443)” for unnamed secret state agencies.

According to Brown, it appears that Romas/COIN/Odyssey was also big on social media surveillance, especially when it came to “Foreign Mobile” and “Foreign Web” monitoring. Indeed, documents published by Public Intelligence (scooped-up by the HBGary-Anonymous hack) was a ManTech International-HBGary collaboration describing plans for Internet Based Reconnaissance Operations. The October 2010 presentation described plans that would hand “customers,” presumably state intelligence agencies but also, as revealed by Anonymous, corporate security entities and public relations firms, the means to perform “native language searching” combined with “non-attributable architecture” and a “small footprint” that can be “as widely or narrowly focused as needed.”

ManTech and HBGary promised to provide customers the ability to “Locate/Profile Internet ‘Points of Interest'” on “individuals, companies, ISPs” and “organizations,” and would do so through “detailed network mapping” that will “identify registered networks and registered domains”; “Graphical network representation based on Active Hosts”; “Operating system and network application identification”; “Identification of possible perimeter defenses” through “Technology Research, Intelligence Gap Fill, Counterintelligence Research” and “Customer Public Image Assessment.”

The presentation described the social media monitoring process as one that would “employ highly skilled network professionals (read, ex-spooks and former military intelligence operatives) who will use “Non-attributable Internet access, custom developed toolsets and techniques, Native Language and in-country techniques” that “utilize foreign language search engines, mapping tools” and “iterative researching methodologies” for searching “Websites, picture sites, mapping sites/programs”; “Blogs and social networking sites”; “Forums and Bulletin Boards”; “Network Information: Whois, Trace Route, NetTroll, DNS”; “Archived and cached websites.”

Clients who bought into the ManTech-HBGary “product” were promised “Rapid Non-attributable Open Source Research Results”; “Sourced Research Findings”; “Triage level Analysis”; “Vulnerability Assessment” and “Graphical Network and Social Diagramming” via data mining and extensive link analysis.

Undoubtedly, readers recall this is precisely what the National Security Agency has been doing since the 1990s, if not earlier, through their electronic communications intercept program Echelon, a multibillion Pentagon project that conducted corporate espionage for American multinational firms as researcher Nicky Hager revealed in his 1997 piece for Covert Action Quarterly.

Other firms included in Lovegrove’s email to Barr indicate that the new Romas/COIN/Odyssey “team” was to have included: “TASC (PMO [Project Management Operations], creative services); HBGary (Strategy, planning, PMO); Akamai (infrastructure); Archimedes Global (Specialized linguistics, strategy, planning); Acclaim Technical Services (specialized linguistics); Mission Essential Personnel (linguistic services); Cipher (strategy, planning operations); PointAbout (rapid mobile application development, list of strategic partners); Google (strategy, mobile application and platform development–long list of strategic partners); Apple (mobile and desktop platform, application assistance–long list of strategic partners). We are trying to schedule an interview with ATT plus some other small app developers.”

Recall that AT&T is the NSA’s prime telecommunications partner in that agency’s illegal driftnet surveillance program and has been the recipient of “retroactive immunity” under the despicable FISA Amendments Act, a law supported by then-Senator Barack Obama. Also recall that the giant tech firm Apple was recently mired in scandal over reports that their mobile phone platform had, without their owners’ knowledge or consent, speared geolocational data from the iPhone and then stored this information in an Apple-controlled data base accessible to law enforcement through various “lawful interception” schemes.

“Whatever the exact nature and scope of COIN,” Brown writes, “the firms that had been assembled for the purpose by Barr and TASC never got a chance to bid on the program’s recompete. In late September, Lovegrove noted to Barr and others that he’d spoken to the ‘CO [contracting officer] for COIN’.” The TASC executive told Barr that “the current procurement approach” was cancelled, citing “changed requirements.”

Apparently the Pentagon, or other unspecified secret state satrapy told the contestants that “an updated RFI [request for information]” will be issued soon. According to a later missive from Lovegrove to Barr, “COIN has been replaced by a procurement called Odyssey.” While it is still not entirely clear what Romas/COIN or the Odyssey program would do once deployed, Brown claims that “mobile phone software and applications constitute a major component of the program.”

And given Barr’s monomaniacal obsession with social media surveillance (that worked out well with Anonymous!) the presence of Alterian and SocialEyez on the procurement team may indicate that the secret state is alarmed by the prospect that the “Arab Spring” just might slip from proverbial “safe hands” and threaten Gulf dictatorships and Saudi Arabia with the frightening specter of democratic transformation.

Although the email from TASC executive Chris Clair to John Lovegrow names “Alterion” as a company to contact because of their their “SM2 tool,” in all likelihood this is a typo given the fact that it is the UK-based firm “Alterian” that has developed said SM2 tool, described on their web site as a “business intelligence product that provides visibility into social media and lets you tap into a new kind of data resource; your customers’ direct thoughts and opinions.”

This would be a highly-profitable partnership indeed for enterprising intelligence agencies and opaque corporate partners intent on monitoring political developments across the Middle East.

In fact, a 2010 press release, announced that Alterian had forged a partnership with the Dubai-based firm SocialEyez for “the world’s first social media monitoring service designed for the Arab market.”

We’re informed that SocialEyez, a division of Media Watch Middle East, described as “the leading media monitoring service in the Middle East,” offers services in “television, radio, social media, online news and internet monitoring across most sectors including commercial, government and PR.”

That Barr and his partners were interested in bringing these firms to the Romas/COIN table is not surprising considering that the Alterian/SocialEyez deal promises “to develop and launch an Arabic language interface for Alterian SM2 to make it the world’s first Arab language social media monitoring tool.” Inquiring minds can’t help but wonder which three-lettered American agencies alongside a stable of “corporate and government clients, including leading Blue Chips” might be interested in “maximising their social media monitoring investment”?

Pentagon “Manhunters” in the House

On an even more sinister note, the inclusion of Archimedes Global on the Romas/COIN team should set alarm bells ringing.

Archimedes is a small, privately-held niche security firm headquartered in Tampa, Florida where, surprise, surprise, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) has it’s main headquarters at the MacDill Air Force Base. On their web site, Archimedes describes itself as “a diversified technology company providing energy and information solutions to government and businesses worldwide.” The firm claims that it “delivers solutions” to its clients by “combining deep domain expertise, multi-disciplinary education and training, and technology-enabled innovations.”

While short on information regarding what it actually does, evidence suggests that the firm is chock-a-block with former spooks and Special Forces operators, skilled in the black arts of counterintelligence, various information operations, subversion and, let’s be frank, tasks euphemistically referred to in the grisly trade as “wet work.”

According to The Washington Post, the firm was established in 2005. However, although the Post claims in their “Top Secret America” series that the number of employees and revenue is “unknown,” Dana Priest and William M. Arkin note that Archimedes have five government clients and are have speared contracts relating to “Ground forces operations,” “Human intelligence,” Psychological operations,” and “Specialized military operations.”

Brown relates that Archimedes was slated to provide “Specialized linguistics, strategy, planning” for the proposed Romas/COIN/Odyssey project for an unknown U.S. Government entity.

Based on available evidence however, one can speculate that Archimedes may have been chosen as part of the HBGary Federal/TASC team precisely because of their previous work as private contractors in human intelligence (HUMINT), running spies and infiltrating assets into organizations of interest to the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) throughout the Middle East, Central- and South Asia.

In 2009, Antifascist Calling revealed that one of Archimedes Global’s senior directors, retired Air Force Lt. Colonel George A. Crawford, published a chilling monograph, Manhunting: Counter-Network Organizing for Irregular Warfare, for the highly-influential Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

JSOU is the “educational component” of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). With a mission that touts its ability to “plan and synchronize operations” against America’s geopolitical adversaries and rivals, JSOU’s Strategic Studies Department “advances SOF strategic influence by its interaction in academic, interagency, and United States military communities.”

Accordingly, Archimedes “information and risk” brief claim they can solve “the most difficult communication and risk problems by seeing over the horizon with a blend of art and science.” And with focus areas that include “strategic communications, media analysis and support, crisis communications, and risk and vulnerability assessment and mitigation,” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to infer that those well-schooled in the dark art of information operations (INFOOPS) would find a friendly home inside the Romas/COIN contract team.

With some 25-years experience “as a foreign area officer specializing in Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” including a stint “as acting Air and Defense Attaché to Kyrgyzstan,” Crawford brings an interesting skill-set to the table. Crawford writes:

Manhunting–the deliberate concentration of national power to find, influence, capture, or when necessary kill an individual to disrupt a human network–has emerged as a key component of operations to counter irregular warfare adversaries in lieu of traditional state-on-state conflict measures. It has arguably become a primary area of emphasis in countering terrorist and insurgent opponents. (George A. Crawford, Manhunting: Counter-Network Organization for Irregular Warfare, JSOU Report 09-7, The JSOU Press, Hurlburt Field, Florida, September 2009, p. 1)

Acknowledged manhunting masters in their own right, the Israeli settler-colonial security apparat have perfected the art of “targeted killing,” when they aren’t dropping banned munitions such as white phosphorus on unarmed, defenseless civilian populations or attacking civilian vessels on the high seas.

Like their Israeli counterparts who come highly recommended as models of restraint, an American manhunting agency will employ similarly subtle, though no less lethal, tactics. Crawford informs us:

When compared with conventional force-on-force warfare, manhunting fundamentally alters the ratio between warfare’s respective firepower, maneuver, and psychological elements. Firepower becomes less significant in terms of mass, while the precision and discretion with which firepower is employed takes on tremendous significance, especially during influence operations. Why drop a bomb when effects operations or a knife might do? (Crawford, op. cit., p. 11, emphasis added)

Alongside actual shooters, “sensitive site exploitation (SSE) teams are critical operational components for Pentagon “manhunters.” We’re told that SSE teams will be assembled and able to respond on-call “in the event of a raid on a suspect site or to conduct independent ‘break-in and search’ operations without leaving evidence of their intrusion.” Such teams must possess “individual skills” such as “physical forensics, computer or electronic exploitation, document exploitation, investigative techniques, biometric collection, interrogation/debriefing and related skills.”

As if to drive home the point that the target of such sinister operations are the American people and world public opinion, Crawford, ever the consummate INFOOPS warrior, views “strategic information operations” as key to this murderous enterprise. Indeed, they “must be delicately woven into planned kinetic operations to increase the probability that a given operation or campaign will achieve its intended effect.”

Personnel skilled at conducting strategic information operations–to include psychological operations, public information, deception, media and computer network operations, and related activities–are important for victory. Despite robust DoD and Intelligence Community capabilities in this area, efforts to establish organizations that focus information operations have not been viewed as a positive development by the public or the media, who perceive government-sponsored information efforts with suspicion. Consequently, these efforts must take place away from public eyes. Strategic information operations may also require the establishment of regional or local offices to ensure dissemination of influence packages and assess their impact. Thus manhunting influence may call for parallel or independent structures at all levels…” (Crawford, op. cit., pp. 27-28, emphasis added)

While we do not as yet have a complete picture of the Romas/COIN/Odyssey project, some preliminary conclusions can be drawn.

“Altogether, then,” Brown writes, “a successful bid for the relevant contract was seen to require the combined capabilities of perhaps a dozen firms–capabilities whereby millions of conversations can be monitored and automatically analyzed, whereby a wide range of personal data can be obtained and stored in secret, and whereby some unknown degree of information can be released to a given population through a variety of means and without any hint that the actual source is U.S. military intelligence.”

Although Brown’s initial research concluded that Romas/COIN/Odyssey will operate “in conjunction with other surveillance and propaganda assets controlled by the U.S. and its partners,” with a firm like Archimedes on-board, once information has been assembled on individuals described in other contexts as “radicals” or “key extremists,” will they subsequently be made to “disappear” into the hands of “friendly” security services such as those of strategic U.S. partners Bahrain and Saudi Arabia?

We’re reminded that “Barr was also at the center of a series of conspiracies by which his own company and two others hired out their collective capabilities for use by corporations that sought to destroy their political enemies by clandestine and dishonest means.”

Indeed, “none of the companies involved,” Brown writes, have been investigated; a proposed Congressional inquiry was denied by the committee chair, noting that it was the Justice Department’s decision as to whether to investigate, even though it was the Justice Department itself that made the initial introductions. Those in the intelligence contracting industry who believe themselves above the law are entirely correct.”

Brown warns that “a far greater danger is posed by the practice of arming small and unaccountable groups of state and military personnel with a set of tools by which to achieve better and better ‘situational awareness’ on entire populations” while simultaneously manipulating “the information flow in such a way as to deceive those same populations.”

Beginning, it should be noted, right here at home…

Americans Have Been Bugged For 20 Years

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
June 14, 2011

Outrage over the revelation that Chinese authorities have been installing spying devices on all dual-plate Chinese-Hong Kong vehicles is nothing compared to the fact that Americans and European have had all their communications tracked for at least two decades.

“For years now Chinese authorities have been installing spying devices on all dual-plate Chinese-Hong Kong vehicles, enabling a vast network of eavesdropping across the archipelago,” reports the Epoch Times.

However, the modern era of high-tech surveillance really began with the Echelon program in the early 90′s.

In 1999 the Australian government admitted that it was part of an NSA-led global intercept and surveillance grid in alliance with the US and Britain that could listen to “every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission,” using keywords to allow “powerful computers capable of voice recognition” to eavesdrop globally.

Furthermore, a 2001 European Parliament report stated that “within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted” by the NSA.

As we reported back in 2006, Google announced that it would be using in-built microphones on personal computers to listen for “background noise,” which would then be used to tailor invasive Minority Report-style advertising.

“The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that’s adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject,” reported the Register.

The report touched upon the inevitability that the use and abuse of this technology will eventually be taken over by the state.

“Pretty soon the security industry is going to find a way to hijack the Google feed and use it for full on espionage.”

We are now surrounded by high-tech devices that serve a dual use purpose, one of which is spying on and keeping a record of our communications and other information to build psychological profiles. These include cell phones, two-way cable TV boxes, satellite navigation devices, so-called “smart home” products, as well as services like OnStar and Google Street View.

Read Full Article…