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Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 12:17:02 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Will We Be Under Total Surveillance?  (fwd)

>Read it and weep, folks.  Like the song says I decided long ago NOT to
>walk in anyones shadow especially big brothers.  Take back America now.
>by Charles Ostman
>Imagine a world in which every aspect of your life, past and present, is 
>encrypted on a personal ID card and stored on a nationwide data base. 
>Where virtually all communications media-soon to be 100% digital-are 
>automatically monitored by computerized phone taps and satellites from 
>control centers thousands of miles away.  Where self-training neural net 
>and artificial intelligence data search systems scan for undesirable 
>lifestyles and target you for automatic monitoring. 
>Personal privacy was once considered the most sacred of our constitu-
>tional rights; agencies were severely limited by law. All that's about 
>to change drastically thanks to a deadly combination of extremely 
>sophisticated surveillance technology, ubiquitous digital information 
>collection, and centralized interagency data exchange. 
>Until recently the "supersecret" National Reconnaissance Organization 
>did not exist-even though it has the largest budget of any intelligence 
>agency. They are responsible for the design, development and procure-
>ment of all US reconnaissance satellites and their continued management 
>once in orbit. Recently photos have surfaced in the press of its huge new 
>complex being completed in Chantilly, Virginia. (Senator John Warner-
>Liz Taylor's ex- has described the one million square foot complex as a 
>"Taj Mahal.") The NRO is eagerly implementing such technologies as 
>ultra-high storage capacity holographic films (allowing huge amounts of 
>personal information to be present on your ID card) and self-training 
>artificial intelligence software that tracks your personal data without 
>human intervention. A new era of ubiquitous surveillance is dawning. 
>A struggling military-industrial complex searching for new markets 
>for their technologies has merged forces with a government obsessed 
>with ever tighter control over the activities of the general public. 
>Congresswoman Barbara Jordan has proposed a "National Employment 
>Verification Card" that will be required for all employment in the U.S. 
>The card will, of course, have a magnetic data strip, and altering of 
>counterfeiting the card will be a federal felony offense. 
>There is a dedicated and aggressive effort underway to chart various 
>genetic features as part of one's personal information set. The fed's goal 
>is to have the ability to screen individuals for everything from behavioral 
>characteristics to sexual orientation, based on genetic information 
>embedded in your personal (and required) national ID card. 
>Biometric signature technologies have been developing apace. There is 
>even a technique available to translate human DNA into bar codes for 
>efficient digital transmission between agencies. 
>Are these science fiction story lines or the ravings of a paranoid lunatic? 
>I wish they were. As a former research engineer at Lawrence Livermore 
>Labs and other government labs, I watched some of these mad schemes 
>being hatched. This technology is on the street today or about to leave 
>the labs and believe me, it goes way beyond Orwell's worst nightmares. 
>Listen up and hunker down. 
>A fundamental shift in the legal definition of personal privacy is occurring 
>right now. A court-issued warrant used to be a universal requirement for 
>personal surveillance, such as phone tapping, observing physical papers, 
>and probing financial or medical records. Now, in this new age of AI-
>driven monitoring and data tracking systems, there are no pesky people 
>in the loop.A computer doesn't need to seek a court warrant to monitor 
>every aspect of your private life. A self-training automated surveillance 
>system doesn't need permission to observe your movements or 
>Total data tracking is already commonplace for financial institutions and 
>private security operations. Tomorrow, it will be commonplace for all of 
>us. The technical elements of a massive surveillance engine are in place. 
>It's just a matter of turning the key to fire it up. Let's examine these 
>elements and why you should be concerned. 
>Universal Encryption Chip 
>Is sounds logical. The feds want to preserve privacy, so their story goes, 
>so they've announced that an encryption chip will go into all phones 
>and computers that they buy. But what do they really want in the long 
>How about a government-issue encryption chip in all personal 
>computers and communication devices? That way, the feds can deal 
>with drug smugglers, terrorists, kiddie porn merchants, and other 
>miscreants who use encoded messages. 
>Of course, they'd have to prevent tampering with the chip. In fact, the 
>technology to do just that has already been developed at Sandia 
>National Laboratory. Scientists there have developed an optical sensor 
>that uses a powdered silicon optical absorption layer in an optical 
>waveguide embedded in a chip. A micro photodetector detects even 
>the slightest intrusion into the chip package by measuring a slight change 
>in the photonic conduction through the waveguide. It can then send an 
>alert via modem to a central monitoring system to notify an interested 
>party that the device has been tampered with. Sandia is also developing 
>a microchemical intrusion detector that would be sensitive to the 
>chemical signature of human fingertips. 
>Is this all part of some master plan, or what? 
>In fact, in the near future, all encryption hardware and software will be 
>subject to federal registration/authorization. Possession of unauthorized 
>encryption/decryption capability will be punishable as a federal felony. 
>In other words, if it doesn't have a handy back door for NSA snoops, it 
>ain't legal. 
>We can further speculate that the feds will embed chips in all equipment 
>sold for use in data transmission, digital phone calls and all other 
>frequencies. Note: all new phone systems wired and wireless will be d
>igital in the next three years. 
>Intelligent Video 
>Nor would you know what's watching you. Security cameras are 
>becoming standard in corporate and government facilities. They may 
>soon even be required. Why? Ostensibly because they want to recover 
>losses in cases of theft, keep insurance premiums down, monitor 
>petulant employees and keep intruders out. 
>But the new genre of video cameras now coming out of the labs do a 
>lot more than that. They're intelligent. They can recognize faces, 
>motion, and other interesting characteristics. In fact, they behave a lot 
>like a human eye, with intelligent preprocessor abilities. 
>Intelligent cameras are needed because a security guard or cop can't 
>monitor the dozens or hundreds of video cameras in a large facility (or 
>dozens of satellite video surveillance channels). Intelligent cameras use 
>artificial intelligence-based object and motion recognition. They scan for 
>what a trained security guard looks for: certain motions, clothing, faces; 
>the presence of people in off-limits places. Instead of watching 100 
>cameras, only a few at any time send pictures. A single guard or a 
>computer can deal with that. 
>In fact, a steady data stream from multiple intelligent cameras can be 
>uploaded to computerized monitoring facilities anywhere, coupled with 
>other automated observation systems. 
>The next big thing in intelligent cameras will be "content-addressable" 
>imagery. That means they'll automatically detect the content of 
>sophisticated patterns, like a specific person's face, by matching it 
>against a digital "wanted" poster, say. New software that can even run 
>on cheap personal computers makes that possible. MatchMaker from 
>Iterated Systems (Norcross, GA), for example, uses a fractal algorithm 
>that converts image data into mathematical form, automatically 
>recognizing and categorizing realtime "targets"-untouched by human 
>hands and tied into a centralized monitoring facility! 
>A related technology called focal plane array sensors (FPA) discrim-
>inates objects at just about any distance. FPA makes it possible to use 
>neuromorphic sensors, modeled biologically on the human eye, which 
>are built into a camera to recognize a person or object by "associative 
>Carver Mead at Cal Tech has designed a broad-spectrum "human-eye" 
>sensor using FPAs and 3D artificial neural network processors. To prove 
>the viability of such concepts, Raytheon, under contract with the Guided 
>Interceptor Branch of the Air Force at Elgin AFB, has developed "smart 
>eyes" using FPAs for recognizing objects in flight, thus relieving the 
>pilot of visual target recognition tasks while in a high-pressure combat 
>This technology is inexpensive, easily reproducible, and will be part of 
>standard equipment for fully automated, on-site visual and infrared 
>surveillance in the near future. 
>Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA) in conjunction with Telerobotics 
>International (Knoxville, TN) is taking a step further. They're developing 
>an advanced surveillance camera system that's even more intelligent: it 
>uses self-aiming and analyzes motion or other parameters. A fisheye 
>spherical lens views a very wide field of vision while a self-contained 
>image processing subsystem tracks several moving targets at once in 
>real time. Video for suspect targets can be transmitted in real time to a 
>security center. 
>These smart cameras are also getting incredibly tiny and low cost. The 
>Imputer from VLSI Vision Ltd. (Edinburgh, Scotland) is a credit card-
>sized device that fits in the palm of your hand. It consists of a complete 
>CCD video camera mounted on a circuit board plus an on-board DSP 
>(digital signal processing) coprocessor for realtime image enhancement, 
>feature detection, correlation and convolution (for fast analysis on the 
>fly), and even an optional library of pre-stored feature data so that the 
>camera can independently recognize a specific face or other security-
>oriented data. It can also download its captured visual data via 
>telephone line to a data collection and processing facility. 
>With everything on a few chips, intelligent cameras can now be mass-
>manufactured like pocket radios. No need for security personnel-they 
>can be linked to a computer surveillance monitoring and data base 
>This is where it gets really insidious. When the technology becomes 
>so cheap, tiny, and powerful, and no guards are needed, they can 
>sprinkle these things around like corn chips...secretly putting them on 
>every street corner, in every waiting room, office, wherever. 
>         Keep smiling, because you'll never know when -
>                      "You're on Candid Camera" 
>      And Hey!  Relax - they've just captured your surfaces. 
>Where it really starts to get hairy is when we enter the brave new 
>world of Biometrics. Biometrics is the process of gathering biological 
>information and converting it into data that can be uploaded into 
>automated systems for identifying you. 
>They can use your fingerprint (via automated fingerprint identification 
>systems), retinal scan, voice or other personal signatures. Miros of 
>Wellesley, MA has recently introduced a system called Face-to-Face, 
>using neural nets, that is particularly insidious. Unlike fingerprint or 
>palm recognition, it identifies your face "non-intrusively" (that's techno-
>speak for surreptitiously) with 99% recognition. It can even identify your 
>face when you add glasses or change your hairstyle. 
>There are biometric service bureaus like TRW that provide immediate 
>access to personal dossier information to prisons, banks, military bases, 
>research facilities, pharmaceutical companies, etc. The client simply 
>installs a retinal scanner or other device and transmits your image to 
>a service bureau, which sends back your complete dossier. This is big 
>business for these service bureaus. We're talking billions in government 
>and corporate contracts. 
>What's next?   We can expect intelligent scanning systems will be 
>installed in supermarket checkout lines, lobbies, airports, stores, ATM 
>sites, and so on in the near future. Known shoplifters will be tracked 
>from the time they walk into the store. There'll be a cordon sanitaire 
>around playgrounds and day care centers. 
>What happens when the FBI ties its fingerprint verification system at 
>its National Criminal Information Center, with its library of over 250,000 
>fingerprints, into the national health care card system, employment ID 
>card, IRS, and just about everything else? 
>Who Owns Information? From Privacy to Public Access, Anne Wells   
>     Branscomb, Basic Books, 1994. 
>Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security, William E. 
>     Burrows, Random House, New Yourk, 1986. 
>The Electronic Eye-The Rise of Surveillance Society, David Lyon, 
>     University of Minnesota Press, 1994. 
>Tuning In to Scanning-From Police to Satellite Bands, Bob Kay, 
>    TAB Books, 1994.  (How to listen in on cordless telephones, military, 
>     FBI, Secret Service, and NASA communications).
>Undercover: Police Surveillance in America, Gary T. Marx, University 
>     of California Press, 1988. 
>Privacy for Sale: How Computerization Has Made Everyone's Private 
>     Life an Open Secret, Jeffrey Rothfeder, Simon and Schuster, 1992. 
>America's Secret Eyes in Space: The U.S. Keyhole Spy Satellite 
>     Program, Jeffrey T. Richelson, Harper & Row, 1990 
>Hobbyist's Guide to COMINT Collection and Analysis, Tom Roach, 1330 
>     Copper Peak Lane, San Jose, CA 95120-4271; DIY dirty NSA-style tricks. 
>Electronic Surveillance Manual, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Criminal Division, 
>     Office of Enforcement Operations, 1991. 
>This article was originally published in the magazine Mondo 2000, and 
>has been reprinted with their kind permission.

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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