The article below is one year old, but it is worth looking back at, re-reading, or sharing with a friend.
By Will Rahn | The Daily Caller – Fri, Mar 16, 2012
So-called “targets of interest” might soon have much more to worry about than having their phones tapped.
Wired.com’s national security blog, Danger Room, reported Thursday that the increased connectivity of everyday objects to the Internet has peaked the CIA’s interest for intelligence gathering purposes.
Speaking earlier this month at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’sventure capitalist firm, CIA Director David Petraeus talked about the ‘Internet of things’ — the connectedness of every day objects and devices to the Internet.
The emergence and rise of the “smart home” — a home in which all major devices are connected and automated through a central computer system — is one example of this. Household items connected to the Internet contain troves of data which could be accessed and monitored. Entertainment centers and appliances are just some of the items which could be tapped to surveil “targets of interest.”
Petraeus told the crowd the agency could use low-cost high-powered cloud computing to track ‘items of interest,’ “located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters.”
While the CIA has “a lot of legal restrictions against spying on American citizens,” reported Danger Room, the collection of “ambient geolocation data from devices is a grayer area, especially after the 2008 carve-outs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”
“Hardware manufacturers, it turns out, store a trove of geolocation data; and some legislators have grown alarmed at how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or PlayStation,” reported Danger Room.
Plus, in related news:
NSA is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center
Global information surveillance grid being constructed;
willing Americans embrace gadgets used to spy on them
March 16, 2012
CIA director David Petraeus has said that the rise of new “smart” gadgets means that Americans are effectively bugging their own homes, saving US spy agencies a job when it identifies any “persons of interest”.
Speaking at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s technology investment operation, Petraeus made the comments when discussing new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously ‘dumb’ home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.
Wired reports the details via its Danger Room Blog:
“‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”
“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Petraeus said.
“the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.” the CIA head added. Petraeus also stated that such devices within the home “change our notions of secrecy”.
Petraeus’ comments come in the same week that one of the biggest microchip companies in the world, ARM, unveiled new processors that are designed to give practically every household appliance an internet connection, in order that they can be remote controlled and operate in tandem with applications.
ARM describes the concept as an “internet of things”.
Where will all the information from such devices be sent and analyzed? It can be no coincidence that the NSA is currently building a monolithic heavily fortified $2 billion facility deep in the Utah desert and surrounded by mountains. The facility is set to go fully live in September 2013.
“The Utah data center is the centerpiece of the Global Information Grid, a military project that will handle yottabytes of data, an amount so huge that there is no other data unit after it.” reports Gizmodo.
“This center—with every listening post, spy satellite and NSA datacenter connected to it, will make the NSA the most powerful spy agency in the world.”
Wired reports that the incoming data is being mined by plugging into telecommunications companies’ switches, essentially the same method the NSA infamously uses for warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications, as exposed six years ago.
Former intelligence analyst turned best selling author James Bamford, has penned a lengthy pieceon the NSA facility and warns “It is, in some measure, the realization of the ‘total information awareness’ program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”