High-Level US Govt. Officials Have Warned for 40 Years that Mass Surveillance Would Lead to Tyranny in America

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Washington’s Blog
July 3, 2013

Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser – a key American foreign policy architect (Zbigniew Brzezinski) – wrote in 1970:

The [future] era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.

In 1975, the head of the Senate committee investigating illegal spying and harassment by the U.S. government – Senator Frank Church – said about the NSA:

I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.

The NSA has operated outside the law and without supervision by either Congress or the courts.  And seethis and this.

Indeed, in 1991, a House intelligence committee report found “very limited internal oversight of the Agency [NSA] programs,” as well as no supervision of the agency by either the Defense Department Inspector General’s Office or the congressional watchdog agency, the General Accountability Office (GAO).

The same year, a report prepared by the Defense Department’s inspector general confirmed:

NSA did not have sufficient oversight mechanisms to ensure the Agency efficiently accomplished its mission.

Senator Church also warned in 1975:

[NSA’s] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.  [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.

The NSA has, of course, turned its capability around on the American people.

Top NSA whistleblower William Binney – the former head of the National Security Agency’s global digital data gathering program – held his thumb and forefinger close together over a year ago, and said:

We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state

Another high-level NSA whistleblower – Thomas Drake – has also warned that mass surveillance is leading to tyranny.

And another NSA whistleblower – Russ Tice – agrees.

No wonder whistleblower Edward Snowden says:

[If people don’t oppose the surveillance state now] it will be turnkey tyranny.

You might also want to listen to what a government official who actually worked for a tyrannical government thinks about the American spying program.  A lieutenant colonel in Stasi East Germany told McClatchy:

You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true.  So much information, on so many people.

The dark side to gathering such a broad, seemingly untargeted, amount of information is obvious.

It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used. This is the nature of secret government organizations.

Postscript: Mass surveillance doesn’t even help keep us safe.

Time shows those that fail to learn from history will suffer;

 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with
another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to
secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any
Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of
the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,
laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in
such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and
Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long
established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and
accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to
suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train
of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a
design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it
is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards
for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of
these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to
alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present
King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations,
all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny
over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid
world.

This article was posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 5:40 am

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Wi-Fi signals enable gesture recognition throughout entire home

Forget to turn off the lights before leaving the apartment? No problem. Just raise your hand, finger-swipe the air, and your lights will power down. Want to change the song playing on your music system in the other room? Move your hand to the right and flip through the songs.

A hand gesture changes the TV channel.

 

A hand gesture changes the TV channel using WiSee technology.

University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology that brings this a step closer to reality. Researchers have shown it’s possible to leverage Wi-Fi signals around us to detect specific movements without needing sensors on the human body or cameras.

By using an adapted Wi-Fi router and a few wireless devices in the living room, users could control their electronics and household appliances from any room in the home with a simple gesture.

“This is repurposing wireless signals that already exist in new ways,” said lead researcher Shyam Gollakota, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering. “You can actually use wireless for gesture recognition without needing to deploy more sensors.”

The UW research team that includes Shwetak Patel, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering and his lab, published their findings online this week. This technology, which they call “WiSee,” is to appear at The 19th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking.

The concept is similar to Xbox Kinect – a commercial product that uses cameras to recognize gestures – but the UW technology is simpler, cheaper and doesn’t require users to be in the same room as the device they want to control. That’s because Wi-Fi signals can travel through walls and aren’t bound by line-of-sight or sound restrictions.

The UW researchers built a “smart” receiver device that essentially listens to all of the wireless transmissions coming from devices throughout a home, including smartphones, laptops and tablets. A standard Wi-Fi router could be adapted to function as a receiver.

When a person moves, there is a slight change in the frequency of the wireless signal. Moving a hand or foot causes the receiver to detect a pattern of changes known as the Doppler frequency shift.

Wireless signal changes in real time

U of Washington

A change in the wireless signal is shown in real time as a user moves his hand.

These frequency changes are very small – only several hertz – when compared with Wi-Fi signals that have a 20 megahertz bandwidth and operate at 5 gigahertz. Researchers developed an algorithm to detect these slight shifts. The technology also accounts for gaps in wireless signals when devices aren’t transmitting.

The technology can identify nine different whole-body gestures, ranging from pushing, pulling and punching to full-body bowling. The researchers tested these gestures with five users in a two-bedroom apartment and an office environment. Out of the 900 gestures performed, WiSee accurately classified 94 percent of them.

“This is the first whole-home gesture recognition system that works without either requiring instrumentation of the user with sensors or deploying cameras in every room,” said Qifan Pu, a collaborator and visiting student at the UW.

The system requires one receiver with multiple antennas. Intuitively, each antenna tunes into a specific user’s movements, so as many as five people can move simultaneously in the same residence without confusing the receiver.

WiSee antenna diagram

U of Washington

WiSee technology uses multiple antennas to focus on one user to detect the person’s gesture.

If a person wants to use the WiSee, she would perform a specific repetition gesture sequence to get access to the receiver. This password concept would also keep the system secure and prevent a neighbor – or hacker – from controlling a device in your home.

Once the wireless receiver locks onto the user, she can perform normal gestures to interact with the devices and appliances in her home. The receiver would be programmed to understand that a specific gesture corresponds to a specific device.

Collaborators Patel and Sidhant Gupta, a doctoral student in computer science and engineering, have worked with Microsoft Research on two similar technologies – SoundWave, which uses sound, and Humantenna, which uses radiation from electrical wires – that both sense whole-body gestures. But WiSee stands apart because it doesn’t require the user to be in the same room as the receiver or the device.

In this way, a smart home could become a reality, allowing you to turn off the oven timer with a simple wave of the hand, or turn on the coffeemaker from your bed.

The researchers plan to look next at the ability to control multiple devices at once. The initial work was funded by the UW department of computer science and engineering.Image

The CIA Wants to Spy on You Through Your Electrical Appliances

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.

images8Speaking 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

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
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.”