Police State Surveillance Grid and Robotic Drone Soldiers
Andrew Daily
“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you”
- Joseph Heller, Catch-22

"Big Brother is watching you"
- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

      Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949 and Catch 22 was published in 1961. These quotes becoming more true every day. The governing authorities of our world are definitely interested in what the average citizen does and they are using every means possible to find out. From red light cameras to electronic "bugs" implanted in our bodies, they are watching and listening to absolutely everything. They are developing a robotic militarized police force to take care of any issues that arise as well. In the 1950s, these concepts were science fiction, but today they are science fact. This article will demonstrate the accuracy and truth of this paragraph and the 2 quotes above.

      The first red light camera was in use in 1965. It used tubes stretched across the roadway to trigger a camera. Similar camera systems were in use for traffic enforcement in Israel in 1969. After a traffic accident in 1982 involving a red light runner and a pedestrian, the technology received increased attention in the United States. By 1993 the cameras were in use in New York. The cameras use 2 closely spaced inducive loops embedded in the road near the limit line to calculate the speed of the vehicle passing over them. Based on the calculation of whether the vehicle has time to stop at that speed, the camera may be triggered. On November 2 2006, BBC News published an article stating that Britain has around 4.2 million closed circuit television cameras in operation. On November 23, 2013, the Washington Times reported that 100 new cameras were activated in Washington, D.C. to help bolster traffic enforcement. These cameras are set to watch intersections for drivers who do not stop, block the roadway or impede pedestrian traffic.

      Today's digital cameras are able to obtain video as well as still shots of traffic violations. If they can record video, then why not audio? Also, who says they only capture traffic violations? With so many cameras mounted on so many corners in so many cities, there are possibilities for quite a bit of data gathering to say the least. Initially, the cameras were only opposed by those who saw them as financial tools to catch more traffic violations and hence, collect more money in fines. Recently, the cameras have been the subject of criticism by those who oppose the nearly ever-present "eye in the sky" of the government monitoring civilian activities. Street corners are not the only location of public cameras anymore. Stores are using camera systems to minimize theft and maximize marketing. Even in the small town that I live in, there are police cars equipped with 2 external cameras, not to mention any internal cameras.

      Many stores like Target, Wegmans, Rite Aid and others have special membership loyalty cards that customers are asked (or required in some cases) to present when they pay for their purchases. Small discounts on prices provide some incentive to present the cards to cashiers. The cards are then scanned or swiped and the details of the transaction are recorded into the store's computer system. Contact information such as address and telephone number is required to obtain one of these cards.

      "We know everything every member has bought for the past several years, and we know how to contact them," - Richard Galanti, chief financial officer of Costco

      The stores have provided some reasons for using these cards: tracking food-related illnesses, product recalls and more effective advertising. This last reason is the most disquieting. In this digital age, we pass electronic billboards and advertisements which can sense the card and advertise accordingly. This brings up the possibility of everyone around you seeing that you bought an embarassing rash cream at the pharmacy. Also, the same advertisements would follow you wherever you go. Has anyone ever gotten tired of seeing a television commercial too frequently? Now imagine if the commercial were displayed everywhere you look.

      The obvious conclusions must be reached about the stored data as well. The store is not going to just store this information. When the data leaves the store, at the very least, every store will know what you buy. The government will know what you buy. If the government decides that certain purchases like vegetable seeds, camping gear or vacuum packing equipment are signs that a person is a terrorist or extremist? They'll be along in a moment to whisk you off to a fun-filled stay at Guantanamo Bay!

      Credit card information is not quite as safe as some people would like to think. In the same way that loyalty card information is trafficked, credit card information is also harvested and stored indefinitely. Total Information Awareness was a program started in 2003 under President George W. Bush. It was a method of collecting credit card statements, medical records, travel plans, phone bills, grocery receipts and other data. This program was shut down the same year that it was started, only to be continued under other programs with different names like Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the CIA, the Transportation Security Administration, and NASA.

      Biometrics is a general term used for linking bological information to electronic information. This includes fingerprinting, voiceprinting, retina scans, DNA and facial recognition. The Identity Cards Act of 2006 in th UK allowed the government to issue identification cards to it's citizens with 10 types of this information included on it and linked to a computer system. The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007 is a bill signed by president George W. Bush which allows for collection and storage of DNA information of all newborns in the United States.

      Facebook is a gigantic data-mining tool. Users enter all of their personal information and upload pictures of themselves onto an online database. Other users tag a person in their photos and posts. With modern face-scanning technology, the cameras mentioned earlier know what everyone looks like.

      The London Borough of Newham set up a network of 2.5 million CCTV cameras with facial recognition software in 1998. Since 2005, the German Federal Police have maintained a facial recognition database of mugshots. Australian Customs Service set up a facial recognition system in 2002 to match faces to microchipped passports. A facial recognition database was used at Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 to compare guests at the event to stored mugshots.

      Users of facebook are also able to "like" certain online elements including music, movies, television shows, books, etc. This information is all stored on the facebook profile of an individual, along with their list of friends. When the user leaves facebook in search of other websites, some of this information stays with their IP address and is accessed by other websites, suggesting what music to listen to on music sites and what to buy on sites like Amazon and Ebay. All of the user's comments and conversations on facebook are also saved. The CIA couldn't ask for a better data-mining tool!

      Now all of a person's contact information, purchases, family, friends and preferences are stored in online computer databases that can be accessed and trafficked. If only the government had a way to make people carry a device around with them that could transmit and receive this type of information...

      Cellular phones contain a complete list of a person's friends and family with contact information for everyone, a microphone and more often than not, a camera. With the latest "smart phones", this includes internet access so the owner can buy things online with their tracked credit card, GPS to find driving directions, a multi-megapixel camera with facial recognition software and easy access to facebook "on the go". Back in the old days, the battery could be easily removed from a cell phone when not in use. Most new phones feature a non-removable battery that not only runs out of power twice as fast, but cannot be replaced when it is worn out. This means that the phone can never be truly off or disconnected and is always monitoring and transmitting information. The implications of this are monumental.

      Just having a device in your hand is not where this type of technology plans on stopping. Google is developing a product called Google Glass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_glasses which is to be worn on a person's face and operated verbally. This requires voice-print software that will recognize the user's speech. Google Glasses are intended to be the next step in cellular phone technology, attaching the phone to the user's head.

      At this point it is appropriate to mention the radiation that emits from cellular phones and the unavoidable consequences of having one in close contact with the human head. Cell phones emit a small amount of radiation when they are being used. If you've ever used a cell phone, you know that it gets warm when you use it to make a call. This is the non-ionizing radiation being released. The long term effects of this type of radiation are cancer, brain tumors, alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

      Brain implants are where this technology has it's goal set. Not only would the person's information be available and always with them, but they would be unable to separate the device from their body. Brain implantation would give the user immediate access to all of the social networking and marketing they could ever think of. Chips by 24PetWatch are already in use to prevent pet owners from losing their cats and dogs. Some chips have even been specially made for the Baja Beach Club in Spain so that customers can be scanned to make purchases. When RFID chips are embedded in the skin, the organism carrying them will always be able to be found and their personal information can be attached. With a chip embedded in the brain, signals can be sent through the chip to control the thoughts and actions of the person or animal. Taking this to it's logical conclusion, the eyes of the individual would be used as the camera and the ears as the microphone. The device would always be recording and always sending an audio/video feed to a government network center. The only positive that I can see from this is being able to record dreams, but with socialist fascist dictators in control of the network, those probably wouldn't be all that interesting anyway. From a negative viewpoint, people with government run microchips controlling their brains could be turned into an army of zombie cyborgs.

      From external and temporarily triggered surveillance to internal and continuous monitoring, this is how THEY are watching you and plan to watch in the future. Now it's time to talk about robots.

      DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency owned by the United States Department of Defense A.K.A. The Pentagon. This government agency is funding work by a company called Boston Dynamics, which makes robots.

      Boston Dynamics has a wide range of robots:

      The Sand Flea, their jumper:

      "Sand Flea is an 11 pound robot that drives like an RC car on flat terrain, but can jump 30 ft into the air to overcome obstacles. That is high enough to jump over a compound wall, onto the roof of a house, up a set of stairs or into a second story window.

      The robot uses gyro stabilization to stay level during flight, to provide a clear view from the onboard camera, and to ensure a smooth landing. Sand Flea can jump about 25 times on one charge. Boston Dynamics is developing Sand Flea with funding from the US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF). Earlier versions of Sand Flea were developed by Sandia National Laboratory with funding from DARPA and JIEDDO." A video for the Sand Flea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b4ZZQkcNEo

      The BigDog, their walker:

      "BigDog is a rough-terrain robot that walks, runs, climbs and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by an engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog has four legs that are articulated like an animal’s, with compliant elements to absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule; about 3 feet long, 2.5 feet tall and weighs 240 lbs.

      BigDog's on-board computer controls locomotion, processes sensors and handles communications with the user. BigDog’s control system keeps it balanced, manages locomotion on a wide variety of terrains and does navigation. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a gyroscope, LIDAR and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine functions, battery charge and others.

      BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, climbs muddy hiking trails, walks in snow and water, and carries 340 lb load.

      Development of the original BigDog robot was funded by DARPA. Work to add a manipulator and do dynamic manipulation was funded by the Army Research Laboratory's RCTA program." A video for the BigDog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRsrwumQ

      The Cheetah, their runner:

      "The Cheetah robot is the fastest legged robot in the World, surpassing 29 mph, a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989 at MIT. The Cheetah robot has an articulated back that flexes back and forth on each step, increasing its stride and running speed, much like the animal does. The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a high-speed treadmill in the laboratory where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill. The next generation Cheetah robot, WildCat, is designed to operate untethered. WildCat recently entered initial testing and is scheduled for outdoor field testing later in 2013. Cheetah robot development is funded by DARPA's Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program." A video for the Cheetah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83ULlgpT1UQ

      The Atlas, their humanoid:

      "Atlas is a high mobility, humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain. Atlas can walk bipedally leaving the upper limbs free to lift, carry, and manipulate the environment. In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces.

      Articulated, sensate hands will enable Atlas to use tools designed for human use. Atlas includes 28 hydraulically-actuated degrees of freedom, two hands, arms, legs, feet and a torso. An articulated sensor head includes stereo cameras and a laser range finder. Atlas is powered from an off-board, electric power supply via a flexible tether.

      Several copies of the Atlas robot are being provided as Government Furnished Equipment for the DARPA Robotics Challenge program with delivery scheduled in the summer of 2013." A video for the Atlas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD6Okylclb8

      The RHex, their crawler:

      "RHex is a six-legged robot with inherently high mobility. Powerful, independently controlled legs produce specialized gaits that devour rough terrain with minimal operator input. RHex climbs in rock fields, mud, sand, vegetation, railroad tracks, telephone poles and up slopes and stairways.

      RHex has a sealed body, making it fully operational in wet weather, muddy and swampy conditions. RHex's remarkable terrain capabilities have been validated in government-run independent testing. RHex is controlled remotely from an operator control unit at distances up to 700 meters. Visible/IR cameras and illuminators provide front and rear views from the robot." A video for the RHex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISznqY3kESI

      The RiSE, their climber:

      "RiSE is a robot that climbs vertical terrain such as walls, trees and fences. RiSE uses feet with micro-claws to climb on textured surfaces. RiSE changes posture to conform to the curvature of the climbing surface and its tail helps RiSE balance on steep ascents. RiSE is 0.25 m long, weighs 2 kg, and travels 0.3 m/s.

      Each of RiSE's six legs is powered by a pair of electric motors. An onboard computer controls leg motion, manages communications, and services a variety of sensors, including joint position sensors, leg strain sensors and foot contact sensors.

      Boston Dynamics developed RiSE in conjunction with researchers at University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Lewis and Clark University. RiSE was funded by DARPA." A video for the RiSE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEMlkonimvQ

      On January 23rd, 2014, a U.S. drone strike killed 3 suspects in Yemen. The drone referred to is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. During the Vietnam war, these were basically remote controlled airplanes which recorded a video for later analysis. There has been some progress since that time and today's drone aircraft are demonstrably equipped with weapons and enough sensory input technology to identify a selected individual.

      Quick review just to make sure this has sunken in:

                  The government wants to know everything about you.
                  They have ways of finding this information that are being implemented now.
                  They have technological input systems (audio, video and biometric) which gather information and cross-                                    reference it with stored databases.
                  They have robots that can go anywhere.
                  They have technology that can turn your friends and family members into cyborg-zombie automatons.