Sentient World Simulation and NSA Surveillance

The federal government has been developing

a highly classied plan that will override the Constitution in the event of a major terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?

Original article

This could well be the scariest thing I have ever read regarding NSA surveillance. It makes MinorityReport look like it was done by amateurs.

Amidst all of the publicity surrounding the leaks, journalist Christopher Ketcham (who previously won acclaim by covering the tragic events on 9/11) released a relevant new article discussing the secretive exploits of a governmental unit which gathers boundless amounts of information on Americans. Ketcham details programs by the government designed to fight crime by predicting criminal behavior before it is committed and to predict behavioral responses to propaganda and government-inflicted terror. Ketcham’s article goes into much more detail.

Both programs rely on keeping tabs on citizens and gathering data by tracking phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks, GPS tracks, Internet searches, Amazon purchases and E-Z pass records.

The program based out of Purdue University’s Synthetic Environment for Analysis and Simulation Laboratory is titled Sentient World Simulation (SWS). This 9-page PDF released by Purdue itself describes the project in adequate detail.

The simulator has taken the spying that Snowden publicized, one step further. The program has amassed databases so profound they can now look so deep into a person’s life they can predict their thoughts and future actions with relative certainty. Although this system is incredibly intrusive and raises many moral concerns, it provides valuable insight into questions which could be extremely beneficial. It’s unclear as to weather all the private-sector efforts towards transparency (including some noteworthy AI projects at Microsoft) will have any effect on the direction and intensity of public-sector surveillance.

Tech emergencies-

Remember this is about technology 7-10 years old. Here is a link to a basic outline of the Purdue system.

Modeling and simulation quickly becomes out of sync with new events, the emergence of new forces, and newly proposed theories. The goal of the Sentient World Simulation (SWS) is to build a synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information, such as major events, opinion polls, demographic statistics, economic reports, and shifts in trends. The ability of a synthetic model of the real world to sense, adapt, and react to real events distinguishes SWS from the traditional approach of constructing a simulation to illustrate a phenomena. Behaviors emerge in the SWS mirror world and are observed much as they are observed in the real world. Basing the synthetic world in theory in a manner that is unbiased to specific outcomes offers a unique environment in which to develop, test, and prove new perspectives.

SWS consists of components capable of capturing new events as they occur anywhere in the world, focus on any local area of the synthetic world offers sufficient detail. In other words, the set of models that make up the synthetic environment encompass the behavior of individuals, organizations, institutions, infrastructures and geographies while simultaneously capturing the trends emerging from the interaction among entities as well as between entities and the environment. The multi-granularity detail provides a means for inserting new models of any temporal and spatial scales, or for incorporating user-supplied data at any level of granularity. Therefore, SWS can be continuously enriched and refined as new information becomes available.

I just find it unreal that people are not outraged by this type of intrusion into our lives. Yes 9/11 happened but at what cost do we surrender our freedom? I would argue we have lost the fight at this point. We may have won the war but the cost is so extraordinary that we have lost our way and ability to use logic and rationalize reality.

Think about what is being suggested here.

• A synthetic environment that supports Effects Based Approach and a comprehensive representation of the real world at all levels of granularity in terms of a Political, Military, Economic, Social, Informational, and Infrastructure (PMESII) framework.

• A scalable means of integrating heterogeneous components across time and space granularities.

• Mechanisms that discover, gather, and incorporate new knowledge into the continuously running

synthetic environment.

• A single façade of user interfaces enabling information from all sources (simulation generated data, parameters for models, and data gathered from the real world) to be searched, viewed and modified in an ontology-aware manner.

• Integrated Development Environments (IDE)s for constructing and configuring new models or modifying existing models and then incorporating these changes into the continuously running synthetic world.

• A means to take excursions from any point in time in the synthetic world to focus on select regions of the world, leverage private user data, or to research specific theories by simplifying the types of models to employ in the excursion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVrBZevJY3U&sns=em

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War crimes

The shoe is on the other foot it seems. I have known this was a definite possibility since mid 2002 when details of secret detentions and abuses started surfacing. You can’t accuse and hold countries to task if you are doing the exact same things yourself.

On November 3, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) informed the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber, ”[T]here is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”

In what Amnesty International’s Solomon Sacco called a “seminal moment for the ICC,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court for authorization to commence an investigation that would focus on US military and CIA leaders, as well as Taliban and Afghan officials.

Bensouda wrote in a November 14, 2016, report that her preliminary examination revealed “a reasonable basis to believe” the “war crimes of torture and ill-treatment” had been committed “by US military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, principally in the 2003-2004 period, although allegedly continuing in some cases until 2014.”

The chief prosecutor noted the alleged crimes by the CIA and US armed forces “were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,” but rather were “part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees.” She added there was “reason to believe” that crimes were “committed in the furtherance of a policy or policies … which would support US objectives in the conflict of Afghanistan.”

Torture

The US needs to hold itself to a higher standard. Period.

Crazy?? Perhaps not

Before I unmask who wrote the first several quotes please read them with an open mind.

INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY AND ITS FUTURE

Introduction

1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in “advanced” countries

“If the [technological] system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful. But the bigger the system grows the more disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it had best break down sooner rather than later.”

“Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial society are excessive density of population, isolation of man from nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the breakdown of natural small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village or the tribe.”

All of these conditions can be found in modern society. In fact, one cause for isolation is technology. Not only has it separated humans from nature, but more importantly, from each other.

According to a 2014 article in The Daily Universe citing a recent study, “Most children and teens spend 75 percent of their waking lives with their eyes fixed on a screen.”

And perhaps the most disturbing part of the study was the reveal that, “students who unplugged their electronic devices for one 24-hour period felt extremely lonely and didn’t know how to fill their time.” (3)

Ted Kaczynsky otherwise known as the Unabomber was admitted to Harvard when he was 16. He had a PhD in Math when he was 25. When his manifesto was released he was openly mocked by everyone. It is an amazing document. In hindsight most of what he said is true. His methods obviously were ghastly and morally abhorrent…. but was he actually right about technology? It seems totally hypocritical that I am writing this on my cell phone. I have always thought he was right about technology making us more separate rather than making us closer. For as much as technology was supposed to make our lives easier it has actually had the opposite consequence. It is presented as something we HAVE to have but in reality my life was better before the cell phone.

The NSA and CIA could not have dreamed up a better tracking device than cell phones. Every thing we look up or text is swept up and added to a database that defines us as people.

Kaczynski’s manifesto discussed modern leftism, defining it not as a philosophical view, but a psychological type. He defined modern leftism as having advanced beyond its previous incarnation of socialism.

He concludes that modern leftism is “fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, ‘politically correct’ types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like.”

At first examination, it appears that some of Kaczynski’s definition of modern leftism might have been revealed during the 2016 Presidential election. The resistance to the leftist ideology of “political correctness” did indeed manifest into a wave of defiance against it across America.

Kaczynski discussed who and what political correctness was. He wrote:

“Political correctness has its stronghold among university professors, who have secure employment with comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual white males from middle- to upper-middle-class families.”

In October 2016, NYU Liberal studies prof Michael Rectenwald who’d fought against political correctness and student coddling was placed on “paid leave for the rest of the semester.”

His colleagues complained about his tweets, that argued against the college campus trends of “safe spaces, trigger warnings, policing Halloween costumes and other aspects of academia’s growing PC culture.”

His fellow professors “complained about his ‘incivility’.” (2)

Unabomber

Was he ready right

Space…..hacking

The future of war and conflict are in space as well as your computer screen. Those who control space will control the future.

There is no way to know our space assets as I am sure they are one of the highest guarded secrets that we have currently. We obviously know less about Chinese or Russian assets or capabilities.

How do you stop another powerful country from taking out your satellites?

“There are vast ways,” says Raymond, “and I won’t get into the operational details of what we may or may not be able to do, but we’re working on being able to protect and defend capabilities from everything from low-end reversible jamming all the way up to the higher-end kinetic activities.”

“Kinetic” is the military’s favorite euphemism for lethal force via missiles, bullets and the like. In this case, it means destroying a satellite with a weapon that physically smashes into it. Whether the U.S. or other countries are planning to put weapons in orbit—either to kill other satellites or to strike the ground—is classified information. When asked about weapons in space, Raymond simply said, “I’m not going to talk about that.” Given the stakes, it’s safe to assume that such capabilities are being discussed if not already designed.

But kinetic operations are only a small part of military deterrence. Arguably the most crucial capability, particularly in orbit, is simply knowing where everything is and what it’s doing.

Spave–popular mechanics

In other news

Apparently the CIA is sketchy.. Who knew? There are some good links to the info that was released today.

Almost two months after releasing details of 23 different secret CIA hacking tool projects under Vault 7 series, Wikileaks today announced a new Vault 8 series that will reveal source codes and information about the backend infrastructure developed by the CIA hackers.

Not just announcement, but the whistleblower organisation has also published its first batch of Vault 8 leak, releasing source code and development logs of Project Hive—a significant backend component the agency used to remotely control its malware covertly.

In April this year, WikiLeaks disclosed a brief information about Project Hive, revealing that the project is an advanced command-and-control server (malware control system) that communicates with malware to send commands to execute specific tasks on the targets and receive exfiltrated information from the target machines.

Hacker news

Cyberwarfare

I predicted awhile back that stuxnet issued in a new era of warfare with cyberwarfare being the future of warfare. How accurate I was in hindsight.

Russian interference in Europe’s politics and its information space is not new, of course. Its roots lie in old KGB disinformation methods, now actively combined with new technologies. In Britain, the question has taken on an important new twist, with growing calls for parliamentary scrutiny of the financing of the pro-Brexit campaign, whose social media dimension mattered greatly. If the “special relationship” still has meaning, surely it must now include a joint effort to get to the bottom of how Russian social media manipulation in the US resonated with what happened in the UK referendum.

The ramifications of this debate are huge. The US and the UK, the two countries that laid the foundations of the post-1945 global liberal order, may have had their political integrity compromised by hostile foreign meddling in a way that helped produce Trump and Brexit. If that turns out to be true, then we are looking at an entirely new world – one whose complexities we may only be starting to fathom. Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, written 70 years ago, contained not just “newspeak”, “facecrime” and surveillance screens. It also described a geopolitical vision in which “Oceania” (including the Americas and Britain), “Eurasia” and “Eastasia” were all in the grip of totalitarian nightmares, with control over minds even more important than control over bodies.

Literary analogies shouldn’t be abused, but the US probe surely has deep significance for other parts of the world too – and European democracies need to pay close attention. Make no mistake, this isn’t just about Trump and whether his campaign colluded with the Kremlin. It is about how the large, ungoverned areas of cyberspace are the new arena where authoritarian powers and democracies will increasingly be waging a battle – one that the latter are insufficiently prepared for. Likewise, Russia’s attempts to undermine western democracies from within may be only the tip of an iceberg that is heading towards us. Think China. At a recent thinktank conference in Brussels, I was struck by how some European business people were head over heels about China’s “One Belt One Road” project to Europe. One participant gushed that the Chinese firms were “so good” at using new technologies and data – no matter that the regime has utilised its skill at data mining for the purposes of crowd control and suppressing dissent. Recent revelations about how China imposed online censorship on entities such as Cambridge University Press and the Springer publishing group should be ringing more alarm bells. China has incomparably larger resources than Russia, whose economy is the size of Italy’s.

Cyber