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?
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.
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
• 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.