Government continues to grow, while the amount of data they amass about the lives of citizens grows exponentially. We have seen major corporations in the areas of advertising, social media, defense contracting, and computing form partnerships with government agencies to compile virtual dossiers on all humans.
The fact that we are tracked, traced and databased is indisputable, but even many privacy advocates seem to believe that the sheer amount of data being collected is itself the Achilles Heel of the surveillance-industrial complex; that it is a sort of protection, as who or what could ever sift through it all?
John P. Holdren, Obama’s science czar, and author of the controversial eugenics tome, Ecoscience, is one of those directing the solution to the data overload problem. Enter “Big Data.”
At this facility the NSA will be spying on every single form of communication, ranging from the entirety of private emails, cell phone calls, Google searches and other Internet activity, to data on travel, parking receipts, purchases at bookstores, and anything and everything they can get their hands on. (Source)
This data collection initiative is one taking place across the board in our largest federal agencies and departments such as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological survey, and DARPA. As government data collection ramps up, the Obama administration through the Office of Science and Technology Policy has announced a $200 million investment in taking this information “from data to decisions.”
This scientific and national defense endeavor is all-encompassing as it seeks data input and sharing between government and private companies, such as Amazon, as well as public universities. The overall goals are stated as follows:
- Advance state-of-the art core technologies needed to collect, store, preserve, manage, analyze, and share huge quantities of data.
- Harness these technologies to accelerate the pace of discovery in science and engineering, strengthen our national security, and transform teaching and learning; and
- Expand the workforce needed to develop and use Big Data technologies. (Source PDF)
The initiative is heavily focused on education and workforce training, and serves to establish a framework where the next generation will be acclimated to data mining and distribution. This will be done by:
- Encouraging interdisciplinary graduate programs.
- Turning data into information — machine learning, cloud computing, and crowd sourcing;
- Support for “EarthCube” a system that will allow geoscientists to access, analyze and share information about our planet;
- Support for a focused research group of statisticians and biologists to determine biological pathways.
The Department of Defense is merged with the overall initiative, and goes a step further by investing $250 million annually across military departments in support of “truly autonomous systems that can maneuver and make decisions on their own.” DARPA is listed as essentially continuing its research into areas of human-computer interaction.
We are witnessing nothing short of the next stage of evolution for the scientific dictatorship, as it moves from total surveillance and information awareness toward implementing its permanence through autonomous systems that will collectivize all human experience into data sets that can be tracked, analyzed and immediately acted upon to affect social structures, economies, war, science, health and education.
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