As if the brain-numbing effects of TV programming were not horrible enough, the CIA has openly admitted that it would like to use what many refer to as the “idiot box” as a bona fide surveillance tool.
The increasingly interconnected nature of the gadgets in our households now forms a network of information that continuously leaks into the ether our personal preferences, ideas, plans, and desires. It is a framework that any intelligence agency would drool over.
One can hear CIA director, David Petraeus, practically giggle with thanks when he states that people have essentially “bugged themselves” in their own homes. And, like any good spy agency, they are prepared to exploit it.
The exponential growth of supercomputers is now combining with an array of small, cheap, low-power chips that form the heart of a processing network that can monitor and remotely control any device, from TVs to appliances, light bulbs, just about anything that connects to the Internet, or can be read through radio waves.
‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,’ said Petraeus.‘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.’ (Source)
Petraeus of course left out of his discussion to the venture capital firm to which he was speaking, that this type of opportunistic domestic spying by the CIA is completely unconstitutional, but of course the U.S. government has a long and sordid history of spying on its own citizens whenever it feels the need to. (Source)
Now, as the lines have blurred in the War on Terror, the CIA has been staking an increasing claim upon American soil as part of its overall battlefield to thwart foreign invasion. CIA cooperation with local police departments in an “advisory” role has been ongoing, as is the case with the NYPD’s now ultra hi-tech surveillance city equipped with full-fledged military capability. (Source)
One of the principal designers bringing total surveillance from the streets outside through your front door via a new “architecture for a digital world” is ARM. They offer an array of products that enable full-time wireless connectivity of home devices, as well as smart phone technology like automatic mobile payments. As stated in a recent blog post, they are offering technologies that are being increasingly demanded by consumers:
Always on, always connected devices are now ubiquitous with the growing demands for higher data-rate wireless broadband connections driving an ever larger demand for wireless connectivity. According to the GSA in 2011 global mobile traffic grew 133% and Cisco expects the number of mobile connected devices to exceed the world’s population in 2012. Consumers expect seamless connectivity at home and on the move coupled with power efficient long battery life operation.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2012 brought some great announcements from ARM Partners showcasing wireless connectivity solutions that work to meet the ever growing demand for power efficient, high bandwidth connections.
True, people continue to be duped by convenience and hi-tech gadgetry into funding their own prison. However, this latest admission by the CIA shows that their intentions go way beyond the latest trend or fad, and aims directly at the heart of our human desire for progress. We need to alert the companies that have partnered with this authoritarian government that it is wholly unacceptable to permit a surveillance grid to be a built-in consequence of our technological advancement.
Read other articles by Nicholas West here.
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