December 24, 2012
The Intelligence Community (IC) is growing by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1964, when it was called the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Through “acquisition of raw information” through “interviews, technical and physical surveillances, human source operation, searches, and liaison relationships; information can be gathered from open, covert, electronic, and satellite sources.”
Collaborations with the National Security Agency (NSA) and National Intelligence form policies and procedures that define signals intelligence – wherein the “interception of signals, whether between people, between machines, or a combination of both” are utilized along with imagery intelligence that monitors wither electronically or optically “film, electronic devices or other media” for the purpose of classifying information collected for dissemination, archival and quick retrieval.
The IC took $1.8 billion out of its annual $5 billion budget to build a headquarters that is bigger than the Pentagon and can house 16,000 employees that can perform the task of “the nation’s primary source of geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT.”
According to new rules the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) has been given access to all governmental databases, intelligence on all citizens in the US. The information is retained for years without review and stored in case there is ever suspicion or a US citizen is under “reasonable belief” that they are connected to terroristic activity.
Obama signed an addendum to executive order 13354 that codified the “Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004” which redefined the direct line of authority for the NCTC to the executive branch of the US government; as well as the director of National Intelligence as instructed by the President and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
By providing the US government an “indispensable source for analysis and strategic operational plans” the NCTC is considered an integral “instrument of national power” that will ensure expert perspectives are authoritatively sourced with regard to surveillance.
The NCTC is allowed to analyze and obtain copies of information on US citizens including:
• Flight records
• Americans hosting foreign-exchange students
• Casino records
• Behavior patterns
This information can be shared with other governments while searching for justification for pre-crime accusations.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is a US governmental research agency that:
• Shares information with other US Intelligence Communities (IC)
• Fills in the gap between other agencies
• Provides innovations in line with business models
• Provides intelligence concepts that surprise enemies
Lisa Porter, former head of NASA, directs projects at IARPA on everything from cyberspace to biometrics.
IARPA is divided into 3 offices:
• The Office of Smart Collection was created to “dramatically improve the value of collected data from all sources.”
• The Office of Incisive Analysis will “maximize insight from the information we collect, in a timely fashion.”
• The Office of Safe & Secure Operations exists to “counter new capabilities implemented by our adversaries that would threaten our ability to operate freely and effectively in a networked world.”
Congressman Steny Hoyer explained: “IARPA represents a revolutionary effort to enhance our intelligence capabilities through new technologies. The decision to headquarter IARPA at the University of Maryland speaks volumes about the quality of this world-class institution and its placement at the forefront of groundbreaking technological research.”
IARPA was designed to align government, academia and the private sector to develop technologies to “improve national and economic security”. The agency will conduct military research outside military labs; like the development of the Internet and the Global Positioning System (GPS). With the use of sponsorship of research at universities, national laboratories and “other organizations”, IARPA is touted as the place to invent “really cool spy gear”.
IARPA is currently involved in a project to utilize data from YouTube and Vimeo to better get to know the citizens of America. Under the Finder program, they are researching where videos on the internet are viewed from by simply analyzing images from the video. In conjunction, IARPA’s Aladdin project is researching “specific events of interest” that could locate a person by inputting into a computer that person’s name and a brief description.
Under the guise of spotting would-be bombers, a lost purse or missing child, IARPA’s projects are working with various US government agencies to track suspicious person before they commit their crimes.
Assisting federal agencies in surveillance operations on US citizens within our domestic borders are US District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in DC approves of cell-site data being obtained without a warrant if probable cause is established. This includes GPS signals from vehicles. Using the “good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule”, Huvelle has opened the door to abuse of American’s right to privacy to the growing police state.
Israeli corporation Suspect Detection Systems, Inc. has developed an automated screening system being sold to the US that will identify suspects even if they are not carrying a weapons, explosive device or drug paraphernalia. This is being hailed as the ultimate in pre-crime where automated tools are being used to decipher the intentions of an individual “who might be a threat”.
In terms of defining a potential terrorist in a crowd this technology can remotely scan a large group of people and flag suspects. The employment of biometric data and readers can further reduce the likelihood of the threat with a 85% accuracy rate. This technology can be used at border checkpoints because of the necessity of repetitive screening; as well military installations and civilian workplaces.
Retailers have begun to use surveillance mannequins manufactured by EyeSee who are equipped with facial recognition cameras embedded in their eyes that can decipher a customer’s age, gender and race. Under the guise of marketing better to the public, shoppers are subjected to giving up personal data without their expressed consent which could be sold to the intelligence community and used against them if profiled and retained by the NCTC or another federal surveillance agency.