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Offline Optimus

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Bosses are now spying on workers’ home lives-incluing beroom evesropping



Bosses in the Bedroom
http://exceptionmag.com/business/working-life/0001722/bosses-bedroom
Working Life By Lewis Maltby | April 15, 2010


Privacy is dead. Get over it. So says Scott McNealy, former president of Sun Microsystems.

He's right. Workplace privacy is dead and buried. Employers can and do read e-mail, eavesdrop on telephone calls, monitor Internet access and watch workers with hidden cameras (even in bathrooms and locker rooms). Virtually all of this is legal. Technically, employers aren’t supposed to listen to personal telephone calls, but it happens all the time and you have no way of knowing. Some judges have found bathroom cameras to be an invasion of privacy, but other judges allow it.

As bad as this is, it’s getting worse. Bosses are now spying on workers’ home lives. Millions of workers carry company-issued cell phones. Every one of these phones is equipped with GPS. The technology required to track cell phones is readily available and not very expensive. The cost of tracking an employee 24/7 is only $5 a month. Employers often keep GPS tracking a secret or tell the workers they can turn off the GPS when they go home and continue to track them. The National Workrights Institute (NWI) has already begun receiving complaints about GPS.

Even more serious are the problems created by company-issued laptops. Employers usually tell workers it’s OK to use them for personal purposes as well as business. It’s presented as a perk—now you don’t need to buy your own computer.

What employers don’t tell you is that the company’s computer technicians look at your private documents when the computer comes in for upgrading or repair. Not only are your personal e-mail, photographs and financial records revealed, but the techs tell your boss about anything they don’t like. If you say something negative about the company, tell risqué jokes or make controversial comments about politics or religion, it can cost you your job.

If you think your boss wouldn’t fire you for something like this, think again. Heidi Arace was fired by PNC Bank for telling an off-color joke by e-mail. Nate Fulmer lost his job because he criticized organized religion on his personal website.

The ultimate nightmare comes from webcams. If your company-issued laptop has a webcam, bosses can turn it on whenever they want. If they do it at night, they’ll probably see the inside of your house, maybe your bedroom. A suburban Philadelphia school district was recently caught turning on the webcams in laptops issued to students. Some were in the students' bedrooms.

Unionized workers have some protection against these abuses. While the law on GPS is still emerging, many labor lawyers believe GPS tracking is a mandatory subject of bargaining. Union members also are protected against arbitrary termination. It would be highly unlikely an arbitrator would uphold the termination of a worker who turned off the GPS when they went off duty. Nor would an arbitrator allow an employer to fire a union worker because they said something on their personal blog the boss didn’t like.

But for the rest of us, these practices are legal. Congress has been asleep at the switch when it comes to protecting privacy for the past 20 years. The last federal privacy law was enacted in 1986 and doesn’t even mention electronic communications other than telephone calls. Since then, advancing technology and employer abuse have eliminated any semblance of privacy at work. It’s time for Congress to wake up and take action before our private lives become an open book to employers as well.

Lewis Maltby is president and founder of the National Workrights Institute (NWI), a human rights organization committed to workplace issues, and author of the new book, Can They Do That?: Retaking Our Fundamental Rights in the Workplace.

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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Offline Dig

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California License Plates May Go Digital

California drivers may soon come bumper to bumper with the latest product of the digital age: ad-blaring license plates.

State lawmakers are considering a bill allowing the state to begin researching the use of electronic license plates for vehicles.

The device would mimic a standard license plate when the vehicle is moving but would switch to digital messages when it is stopped for more than four seconds in traffic or at a red light.

In emergencies, the plates could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts or traffic information.

The author of SB1453 says California would be the first state to implement such technology if it decides to adopt the plates on a large scale.

Supporters say license-plate advertising could generate much-needed revenue in a state facing a $19 billion deficit.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local-beat/California-License-Plates-May-Go-Digital-96758099.html


It would also allow constant monitoring of the vehicle.

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. [...] The capacity to assert social and political control over the individual will vastly increase. It will soon be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and to maintain up-to-date, complete files, containing even most personal information about the health or personal behavior of the citizen in addition to more customary data. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”
https://www.mega.nu/ampp/privacy.html
-Zbigniew Brzezinski
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Erosion of Individual Privacy - Echelon Subchapter
https://www.mega.nu/ampp/echelon.html#metatop

Here is the European Parliament's final report on Echelon: https://www.mega.nu/ampp/echelon_ep_final.html

by Jason Vest, The Village Voice, August 11, 1998, http://www.villagevoice.com/ink/news/33vest.shtml


Listening In

The U.S.-led echelon spy network is eavesdropping on the whole world

Suppose, this past weekend, you sent an e-mail to a friend overseas. There's a reasonable possibility your communication was intercepted by a global surveillance system--especially if you happened to discuss last week's bombings in East Africa.

Or suppose you're stuck in traffic and in your road rage you whip out a cell phone and angrily call your congressman's office in Washington. There's a chance the government is listening in on that conversation, too (but only for the purposes of "training" new eavesdroppers).

Or suppose you're on a foreign trip--vacation, business, relief work--and you send off a fax to some folks that Washington doesn't view too keenly. Your message could be taken down and analyzed by the very same system.

That system is called ECHELON and it is controlled by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). In America, it is the Intelligence Network That Dare Not Be Acknowledged. Questions about it at Defense Department briefings are deftly deflected. Requests for information about it under the Freedom of Information Act linger in bureaucratic limbo. Researchers who mention possible uses of it in the presence of intelligence officials are castigated. Members of Congress--theoretically, the people's representatives who provide oversight of the intelligence community--betray no interest in helping anyone find out anything about it. Media outlets (save the award-winning but low-circulation Covert Action Quarterly) ignore it. In the official view of the U.S. Government, it doesn't exist.

But according to current and former intelligence officials, espionage scholars, Australian and British investigative reporters, and a dogged New Zealand researcher, it is all too real. Indeed, a soon-to-be finalized European Parliament report on ECHELON has created quite a stir on the other side of the Atlantic. The report's revelations are so serious that it strongly recommends an intensive investigation of NSA operations.

The facts drawn out by these sources reveal ECHELON as a powerful electronic net--a net that snags from the millions of phone, fax, and modem signals traversing the globe at any moment selected communications of interest to a five-nation intelligence alliance. Once intercepted (based on the use of key words in exchanges), those communiqués are sent in real time to a central computer system run by the NSA; round-the-clock shifts of American, British, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand analysts pour over them in search of . . . what?

Originally a Cold War tool aimed at the Soviets, ECHELON has been redirected at civilian targetsworldwide. In fact, as the European Parliament report noted, political advocacy groups like Amnesty International and Greenpeace were amongst ECHELON's targets. The system's awesome potential (and potential for abuse) has spurred some traditional watchdogs to delve deep in search of its secrets, and even prompted some of its minders within the intelligence community to come forward. "In some ways," says Reg Whittaker, a professor and intelligence scholar at Canada's York University, "it's probably the most useful means of getting at the Cold War intelligence-sharing relationship that still continues."

While the Central Intelligence Agency--responsible for covert operations and human-gathered intelligence, or HUMINT--is the spy agency most people think of, the NSA is, in many respects, the more powerful and important of the U.S. intelligence organizations. Though its most egregious excesses of 20 years ago are believed to have been curbed, in addition to monitoring all foreign communications, it still has the legal authority to intercept any communication that begins or ends in the U.S., as well as use American citizens' private communications as fodder for trainee spies. Charged with the gathering of signals intelligence, or SIGINT--which encompasses all electronic communications transmissions--the NSA is larger, better funded, and infinitely more secretive than the CIA. Indeed, the key document that articulates its international role has never seen the light of day.

That document, known as the UKUSA Agreement, forged an alliance in 1948 among five countries--the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand--to geographically divvy up SIGINT-gathering responsibilities, with the U.S. as director and main underwriter. Like the NSA--hardly known until the Pike and Church congressional investigations of the '70s--the other four countries' SIGINT agencies remain largely unknown and practically free of public oversight. While other member nations conduct their own operations, there has "never been any misunderstanding that we're NSA subsidiaries," according to Mike Frost, an ex-officer in Canada's SIGINT service, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). Moreover, all the signatory countries have NSA listening posts within their borders that operate with little or no input from the local agency.

Like nature, however, journalism abhors a vacuum, and the dearth of easily accessible data has inspired a cadre of researchers around the world to monitor the SIGINT community as zealously as possible. It is not, says David Banisar of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an easy task. Getting raw data is difficult enough. Figuring out what it means even more so, he says, thanks in part to the otherwise conservative NSA's very liberal use of code names--many of which regularly change--for everything from devices to operations. One that appears to have remained constant, however, is ECHELON.

In 1988, Margaret Newsham, a contract employee from Lockheed posted at Menwith Hill, the NSA's enormous listening post in Yorkshire, England, filed a whistleblower suit against Lockheed, charging the company with waste and mismanagement (the case is currently being appealed after an initial dismissal). At the same time, Newsham told Congressional investigators that she had knowledge of illegal eavesdropping on American citizens by NSA personnel. While a committee began investigating, it never released a report. Nonetheless, British investigative reporter Duncan Campbell managed to get hold of some of the committee's findings, including a slew of Menwith Hill operations. Among them was a project described as the latest installment of a system code named ECHELON that would enable the five SIGINT agencies "to monitor and analyze civilian communications into the 21st century."

To SIGINT watchers, the concept wasn't unfamiliar. In the early '80s, while working on his celebrated study of the NSA, The Puzzle Palace, James Bamford discovered that the agency was developing a system called PLATFORM, which would integrate at least 52 separate SIGINT agency computer systems into one central network run out of Fort Meade, Maryland. Then in 1991, an anonymous British SIGINT officer told the TV media about an ongoing operation that intercepted civilian telexes and ran them through computers loaded with a program called "the Dictionary"--a description that jibed with both Bamford and Campbell's gleanings.

In 1996, however, intelligence watchdogs and scholars got an avalanche of answers about ECHELON, upon the publication of Secret Power: New Zealand's Role in the International Spy Network,written by Nicky Hager. A New Zealand activist turned investigative author, Hager spent 12 years digging into the ties between his country's SIGINT agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), and the NSA. Utilizing leaked material and scores of interviews with GCSB officers, Hager not only presented a revealing look at the previously unknown machinations of the GCSB (even New Zealand's Prime Minister was kept in the dark about its full scope) but also produced a highly detailed description of ECHELON.

According to Hager's information--which leading SIGINT scholar and National Security Archive analyst Jeffrey Richelson calls "excellent"--ECHELON functions as a real-time intercept and processing operation geared toward civilian communications. Its first component targets international phone company telecommunications satellites (or Intelsats) from a series of five ground intercept stations located at Yakima, Washington; Sugar Grove, West Virginia; Morwenstow in Cornwall, England; Waihopai, New Zealand; and Geraldton, Australia.

The next component targets other civilian communications satellites, from a similar array of bases, while the final group of facilities intercept international communications as they're relayed from undersea cables to microwave transmitters. According to Hager's sources, each country devises categories of intercept interest. Then a list of key words or phrases (anything from personal, business, and organization names to e-mail addresses to phone and fax numbers) is devised for each category. The categories and keywords are entered by each country into its "Dictionary" computer, which, after recognizing keywords, intercepts full transmissions, and sends them to the terminals of analysts in each of the UKUSA countries.

To the layperson, ECHELON may sound like something out of the X-Files. But the National Security Archives's Richelson and others maintain that not only is this not the stuff of science fiction, but is, in some respects, old hat. More than 20 years ago, then CIA director William Colby matter-of-factly told congressional investigators that the NSA monitored every overseas call made from the United States. Two years ago, British Telecom accidentally disclosed in a court case that it had provided the Menwith Hill station with equipment potentially allowing it access to hundreds of thousands of European calls a day. "Let me put it this way," says a former NSA officer. "Consider that anyone can type a keyword into a Net search engine and get back tens of thousands of hits in a few seconds." A pause. "Assume that people working on the outer edges have capabilities far in excess of what you do."

Since earlier this year, ECHELON has caused something of a panic in Europe, following the disclosure of an official European Parliament report entitled "In Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control." While the report did draw needed attention to ECHELON, it--and subsequent European press coverage--says Richelson, "built ECHELON up into some super-elaborate system that can listen in on everyone at any time, which goes beyond what Nicky Hager wrote." Richelson, along with other SIGINT experts, emphasizes that, despite ECHELON's apparent considerable capabilities, it isn't omniscient.

EPIC's David Banisar points out that despite the high volume of communications signals relayed by satellite and microwave, a great many fiber-optic communications--both local and domestic long distance--can't be intercepted without a direct wiretap. And, adds Canadian ex-spook Mike Frost, there's a real problem sorting and reading all the data; while ECHELON can potentially intercept millions of communications, there simply aren't enough analysts to sort through everything. "Personally, I'm not losing any sleep over this," says Richelson, "because most of the stuff probably sits stored and unused at [NSA headquarters in] Fort Meade."

Richelson's position is echoed by some in the intelligence business ("Sure, there's potential for abuse," says one insider, "but who would you rather have this--us or Saddam Hussein?"). But others don't take such a benign view. "ECHELON has a huge potential for violating privacy and for abuses of democracy," says Hager. "Because it's so powerful and its operations are so secret that there are no real constraints on agencies using it against any target the government chooses. The excessive secrecy built up in the Cold War removes any threat of accountability."

The only time the public gets anything resembling oversight, Hager contends, is when intelligence officials have a crisis of conscience, as several British spooks did in 1992. In a statement to the London Observer, the spies said they felt they could "no longer remain silent regarding that which we regard to be gross malpractice and negligence within the establishment we operate"--the establishment in question being the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's version of the NSA. The operatives said that an intercept system based on keyword recognition (sound familiar?) was routinely targeting the communications of Amnesty International and Christian Aid.

Adds Hager, "The use of intelligence services in these cases had nothing to do with national security, but everything to do with keeping tabs on critics. The British government frequently finds itself in political conflict with Amnesty over countries it is supplying arms to or governments with bad human rights records. ECHELON provides the government with a way to gain advantage over Amnesty by eavesdropping on their operations."

Hager and others also argue that potential for abuse lies in the hierarchical and reciprocal nature of the UKUSA alliance. According to data gathered by congressional committees in the '70s, and accounts of former SIGINT officers like Frost, UKUSA partners have, from time to time, used each other to circumvent prohibitions on spying on their own citizens. Frost, for example, directed Canadian eavesdropping operations against both Americans and Britons--at the request of both countries' intelligence services, to whom the surveillance data was subsequently passed.

And British Members of Parliament have raised concerns for years about the lack of oversight at the NSA's Menwith Hill facility--a base on British soil with access to British communications yet run by the NSA, which works closely with the GCHQ. "Given that both the U.S. and Britain turn their electronic spying systems against many other friendly and allied nations," says Hager, "the British would be naive not to assume it is happening to them."

David Banisar, the electronic privacy advocate, says that apparently just asking about ECHELON, or mentioning anything like it, is considered unreasonable. Since earlier this year, Banisar has been trying to get information on ECHELON from the NSA under the Freedom of Information Act. "They're not exactly forthcoming," he says, explaining that he only recently got a response in which he was in effect told the European Parliament report "didn't provide enough information" for the NSA to locate the requested information. However, Wayne Madsen, co-author with Bamford of the most recent edition of The Puzzle Palace, was more directly discouraged from investigating ECHELON's possibly dubious applications, as the following story makes clear.

On April 21, 1996, Chechnyen rebel leader Dzokhar Dudayev was killed when a Russian fighter fired two missiles into his headquarters. At the time of the attack, Dudayev had been talking on his cellular phone to Russian officials in Moscow about possible peace negotiations. According to electronics experts, getting a lock on Dudayev's cell phone signal would not have been difficult, but as Martin Streetly, editor of Jane's Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems, noted at the time, the Russian military was so under-equipped and poorly maintained, it was doubtful a radar intercept plane could have honed in on the signal without help.

Speaking at a conference on Information Warfare a month later, Madsen, one of the world's leading SIGINT and computer security experts, explained that it was both politically and technically possible that the NSA helped the Russians kill Dudayev. Noting the West's interest in preserving the Yeltsin presidency and in ensuring the safety of an oil consortium's pipeline running through Chechnya, Madsen explained which NSA satellites could have been used to intercept Dudayev's call and directionally locate its signal.

This wasn't exactly a stunning revelation: Not only had reports recently been released in Australia and Switzerland about police tracking suspects by their cell phone signatures, but Reuters and Agence France-Press had written about the Dudayev scenario as technically plausible. Still, after his talk, Madsen was approached by an Air Force officer assigned to the NSA, who tore into him. "Don't you realize that we have people on the ground over there?" Madsen recalled the officer seething. "You're talking about things that could put them in harm's way." Asks Madsen, "If this was how Dudayev died, do you think it's unreasonable the American people know about the technical aspects behind this kind of diplomacy?"

Nicky Hager says that the New Zealand intelligence officers who talked to him did so out of a growing disillusionment with the importance to New Zealand of access to ECHELON information. In some cases, they said, they had been so busy listening in on targets of interest to other countries, they altogether missed opportunities to gather intelligence in New Zealand's national interest. Ross Coulthart, an investigative reporter with Australia's Nine Network, says intelligence sources of his have reported similar feelings. "In the UKUSA intelligence community, there appear, roughly, to be two camps: those who believe that it's best to fall in line behind the U.S., because the U.S. has acted as protector and funder and gives us resources and limited participation in a system we couldn't support ourselves, and those who think the whole thing is somewhat overrated and sometimes contrary to national interests."

In 1995, for example, Australian intelligence officials leaked a story to the Australian Broadcasting Company that was, at first blush, damaging to themselves: Australian intelligence had bugged the Chinese Embassy in Canberra. However, the Australians had no access to the actual transmissions; they had merely planted the bugs at the behest of the NSA, which was getting the raw feed. "Given that both Australian and American companies were bidding for Chinese wheat contracts at the time," says Coulthart, "it didn't seem like Australia was getting anything out of this arrangement, so they put the story out there."

Indeed, says York University's Whittaker, "there's a really important degree of [economic] tension that wasn't there during the Cold War. On the other hand, most of the threats perceived as common and borderless--terrorism, nuclear proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, and global crime--inspire more cooperation between the UKUSA partners." Hager thinks such cooperation is certainly merited, but what ECHELON to some extent reflects, he believes, is the continued erosion of civil liberties and the notion of sovereignty in the name of security. "Some people I interviewed told me repeatedly, 'It's a good thing for us to be part of this strong alliance,' " he says. "What it amounts to, in the end, is an argument for being a cog in a big intelligence machine."

The Community Open Source Program

Robert David Steele, the leading proponent of the open source intelligence paradigm and founder of Open Source Solutions, represents the extreme anti-privacy stance when he asks, rhetorically, "Would corporations and individuals cheat on their taxes if they were certain they would be caught?" (in his 1993 presentation, God, Man, & INFORMATION: Comments to INTERVAL In-House)

Sidebar from NameBase NewsLine, No. 6, July-September 1994, by Daniel Brandt:
Cyberspace Cowboy with CIA Credentials:
Robert Steele and his Open Source Solutions, Inc.

      Whenever history is stranded between two epochs, those few who recognize the shifting paradigms are usually voices in the wilderness. Robert David Steele spent the 80s fighting the Cold War for the CIA in Latin America, but now he writes for Whole Earth Review, invites Mitch Kapor and John Barlow to speak at the symposiums he organizes, and jets around the globe to swap impressions with unkempt hackers. Back at the ranch, he keeps up a steady diet of schmoozing with Washington intelligence professionals, testifying for Congressional committees, and consulting with corporate information experts. He's a man on a mission.

      Steele believes that U.S. intelligence, with its cumbersome classification system, is like a dinosaur in a tar pit. He likes to tell the story of his "$10 million mistake." In 1988 Steele was responsible for spending this amount to help the Marine Corps set up a new intelligence facility. He acquired a system of workstations to handle Top Secret information, which also meant that they could not be connected to any unclassified systems. Meanwhile, a little personal computer in the next room was the only station with external unclassified access. After the system was built, they discovered that virtually everything the Marine Corps needed -- from bridge loading capabilities to the depth of water in ports around the world -- was available on the little PC through the Internet. But none of it was found on the classified systems, which tended to be filled with data on Soviet strategic capabilities.

      U.S. intelligence was destined for major budget cuts and restructuring, even before the latest embarrassment of the Aldrich Ames case. The CIA's mole problems are merely the last nails in the coffin, and lead to cover stories such as the "U.S. News & World Report" of July 4, 1994, which declares that the CIA is "plagued by incompetence and fraud." But Robert Steele has a fix. All that's required is for U.S. intelligence to abandon its obsession with secrecy and find the nearest on-ramp to the information superhighway. He and his Open Source Solutions, Inc. will be happy to give directions (11005 Langton Arms Court, Oakton VA 22124-1807, Tel: 703-242-1700, Fax: 703-242-1711, Internet: [email protected]). Yes, they even have their own Internet node.

      Steele's articulation of the shortcomings of U.S. intelligence, along with other expert sources such as former Senate intelligence committee staffer Angelo Codevilla's "Informing Statecraft" (1992), make a powerful case that something has to change. The total intelligence budget is just over $37 billion, with the major portion going for technical collection -- mostly satellites and related processing systems. But these systems are narrowly focused, and encourage narrow policies designed to justify the expense. The CIA's portion of this budget is about $3.5 billion, and the NSA's is roughly $4 billion.

      Steele points out that the cost-benefit ratio of open source intelligence (OSCINT) is so productive that nothing else even comes close. But U.S. intelligence is steeped in its old ways. He hears stories of agencies that refuse to cite information in their reports unless it comes from classified sources, or of CIA analysts who wanted to travel to Moscow to take advantage of newly-opened resources but were threatened with loss of their clearances if they made the trip. In other words, U.S. intelligence is doing everything backwards. No one disputes the fact that 80 percent of all the information worth analyzing is publicly available, and of the remaining 20 percent, much of it is made useless by a classification system that delays delivery and frequently restricts access to those who are not inclined to use it. In a rational world, OSCINT would be the "source of first resort."

      Open Source Solutions, Inc., of which Steele is president, sponsors annual symposiums that draw a range of professionals: government intelligence analysts, corporate competitor intelligence departments, Beltway-Bandit think tanks that churn out classified studies for government clients, and various on-line ferrets, hackers, and futurists from around the world. They expected 200 for their 1992 symposium and got over 600. In 1993 they had over 800 from 32 countries, including some retired KGB colonels that made a few officials at CIA headquarters extremely nervous. The next symposium, scheduled for November 8-10 in Washington, will focus less on the U.S. intelligence community itself and more on the intelligence consumer in the global private and public sectors. These symposiums are financed by fees from those who attend ($500 unless you get an academic rate or "hacker scholarship"), and also from corporations and organizations that pay for exhibit space. OSS is nonprofit, but Steele also spun off a for-profit corporation that offers consulting services and "best of class" referrals for $750 a day or $200 an hour.

      Steele's voice is one that needs to be heard in Washington. He's strongest when he criticizes U.S. intelligence, and he's excellent for those who are trying to keep up with cyberspace trends and information resources. But when he presents open source intelligence as an elixir for America's problems, from intelligence to competitiveness to ecology, his reach exceeds his grasp. For example, Steele's assurances that competitiveness and OSCINT are mutually compatible are unconvincing: it seems reasonable that at some point, what I know becomes more valuable to me by virtue of the fact that you DON'T have the same information. Human nature being what it is, secrecy is not something that can be restricted only to executive action and diplomacy, as Steele maintains. It is here to stay, on every level of society. Steele's unreal optimism is a religious conviction that's not uncommon among cyberspace cadets.

      Ironically, the same technology that efficiently delivers Steel's open source intelligence has also given us the ability to keep digital data very secret. There is no guarantee that the mountains of public data won't someday become a Tower of Encrypted Babel. Steele's most glaring omission is his lack of comment on public encryption technology and the Clipper Chip -- the issue that has caused cypherpunks and some corporations to declare war on the U.S. intelligence community. It seems that if Steele took a strong position on this issue, he might lose half of his support in a cyberspace nanosecond.

Leaf through Open Source Solutions' web site at www.oss.net.

The Intelligence Community consists formally of (from the CIA's directory):Director of Central Intelligence
Central Intelligence Agency
Community Management Staff
National Intelligence Council

Department of Defense
Defense Intelligence Agency
National Security Agency
National Imagery & Mapping Agency
National Reconnaissance Office
Air Force Intelligence
Army Intelligence
Marine Corps Intelligence
Navy Intelligence

Departmental Intelligence
Elements (non-DoD)
Department of State
Department of Energy
Department of the Treasury
Federal Bureau of Investigation


The actual Intelligence Community organization of the open source effort is collected under COSPO and the osis.gov domain.
-* whois -h whois.nic.gov osis.gov Community Open Source Program Office (OSIS-DOM) Community Management Staff Washington, DC 20505

"The Community Open Source Program Office (COSPO) and the Community Management Staff (CMS) have joined in developing a World Basic Information Library which will ultimately contain the basic open source information the IC needs to know about any country in the world - before it becomes a crisis area."

Domains within osis.gov (participants in the Open Source Program):
cospo.osis.gov - Central Intelligence Agency (also ic.gov), Community Open Source Program Office
fggm.osis.gov - National Security Agency, Fort George G. Meade
nro.osis.gov - Central Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office
"The NRO designs, builds and operates the nation's reconnaissance satellites. NRO products, provided to an expanding list of customers like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), can warn of potential trouble spots around the world, help plan military operations, and monitor the environment."
doe.osis.gov - Department of Energy
nsc.osis.gov - National Security Council (nsc.eop.gov)
dia.osis.gov - Defense Intelligence Agency
nima.osis.gov - National Imagery and Mapping Agency
ngic.osis.gov - National Ground Intelligence Center (Fort Belvoir, Charlottesville VA)
"The NGIC's mission is to produce scientific, technical, and general military intelligence on foreign ground forces."
jc2wc.osis.gov - Joint Command and Control Warfare Center (Wright Patterson AFB)
pacom.osis.gov - Pacific Command, Wheeler AAF, HI (pac.disa.mil)

Closely related to OSIS activities is the CIA National Resources Division, covered in the following article.

from TPDL 1999-Apr-19, from the Washington Post, by the CIA and Vernon Loeb:
Gathering Intelligence Nuggets One by One

As they fathom the depths of Chinese nuclear weapons design, trying to figure out whether stolen U.S. secrets helped China test a miniaturized warhead, CIA analysts are finding espionage Beijing- style to be maddeningly diffuse--but not altogether foreign.

Beijing's spy masters are said to gather secrets brought home by thousands of traveling government officials, students and businessmen. Well, the Central Intelligence Agency has its own operation, the National Resources Division, for collecting nuggets of information and bits of insight from American tourists, scholars and executives returning from overseas.

"Even during the Cold War, by far the most useful source of information about the details of matters in the U.S.S.R. was the interagency emigre exploitation program coordinated by the CIA's Domestic Collection division, later called the National Resources Division," according to Allen Thomson, a retired CIA scientist. "Overhead photography was wonderful for some things, but there's a limit to what you can tell by looking down from several hundred miles up. . . . And classical espionage, despite its theoretical promise, came in a dead and distant last in terms of actual performance."

One irony, as a House select committee headed by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) prepares to release an unclassified version of its report on technology transfers to China and Chinese espionage, is that the NRD has been busy debriefing executives from U.S. satellite companies as they return from China about Beijing's missile capabilities and satellite needs.

During the Cold War, Thomson recalled, Soviet emigres rarely provided intelligence blockbusters. "But the little bits and pieces, patiently collected and collated," Thomson said, "were of enormous value in understanding the Soviet Union."
A New Wizard at Langley

Gary L. Smith, director of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, is the newest "wizard" of Langley, set to take over the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology this month. The DS&T is the agency's "Q branch," the place that dreams up, disguises and invents gadgets for far-flung spies. But it's hardly the empire it once was in the 1960s and early 1970s, when CIA scientists designed the agency's own spy satellites and CIA pilots flew U-2 reconnaissance missions.

"For a very significant period of time during the Cold War, it was really the most significant component of the intelligence community," said Jeffrey T. Richelson, an intelligence expert and author now hard at work on "The Wizards of Langley," a book about the DS&T.

But the directorate's mission has dwindled as other parts of the intelligence community more closely controlled by the Pentagon have grabbed pieces of the DS&T empire.

The U-2 program went to the Air Force in 1974 and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) got rid of "Program B," a CIA management component, in 1992. Four years later, the Pentagon created the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), taking control of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center, the agency responsible for analyzing aerial imagery.

Richelson called the CIA's removal from imagery analysis "a very unfortunate move--the whole intelligence community, and country, is worse off because of that."
Keeping Budget Secrets Too

Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet, continuing to fight further disclosure of CIA budget information, asked a federal judge last week to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Federation of American Scientists seeking the fiscal 1999 budget request and Congress's appropriation for intelligence.

Having previously disclosed overall intelligence spending of $26.6 billion in fiscal 1997 and $26.7 billion in fiscal 1998, Tenet has refused further disclosure for the past year and now argues that releasing the 1999 total would damage national security by revealing spending trends of interest to foreign spies.

"Now is an especially critical and turbulent period for the intelligence budget," Tenet said, "and the continued secrecy of the fiscal year 1999 budget request and total appropriation is necessary for the protection of vulnerable intelligence capabilities."

Steven Aftergood, director of the federation's project on government secrecy, called Tenet's argument "silly and infuriating." He has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the fiscal 2000 budget request and, if denied, promises to make that part of the lawsuit.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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https://www.mega.nu/cm/cm0.html

            An Indictment of the U.S. Government and U.S. Politics


                           Cryptography Manifesto
                           ----------------------
                              By [email protected]
                              7/4/97-L version

 
          "The law does not allow me to testify on any aspect of the
           National Security Agency, even to the Senate Intelligence
           Committee" ---General Allen, Director of the NSA, 1975
 

          "You bastards!" ---guy


******************************************************************************
 
       This is about much more than just cryptography. It is also about
       everyone in the U.S.A. being fingerprinted for a defacto national
       ID card, about massive illegal domestic spying by the NSA, about
       the Military being in control of key politicians, about always
       being in a state of war, and about cybernetic control of society.

******************************************************************************


             Part 1: Massive Domestic Spying via NSA ECHELON
             ---- -  ------- -------- ------ --- --- -------

                     o The NSA Admits
                     o Secret Court
                     o Wild Conspiracy Theory
                     o Over the Top
                     o BAM-BAM-BAM
                     o Australian ECHELON Spotted
                     o New Zealand: Unhappy Campers


             Part 2: On Monitoring and Being Monitored
             ---- -  -- ---------- --- ----- ---------

                     o On Monitoring
                        - Driver's Seat
                        - Five Months Statistics
                        - The FBI Investigations
                        - I Can See What You Are Thinking
                        - Why I Monitor
                     o On Being Monitored


             Part 3: 1984 Means a Constant State of War
             ---- -  ---- ----- - -------- ----- -- ---

                     War #1  -  Drugs
                     War #2  -  Guns
                     War #3  -  Child Pornography
                     War #4  -  Terrorism
                     War #5  -  Hackers


             Part 4: Why unlimited cryptography must be legislated NOW
             ---- -  --- --------- ------------ ---- -- ---------- ---

                     o Key Recovery Means No Cryptography
                     o Key Recovery Isn't Even Feasible
                     o Government Steamroller
                     o Feds' Wacky Pro-GAK Logic
                       - Business Will Demand It
                       - To Safeguard Your Privacy


             Part 5: There is no part five
             ---- -  ----- -- -- ---- ----

             Part 6: Louis Freeh & The Creeping Police State
             ---- -  ----- -----   --- -------- ------ -----

                     o Louis Freeh
                     o National ID Card
                     o Worldwide Banking and Phone Monitoring
                     o Cybernetic Control of Society
                     o Conclusions


******************************************************************************


    ECHELON is NSA's world-wide surveillance network and associated software.

    DICTIONARY - Keyword searching with exclusion logic software.

    ORATORY - Speech recognition. Think of it as speech-to-text software.
              Subject to DICTIONARY searches.

    CALEA   - A 1994 law ("Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act")
              to force a massive reworking of the U.S. telephone infra-
              structure so that the government can intrinsically wiretap it.
              Also called the FBI Digital Telephony Act. It is a domestic
              extension of ECHELON.

    GAK     - Government Access [to cryptographic] Keys. Any cryptography
              product with GAK has been compromised so the government can
              read it.

    SIGINT  - Signals Intelligence = NSA = electronic snooping

    Key Recovery - See GAK.

    C-SPAN  - Two cable channels dedicated to broadcasting both houses of
              Congress and other U.S. governmental functions.

    DEA    -  U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
    DIA    -  U.S. Pentagon Defense Intelligence Agency
    DIA    -  U.S. Drug Interdiction Agency (older)

    FBI    -  U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation

    BATF   -  U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

    UKUSA  -  pronounced 'you-koo-za' - a secret wartime treaty that says
              member nations can spy on each others population without
              warrants or limits, and that this can be shared with the
              spied-on country's SIGINT agency.

    PGP    -  Free and unbreakable encryption, available world-wide.

    CISPES -  Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador


    "Ultra-secret" agencies:

    NSA    - U.S. National Security Agency

    GCHQ   - British Government Communications Headquarters

    CSE    - Canada's Communications Security Establishment

    DSD    - Australian Defense Signals Directorate

    GCSB   - New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau



******************************************************************************

                                 Main()
                                 ----


Using mainly publicly available material, here is my documentation of:


    o Part 1: Massive Domestic Spying via NSA ECHELON

              This is highly detailed documentation of NSA spying.
              This spying is illegal, massive, and domestic.
              The documentation is comprehensive, especially since
              it is now brought together in this one section.
 
    o Part 2: On Monitoring and Being Monitored

              In this section, I describe the capabilities of ECHELON
              keyword monitoring. A detailed example --- how to use
              keywords to pick out conversations of interest --- is given.
              I also put forth a case of what it means to be monitored
              heavily by the government.

    o Part 3: 1984 Means a Constant State of War

              The politics of war, and the Orwellian tactics employed by
              by the U.S. Government to control its citizens.

    o Part 4: Why unlimited cryptography must be legislated NOW

              In additional to the reasons given in the previous sections,
              the 'debate' reasons constantly given by the government
              are reviewed and debunked. And our nation's experts say it
              will hurt security. The GAO says the same thing.

    o Part 5: There is no part five.
             
    o Part 6: Louis Freeh & The Creeping Police State

              Basically, Louis Freeh is the anti-Christ leading us to Hell.
              National ID cards are effectively being implemented without
              needing to issue cards. The U.S. Government is trying to
              monitor all phone calls and banking transactions, and have
              all equipment worldwide designed for their monitoring. They
              are bent on controlling the world to the point of there being
              no crime left on the planet. Of course, democracy destroyed
              is the direct result.


----


This publication advocates five major items:

    o Passage of ProCode/SAFE legislation, allowing U.S. companies to
      export unlimited strength cryptography, free from "Key Recovery".
      Key Recovery means messages are no longer a secret, because the
      Government has screwed around with it.

    o Killing the CALEA legislation, which orders all communications
      equipment be DESIGNED so the Government can spy on it.

    o Dismantling domestic ECHELON, the Government listening in on our
      domestic phone calls.

    o A Cabinet-level U.S. Privacy Commission, with teeth.


----


The "average" American has no idea why cryptography is important to them.

It is the only way to begin preventing massive illegal domestic spying.

Currently, there are no restrictions on domestic use of unlimited strength
cryptography. That is not because the Government hasn't complained about
child pornographers or terrorists or other criminals who might use it.

No, that's the reason they are giving for why U.S. companies can't EXPORT
products, such as web browsers, outside U.S. territory, without compromising
it with Government "Key Recovery"; i.e. made stupider and breakable.

Why such an indirect control on what they claim is a domestic problem?

Because that is how 'The Creeping Police State' works.

Slowly, bit-by-bit.

Slowly, State-by-State everyone in the U.S. is being fingerprinted.

The FBI is now advocating biometric capture of all newborns too.

This is an interesting manifesto, please take the time to read it.

Cryptography can be used to keep private: Internet traffic, such as email,
and telephone conversations (PGP phone). A version of PGP phone that looks
and works like a normal telephone --- but can't be spied upon --- would
eventually become wide-spread.

It begins to change the mind-set that the Police State is inevitable.


----

Major references...

In the last several years intelligence operatives, specifically including
SIGINT (signal intelligence) people, have started telling the story about
the massive domestic use of computer monitoring software in the U.S.

Including our domestic phone calls, Internet, fax, everything.

I'm going to quote a number of articles and books; they involved talking
to over 100 of these intelligence operatives.


Buy this book: "Secret Power" by Nicky Hager, ISBN 0-908802-35-8.

It describes in detail the ECHELON platform. It's one of the most important.
New Zealand people are quite unhappy at their place within ECHELON.


Buy this book: "Spyworld: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence
Establishments" By Mike Frost [NSA trained sigint person] and Michel
Gratton, Toronto Doubleday 1994.

Mr. Frost describes missions in the U.S. where he was trained by the NSA
to handle domestic jobs that would be illegal for the NSA.

These books are quite damning, in a heavily documented way.


This is an AMAZINGLY COMPREHENSIVE BOOK: buy it!

    "Above the Law", by David Burnham, ISBN 0-684-80699-1, 1996


Buy this book: "The Secret War Against the Jews", Authors: John Loftus and
Mark Aarons, ISBN 0-312-11057-X, 1994. Don't let the title throw you: the
authors spoke with a great many intelligence people, and cleverly probed
NSA/CIA/FBI by submitting items for publication approval, and when they
censored something... Bingo.

Because of the Catch-22 situation, the NSA gave up trying to censor many
books, since it can be used to confirm questions they would otherwise have
refused to answer.


The other books referenced within are also suggested reading.
I have sometimes edited for brevity the excerpts, especially
my newspaper clippings of stories flying by.

If I have any news story specifics wrong or if you have more details,
please email me.

Later versions of this document can be searched for at dejanews.com.
Or, you can email me, Subject: Requesting Cryptography Manifesto.


----
---- Here comes a large 'reasoned polemic':
----


This is a U.S.-centric message, but keep reading even if you are not in the
U.S.; British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens are also directly
affected.

This message is about ECHELON, which is an unbelievably huge world-wide
spying apparatus, including the domestic phone calls of many countries.

United States citizens' phone calls are being monitored in a dragnet
fashion not even George Orwell could have imagined.

This was all paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Built in secret. Not debated.

The CALEA legislation is a shameful takes-us-into-the-abyss domestic spy bill.
It is for the FBI to simultaneously monitor HUGE amounts of our phone calls.

And when the judiciary found out about NSA monitoring U.S. citizens'
overseas telephone calls without a warrant: they approved the loss
of our Fourth Amendment rights.

Giving Presidential Directives the same force of law as the Constitution.

Congress has lost it too.

*    The New York Times, undated
*   
*    The House is not expected to vote on the search-and-seizure bill until
*    at least Wednesday. But tonight the Republicans defeated a Democratic
*    amendment that SIMPLY REITERATED THE WORDS OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT OF
*    THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.
*   
*    The vote was 303 to 121.
*   
*    The Democrats were trying to portray the Republicans as wanting to
*    eliminate the constitutional protection against unlawful searches.
*   
*    Indeed, they cornered the Republicans into saying that the measure
*    containing the Fourth Amendment would gut the seizure bill.


Just what is it going to take to restore the U.S. Constitution?

Unlimited unregulated cryptography legislation is a beginning baby-step.

Otherwise it might take another civil war. The NSA will not let go quietly.

Sound over-the-top? Wait until you understand the massive surveillance system
that our government has put in place, just how powerful it is, and how they've
used it repeatedly to control lawful peaceful political protest.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Apple now collecting, sharing precise location of iPhone users

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0622/apple-collecting-precise-location-iphone-ipad-users/
By John Byrne
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 -- 9:41 am


The world's largest technology company by market capitalization may soon rival the National Security Agency in its ability to track Americans using their cell phones.

Apple Inc. is now tracking the "precise," "real-time geographic location" of iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers -- and has unwittingly gotten its customers to sign off on their being tracked by making a little-noticed modification to the language in its apps store.

The company's "partners and licensees" will now be able to collect and store data about your location.

Apple's new privacy policy comes in the wake of a new "Find my iPhone" app the company approved which allows users to recover their lost phones using AT&T's location services.

Tracking digital consumers by location is nothing new. Websites routinely receive information about their users' locations in order to serve relevant advertising. For example, Raw Story's ad providers use information provided by readers' Internet service providers to serve ads appropriate to the region in which they're being read -- for example, you might get an ad for a political campaign in your area. You can opt-out here.)

But Apple's new terms and conditions allow it to store information about users' exact locations, a level of privacy intrusion not heretofore seen. Websites can tell users' locations down to a zip code, generally speaking, but they neither store nor track exact locations -- which Apple and AT&T can do using triangulation down to about ten feet.

(AT&T, if you remember, was a participant in the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, which allows the US government to track the phone numbers called by its citizens abroad. A whistleblower said that AT&T in fact had its own spy room in San Francisco for the government.)

Adds The Los Angeles Times:

The company says the data is anonymous and does not personally identify users. Analysts have shown, however, that large, specific data sets can be used to identify people based on behavior patterns.

An increasing number of iPhone apps ask users for their location, which is then used by the application or even uploaded to the app's maker. Apps like the Twitter application Tweetie and Google Maps make frequent use of location data, either to help the user get oriented geographically or to associate the user's action with a specific location (as when a tweet is geotagged).

Apple says in its privacy policy that it uses personal information to "improve our services, content, and advertising."

On Monday, Apple also rolled out its new advertising platform, iAd, for the latest version of its iPhone operating system (iOS 4). The company may well be integrating the location information into its advertising system -- for instance, to help local shops sell coupons to users in the neighborhood.

The new passage in Apple's terms and conditions is:

To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

Some location-based services offered by Apple, such as the MobileMe “Find My iPhone” feature, require your personal information for the feature to work.

Ironically, The Los Angeles Times' parent company released their own iPhone app just two hours after they did a writeup on Apple's new privacy policy.

Mac OS Hints offers this tip to turn off "Location Services" in iPhone OS 4:

As iOS 4 is being released for upgrading today (you'll need iTunes 9.2 to do so), a lot of new features will be introduced. Many are brand new, but some resemble features introduced with the iPad and iPhone OS 3.2, and are improved beyond that.

One of them is the Location Services Settings, especially with respect to privacy controls.

In iPad, a little NE pointing arrow appears in the top bar to alert you that the GPS is being accessed from an application, and that function is now in iOS 4 as well. [crarko adds: My mistake: it appears this wasn't in iPhone OS 3.2, and is new.]

What's new is the ability to toggle on or off the ability of apps to use Location Services on a per app basis, much like Notifications. If you look in Settings » General » Location Services, all the apps that make use of the GPS are listed, along with the NE arrow icon if they have used Location Services in the past 24 hours. There is also a toggle switch for each app, to enable/disable the services.

Note you will no longer be presented with the dialog box asking for permission to use your current location in apps, but will instead be warned by an app that you've turned off that it can't get current information. An app which is enabled will display the arrow icon.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Interrupting the Algorithmic Gaze? Urban Warfare and US Military Technology Chapter for MacDonald, F. at al (Ed.) Geopolitics and Visual Culture: Representation, Performance, Observant Practice (Tauris)
Download: http://www.geography.dur.ac.uk/information/staff/p
by Stephen Graham http://www.dur.ac.uk/geography/staff/geogstaffhidden/?id=934

Abstract:
“For Western military forces, asymmetric warfare in urban areas will be the greatest challenge of this century […]. The city will be the strategic high ground – whoever controls it will dictate the course of future events in the world ” (Dickson, 2002a, 10)

The Colonial Present – Gregory - 2004
The Pentagon’s New Map – Barnett - 2004
Envisioning the Homefront: Militarization, tracking and security culture – Crandall - 2005
War as a Network Enterprise: The New Security Terrain and its Implications – DUFFIELD - 2002
Vertical geopolitics: Baghdad and after – Graham
How technology will defeat terrorism – Huber, Mills - 2002
Sun Tzu’s bad advice: Urban warfare in the information age – Leonhard - 2003
Feral Cities – Norton - 2003
The Urbanization of Insurgency – Taw, Hoffman - 2000
Persistent surveillance comes into view”, Signal Magazine, Available at www.afcea.org/signal – Ackerman - 2002
9-11: A strategic ontology: Pre-emptive strike and the production of (in)security”, InfoTechWarPeace, August 6, www.watsoninstitute.org/infopeace/ available – Barocas - 2002
If the cities do not fall to the Allies, there may be no alternative to siege warfare”, The Independent – Bellamy - 2003
Change and transformation in military affairs – Cohen - 2004
Combat Zones That See Program: Proper Information. Available at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=507adc944c32f29724621a5ee4f1637c&_cview=0 – DARPA - 2003
Heterogeneous Urban RSTA Team, Briefing to Industry, Darpa: Washington D – DARPA
The Pentagon as global slum lord – Davis
The war on terror: Cities as the strategic high ground – Dickson
A revolution in military geopolitics – Ek - 2000
Corralling the Trojan Horse: A Proposal for Improving – Glenn, Steed, et al.
Cities and the ‘war on terror,’”p aper submitted – Graham
Switching cities off: Urban infrastructure and US air power – Graham - 2005 http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/2120566451-50396594/content~db=all~content=a723844418
Cities and the ‘war on terror – Graham - 2006
Urban combat: confronting the spectre,” Military Review – Grau, Kipp - 1999
Posthuman soldiers and postmodern war – No - 1999
The death of the civilian,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space – Gregory - 2006
Compressing the kill chain.’ Air Force Magazine – Hebert
Facing urban inevitabilities: Military operations – Hewish, Pengelley - 2001
Future Wars in Cities – Hills - 2004
Urban warfare transforms the Corps – Houlgate - 2004
Empire and the Bush doctrine”, Environment and Planning D – Kirsch - 2003
Robotic concepts take shape”, Signal Magazine, Available at www.afcea.org/signal – Lawlor - 2004
Military operations as urban planning – Misselwitz, Weizman - 2003
Stealth, precision, and the making of American foreign policy”, Air and Space Power Chronicles, June, Available at www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/cc/omara.html – Mara, R - 2003
Our soldiers, their cities – Peters - 1996
Neoliberal empire – Pieterse - 2004
Pentagon project could keep a close eye on cities”, Philly.Com, available – Sniffen - 2003
Politics, technology and the revolution in military affairs – Stone - 2004
Heavyweight contender”, Air Force Magazine, 85(7), available at http://www.afa.org/magazine/July2002 – unknown authors - 2001
Desert Screen : War at the – Virilio - 2002
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Working Paper No. 20
- Cities and Fragile States -  


ROBO-WAR DREAMS:
GLOBAL SOUTH URBANISATION AND
THE US MILITARY’S’ REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS’


Stephen Graham
Department of Geography
Durham University


November 2007

Copyright ©  S. Graham 2007

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this Working Paper, the Crisis States Research Centre and LSE accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims or accuracy of information provided by contributors.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing of the publisher nor be issued to the public or circulated in any form other than that in which it is published.  

Requests for permission to reproduce this Working Paper, of any part thereof, should be sent to:
The Editor, Crisis States Research Centre, DESTIN, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE.
Crisis States Working Papers Series No.2
ISSN 1749-1797 (print)
ISSN 1749-1800 (online)

Crisis States Research Centre


RoboWar Dreams:
Global South Urbanisation and the US Military’s  
‘Revolution in Military Affairs’

Stephen Graham
Department of Geography
Durham University


Abstract

This article seeks to open up to critical scrutiny the attempts currently being made to re-engineer post-Cold War US military power to directly confront global south urbanisation.  Through analysing the discourses produced by US military commentators about ‘urban warfare,’ and the purported military and technological solutions that might allow US forces to dominate and control global south cities in the future, the paper demonstrates that such environments are being widely essentialised as spaces that necessarily work to undermine the United States’ military’s high-technology systems for surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting. The paper shows how, amid the on-going urban insurgency in Iraq, widescale efforts are being made to ‘urbanise’ these military systems so that US military forces can attempt to assert high-tech dominance over the fine-grained geographies of global south cities in the future. This includes an examination of how US and Israeli forces, by 2007, had already begun to implement ideas of robotised or automated urban warfare to counter the complex insurgencies in Iraq and Palestine/Israel, respectively.

Introduction
“War has entered the city again – the sphere of the everyday” (Misselwitz and Weizman, 2003, 272).

Cities, warfare and organised political violence have always been mutual constructions. “The city, the polis, is constitutive of the form of conflict calledwar, just as war is itself constitutive of the political form called thecity” (Virilio 2002: 5, original emphasis). War and the city have intimately shaped each other throughout urban and military history. “There is […] a direct reciprocity between war and cities”, writes the geographer Ken Hewitt. “The latter are the more thoroughgoing constructs of collective life, containing the definitive human places.  War is the most thorough-going or consciously prosecuted occasion of collective violence that destroys places” (Hewitt 1983: 258).  

The “Implosion of Global and National Politics into the Urban World”

In the ‘new’ wars of the post Cold War - which increasingly straddle the ‘technology gaps’ separating advanced industrial nations from informal fighters – cities, once again, are emerging as the key sites. Indeed, urban areas are now the ‘lightning conductors’ for the world’s political violence. Warfare, like everything else, is being urbanised. The great geopolitical contests of cultural or religious change, ethnic conflict and diasporic social mixing; of economic re-regulation and liberalisation; of militarisation, informatisation, resource exploitation, and ecological change are, to a growing extent, boiling down to often violent conflicts in the key strategic sites of our age: contemporary cities (Sassen 2002).

The world’s geopolitical struggles increasingly articulate around violent conflicts over very local, urban, strategic sites (Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois 2003; Sassen 2002). The last two decades have seen a geopolitical and strategic reshaping of our world based heavily on a proliferation of organised, extremely violent acts against cities, those who live in them, and the support systems that make them work.  

The events of September 11th, 2001 are, of course, the most well-known and extensively reported case (see Calhoun et al 2002; Booth and Dunne 2002). But there are many, many others. Catastrophic urban terrorist attacks – fuelled by religious or political radicalism, anti-modernism, or resistance to brutal occupation, repression, or perceived biases of globalisation - have also targeted urban sites in Kitay (Bali), Moscow, Bombay and Karachi;  London and Madrid; Jakarta, Casablanca, Delhi and Islamabad; and Riyadh,  Mombassa, Kabul, Istanbul and Nairobi.  

Since 9/11, George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ – a purported response to those attacks – has inflicted massive onslaughts by US and British forces on Basra, Baghdad, Kandahar, Kabul and surrounding areas. In the case of Iraq, this happened despite not a shred of evidence emerging to link Saddam Hussein’s regime to Al-Qaeda. Far from being routes to simple ‘regime change’ and peaceful reconstruction, however, these attacks have been followed by complex, uneven, guerrilla-style resistance campaigns against occupying ground forces. In these, the fact that occupiers have to move down from GPS targeting from 40,000 ft, or out from behind armoured plate, to occupy urban sites, means that they have become immensely more vulnerable to political opponents and bitter local civilians alike.  

With a slightly longer time frame we should not forget, either, the levelling of Grozny by the Russians in 1996; the sieges of Sarajevo and Mostar in the Balkan wars of the early 1990s; the LA riots of 1992; the United States’ bloody incursion into Mogadishu in 1993; the 3 continuing suicide bombings in Israeli bars, buses and malls; Israel’s bulldozing of Jenin and Nablus in Spring 2002, and their continuing policies of strangulation, immiseration and demolition against Palestinian cities; or the resource or drug-fuelled guerrilla wars in Freetown, Bogotá or Monrovia.  

Finally, we must also not ignore the increasingly violent temporary urban sieges that now regularly occur around the planet  (Warren 2004; Cockburn and St Clair 2000; Thomas 2003; Negri 2003). In these, anti-globalisation or anti-state movements ‘swarm’ together around the fortified urban summits of the IMF, the G8, and the WTO, to protest against the inequities of neoliberal globalisation. In post-modern, high-tech replays of medieval sieges, temporary walls, battlements, and massive armed force work - often with extreme violence - to try and separate the ‘inside’ from the ‘outside’ on the other side of the street. This happens even though both sets of protagonists are global organisations temporary settled in local space for ritualised, bloody combat.

In such a context, anthropologist Arjun Appadurai has noted what he calls an “implosion of global and national politics into the urban world” (Appadurai 1996: 152).  ‘New’ urban wars, he argues, “take their energy from macro events and processes […] that link global politics to the micro politics of streets and neighbourhoods” (Appadurai 1996: 152-153).  To Appadurai, these new urban wars thus represent little less than:

“a new phase in the life of cities, where the concentration of ethnic populations, the availability of heavy weaponry, and the crowded conditions of civic life create futurist forms of warfare […] and where a general desolation of the national and global landscape has transposed many bizarre racial, religious, and linguistic enmities into scenarios of unrelieved urban terror”  (ibid.)


Global South Urbanisation as a Challenge to Western Military Doctrine

Fuelled by these transformations, Western military theorists and researchers are increasingly preoccupied with how the geographies of global south cities, and processes of global south urbanisation, are beginning to influence both the geopolitics and the techno-science of post Cold-war political violence. Indeed, almost unnoticed within ‘civil’ urban geography and social science, a large ‘shadow’ system of military urban research is quickly being established. Funded by Western military research budgets, this is quickly elaborating how the effects of rapid urbanisation are allegedly already becoming manifest, and how the global intensification of these processes will deepen them in the future (Graham, 2004a).  As Keith Dickson, a US military theorist of urban warfare puts it, the increasing perception within Western militaries is that:

For Western military forces, asymmetric warfare in urban areas will be the greatest challenge of this century […]. The city will be the strategic high ground -- whoever controls it will dictate the course of future events in the world.
(Dickson 2002a: 10)

Motivated by the growing realisation that the scale and significance of contemporary processes of urbanisation across the world might significantly reshape the geopolitics, doctrine and realities of post Cold War Western military strategy, such research fuels a crucial set of techno-military discourses. Within and through these, attempts are currently being made to reconstitute the structure, orientation and techno-science of western military power to directly reflect the alleged implications of such urbanisation.  

The central consensus amongst the wide variety of western military theorists pushing for such shifts is that “modern urban combat operations will become one of the primary challenges of the 21st century” (DIRC 1997: 11). Major Kelly Houlgate (2004), a US Marine Corps commentator, notes already that “of 26 conflicts fought [by US forces]” between 1984 and 2004, “21 have involved urban areas, and 10 have been exclusively urban”.

The widening adoption of ‘urban warfare’ doctrine follows centuries when Western military planners preached Sun Tzu’s mantra from 1500 BC that the “worst policy is to attack cities”.  It follows a post World War II Cold War period marked by an obsession with mass, superpower-led ‘Air-Land’ engagements centred on the North European plain within and above the spaces betweenbypassed European city-regions. Whilst numerous wars were fought by western forces in developing world cities during the Cold war, as part of wider struggles against independence and terrorist movements and the ‘hot’ proxy wars, such conflicts were very much seen by western military theorists as unusual side-shows to the imagined superpower ‘Air-Land’ and nuclear engagements (Davis 2004a).

Consequently, the doctrine of ‘urban warfare,’ already marginal, received very little attention during the Cold War and became even more marginalised within Western military rhetoric (Hills 2004). On the rare occasions when urban warfare was specifically addressed in Cold War military doctrine, United States’ forces, in the euphemistic language so typical of military forces, tended to “approach the urban area by rubbling or isolating the city” using tactics unchanged since World War II (Grubbs 2003: iii). That is, they either ignored, or sought to systematically annihilate, urban places (as at Hue during the Vietnam war).  In the place of this neglect by western military doctrine of the specific challenges of counter-insurgency warfare within cities, a highly contested, diverse and complex set of institutional and techno-scientific battles are now emerging through which attempts are being made to try and re-imagine and reshape Western military forces so that counterinsurgency operations within large urban areas become theirde facto operations (Hills 2004).

Prevailing conceptions of Western military engagement are thus being widely challenged to address the perceived perils of engaging in ‘military operations on urban terrain’ (or ‘MOUT’).  As the world’s pre-eminent military power, the military forces of the United States provide the most interesting and important example of how discursive constructions of ‘urban terrain’ are being used to justify attempts at the ‘transformation’ of the technologies, tactics and strategies of national military intervention more broadly (see Ek 2000).  US military research on ‘urban operations’ dwarfs that of all other nations combined (Hills 2004). The bloody experience of the Iraq urban insurgency is already looming large in these debates. A major review of the imperative of urban warfare ‘doctrine’ for US forces, prepared by Major Lee Grubbs in 2003, for example, stated baldly that “as the Iraq plan evolves, it is clear that the enemies of the United States military have learned a method to mitigate the Joint [US] Force’s dominance in long range surveillance and engagement. The enemy will seek the city and the advantages of mixing with non-combatants” (2003: 56).


The Aim and Structure of the Current Paper

One particularly important feature of US military discourses on urbanisation looms large in such debates. This is the way in which the sheer three-dimensional complexity and scale of global south cities allegedly undermine the United States’ expensively assembled and hegemonic advantages in surveillance, targeting and killing through ‘precise’ air and space-based weapons systems (Graham 2003; Davis 2004b).  

In such a context, this article seeks to analyse critically the ways in which processes of urbanisation are currently being imagined by US military theorists to significantly undermine the military and techno-scientific dominance of the US military in a rapidly urbanising world.  The article is motivated by the argument that the processes through which US military planners imagine, and discursively construct, global south cities as their predominant ‘battlespace’ for the early 21st century, demands critical social scientific scrutiny. The article falls in to three parts. In the first, discursive problematisation of global south cities produced by US military urban researchers and commentators are reviewed.

Emphasis is placed on how developing world cities are depicted as intrinsically labyrinthine, chaotic, structureless and deceptive environments which substantially frustrate the wider US geopolitical strategy based on the US military’s advantages in air and space-based surveillance, digital processing, and ‘network-centric’ warfare – transformations that, together, are sometimes labelled the ‘Revolution in Military affairs’ or ‘RMA’   (Gregory 2004).  

The second part of the paper goes on to analyse the way in which key actors within the US military-industrial complex are suggesting deeply technophiliac ‘solutions’ to this purported  erosion of US geo-strategic power through global south urbanisation. Here what I call the ‘urban turn’ of the of the RMA – the shift in deeply technophiliac discourses from discussions of planet-straddling weapons systems to technological innovations designed to allow the micro-spaces of developing world ‘megacities’ to be controlled - is analysed in detail.  Centred on the concept of ‘persistent area dominance’ within the so-called ‘Long War’, such strategies entail the saturation of ‘adversary’ cities with large numbers of miniature surveillance and targeting systems. These are being designed to support continuous targeting, and destruction, of detected ‘targets’.

An examination follows of how US and Israeli forces, by 2007, had already begun to implement ideas of robotised or automated urban warfare to counter the complex insurgencies in Iraq and Palestine/Israel, respectively. The final part of the paper draws brief theoretical and research conclusions of the preceding discussions.


Dreams Frustrated? Urbanisation and the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ (RMA)

Urban operations represent a black hole in the current Revolution in Military Affairs pantheon of technological advantage […]. The technologies traditionally ascribed to the current Revolution in Military Affairs phenomenon will have negligible impact on Military Operations in Urban Terrain. (Harris 2003: 38-41)

The military strategies to project, sustain and deepen US geopolitical power in the post Cold war period (see Roberts et al 2003; Kirsch 2003; Barnett 2004) rest on the exploitation of a ‘transformation’ of US military power through what has been termed a ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ (see Ek 2000, Pieterse 2004). Centring on the technologies of ‘stealth,’ ‘precision’ targeting, and satellite geo-positioning, the RMA has widely been hailed amongst US military planners as the means to sustain US dominance in the post Cold War world (Stone 2004).

Central to the RMA is the notion that “military operations are now aimed at defined effects rather than attrition of enemy forces or occupation of ground” (Cohen 2004: 395). Through the interlinkage of the ‘system of systems’ of U.S. military technologies, RMA theorists argue that a truly ‘network-centric warfare’ is now possible through which US forces can continually dominate societies deemed to be their adversaries through their increasingly omnipotent surveillance and ‘situational awareness’, devastating and precisely-targeted aerial firepower, and the suppression and degradation of the communications and fighting ability of 6 any opposing forces (Arquilla and Ronfeldt 2001; Graham 2005). Thus, RMA theorists imagine US military operations to be a giant, integrated, ‘network enterprise’ – a ‘just-in-time’ system of posthuman, cyborganised warriors that utilises many of the principles of logistics chain management and new-technology based tracking that are so dominant within contemporary management models (Gray 2003).  

Importantly, however, such technophiliac discourses depicting an RMA ushering new relatively reduced-risk, ‘clean’ and painless strategy of US military dominance assumed that the vast networks of sensors and weapons that needed to be integrated and connected to project US power would workuninterruptedly. Global scales of flow and connection have thus dominated RMA discourses; technological mastery, omnipotent surveillance, real-time ‘situational awareness’, and speed-of-light digital interactions have been widely portrayed as processes that, intrinsically, would usher in US military ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’, on a planetary scale, irrespective of the geographical terrain that was to be dominated.  

RMA discourses have, in this sense, been notably ageographical. Crucially, from the point of view of the current paper, little account was taken of the geographical specificities of the spaces or geographical terrains inhabited by the purported adversaries of the US in the post Cold War period (or how they are changing through processes of urbanisation and globalisation).  A key axiom of RMA rhetoric has been the idea that the US was now able to prosecute its global strategies for geopolitical dominance through a “radical non-territoriality” (Duffield 2002: 158).

In response to this neglect of global urbanisation within RMA discourses, and spurred on by the catastrophic and ongoing urban insurgency since the US-UK invasion of Iraq in 2003, an increasingly powerful range of counter-discourses have emerged within the US military.  Through these a second group of US military theorists have asserted that the technophiliac dreams of RMA will either fail, or be substantially undermined, by global processes of urbanisation, especially in the global south cities where they imagine US forces being most often engaged.  The pronouncements of those advocating an ‘urban turn’ in the RMA have had two main features.


Signal Failures: Urban Environments as Physical Interrupters to ‘Network-Centric Warfare’

“In simple terms walls tend to get in the way of today’s battlefield communications and sensor technologies” (Hewish and Pengelley 2001)

The first major feature these pronouncements been the strong suggestion that the urban terrain in poor, global south countries is a great leveller between high-tech US forces and their low-tech and usually informally organised and poorly equipped adversaries (Gregory 2004; Graham 2004b).  The complex and congested terrain below, within, and above cities is seen here as a set of physical spaces that limit the effectiveness of high-tech space-targeted bombs, surveillance systems, and automated, ‘network-centric’ and ‘precision’ weapons. The U.S.  defence research agency, DIRC, for example, argue that “the urban environment negates the abilities of present US military communications equipment” resulting in dead spots, noise, signal absorbtion, and propagation problems that severely undermine the principles and technologies of ‘network-centric warfare’.”  (DIRC 1997)  

The architects Misselwitz and Weizman are amongst the very small number of critical urban researchers who have addressed the ways in which urbanisation undermines the technologies produced by the RMA. They conclude that within contemporary cities:

high-tech military equipment is easily incapacitated. Buildings mask targets and create urban canyons, which diminish the capabilities of the air force. It is hard to see into the urban battlespace; it is very difficult to communicate in it, because radio waves are often disturbed. It is hard to use precision weapons because it is difficult to obtain accurate GPS satellite locations. And it becomes more and more difficult (but not impossible) for the military to shoot indiscriminately into the city. For all these reasons, cities continue to reduce the advantages of a technologically superior force. (Misselwitz and Weizman 2003: 8 )

The ‘urbanisation of battlespace’ is therefore seen by US urban warfare commentators to reduce the ability of U.S. forces to fight and kill at a distance (always the preferred way because of their ‘casualty dread’ and technological supremacy). Cities are therefore seen to produce rapidly escalated risks for US forces fighting pre-emptive, expeditionary wars. “From refugee flows to dense urban geography, cities create environments that increase uncertainty exponentially” (DIRC 1997). Military operations in cities are therefore seen as treacherous Trojan horse-style events, which might allow weak and poorly equipped insurgents to gain victory over the world’s remaining military superpower (Glenn et al 2001).  


The ‘Urbanisation of Insurgency’: Global South Cities as Refuges From US Vertical Power

Opposition forces will camouflage themselves in the background noise of the urban environment. Within the urban environment, it is not the weapon itself rather the city which maximises or mutes an arm’s effectiveness. (DIRC 1997: 11)

A second main feature of US urban warfare discourses is that the breaking down of high technology sensors and weapons, because of the physical morphology of cities, will directly and causally lead to an increasing tendency amongst the United States’ political adversaries to take refuge within cities.  “The long term trend in open-area combat”, writes the leading US ‘urban warfare’ commentator, Ralph Peters (1996: 6), “is toward overhead dominance by US forces.” As a result, he predicts that “Battlefield awareness [for US forces] may prove so complete, and ‘precision’ weapons so widely available and effective, that enemy ground-based combat systems will not be able to survive in the deserts, plains, and fields that have seen so many of history’s main battles.”
  
As a result, Peters argues that the United States’ “enemies will be forced into cities and other complex terrain, such as industrial developments and inter-city sprawl” (1997: 4). Grau and Kipp, (1999), concur, suggesting that:

“urban combat is increasingly likely, since high-precision weapons threaten operational and tactical manoeuvre in open terrain. Commanders who lack sufficient high-precision weapons will find cities appealing terrain […], provided they know the city better than their opponent does and can mobilize the city’s resources and population to their purposes.” (Grau and Kipp 1999: 4)

Central to this perception of the incentives underlying what RAND theorists, Taw and Hoffman (2000), have termed the ‘urbanisation of insurgency,’ is the notion that insurgents 8 exploiting the physical geographies of global south cities can force US military personnel to come into very close physical proximity and so expose US politicians to much higher casualty rates than stipulated within RMA doctrine. DIRC argue that:

The weapons [such insurgents] use may be 30 to 40 years old or built from hardware supplies, but at close range many of their inefficiencies are negated.  The most effective weapon only needs to exploit the vulnerabilities that the urban environment creates. Each new city will create a different pool of resources and thereby create different urban threats. (DIRC 1997: 8 )

Here, the obvious limits of attempting to understand the complex geographies of cities through the verticalised surveillance systems emphasised by the RMA are a major bone of contention amongst those promulgating the counter discourses emphasising the urbanisation of insurgency. A common tendency here is to naturalise and essentialise the complex physical and social geographies of global south cities as ‘jungle’-like environments, in which small insurgent groups gain political and financial support from the wider population, that necessitate new techniques to ensure the ‘cleansing’ of the city (Glenn 2001). As is very common in US military and political literature on the threats of future urban insurgencies (see Norton 2003), the DIRC report emphasises that informal andfavela districts in global south cities add great power to the strategies of insurgent and criminal groups utilising the classic techniques of guerrilla and ‘asymmetric’ warfare against potential US or western incursion. It argues that:

the shanty sprawl of the developing city frequently allows insurgents to adapt their rural strategy more effectively to an urban environment. Asymmetric forces have the same benefits and advantages that have traditionally been enjoyed in the jungle of forest base: control over territory, allegiance (whether voluntary or coerced) of much of a country’s population, inaccessibility to security forces.  The urban environment adds reasonably secure bases for operations around the heart of government and its administrative and commercial infrastructure […].  The urban geography of slums favors the tactics of an unconventional force. […] Guerrilla campaigns need not be overall military urban success, but rather need only to make the opposition’s campaigns appear unpalatable to its domestic support. Urban warfare favors the media age. (DIRC 1997: 6)


Dreams Reclaimed?  From Preemptive War to  ‘Persistent Area Dominance’?

“The time has come to change the perception that the high-tech US war machine fights at a disadvantage in urban areas.” (Houlgate 2004)

Urban areas should become our preferred medium for fighting. We should optimize our force structure for it, rather than relegating it to Appendix Q in our fighting doctrine, treating it as the exception rather than the norm […]. It is time to tell Sun Tzu to sit down […]. Instead of fearing it, we must own the city. (Lt. Col. Leonhard, US Army 2003[sic])

With the widespread perception that the intensifying urbanisation of the parts of the global south that the US military envisage being their dominant areas of operation is radically undermining their broader efforts at techno-scientific transformation, a wide range of projects and initiatives are emerging aimed at specifically tailoring the ‘RMA’ to the specific 9 geographies of urban areas in the global south.  With the urban insurgency in Iraq as an on-going fulcrum war, a ‘transformation’ based on the technophiliac celebrations of the death of geography through new technologies is, ironically, being transformed into a major techno-scientific effort to develop and experiment with surveillance, communications and targeting systems that are specifically tailored to the fine-grain physical and human geographies of global south cities.  

It is now widely argued within US military strategic organisations and think-tanks that the RMA needs to be reconfigured to address the challenges of tightly built global south cities; that new bodies of ‘urban’ research need to be built up to understand how to use military violence to deliver precise ‘effects’ in such cities; and that the doctrine, weaponry, training and equipment of US forces need to be comprehensively redesigned so that urban military operations are their de facto function. Major Lee Grubbs (2003: iii-5) of the US Army argues that US forces need to be redefined so that their main purpose is to “create operational shock in the urban environment.” This requires, he argues, a deep understanding of the battlespace “to identify causality between critical point, action, and effect achieved.” In turn, Grubbs suggests that “Operational design and a process for understanding the city becomes critical for the selection of critical points to destroy, control and influence […]. The challenge is the development of an executable operational concept for achieving systematic, across the entire system, effects within the urban environment through the selective use of force” (ibid.)

A large output of conceptual, techno-scientific and Research and Development material has been created by the ‘urban turn’ of the RMA, especially since the Iraq invasion (see Grubbs 2003; Houlgate 2004). The overwhelming rhetoric in such efforts emphasises that new military techno-science, specifically developed to address cities, will turn global south urban environments into areas that US forces can completely dominate, using their technological advantages, with minimum casualties to themselves. New weapons and sensor programmes, specifically designed to enhance the ability of future US forces to control and dominate global south cities through network-centric means, are already emerging from the wider efforts at physical and electronic simulation, wargaming, and the evaluation of the experience of the Iraq insurgency.  These centre first on unveiling global south cities through new sensor technologies, and second on developing automated and robotic weapon systems linked to such sensors.  


Technophiliac Unveilings of Global South Cities: Dreams of ‘Real-Time Situational Awareness’

The first key effort to redirect the RMA to the purported challenges of US forces attempting to dominate and control global south cities involve programmes designed to saturate such cities with myriads of networked surveillance systems. The dream of US military theorists is that this can be done to such an extent that any identified target can be automatically identified at any time and so exposed to high-technology tracking and killing powers of ‘network-centric’ weapons. Such visions imagine pervasive and interlinked arrays of ‘loitering’ and ‘embedded’ sensors as overcoming all the limits and interruptions that megacity environments place in the way of successfully implementing networks centric warfare.  Ackerman  (2002), for example, suggests that such sensor suites will be designed to automatically trace dynamic change rather than constantly soaking up data from unchanging environments: observing ‘change’ rather than observing ‘scenery’, as he puts it. In other words, algorithms will be designed to only function when definable changes occur. They will thus identify purported notions of ‘normality’ against the ‘abnormal’ behaviours and patterns that can then be assessed as targets.

One major example of such a development is the tellingly title ‘Combat Zones That See’  (CTS) project led by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  Launched at the start of the Iraq insurgency in 2003, CTS “explores concepts, develops algorithms, and delivers systems for utilising large numbers (1000s) of algorithmic video cameras to provide the close-in sensing demanded for military operations in urban terrain.” Through installing computerised CCTV across whole occupied cities, the project organisers envisage that, when deployed, CTS will sustain “motion-pattern analysis across whole city scales”, linked to the tracking of massive populations of individualised cars and people through intelligent computer algorithms linked to the recognition of number plates and scanned in human facial photos. “Combat Zones that See”, the launch report, suggests:

will produce video understanding algorithms embedded in surveillance systems for automatically monitoring video feeds to generate, for the first time, the reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting information needed to provide close-in, continuous, always-on support for military operations in urban terrain. (DARPA 2003a: 6)

A direct response to the interruptive effects of city environments on older notions of air and space-based network centric warfare, CTS, will be designed to specifically address the  “inherently three-dimensional nature of urban centres, with large buildings, extensive underground passageways, and concealment from above” (DARPA 2003a: 7).

The central challenge of CTS, according to DARPA, will be to build up fully representative data profiles on the ‘normal’ time-space movement patterns of entire subject cities so that algorithms could then use statistical modelling to  “determine what is normal and what is not” (quoted in Sniffen 2003). This will be a purported aid to identifying insurgents’ activities and real or potential attacks, as well as warning of the presence or movement of target or suspect vehicles or individuals. The report states that the CTS project will:

include [...] analysis of changes in normalcy modes; detection of variances in activity; anomaly detection based on statistical analyses; discovery of links between places, subjects and times of activities; and direct comparison and correlation of track data to other information available to operators. Predictive modelling, plan recognition, and behavior modeling should alert operators to potential force protection risks and hostile situations. Forensic information (where did a vehicle come from, how did it get here?) should be combined and contrasted to more powerful ‘forward-tracking’ capabilities (where could the vehicle go?, where is the vehicle going?) to allow operators to provide real-time capabilities to assess potential force threats. (DARPA 2003a: 13)

After a stream of protests from US civil liberties groups, DARPA stressed that, whilst the initial test of mass, urban tracking will take place at a US Army base within the United States (Fort Belvoir, Virginia), the deployment of CTS will only take place in “Foreign urban battlefields” (Defense Watch 2004).



Saturating occupied or target cities with micro-scale and even nano-scale sensors and cameras is also being investigated by the CTS Programme and an associated programme labelled HURT.


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Saturating occupied or target cities with micro-scale and even nano-scale sensors and cameras is also being investigated by the CTS Programme and an associated programme labelled HURT.


Figure 1: DARPA urban ‘Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition’ (RSTA) platforms as envisaged
by its HURT Programme (Darpa, 2004).(LOS=Line of Sight)


‘Persistent Area Dominance’: Towards Robotic Killing Systems in Urban Warfare

Military leaders are developing a vision of the tactical operations future where adversaries will have to decide if they should send flesh and blood troops to fight nuts, bolts, circuits and sensors. (Lawlor 2003)

The second main area of defence research and development to help assert the dominance of US forces over global south cities focuses on a shift towards robotic air and ground weapons which, when linked to the persistent surveillance and target identification systems just discussed, will be deployed to continually and automatically destroy purported targets in potentially endless streams of automated killing. The dreams of linking sentient, automated and omnipotent surveillance – which bring God-like levels of ‘situational awareness’ to US forces attempting to control intrinsically devious global south megacities – to automated machines of killing, pervades the discourses of the urban turn in the RMA (see, for example, Huber and Mills 2001). A telling example comes from the discussion of a model near-future US ‘urban operation’, described by Defense Watch magazine during its discussions of DARPA’s CTS Programme just discussed (2004).  

In their scenario, swarms of micro-scale and nano-scale networked sensors pervade the target city, providing continuous streams of target information to arrays of automated weaponry.  Together, these systems produce continuous killing and ‘target’ destruction: a kind of robotised counter-insurgency operation with US commanders and soldiers doing little but overseeing the cyborganised, interlinked and increasingly automated killing systems from a safe distance.  Defense Watch (2004) thus speculate about “a battlefield in the near future” that is wired up with the systems resulting from the CTS programme and its followers.  Here 13 unbound technophiliac dreams of omnipotent urban control blur into long-standing fantasies of cyborganised and robotised warfare. “Several large fans are stationed outside the city limits of an urban target that our [sic] guys need to take”, they begin, and go on to explain that:  

Upon appropriate signal, what appears like a dust cloud emanates from each fan.  The cloud is blown into town where it quickly dissipates. After a few minutes of processing by laptop-size processors, a squadron of small, disposable aircraft ascends over the city. The little drones dive into selected areas determined by the initial analysis of data transmitted by the fan-propelled swarm. Where they disperse their nano-payloads.

“After this, the processors get even more busy”, continues the scenario:

Within minutes the mobile tactical center have a detailed visual and audio picture of every street and building in the entire city. Every hostile [person] has been identified and located. From this point on, nobody in the city moves without the full and complete knowledge of the mobile tactical center. As blind spots are discovered, they can quickly be covered by additional dispersal of more nano-devices. Unmanned air and ground vehicles can now be vectored directly to selected targets to take them out, one by one. Those enemy combatants clever enough to evade actually being taken out by the unmanned units can then be captured of killed by human elements who are guided directly to their locations, with full and complete knowledge of their individual fortifications and defenses  […]. When the dust settles on competitive bidding for BAA 03-15 [the code number for the ‘Combat Zones That See’ programme], and after the first prototypes are delivered several years from now, our guys are in for a mind-boggling treat at the expense of the bad guys.  (2004 [sic])

Such omnipotence fantasies extend even further to the automated surveillance, through emerging brain scanning techniques, of people’s inner mental attitudes to any U.S. invasion.  This way ‘targets’ deemed to be resistant can be automatically identified and destroyed:

Robotic systems push deeper into the urban area […]. Behind the fighters, military police and intelligence personnel process the inhabitants, electronically reading their attitudes toward the intervention and cataloguing them into a database immediately recoverable by every fire team in the city (even individual weapons might be able to read personal signatures, firing immediately upon cueing […]. Smart munitions track enemy systems and profiled individuals […] Satellites monitor the city for any air defense fires, curing immediate responses from near-space orbiting ‘guns’. Drones track  inhabitants who have been ‘read’ as potentially hostile and ‘tagged’. (Defense Watch 2004)

Such dreams of continuous, automated, and robotised urban targeting and killing are far from being limited to the realms of such futuristic speculation, however. Rather, as with the CTS programme, they are fuelling very real multimillion dollar research and weapons development programmes aimed at developing ground and aerial vehicles which not only navigate and move robotically but select and destroy targets without ‘humans in the loop’, based on algorithmically-driven ‘decisions’.  

Lawlor (2003), for example, discusses the development of ‘autonomous mechanized combatant’ air and ground vehicles or ‘tactical autonomous combatants’ for the US Air Force.  These are being designed, he notes, to use ‘pattern recognition’ software for what he calls ‘time-critical targeting’, i.e. linking sensors very quickly to automated weapons so that fleeting ‘targets’ both within and outside cities can be continually destroyed. Such doctrine is widely termed ‘compressing the kill chain’ or ‘sensor to shooter warfare’ in US military parlance (Hebert 2003).  Lawlor states that the ‘swarming of unmanned systems’ project team at US forces JOINT Command Experimentation Directorate, based in Suffolk, Virginia, are so advanced in such experimentation that “autonomous, networked and integrated robots may be the norm rather than the exception by 2025”.
 
By that date, Lawlor predicts that “technologies could be developed […] that would allow machines to sense a report of gunfire in an urban environment to within one meter, triangulating the position of the shooter and return fire within a fraction of a second” providing a completely automated weapon system devoid of human involvement. Such plans form part of a $200 billion project to massively robotise US ground forces known as ‘Future Combat System’. Under this program, it is planned that robotic vehicles will replace one third of US armoured vehicles and weapons by 2015.  

Lawlor quotes Gordon Johnson, the ‘Unmanned Effects’ team leader for the US Army’s ‘Project Alpha’, as saying of an automated anti-sniper system that:

if it can get within one meter, it’s killed the person who’s firing. So, essentially, what we’re saying is that anyone who would shoot at our forces would die. Before he can drop that weapon and run, he’s probably already dead. Well now, these cowards in Baghdad would have to play with blood and guts every time they shoot at one of our folks. The costs of poker went up significantly […]. The enemy, are they going to give up blood and guts to kill machines? I’m guessing not. (Hebert 2003: 3)

Lawlor (2003: 2) predicts that such robo-war systems will “help save lives by taking humans out of harm’s way”. Here, tellingly, only US forces are considered to fall within the category ‘human’.

In addition, unmanned aerial vehicles armed with ‘intelligent munitions’ are already being designed that will, eventually, be programmed to fire on, and kill, ‘targets’ detected by US Force’s real-time surveillance grids, in a completely autonomous way. Such munitions will loiter over targets for days at a time, linked into the data links, until ‘targets’ are detected for destruction (Kenyon 2004). A programme called TUDLS – or ‘Total Urban Dominance Layered System – for example, is currently underway to provide what Plenge (2004) describes as: “long hover and loiter propulsion systems, multidiscriminant sensors and seekers, mini- and micro-air vehicles, mini-lethal and non-lethal warheads, autonomous and man-in-the loop control algorithms, and a strong interface with the [urban] battlespace in formation network.”

Crucially, such munitions will be equipped with algorithms designed to separate ‘targets’ from ‘non-targets” automatically. The ultimate goals, according to Pinney, an engineer at Raytheon, is a “kill chain solution” based on “1st look, 1st feed, 1st kill” where each armed unmanned vehicle continuously “seeks out targets on its own” (2003 16). Tirpak (2001), a US air force specialist, envisages that humans will be required to make the decisions to launch weapons at targets only “until UCAVs establish a track record of reliability in finding the 15 right targets and employing weapons properly”.  Then the “machines will be trusted to do even that”.  


Nascent Robotisation in Iraq and Palestine/Israel

By 2007, such military discourses and technophiliac fantasies were quickly moving towards the first stages of implementation on the streets of Iraq’s cities. In June 2006 the first armed and remotely-controlled ground robots in the history of warfare – so-called ‘SWORDS’1 machines armed with M249 machine guns – were deployed in Baghdad (Blech 2007). These allow soldiers to fire the systems guns from up to a kilometre away by remote control.  “Many people are fearful that armed robots will run amok on the battlefield,” admits a press release describing trials of this system from the US Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (2007). In an attempt at reassurance, the piece states that the robots still “employ a ‘man in the loop’ where they are always under director control of a soldier.  The soldier issues commands to the robot and weapons through an operator control unit.  Commands to rocket and grenade launchers are communicated through a newly developed remote firing and control system.”

Col. Terry Griffin, head of joint US Army and Marine Corps robot program, and tasked with deploying the next armed machine known as ‘Gladiator’, argues that the machines first job will be to disband groups of ‘undesirables’. He cites three stages of escalation: “First the robot issues warnings through a loudspeaker. It fires rubber bullets. Finally, the robot starts firing its machine gun” (quoted in Blech 2007).

In Israel/Palestine, meanwhile, the Israeli military are already deploying robotic and remotely controlled machine gun turrets, part of the “See-Shoot” system developed by Rafael, to deploy lethal force along the 37 mile border with the Gaza strip. Such robotic turrets have also been sold to US forces. “Combined with a Rafael-developed acoustic sensor detection and direction-finding device, [they] essentially becomes a robotic anti-sniper weapon for wheeled or tracked vehicles.” (Opall-Rome 2004). According to Defence News’ Tel Aviv correspondent  “each machine gun-mounted station serves as a type of robotic sniper, capable of enforcing a nearly 1,500-meter-deep no-go zone” (Opall-Rome 2007). The guns and their long sensors are “tied in by optic fibre to a command network which will also be able to draw information from existing ground sensors, manned aircraft, and overhead drones.” (Page 2007).  

Whilst the longer term shift towards the true automation of firing is envisaged, Initially, at least, Israeli soldiers are required to approve ‘See-Shoot’s’ decisions to fire. “At least in the initial phases of deployment, we’re going to have to keep the man in the loop,” an unnamed IDF commander remarked recently. “We don’t want to risk making tragic and politically costly mistakes with such a lethal system.” (cited in Opall-Rome 2007).

Israel is also planning to deploy mobile armed robots to support military incursions into Palestinian towns and cities. The hope, according to the manufacturing company, Elbit Ground Systems, is that “such robotic vehicles will become “triggers” which could discriminate between innocent and peaceful activities along the [Gaza-Israel] perimeter, to hostile or suspicious actions, based on the target’s responses” (Defense Update 2007).
______________
1 The Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System

The Israeli military also now operates robotic 60-ton bulldozers to aid in house demolition and landscape clearance in areas that are deemed to hazardous for human-driven bulldozers.

Meanwhile, US investment in the field of armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) dwarfs that in armed ground robots. Initially, attention is centring on introducing more and more armed drones which are piloted, and fired, by remote human pilots – such as the ‘Predator’ and its more heavily armed successor – the ‘Reaper.’ In the case of the Predator, the many attack missions in the Middle East carried out by this drone have actually been ‘piloted’ by CIA personnel in a US Air Force base on the other side of the world on the edge of Las Vegas.  

As with armed ground robots, however, the shift towards autonomous aerial weapons systems is already underway. The US Air Force’s emerging Low Cost Autonomous Attack System (LOCAAS), for example – one output of the Future Combat Systems Program – is a jet powered ‘stand off’ munition which has been designed to “autonomously search for, detect, identify, attack and destroy theatre missile defence, surface to air missile systems, and interdiction/armour targets of military interest” (Sparrow 2007: 63). It will be equipped with a Laser Radar system as well as an Autonomous Target Recognition capability that will allow it to search for and identify targets within a 33 sq. mile area (Sparrow, 2007).

In both the air and ground domains, much effort is already going in to establishing the technologies and ethical protocols that would allow armed robots to use artificial intelligence technologies to autonomously ‘decide’ to launch their weapons at targets. Integrated within the Future Combat Systems Program within the US military (Sparrow, 2007), efforts here are focusing on the shift from piloted armed drones to ones that automatically fire at targets, at armed ground robots that operate independently, and at armed missiles, bombs and munitions that ‘loiter’ over a district or city ‘seeing’ out targets to attack over extended periods of time.

Armed autonomous ground vehicles, labelled ‘Tactical Autonomous Combatants’ (TACs), are being developed for missions deemed too dangerous, lengthy or simply long for humans. The previously cited Gordon Johnson, ‘unmanned effects team leader’ at the Project Alpha, cites the advantages of such a strategy for US forces addressing the challenges of future urban warfare:

At the tactical level, TACs aren’t going to get hungry, they’re not going to get tired, they’re not going to get ‘Dear John’ letters and have their minds concentrating on something other than what they are supposed to be thinking about. They have all the information they require that is available to blue forces at their disposal to help make decisions because they are all networked together. And if they need information that they don’t have in their local database, they’ll send out a request to ‘The Net’ and would get the information they need or collaborate with other machines and get the information they need (cited in Lawlor 2003).

A whole universe of ‘automated target recognition’ software is also evolving here, allowing robots’ computers to continuously compare the electronic signatures of ‘targets’ with those stored on electronic databases. “Before SWORDS fires its first salvo at terrorists in Iraq,” writes Jörg Blech (2007) inDer Spiegel,  “it needs the permission of two human operators.  […] However, it is only logical that decisions over life and death will increasingly be 17 transferred to the machine – just as soon as engineers have figured out how to overcome the problem of distinguishing between friends and foes.”  

This is where software development efforts in the field of automatic target recognition are now concentrating. Geared specifically towards the apparently impossible challenge of automatically picking out individual cars and individuals within the density and confusion of a major city, these techniques, informed closely by experience in Iraq, are now centring on whether spectral imaging, using 70 different wavelengths, can differentiate apparently identical vehicles in cities (McCarter 2005).  

Dr. John Kerekes, head of one such programme, labelled RASER, at MIT, explains that, rather than developing software that automatically identifies the signatures of military vehicles, the focus now is on tracking and identifying civilian cars and trucks in urban contexts. “Nowadays,” he argues, “the problems are in a more urban area or a smaller town, but typically not out in the open somewhere, and the nature of the threat is much more elusive in the sense that the enemy may not be driving military vehicles at all.” In such a context, he wonders: “Can you indeed distinguish between vehicles? These are just ordinary civilian vehicles, not of any particular distinguishing characteristics visually. But through this extra-spectral information and these additional channels, there may be features that we can use to identify them and tell them apart.” (Cited in McCarter 2005).

Once again, it is in the scenarios being proffered by the US military industrial complex that we see the possible future of the nascent architectures of robotised military power in Iraq and Israel/Palestine. Gary Graham (2004), of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, introduced a talk at the 2004 DARPAtech conference as follows:

I’d like you to imagine the battlefield of the future. Unmanned combat aircraft dominate the skies above the theater.  A swarm of unmanned ground vehicles prowls the forests and fields of our enemies.  These vehicles have sensors that can see, hear, and maybe even smell.  High above the theater, peering down from space, are spacecraft that are being refueled on-orbit.  Their on-board electronics and software are also being upgraded and replaced as easily as sliding a PCMCIA card in-and-out of a laptop.  A helicopter glides over the battlefield and drops a box of missiles.  This box is identical to dozens of missile boxes that are already in place on the battlefield, many sitting in the rear compartments of Humvees.  These boxes of missiles are very different, though.  They aren’t attended by human operators, and they already know where they are – each has GPS and a COMM [unications] link.  They sit, poised, waiting for command signals.

A corporal out in the field sees the enemy coming over the hill.  He radios, “I need fire support NOW!”  The box just dropped by the helo knows where the corporal is and it knows where the bad guys are.  It launches its first flight of missiles.  Some are loitering missiles that fly a little slower.  They are launched first.  They go up and post a highwatch over the battlefield.  Next, faster, precision attack missiles are launched and detonate on their targets, and we have lots of smoking holes...but we missed one or two.  One of the missiles loitering overhead surveys the scene, detects a surviving moving target, and says, “You missed one; I can take him.”  On command, he dives in and takes out his target.  The battle is over.  The enemy never even knew the corporal was there!  But now you have a lot of smoking holes where the bad guys used to be. (cited in Morrish 2004)


Conclusions

“The ultimate expression of sovereignty resides […] in the power and capacity to dictate who may live and who must die” (Mbembe 2003: 11)

A large-scale military research and development programme is currently underway in the United States to tailor the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ to the specific micro-geographies of the global south cities that many US military theorists envisage to be their main ‘battlespaces’ on the 21st century. Here the cutting-edge techno-scientific efforts and priorities of the world’s dominant military power are being shifted dramatically from an emphasis on globe-spanning control, networking and vertical targeting – treating planet Earth as some unitary, ageographical ‘battlespace’ – to one aimed at bringing maximum control, surveillance and killing power to the detailed micro-geographies of the burgeoning urban environments of the global south.

Such dreams of omnipotence must, of course, be treated with caution. The US military and its associated complex of R & D outfits have, after all, long held fantasies of superweapons that would deterministically realise their dreams of mastery and omnipotence (Franklin 1988). As now, such technophiliac dreams of mastery have usually evolved closely with the wider discourses of speculative fiction and popular geopolitical domains and entertainment industries (Gannon 2003). The ‘technological fanaticism’ of both has deep roots within US political, popular and military culture (Sherry 1987).  As Jeremy Black (2001: 97) suggests, we therefore need to be careful to interpret the RMA, and its latest ‘urban turn’, not as some quasi-rational response amongst US military and political elites to changing geopolitical conditions, but, rather, as “symptomatic of a set of cultural and political assumptions that tell us more about modern western society than they do about any objective assessment of military options”.

Moreover, we must also remember that the ‘U.S. military’ is far from being some single, unitary actor. All of the discourses, projects and programmes analysed in this paper remain extremely contested. Within the vast institutional complex that together constitutes the ‘US military’, and its associated security and military industries and lobby groups, major political battles are underway – fuelled by the ongoing nightmare in Iraq – over the degree to which technophiliac dreams of omnipotence, through some urbanised ‘RMA’ or ‘network centric warfare,’ are realistic, even in military terms. Many in the US Army, in particular, are deeply sceptical that the horrors and ‘fog of war’ in bloody ‘urban operations’ like the Iraqi insurgency can ever really be technologised, mediated, and saturated with sentient surveillance and targeting systems to anything like the degree that is common in the discursive imaginings driving the programmes discussed above.
 
Whilst what I have called here the urban turn in the RMA is, of course, being driven by often wild and fantastical discourses, its effects are likely to be very material and profound.  Massive techno-scientific efforts to equip the US military so that they can saturate global south cities with real-time surveillance, targeting and killing systems are undoubtedly underway, fuelled by the nascent experimentations on the streets of Iraq’s cities and in and above the West Bank and Gaza. The latest military-industrial-‘security’ research drive is focusing on using new algorithmic surveillance capabilities to try and overcome the ways in which the micro-geographies of global south cities are portrayed as environments that interrupt wider dreams of US military and technological omnipotence.

Above all, as the ‘war 19 on terror’ seeks to project notions of war that are unbound in time and space, so the sovereign power to kill is in the process of being delegated to computer code.  Whether such systems will ever function as imagined even in military terms is, then, beside the point. The very existence of a quasi-imperial project for launching the world’s dominant military power’s high-tech warfare systems into global south cities will – if implemented – seem very likely to lead to widespread civilian casualties.  This seems especially so as new algorithmic systems seem likely to emerge that are the actual agents of continuous, autonomous killing as ‘kill chains’ are ‘compressed’, ‘sensors’ are linked automatically to ‘shooters,’ and the dreams of ‘persistent area dominance’ achieve full expression through the favourable context of the Bush Administration’s large post-9-11 defence spending increases.

To put it mildly, dreams of clinically identifying and surgically killing only ‘fighters’ within cities, through the use of ‘autonomous’ computer algorithms and fantasies of ‘brain scans’, are both dangerously deluded and deeply disturbing. It seems very probable that deploying such systems would result in the death and injury of many civilians. Here we confront the added and deeply troubling development whereby software agency emerges as the ultimate ‘intelligence’ automatically stipulating who should die and who should live whilst at the same time attempts are made to remove US military personnel as far as possible from risk to death and injury.
 
In such a scenario, the philosopher Robert Sparrow (2007: 62) worries that it will become increasingly impossible to attribute war crimes to humans at all. “It is a necessary condition for fighting a just war, under the principle ofjus in bellum [or just war], that someone can be justly held responsible for deaths that occur in the course of the war,” he writes. However, “as this condition cannot be met in relation to deaths caused by an autonomous weapon system it would therefore be unethical to deploy such systems in warfare.”


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25
CSRC Series 2 Working Papers
WP1James Putzel, ‘War, State Collapse and Reconstruction: phase 2 of the Crisis States Programme’ (September 2005)
WP2Simonetta Rossi andAntonio Giustozzi, ‘Disarmament, Dembolisation and Reintegration of ex-comabatants (DDR) in Afghanistan: constraints and limited capabilities’, (June 2006) WP3Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, Gabi Hesselbein and James Putzel, ‘Political and Economic Foundations of State making in Africa: understanding state reconstruction’, (July 2006) WP4 Antonio Giustozzi, ‘Genesis of a Prince: the rise of Ismail Khan in western Afghanistan, 1979-1992’ (September 2006)
WP5Laurie Nathan, ‘No Ownership, No Peace: the Darfur Peace Agreement’,  (September 2006)
WP6Niamatullah Ibrahimi, ‘The Failure of a Clerical Proto-State: Hazarajat, 1979-1984’ (September 2006)
WP7 Antonio Giustozzi, “Tribes” and Warlords in Southern Afghanistan, 1980-2005’ (September 2006) WP8 Joe Hanlon, Sean Fox, ‘Identifying Fraud in Democratic Elections: a case study of the 2004 Presidential election in Mozambique’ WP9Jo Beall, ‘Cities, Terrorism and Urban Wars of the 21st Century’, (February 2007) WP10  Dennis Rodgers, ‘Slum Wars of the 21st Century: the new geography of conflict in Central America’, (February 2007)
WP11  Antonio Giustozzi, ‘The Missing Ingredient:non-ideological insurgency and state collapse in Western Afghanistan 1979-1992’, (February 2007)
WP12  Suzette Heald, ‘Making Law in Rural East Africa: SunguSungu in Kenya’, (March 2007)
WP13  Anna Matveeva, ‘The Regionalist Project in Central Asia: unwilling playmates’, (March 2007)
WP14  Sarah Lister, ‘Understanding State Building and Local Government in Afghanistan’, (June 2007) WP15 Pritha Venkatachalam, ‘Municipal Finance Systems in Conflict Cities: case studies on Ahmedabad and Srinagar, India’, (July 2007)
WP16  Jason Sumich, ‘The Illegitimacy of Democracy? democratisation and alienation in Maputo, Mozambique’, (September 2007)
WP17  Scott Bollens, ‘Comparative Research on Contested Cities: lenses and scaffoldings’, (October 2007) WP18  Debby Potts, ‘The State and the informal in sub-Saharan African economies: revisiting debates on dualism’, (October 2007)
WP19  Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín, Tatiana Acevedo and Juan Manuel Viatela, ‘Violent liberalism? State, conflict,  and political regime in Colombia, 1930-2006: an analytical narrative on state-making’, (November These can be downloaded from the Crisis States website (www.crisisstates.com), where an up-to-date list of all our publications including Discussion Papers, Occasional Papers and Series 1 Working Papers can be found.

The Crisis States Research Centre aims to examine and provide an understanding of processes of war, state collapse and reconstruction in fragile states and to assess the long-term impact of international interventions in these processes. Through rigorous comparative analysis of a carefully selected set of states and of cities, and sustained analysis of global and regional axes of conflict, we aim to understand why some fragile states collapse while others do not, and the ways in which war affects future possibilities of state building. The lessons learned from past experiences of state reconstruction will be distilled to inform current policy thinking and planning.

Crisis States Partners Colombia:  
Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Relaciones Internacionales (IEPRI), Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá)

India:
Developing Countries Research Centre  (DCRC), University of Delhi

South Africa:
Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences,  
University of Cape Town

with collaborators in Uganda and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa

Research Components

Development as State-Making: Collapse, War and Reconstruction

Cities and Fragile States: Conflict, War and Reconstruction

Regional and Global Axes of Conflict

Crisis States Research Centre
Development Studies Institute (DESTIN)
LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE
Tel: +44 (0)20 7849 4631  Fax: +44 (0)20 7955 6844
Email: [email protected]  Web: www.crisisstates.com
www.crisisstates.com
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Obama Administration Announces Massive Piracy Crackdown
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=18815
Jason Mick (Blog) - June 23, 2010 10:37 AM


Recent studies have shown that piracy may actually help the U.S. economy and that virtually every citizen commits some form of IP infringement on a daily basis.  (Source: Learn Languages)

Despite this, the Obama administration is firmly on the side of groups like the RIAA and MPAA and plans to crack down on infringers at home and abroad.  (Source: CITV)

Among its plans is to assist copyright organizations in prosecutory efforts, such as sending out threat/collection notices. The government also looks to legislation imminent infringement (thought crime), criminalization of P2P development, and criminalization of DRM bypassing later this year.  (Source: Flickr)
 
"It's smash and grab, no different than a guy walking down Fifth Avenue and smashing the window at Tiffany's and reaching in and grabbing what's in the window." -- U.S. VP Joe Biden


While they may never be able to truly defeat piracy and drive it from the lurking depths of the internet, copyright protection attack-dog organizations like the RIAA and MPAA have long dreamed of the day when they would no longer have to pay for their own copyright enforcement.  Now that dream is on the verge of coming true, thanks to the Obama administration.

After countless lobbyist dollars from the music and film industry and a brief "public review", the administration rolled out its vision to fight piracy yesterday afternoon.  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden -- whose blunt speech has sometime left him in trouble -- did not mince words.

He states, "This is theft, clear and simple.  It's smash and grab, no different than a guy walking down Fifth Avenue and smashing the window at Tiffany's and reaching in and grabbing what's in the window."

The sound-byte comparing downloads to stealing jewels from New York City's finest jeweler quickly lit up the web.  Bob Pisano, interim chief executive officer at the Motion Picture Association of America praised the VP, "It is especially critical that the United States has an effective framework for protecting creative content online and enforcing intellectual property rights in the digital environment."

According to the Obama administration, the RIAA, and MPAA, the world economy is pretty much doomed if we don't start prosecuting pirates at home and abroad.  Without such a crackdown, businesses will go bankrupt the coalition argues.  Biden states, "Piracy hurts, it hurts our economy."

Interestingly, the statements seem to fly in the face of a recent Government Accountability Office study released to U.S. Congress earlier this year, which concluded that there is virtually no evidence for the claimed million dollar losses by the entertainment industry. That study suggested that piracy could even benefit the economy.

Another noteworthy study from three years back notes that virtually every citizen violates intellectual property laws in some way on a daily basis.

The White House press release was full of buzz phrases, but short on details.  It did however indicate that the U.S. government may increasingly monitor filesharing networks and BitTorrent sites and assist media groups in their prosecution/threat letter efforts.  It speaks of improved "law enforcement efforts at the Federal, state and local level."

The biggest effort, though, will be devoted to cracking down on piracy websites in the U.S. and overseas.  The administration was short on details of how exactly it would convince piracy-loving nations like China to change their ways, but it did say it would try to do so by "being as public as we possibly can" about infringement.

The press release states, "As we shine the spotlight on foreign governments that have rogue actors doing illicit business within their borders, it's the government's responsibility to respond."

Such efforts have shown mild success.  After lots of threats against the Swedish government by the U.S., the European Union nation finally tried admins with the nation's largest torrent site The Pirate Bay last year and found them guilty.  The trial was later exposed to be a perversion of the justice system, with the judge who gave the verdict have multiple ties to copyright protection organizations.  The verdict -- $3M USD in damages and a year of hard prison time for the admins -- is currently being appealed.

The White House's vision is perhaps a prelude to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which will go before Congress later this year.  The bill would make P2P or BitTorrent client development a criminal offense if the distributed software was used for infringement.  It also implements an interesting provision called "imminent infringement", which allows the government to charge people who they think might be about to infringe with a civil offense (for example if you searched "torrent daft punk").  This is among the first official "thought crime" provisions to be proposed by the U.S. government.  The bill also makes it a criminal offense to bypass DRM.

Ultimately, it should be interesting to see how American taxpayers react to President Obama's decision to spend their money on efforts to prosecute them and try to choke out piracy at home and abroad, particularly when the current evidence is inconclusive of its effects.  One thing's for sure, though.  Top politicians on both sides of the aisle are firmly behind the music and movie industry anti-piracy and money-collection efforts.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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-------BEGIN SQUAREPUSHER QUOTE--------------------------

Important highlights from the articles Anti_Illuminati posted...

ROBO-WAR DREAMS: GLOBAL SOUTH URBANISATION AND
THE US MILITARY’S’ REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS’


Sensors

Quote
"In their scenario, swarms of micro-scale and nano-scale networked sensors pervade the target city, providing continuous streams of target information to arrays of automated weaponry. Together, these systems produce continuous killing and 'target' destruction: a kind of robotised counter-insurgency operation with US commanders and soldiers doing little but overseeing the organised, interlinked and increasingly automated killing systems from a safe distance."

My note: See, peer through all the candy-coated euphemisms and so on and realize what they mean when they say the sensor is an 'information producer' - it produces new target acquisition data for killing or 'engagement' purposes (and notice - 'engagement' could also be construed as meaning - you as a member of the crowd being targeted by a 'sense and respond' supply chain-based advertising system - such as the often-quoted Minority Report example)

Target Acquisition

Quote
""Such omnipotence fantasies extend even further to the automated surveillance, through emerging brain scanning techniques, of people’s inner mental attitudes to any U.S. invasion. This way ‘targets’ deemed to be resistant can be automatically identified and destroyed:"

Quote

Robotic systems push deeper into the urban area [...]. Behind the fighters, military police and intelligence personnel process the inhabitants, electronically reading their attitudes toward the intervention and cataloguing them into a database immediately recoverable by every fire team in the city (even individual weapons might be able to read personal signatures, firing immediately upon cueing [...]. Smart munitions track enemy systems and profiled individuals [...] Satellites monitor the city for any air defense fires, curing immediate responses from near-space orbiting 'guns'. Drones track inhabitants who have been 'read' as potentially hostile and btagged'. (Defense Watch 2004)"


And here is the article where they reference that:

Technologies of exception. Urban warfare and US military technoscience
Stephen Graham, 2005

http://www.publicspace.org/en/text-library/eng/b022-technologies-of-exception-urban-warfare-and-us-military-technoscience

Notice how social sciences, adversarial threat inference systems and the like are all converging to create a 'knowledge base' that will tell the automated/autonomous robots/drones what to do and who to kill. Command and control is being dehumanized - just like 'surveillance' and humanity before it.

Take Humans Out Of The Loop
Quote
"Such dreams of continuous, automated, and robotised urban targeting and killing are far from being limited to the realms of such futuristic speculation, however. Rather, as with the CTS programme, they are fuelling very real multimillion dollar research and weapons development programmes aimed at developing ground and aerial vehicles which not only navigate and move robotically but select and destroy targets without 'humans in the loop', based on algorithmically-driven 'decisions'


Read here another article where it states the Army War College's own thoughts on removing humans from the decision-making loops. Essentially, this will be cybernetics perfected as it was always intended to be - a self-organised, totally automated decision-making loop. (Also look up the OODA Loop)

Future Warfare and the Decline of Human Decisionmaking (by THOMAS K. ADAMS, Parameters, Winter 2001-02)
http://www.carlisle.army.mil/USAWC/Parameters/Articles/01winter/adams.htm

The kill/value chain

Quote
"Lawlor (2003), for example, discusses the development of 'autonomous mechanized combatant' air and ground vehicles or 'tactical autonomous combatants' for the US Air Force. These are being designed, he notes, to use 'pattern recognition' software for what he calls 'time-critical targeting', i.e. linking sensors very quickly to automated weapons so that fleeting 'targets' both within and outside cities can be continually destroyed. Such doctrine is widely termed ¿compressing the kill chain or 'sensor to shooter warfare' in US military parlance (Hebert 2003)."

The 'kill chain'.... lends a whole new definition to the 'value chain' talked about in Enterprise Architecture, doesn't it? This is like a very sick perverted version of Report From Iron Mountain - war being the governing structure of society at large, so killing would indeed create 'value' in a sense - and it would also be a check against this dreaded 'overpopulation' thing...

Quote
"In addition, unmanned aerial vehicles armed with ¿intelligent munitions¿ are already being designed that will, eventually, be programmed to fire on, and kill, 'targets' detected by US Force's real-time surveillance grids, in a completely autonomous way. Such munitions will loiter over targets for days at a time, linked into the data links, until 'targets' are detected for destruction (Kenyon 2004)."

Quote

The ultimate goals, according to Pinney, an engineer at Raytheon, is a 'kill chain solution' based on '1st look, 1st feed, 1st kill' where each armed unmanned vehicle continuously 'seeks out targets on its own' (2003 16)."


'Kill chain solution', this is indeed bordering on enterprise architecture terminology. Think 'supply chain management', 'supply chain solutions'...

ED-209

Quote

Col. Terry Griffin, head of joint US Army and Marine Corps robot program, and tasked with deploying the next armed machine known as ‘Gladiator’, argues that the machines first job will be to disband groups of ‘undesirables’. He cites three stages of escalation: “First the robot issues warnings through a loudspeaker. It fires rubber bullets. Finally, the robot starts firing its machine gun”


Enforcement Droid 209: Please put down your weapons. You have twenty seconds to comply."

Quote

 “Before SWORDS fires its first salvo at terrorists in Iraq,” writes Jörg Blech (2007) in Der Spiegel, “it needs the permission of two human operators.[...] However, it is only logical that decisions over life and death will increasingly be transferred to the machine – just as soon as engineers have figured out how to overcome the problem of distinguishing between friends and foes.”


They have already overcome this problem a long time ago - Blue Force Tracking was tested back in 1997 as part of the Force XXI trails. In addition, they have manufactured the 'asymmetric threat' that can be applied onto anybody that the military has deemed a 'foe' for whatever reason.

Inspection/Tracking of cars/traffic on highways

Quote

"Dr. John Kerekes, head of one such programme, labelled RASER, at MIT, explains that, rather than developing software that automatically identifies the signatures of military vehicles, the focus now is on tracking and identifying civilian cars and trucks in urban contexts"

See - and this battlelab is now being moved to the domestic Western countries - beginning with Holland in 2012 when the Pentagon will be overseeing approximately 18 million Dutch people riding on the highways with mandatory GPS trackerboxes that will tax them by the mile/kilometer/whatever.

That will be the first real stress test for 'sense and respond' applied onto society at large.

Quote

"A large-scale military research and development programme is currently underway in the
United States to tailor the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ to the specific micro-geographies
of the global south cities that many US military theorists envisage to be their main
‘battlespaces’ on the 21st century"

Planet Earth a 'unitary, ageographical battlespace'

Quote

Here the cutting-edge techno-scientific efforts and priorities of the world’s dominant military power are being shifted dramatically from an emphasis on globe-spanning control, networking and vertical targeting – treating planet Earth as some unitary, ageographical ‘battlespace’ – to one aimed at bringing maximum control, surveillance and killing power to the detailed micro-geographies of the burgeoning urban environments of the global south."

Dehumanization of responsibility

Quote

In such a scenario, the philosopher Robert Sparrow (2007: 62) worries that it will become increasingly impossible to attribute war crimes to humans at all. “It is a necessary condition for fighting a just war, under the principle of jus in bellum [or just war], that someone can be justly held responsible for deaths that occur in the course of the war,” he writes. However, “as this condition cannot be met in relation to deaths caused by an autonomous weapon system it would therefore be unethical to deploy such systems in warfare.

A similar 'dehumanization' of responsibility is already occurring in the surveillance/dataveillance sector, also linked to by Anti_Illuminati in another thread (and actually brought to his attention by me in the first place):

Public Intimacy and the New Face (Book) of Surveillance: The Role of Social Media in Shaping Contemporary Dataveillance

http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=171979.10

A highlight from that specific article:

Quote

Third, data mining rationalizes surveillance by removing humans from the interpretation process. The dehumanization of the analyses is important: Because it removes the so-called human bias from the interpretation process. As such, when combined with the fact that contemporary data mining relies on quantification of information (a seemingly dispassionate and objective method of interpreting the social world), this dehumanization projects an aura of objectivity, consequently making it even more difficult to challenge its premise (and the findings it provides).

See what they did there?

This - combined with IT Governance - is the dehumanization of all checks and balances, period.

System Of Systems - Network-Centric Warfare

Quote
Central to the RMA is the notion that “military operations are now aimed at defined effects rather than attrition of enemy forces or occupation of ground” (Cohen 2004: 395). Through the interlinkage of the ‘system of systems’ of U.S. military technologies, RMA theorists argue that a truly ‘network-centric warfare’ is now possible through which US forces can continually dominate societies deemed to be their adversaries through their increasingly omnipotent surveillance and ‘situational awareness’, devastating and precisely-targeted aerial firepower, and the suppression and degradation of the communications and fighting ability of any opposing forces"

Civilian RMA as applied to Western urban environments - outsourced to Iraq battle lab first

Quote
"It is now widely argued within US military strategic organisations and think-tanks that the RMA needs to be reconfigured to address the challenges of tightly built global south cities; that new bodies of ‘urban’ research need to be built up to understand how to use military violence to deliver precise ‘effects’ in such cities; and that the doctrine, weaponry, training and equipment of US forces need to be comprehensively redesigned so that urban military operations are their de facto function"

This is why the War in Iraq did not end with the 2003 Iraq invasion and subsequent 'Mission Accomplished' declaration about 6 months into the war. That was done because the legislation of the War Powers Act enabled Bush legal authority to declare war in that fashion, get away with it, and then escalate/egg on the 'insurgency' so the Pentagon could get round to applying the second stress test for the RMA: counter-insurgency and this whole marriage of cognitive science and COINTEL ops.

The RMA Enables President To Start Wars Without Congress' Approval - RMA Exposed
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=172727.0

Quote
"A large output of conceptual, techno-scientific and Research and Development material has been created by the ‘urban turn’ of the RMA, especially since the Iraq invasion (see Grubbs 2003; Houlgate 2004)"

Also tying into that - Alexander H. Levis bringing his CAESAR/TEMPER/Pythia adversarial intent inference body of work to the Iraq battlelab.

Alexander Levis: Pentagon Asks Academics for Help in Understanding Its Enemies
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=158847.msg944258#msg944258

One way to tell if you're in an 'occupied city'
Quote

 "One major example of such a development is the tellingly title ‘Combat Zones That See’ (CTS) project led by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Launched at the start of the Iraq insurgency in 2003, CTS “explores concepts, develops algorithms, and delivers systems for utilising large numbers (1000s) of algorithmic video cameras to provide the close-in sensing demanded for military operations in urban terrain.”

Through installing computerised CCTV across whole occupied cities, the project organisers envisage that, when deployed, CTS will sustain “motion-pattern analysis across whole city scales”, linked to the tracking of massive populations of individualised cars and people through intelligent computer algorithms linked to the recognition of number plates and scanned in human facial photos"

See people - this is why they want your fingerprints - this is why they want your iris scan - this is why they want to give you a biometric RFID card that you will have to carry at all times - because you are living in an 'occupied city' - that's what those CCTV cameras were about - as if you needed this document to help you figure that out, huh?

What happened when civil libertarians (read: controlled opposition ACLU) got bitchy about it?

Quote

 "The central challenge of CTS, according to DARPA, will be to build up fully representative data profiles on the ‘normal’ time-space movement patterns of entire subject cities so that algorithms could then use statistical modelling to “determine what is normal and what is not” (quoted in Sniffen 2003). This will be a purported aid to identifying insurgents’ activities and real or potential attacks, as well as warning of the presence or movement of target or suspect vehicles or individuals"


Quote
After a stream of protests from US civil liberties groups, DARPA stressed that, whilst the initial test of mass, urban tracking will take place at a US Army base within the United States (Fort Belvoir, Virginia), the deployment of CTS will only take place in “Foreign urban battlefields” (Defense Watch 2004).

Ahahahaa - they transported all that tech to Iraq to serve as a BATTLELAB for this kind of cognitive science STRAITJACKET to be implemented at home.

------------------------------END SQUAREPUSHER QUOTE----------------------------
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline MonkeyPuppet

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Obama Administration Announces Massive Piracy Crackdown
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=18815
Jason Mick (Blog) - June 23, 2010 10:37 AM


Recent studies have shown that piracy may actually help the U.S. economy and that virtually every citizen commits some form of IP infringement on a daily basis.  (Source: Learn Languages)

Despite this, the Obama administration is firmly on the side of groups like the RIAA and MPAA and plans to crack down on infringers at home and abroad.  (Source: CITV)

Among its plans is to assist copyright organizations in prosecutory efforts, such as sending out threat/collection notices. The government also looks to legislation imminent infringement (thought crime), criminalization of P2P development, and criminalization of DRM bypassing later this year.  (Source: Flickr)
 
"It's smash and grab, no different than a guy walking down Fifth Avenue and smashing the window at Tiffany's and reaching in and grabbing what's in the window." -- U.S. VP Joe Biden


While they may never be able to truly defeat piracy and drive it from the lurking depths of the internet, copyright protection attack-dog organizations like the RIAA and MPAA have long dreamed of the day when they would no longer have to pay for their own copyright enforcement.  Now that dream is on the verge of coming true, thanks to the Obama administration.

After countless lobbyist dollars from the music and film industry and a brief "public review", the administration rolled out its vision to fight piracy yesterday afternoon.  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden -- whose blunt speech has sometime left him in trouble -- did not mince words.

He states, "This is theft, clear and simple.  It's smash and grab, no different than a guy walking down Fifth Avenue and smashing the window at Tiffany's and reaching in and grabbing what's in the window."

The sound-byte comparing downloads to stealing jewels from New York City's finest jeweler quickly lit up the web.  Bob Pisano, interim chief executive officer at the Motion Picture Association of America praised the VP, "It is especially critical that the United States has an effective framework for protecting creative content online and enforcing intellectual property rights in the digital environment."

According to the Obama administration, the RIAA, and MPAA, the world economy is pretty much doomed if we don't start prosecuting pirates at home and abroad.  Without such a crackdown, businesses will go bankrupt the coalition argues.  Biden states, "Piracy hurts, it hurts our economy."

Interestingly, the statements seem to fly in the face of a recent Government Accountability Office study released to U.S. Congress earlier this year, which concluded that there is virtually no evidence for the claimed million dollar losses by the entertainment industry. That study suggested that piracy could even benefit the economy.

Another noteworthy study from three years back notes that virtually every citizen violates intellectual property laws in some way on a daily basis.

The White House press release was full of buzz phrases, but short on details.  It did however indicate that the U.S. government may increasingly monitor filesharing networks and BitTorrent sites and assist media groups in their prosecution/threat letter efforts.  It speaks of improved "law enforcement efforts at the Federal, state and local level."

The biggest effort, though, will be devoted to cracking down on piracy websites in the U.S. and overseas.  The administration was short on details of how exactly it would convince piracy-loving nations like China to change their ways, but it did say it would try to do so by "being as public as we possibly can" about infringement.

The press release states, "As we shine the spotlight on foreign governments that have rogue actors doing illicit business within their borders, it's the government's responsibility to respond."

Such efforts have shown mild success.  After lots of threats against the Swedish government by the U.S., the European Union nation finally tried admins with the nation's largest torrent site The Pirate Bay last year and found them guilty.  The trial was later exposed to be a perversion of the justice system, with the judge who gave the verdict have multiple ties to copyright protection organizations.  The verdict -- $3M USD in damages and a year of hard prison time for the admins -- is currently being appealed.

The White House's vision is perhaps a prelude to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which will go before Congress later this year.  The bill would make P2P or BitTorrent client development a criminal offense if the distributed software was used for infringement.  It also implements an interesting provision called "imminent infringement", which allows the government to charge people who they think might be about to infringe with a civil offense (for example if you searched "torrent daft punk").  This is among the first official "thought crime" provisions to be proposed by the U.S. government.  The bill also makes it a criminal offense to bypass DRM.

Ultimately, it should be interesting to see how American taxpayers react to President Obama's decision to spend their money on efforts to prosecute them and try to choke out piracy at home and abroad, particularly when the current evidence is inconclusive of its effects.  One thing's for sure, though.  Top politicians on both sides of the aisle are firmly behind the music and movie industry anti-piracy and money-collection efforts.

These retards need to be more specific with their over-generalized rhetoric.  A charge of infringement upon intellectual copyright ("piracy", as they call it) should inherently require that the offense was committed with the intent to engage in commerce with, or as a result of using, the intellectual property in question.

Income Tax: Shattering The Myths
w w w . original intent . o r g

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