Pentagon Board: Spy on Everyone

Via Noah at Defense Tech: This summer, an influential group of Pentagon advisers, the Defense Science Board, submitted a report to Rumsfeld recommending massive spying on the level of "The Manhattan Project" to win the war on terror:

The Pentagon urgently needs a massive effort to develop tools to track individuals, items and activities in ways that exist today only in science fiction...Technologies that can identify people by unique physical characteristics — fingerprint, voice, odor, gait or even pattern of iris — must be merged with new means of “tagging” so that U.S. forces can find enemies who escape into a crowd or slip into a labyrinthine slum.

A Defense Science Board study this summer, “Transition to and From Hostilities,” calls for a new array of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

“The global war on terrorism cannot be won without a ‘Manhattan Project’-like TTL [tagging, tracking, and locating] program,” said briefing charts summarizing some of the study’s findings. The Manhattan Project was a top-secret U.S. military-led effort involving many civilian scientists during World War II to develop the atomic bomb.

Noah responds,

Long-time Defense Tech readers will find this whole thing terribly familiar. Last year, Pentagon mad science arm Darpa introduced a plan to use security cameras to monitor an entire city at once. The program will receive $4 million in the fiscal year '05 budget. And Mayor Daley is trying to do something similar in Chicago.

Like the Darpa effort, the DSB plans to track all these irises, and all this Internet activity, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where insurgents have a nasty habit of melting away into the background. But, of course, if these technologies were ever successfully developed, the temptation to use it to track enemies of the states here at home would be mighty strong, too.

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