To understand the extent to which the federal government has the ability to spy on us, we must attempt to understand the technologies it has at its disposal. Through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Department has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on one particular project alone. Known as ARGUS, it is a surveillance platform with the capability to maintain continuous 24/7 surveillance, day or night; able to track multiple moving targets miles apart in high definition without refocusing the camera; and with a resolution so astounding that it can detect objects as small as a cellular phone from several miles in the sky. It quite literally provides ubiquitous surveillance over a whole city from one drone.
“This is the next generation of surveillance,” said Yiannis Antonaides, an engineer for BAE Systems who led the design of the project. “It is important for the public to know that some of these capabilities exist.” Continue reading »
Conor Russomanno and Joel Murphy have a dream: They want to create an open-source brain scanner that you can print out at home, strap onto your head, and hook straight into your brainwaves.
This past week, they printed their first headset prototype on a 3-D printer, and WIRED has the first photos.
Bootstrapped with a little funding help from DARPA — the research arm of the Department of Defense — the device is known as OpenBCI. It includes sensors and a mini-computer that plugs into sensors on a black skull-grabbing piece of plastic called the “Spider Claw 3000,” which you print out on a 3-D printer. Put it all together, and it operates as a low-cost electroencephalography (EEG) brainwave scanner that connects to your PC.
DARPA, the Pentagon’s research agency, has recently revealed its plans to boost the Navy’s response to threats in international waters by developing submerged unmanned platforms that can be deployed at a moment’s notice.
Hydra, named after the serpent-like creature with many heads in Greek mythology, would create an undersea network of unmanned payloads and platforms to increase the capability and speed the response to threats like piracy, the rising number of ungoverned states, and sophisticated defenses at a time when the Pentagon is forced to make budget cuts. According to DARPA, the Hydra system ”represents a cost effective way to add undersea capacity that can be tailored to support each mission” that would still allow the Navy to conduct special operations and contingency missions. In other words, the decreasing number of naval vessels can only be in one place at a time.
Every day seems to bring new revelations in the area of neuroscience. Based on the recent whistleblower release of a secret DARPA mind control program at Arizona State University, and the subsequent takedown of those documents, it appears that ethical concerns in this field are indeed justified.
Obama’s BRAIN project appears to being paying dividends, as other recently leaked documents reveal a “nudge squad” program being developed to employ new, sophisticated narrative propaganda aimed at “shaping Americans’ behavior.”
Just in the past few weeks, we have also learned that scientists have been working on “neural dust” to create a remote-controlled computer pathway to the brain; and that scientists have been successful implanting false memories in mice.
Yes, the age of direct mind control is here.
Experiments in controlling gadgets and even drones have also been successful. So what’s the next logical step?
It’s not quite Terminator, but it’s not that far off either: Check out Atlas, a new, 6-foot, 2-inch-tall humanoid robot designed for a contest being held by US Defense Department. The 290-pounds machine is being called “one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built,” in no small part due to its 28 different hydraulic joints and freakishly good balance. Unveiled publicly for the first time earlier this week, it’s the latest robot from Boston Dynamics, the company behind such internet robotic sensations as Petman (a robotic man) and AlphaDog (a robotic dog), both designed for the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). But unlike those previous robots, which were restricted to military and company usage, the keys to Atlas will be turned over to a few lucky civilians, so that they can program and pilot it using their own software.
Noted hacker and innovator Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, a project manager for cyber security research at DARPA for the past three years- will be setting up shop in the Googleplex, according to a post on his Twitter feed.
Zatko, who earned fame as a founding member of the early 1990s Boston-area hacker confab The L0pht and later as a division scientist at government contractor BBN Technologies, announced his departure from DARPA following a three-year stint as a Program Manager in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office on Friday. “Given what we all pulled off within the USG, let’s see if it can be done even better from outside. Goodbye DARPA, hello Google!” he Tweeted.Continue reading »
Government mind control may not be as farfetched as it sounds: after 15 years of research, scientists have found a way to transmit information from one brain to another, thereby controlling the thoughts of its test subject.
Scientists have successfully captured the thoughts of a rat in Brazil and electronically transmitted them through the Internet to the brain of a rat in the US. The Brazilian rat had been energetically running around in a lab. When the American rat received the brain waves of its South American counterpart, it immediately began to mimic the behavior – despite the thousands of miles between them, Reuters reports.
Scientists refer to the technique as a “brain link”. The $26 million study of brain-machine interfaces was funded by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which ultimately hopes to have this technology available to humans.
DARPA is getting serious about one of the issues that cyber-security professionals inside and outside government regularly bemoan: the relative inability of weak passwords to protect…anything.
To overcome the fact that passwords can be stolen or hacked — and don’t necessarily protect a computer once the authorized user is logged on — the Pentagon’s research arm has kicked off a $14 million effort to develop sensors that can constantly monitor users’ online behavior to determine whether they are who they say they are.
Apparently many of the civilian deaths by drones in Afghanistan are not attributed to the U.S. military being there on false pretenses, but rather to limitations in surveillance technology. The video below opens with this assertion in its coverage of DARPA’s latest mega-surveillance package known as ARGUS - Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System.
The new sensor system can instantly see an area roughly the “size of a small city” with an “all-seeing” eye according to retired Lieutenant, David A. Deptula. The next generation of surveillance tech sees the landscape through a 1.8 billion pixels camera, the highest resolution yet created.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investigating ways to store technology, including drones, on the ocean floor until needed by the U.S. Navy.An ongoing challenge for the Navy is anticipating where resources will be needed and distributing them accordingly, knowing it can take days or weeks for its ships to reach a location across the globe. DARPA’s new program, called Upward Falling Payloads, would help address that challenge by storing a range of technologies in waterproof containers deep in the ocean. When needed, the containers could be awakened remotely and brought to the surface.
The new DARPA-developed technology is aimed at buying soldiers enough time to get medical care.
Following the debut of an amazing new shapeshifting material that could improve drug delivery, military-tech wing DARPA has unveiled this equally impressive polymer foam. Just inject two liquids where a soldier is bleeding, and the chemicals react, creating a foam that presses against an internal wound and stanches the flow of blood. That buys at least a precious hour to find medical care.
About 85 percent of preventable battlefield deaths are from internal wounds that need surgery or other in-hospital treatment. There’s often just not enough time to transport a soldier from a firefight to a place where they can get the right medical attention. But during testing on pigs, DARPA says the foam increased the chances of survival after three hours from 8 percent to 72 percent, and surgeons removing the foam could do it in less than one minute.
Arsenal Medical, the company that received funding from DARPA to research the foam, says it’s working on a version for civilian use while DARPA is looking for FDA approval. Hopefully we’ll see it soon–and not need it.
Today EFF posted several thousand pages of new drone license records and a new map that tracks the location of drone flights across the United States.
These records, received as a result of EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), come from state and local law enforcement agencies, universities and—for the first time—three branches of the U.S. military: the Air Force, Marine Corps, and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Continue reading »
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one of the most important organizations we have in America today. While most of the country lays fast asleep to the dangers of the encroaching surveillance state, the EFF is always vigilantly at work on the front lines. In their latest article, they show that military drones are already flying all over these United States and, using information received from a FOIA lawsuit they provide important details on what is flying and where. You may be shocked at some of their conclusions. From the EFF:
These records, received as a result of EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), come from state and local law enforcement agencies, universities and—for the first time—three branches of the U.S. military: the Air Force, Marine Corps, and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).Continue reading »
Surveillance drones in US airspace is soon to be inevitable, but what about unmanned vehicles patrolling the seas? The Pentagon is working hard at perfecting a stealth underwater drone for maritime monitoring.
Science Applications International Corporation of McLean, Virginia was recently awarded a contract from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, valued at over $58 million. With that funding, researchers have already begun working on an underwater vessel that will take the surveillance abilities that make aerial drones such a hot commodity and use it to send an unmanned submarine to sweep the sea for potential hazards.
According to DARPA, enemy submarines are being built right now with competing technology, allowing America’s foes to perhaps find a way to sneak unmanned vessels of their own around US bases across the globe. That’s why the Pentagon has contracted a team to work on an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, or ACTUV, which they say will be able to address a serious emerging threat.
“The growing number of adversaries able to build and operate quiet diesel electric submarines is a national security threat that affects US and friendly naval operations around the world,” writes DARPA.
Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, said the robot was “an incredible technical achievement, but it’s unfortunate that it’s going to be used to kill people”.
“But of course if it’s used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it’s not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers.”
The Cheetah Robot developed by Boston Dynamics breaks the speed record – Video courtesy of Darpa and Boston Dynamics
By Wayne Madsen
Posted: July 23, 2012
WASHINGTON — James Holmes, the 24-year old suspect in the mass shooting of Batman “The Dark Knight Rises” movie goers in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 people dead and 58 injured, has had a number of links to U.S. government-funded research centers. Holmes’s past association with government research projects has prompted police and federal law enforcement officials to order laboratories and schools with which Holmes has had a past association not to talk to the press about Holmes.
In 2006, at the age of 18, Holmes served as a research intern at the Salk Institute at the University of California at San Diego in La Jolla. It is noteworthy that for the previous two years before Holmes worked at the Salk Institute, the research center was partnered with the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Columbia University, University of California at San Francisco, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wake Forest University, and the Mars Company (the manufacturers of Milky Way and Snickers bars) to prevent fatigue in combat troops through the enhanced use of epicatechina, a blood flow-increasing and blood vessel-dilating anti-oxidant flavanol found in cocoa and, particularly, in dark chocolate.
The research was part of a larger DARPA program known as the “Peak Soldier Performance Program,” which involved creating brain-machine interfaces for battlefield use, including human-robotic bionics for legs, arms, and eyes. DARPA works closely with the Defense Science Office on projects that include the medical research community. Fitzsimons was at the forefront of DARPA research on the use of brain-connected “neuroprosthetic” limbs forsoldiers amputated or paralyzed in combat.
According to his LinkedIn profile, James Holmes’s father, Dr. Robert Holmes, who received a PhD in Statistics in 1981 from the University of California at Berkeley, worked for San Diego-based HNC Software, Inc. from 2000 to 2002. HNC, known as a “neural network” company, and DARPA, beginning in 1998, have worked on developing “cortronic neural networks,” which would allow machines to interpret aural and visual stimuli to think like humans. The cortronic concept was developed by HNC Software’s chief scientist and co-founder, Robert Hecht-Nielsen. HNC merged with the Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), a computer analysis and decision-making company. Robert Holmes continues to work at FICO.
The U.S. military wants to plant nanosensors in soldiers to monitor health on future battlefields and immediately respond to needs, but a privacy expert warns the step is just one more down the road to computer chips for all.
“It’s never going to happen that the government at gunpoint says, ‘You’re going to have a tracking chip,’” said Katherine Albrecht, who with Liz McIntyre authored “Spychips,” a book that warns of the threat to privacy posed by Radio Frequency Identification.
“It’s always in incremental steps. If you can put a microchip in someone that doesn’t track them … everybody looks and says, ‘Come on,’” she said. “It’ll be interesting seeing where we go.”
According to a report at Mobiledia, the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has confirmed plans to create nanosensors to monitor the health of soldiers on battlefields.
The devices also would report data to doctors. But privacy analysts have expressed concern that the implants could be used not just to monitor health but to keep track of and possibly control people.
DARPA describes the technology on which it is working as “a truly disruptive innovation,” which would diagnose, monitor vital states and “even deliver medicine into the bloodstream.” Continue reading »
It turns out that tearing through the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound is bad for the skin, even if you’re a super high-tech aircraft developed by the government’s best engineers at its far-out research agency.
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, has made public its best guess about what might have caused its unmanned arrowhead-shaped Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) to suddenly lose contact and crash in the Pacific just a few minutes after slicing through the sky at Mach 20 last August: it was going so fast its skin peeled off.
After an eight-month investigation, DARPA concluded that even though the HTV-2 was expected to lose some of its skin mid-flight, “larger than anticipated portions of the vehicle’s skin peeled from the aerostructure,” the agency said in a statement Friday.
Olfactory training of bees has been used to locate mines and weapons of mass destruction. The Hybrid Insect Micro Electromechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) program is aimed at developing technology to provide control over insect locomotion, just as reins are needed for effective control over horse locomotion.
HI-MEMS-derived technologies will enable many robotic capabilities at low cost, impacting the development of future autonomous defense systems. The realization of cyborgs will provide compact platforms that use highly efficient biological systems developed over millions of years of evolution. HI-MEMS platforms will extend the duration and improve the capability of microbotic missions due to the combined efficiency of biochemical energy storage (fat) and bio-actuators (muscle) compared to traditional chemical energy storage (battery) and actuators (motors). The basic technology developed in this program will also serve as a biological tool to understand and control insect development, opening vistas in our understanding of tissue development and providing new technological pathways to harness the natural sensors and power generation of insects.
Darpa director Regina Dugan will soon be stepping down from her position atop the Pentagon’s premiere research shop to take a job with Google. Dugan, whose controversial tenure at the agency lasted just under three years, was “offered and accepted at senior executive position” with the internet giant, according to Darpa spokesman Eric Mazzacone. She felt she couldn’t say no to such an “innovative company,” he adds.
The U.S. military has beenafter self-guided bullets for years. Now, government researchers have finally made it happen: a bullet that can navigate itself a full mile before successfully nailing its target.
The breakthrough comes courtesy of engineers at the government’s Sandia National Laboratories. They’ve successfully tested a prototype of the bullet at distances up to 2,000 meters — more than a mile. The photo above is an actual image taken during one of those tests. A light-emitting diode was attached to the bullet, showing the amazing pathway that the munition made through the night sky.
Even more embarrassing than a student discovering your GPS tracking device on his car, as the FBI found out last year, is having to ask him to give the expensive piece of equipment back.
So security researcher Brendan O’Connor is trying a different approach to spy hardware: building a sensor-equipped surveillance-capable computer that’s so cheap it can be sacrificed after one use, with off-the-shelf parts that anyone can buy and assemble for less than fifty dollars.
At the Shmoocon security conference Friday in Washington D.C., O’Connor plans to present the F-BOMB, or Falling or Ballistically-launched Object that Makes Backdoors. Built from just the hardware in a commercially-available PogoPlug mini-computer, a few tiny antennae, eight gigabytes of flash memory and some 3D-printed plastic casing, the F-BOMB serves as 3.5 by 4 by 1 inch spy computer. And O’Connor has designed the cheap gadgets to dropped from a drone, plugged inconspicuously into a wall socket, thrown over a barrier, or otherwise put into irretrievable positions to quietly collect data and send it back to the owner over any available Wifi network. With PogoPlugs currently on sale at Amazon for $25, O’Connor built his prototypes with gear that added up to just $46 each.
“If some target is surrounded by bad men with guns, you don’t want to have to retrieve this, but you also don’t want to have to pay four or five hundred dollars for every use,” says O’Connor. “The idea is that it’s as close to free as possible. So you can throw a bunch of these sensors at a target and get away with losing a couple nodes in the process.”
Homemade as it may look, the F-BOMB is more than a hacker hobby. O’Connor says his one-man security consultancy Malice Afterthought received a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract earlier this month to develop the devices as part of the Cyber Fast Track program, which awards small sums to inventors.
Despite its name, O’Connor says the F-BOMB is designed to be a platform for all sorts of applications on its Linux operating system. Outfit it with temperature or humidity sensors, for instance, and it can be used for meteorological research or other innocent data-collecting. But install some Wifi-cracking software or add a $15 GPS module, and it can snoop on data networks or track a target’s location, O’Connor adds. As is often the case with these kinds of hacker projects, he says the devices are only intended for penetration testing–finding security flaws in clients’ networks in order to fix them–and wouldn’t comment on what DARPA might do with the technology.
It’s not just for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars anymore. The Department of Homeland Security is interested in a camera package that can peek in on almost four square miles of (constitutionally protected) American territory for long, long stretches of time.
Homeland Security doesn’t have a particular system in mind. Right now, it’s just soliciting “industry feedback” on what a formal call for such a “Wide Area Surveillance System” might look like. But it’s the latest indication of how powerful military surveillance technology, developed to find foreign insurgents and terrorists, is migrating to the home front.
Last year, federal officials warned that Americans were on the verge of “a post-antibiotic era.” And that’s exactly what the Pentagon’s far-out research agency is after.
As long as they’ve got a replacement at the ready, of course. In the military’s latest round of small business solicitations, Darpa is making a long-shot request for an all-out replacement to antibiotics, the decades-old standard for killing or injuring bacteria to demolish a disease. In its place: the emerging field of nanomedicine would be used to fight bacterial threats. The agency’s “Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics” is after a versatile “platform capable of rapidly synthesizing therapeutic nanoparticles” to target unknown, evolving and even genetically engineered bioweapons.
All around the planet hundreds of millions of people are waiting for events to unfold in the year 2012, that they… believe will bring either the birth of a harmonious new reality… or ‘the end of the world.
But what if those events were actually to take place THIS YEAR, in 2011?
In Awakening As One’s new film “The Quickening” we will explain why so many people have been experiencing the sensation that “Time is Speeding Up”; particularly since the Earthquake in Japan.
And we will also show how research indicates that this accelerated experience of reality could peak sometime around October 28th, 2011; culminating in a global experience of Unity Consciousness, which would then lead to the experience of a harmonious new way of being.
“The Quickening” will also take a look at the unfolding of current events and how they directly relate to Hopi and Mayan Prophecies, indicating that we are on the Cusp of Great Changes, which signify the shifting of the Age… and the Birth of a New World.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency released a statement on today’s flight of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2.
According to the statement, DARPA, as the agency is known, said that everything was going to plan up until the glide phase, which occurred about nine minutes into flight.
As we reported earlier: The Falcon launched at 7:45 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara, into the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere aboard an eight-story Minotaur IV rocket, made by Orbital Sciences Corp.
After reaching an undisclosed sub-orbital altitude, the aircraft jettisoned from its protective cover atop the rocket, then nose-dived back toward Earth, leveled out and began to glide above the Pacific at 20 times the speed of sound, or Mach 20.