The Technological Theft of Our Privacy

Big Brother is no longer a paranoid's nightmare -- he's alive and living deep inside the Pentagon.

Specifically, Big Brother is operating under the pseudonym of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It has unleashed a bunch of Dr. Strangeloves to throw our tax dollars at any number of technological schemes to spy on us and destroy our Constitutional right to privacy.

DARPA is the agency that has given us the Total Information Awareness program to ransack any and all databases and compile secret dossiers on each of our lives. It is also the creator of PAL, the congnitive computer system with sensors that let its wearers secretly record our words and movements. And now it is bringing CTS into our private worlds.

CTS -- "Combat Zones that See" -- is an urban surveillance system that uses thousands of cameras linked to a central computer to track, record, and analyze the movements of every vehicle in a city. Its software can identify your cars by size, color, shape, license plate... and even by your face. It lets authorities -- either governmental or corporate -- keep an unblinking eye over everyone's movements in entire cities. CTS says its goal is to "track everything that moves," storing and catagorizing this phenomenal amount of data so that it is instantly retrievable. Act suspicious... and CTS flashes an alert to authorities, complete with your profile.

Oh, don't worry, says DARPA, for CTS is only for foreign surveillance. But that's news to the corporate contractors developing CTS . "The whole theme here is homeland secrurity," says one bluntly. Once the technology is developed , there'll soon be versions for sale to everyone from shopping centers to private detectives.

To fight CTS, call the Federation of American Scientists: 202-546-3300.

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