It is possible to tell who a person is thinking about by analyzing images of his or her brain. Our mental models of people produce unique patterns of brain activation, which can be detected using advanced imaging techniques according to a study by Cornell University neuroscientist Nathan Spreng and his colleagues.
“When we looked at our data, we were shocked that we could successfully decode who our participants were thinking about based on their brain activity,” said Spreng, assistant professor of human development in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology.
Understanding and predicting the behavior of others is a key to successfully navigating the social world, yet little is known about how the brain actually models the Read more…
Matt Lease, a computer scientist at the University of Texas, is working on ways to literally record all human conversations no matter where they take place. But his research is being funded by the Department of Defense, raising the question of how such a technology might be used in the hands of the government.
Lease’s plan is to utilize crowdsourcing, voice recognition software and everyday devices like smartphones to gather human speech, whether in a business meeting or on the street, and store it somewhere so people could access what they said anytime.
He told Wired’s Danger Room that he saw the work as both a “need and opportunity to really make conversational speech more accessible, more part of our permanent record instead of being so ephemeral, and really trying to imagine what this world would look like if we really could capture all these conversations and make use of them effectively going forward.”
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) liked Lease’s idea so much it gave him a $300,000 grant to support his efforts.
If successful, this new system could raise “some thorny legal and social questions about privacy,” wrote Robert Beckhusen at Wired.
One example cited by Lease involves “respecting the privacy rights of multiple people involved,” and how to gain permission of everyone talking before capturing and storing a conversation. In the hands of spy agencies, this is not expected to be an issue.
We’ve covered BCIs extensively here on ExtremeTech, but historically they’ve been bulky and tethered to a computer. A tether limits the mobility of the patient, and also the real-world testing that can be performed by the researchers. Brown’s wireless BCI allows the subject to move freely, dramatically increasing the quantity and quality of data that can be gathered — instead of watching what happens when a monkey moves its arm, scientists can now analyze its brain activity during complex activity, such as foraging or social interaction. Obviously, once the wireless implant is approved for human Read more…
Drones – the controversy! Not just Republicans but also Democrats are worried that the president and the CIA can decide who to target with drones and who not to without any oversight from the Department of Justice or from Congress. Drones are unmanned aircraft. They can be small and used for fun, larger and used for undercover work, or larger still and used for targeting those the government considers overseas enemies of our country such as al- Qaida .
However, I contend that there’s a further concern than simply a Democratic or Republican Read more…
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is using an anti-terrorism device that indiscriminately sweeps up cellphone communications of innocent bystanders during burglary, drug and murder investigations.
LA Weekly wrote back in September that the police agency purchased Stingray technology in 2006 using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds, and is deploying the portable equipment for routine police operations. DHS grant documents said the device was intended for “regional terrorism investigations.”
Stingray pretends that it is a cell tower and fools wireless phones into establishing a connection. Once connected, it can establish cell location and download information of people who are not suspects in an investigation, raising all sorts of privacy issues.
Information obtained by the First Amendment Coalition under the California Public Records Act indicates that LAPD used Stingray 21 times in a four-month period last year. While carriers like AT&T and Sprint typically require a court order before granting law enforcement access to cellphone data, it is not clear that LAPD is asking the courts for a warrant.
Privacy advocates argue that accessing phones with Stingray constitutes a “search and seizure” under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, and requires a warrant. The FBI has argued it doesn’t need a warrant because cellphone users have no reasonable expectation of privacy. The U.S.Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the issue.
The records viewed by LA Weekly seemed to indicate that judges were not fully apprised of Stingray’s scope; that it was sweeping a range of cellphones rather than a specific suspect’s phone.
LAPD refuses to comment on Stingray, which is reportedly also being used by local law enforcement in Fort Worth, Texas, Gilbert, Arizona, and Miami.
This Is Not A Mosquito It’s An Insect Spy Drone For Urban Areas Already In Production Funded By The Gov (VIDEO)
It’s an insect spy drone for urban areas, already in production, funded by the Government. It can be remotely controlled and is equipped with a camera and a microphone. It can land on you, and it may have the potential to take a DNA sample or leave RFID tracking nanotechnology on your skin.
It can fly through an open window, or it can attach to your clothing until you take it in your home.
And for all you who automatically say “fake” because you don’t think the government is funding this… do some research.
January 18, 2013 -
In an effort to crack down on theft at McDonald’s locations in Australia, the fast-food restaurant chain has hired a British firm SelectaDNA to install a security system that sprays a “non-toxic solution with DNA code” on robbers.
A number of McDonald’s locations in Sydney had been targeted for break and enter by criminals over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. McDonald’s Australian subsidiary hopes the newly installed systems will stop the intrusions.
The SelectaDNA Intruder Spray solution was introduced in 2008 and contains an ultra-violet tracer and a unique DNA code, which “irrefutably” links the sray to the crime scene, according to an online ABC News report. SelectaDNA has currently installed its Intruder Spray Read more…
As a result, every year the police get more tools, gadgets, weapons, and surveillance technologies that, whatever their stated purpose, serve to give cops greater capabilities to curtail the rights of anyone unlucky enough to be standing in their path.
We were going to list these in order from least to most creepy, but that proved far too challenging. So here are some cop tools you may not be familiar with, in no particular order.
Intel has developed a new prototype technology which claimed to do away with password for online banking, social networks and email, and instead provide access to them by just waving of hands.
The prototype technology, known as Client Based Authentication Technology, will replace passwords as well as enhance the process for accessing bank accounts, stock portfolios and other cloud-based personal data, Intel said.
Intel researchers have employed the technology in a tablet with new software and a biometric sensor that can recognise the patterns of veins on a person’s palm to access these services.
Claimed to enhance security, the new technology will Read more…
by Mark Lockie
It may seem like an improbable scenario – and probably is – but new research has revealed growing social unease over electronic tracking technology that monitors workers’ activity, and which may evolve into implants placed directly under human skin.
Professors Nada and Andrew Kakabadse have examined developments in tracking technology already linked to company vehicles and mobile communication devices, alongside employee attitudes towards the prospect of ‘social tagging’ through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips.
Nada Kakabadse commented: “In 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration approved an RFID implant called VeriChip, about the size of a grain of rice, for medical purposes. Nightclubs in Rotterdam and Barcelona already offer implants to customers for entry and payment purposes. Some claim the ‘Obamacare Health Act’ makes under-the-skin (subdermal) RFID implants mandatory for all US citizens.”
Perhaps irrationally (at least in Planet Biometrics’ point of view) study participants thought the Read more…