Sunday, September 7
Siemens: New Night of Soul Killing
We simply can't keep pace with Corporate America's Post-9/11 onslaught on life, liberty, democracy and human dignity.--editor
You've heard of the FBI's "Quantico Circuit" and were outraged by illegal warrantless wiretapping by Bushist minions. To no avail, you flooded Congress with emails and phone calls, angered by the bipartisan "FISA Amendments Act of 2008" and the swell party thrown by AT&T for "Blue Dog" Democrats in Denver this week for the convention.
But just in time for a new administration (and the bundles of cash always at the ready for the expanding homeland security market), comes a complete "surveillance in a box" system called the Intelligence Platform!
According to New Scientist, German electronics giant Siemens has developed software allegedly capable of integrating
...tasks typically done by separate surveillance teams or machines, pooling data from sources such as telephone calls, email and internet activity, bank transactions and insurance records. It then sorts through this mountain of information using software that Siemens dubs "intelligence modules". (Laura Margottini, "Surveillance Made Easy," New Scientist, 23 August 2008)New Scientist reports that the firm has sold the system to some 60 countries in Europe and Asia. Which countries? Well, Siemens won't say.
However, privacy and human rights advocates say the system bears a remarkable resemblance to China's "Golden Shield," a massive surveillance network that integrates huge information databases, internet and email monitoring, speech and facial recognition platforms in combination with CCTV monitoring.
Designed specifically for "fusion centers" or their European/Asian equivalents, the Intelligence Platform promises to provide "real-time" high-tech tools to foil terrorist plots before they're hatched (or keep tabs on antiwar/antiglobalization activists).
The latest item in the emerging "intelligent" software niche market, Intelligence Platform has been "trained" on a large number of sample documents to zero in on names, phone numbers or places from generic text. "This means it can spot names or numbers that crop up alongside anyone already of interest to the authorities, and then catalogue any documents that contain such associates," New Scientist avers....read more
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