by Susanne Posel
Igor Curcio heads a team of researchers at the Nokia Research Center has developed complicated algorithms that can take clips of thousands of films, and create a movie that is seamless and perfectly matched with an audio track.
Right now Google and YouTube assist corporations in mining for information on internet users by tracking what videos they watch. From there, a profile is derived from preferences.
The move toward utilizing computers to collect and decipher information is being seen across the intelligence community. On the US-Mexican border, developments are moving toward using computers to track border-crossers, film them with video cameras, and use software programs to analyze the data.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is a US governmental research agency that:
• Shares information with other US Intelligence Communities (IC)
• Fills in the gap between other agencies
• Provides innovations in line with business models
• Provides intelligence concepts that surprise enemies
Lisa Porter, former head of NASA, directs projects at IARPA on everything from cyberspace to biometrics.
IARPA is divided into 3 offices:
- The Office of Smart Collection was created to “dramatically improve the value of collected data from all sources.”
- The Office of Incisive Analysis will “maximize insight from the information we collect, in a timely fashion.”
- The Office of Safe & Secure Operations exists to “counter new capabilities implemented by our adversaries that would threaten our ability to operate freely and effectively in a networked world.”
This agency is modeled after Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Located at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Study of Language , “IARPA opens a new chapter in the nation’s capacity to address its security challenges, both those that are known today and those that are sure to come. The University’s education and research programs will serve IARPA extremely well,” says C. Dan Mote, Jr., president of the University of Maryland (UM).
Members of the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence like Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Dutch Rupperberger were integral in placing IARPA at UM.
Congressman Steny Hoyer explained: “IARPA represents a revolutionary effort to enhance our intelligence capabilities through new technologies. The decision to headquarter IARPA at the University of Maryland speaks volumes about the quality of this world-class institution and its placement at the forefront of groundbreaking technological research.”
IARPA was designed to align government, academia and the private sector to develop technologies to “improve national and economic security”. The agency will conduct military research outside military labs; like the development of the Internet and the Global Positioning System (GPS). With the use of sponsorship of research at universities, national laboratories and “other organizations”, IARPA is touted as the place to invent “really cool spy gear”.
IARPA is currently involved in a project to utilize data from YouTube and Vimeo to better get to know the citizens of America. Under the Finder program , they are researching where videos on the internet are viewed from by simply analyzing images from the video. In conjunction, IARPA’s Aladdin project is researching “specific events of interest” that could locate a person by inputting into a computer that person’s name and a brief description.
Under the guise of spotting would-be bombers, a lost purse or missing child, IARPA’s projects are working with various US government agencies to track suspicious person before they commit their crimes.
The US government is mining information from the videos we post online to create detailed profiles as an encompassing intelligence resource that will not only destroy all privacy of internet users, but eventually restrict the information we are allowed to see under the guise of national security.