Researchers use WiFi radar to covertly monitor the movement of people through walls

Researchers use WiFi radar to covertly monitor the movement of people through wallsby Madison Ruppert

In today’s world, the seeming safety and privacy provided by four walls and a roof is quickly diminishing with microchips enabling mobile devices to see through walls, microchips allowing mobile devices to provide ultra-precise location information, the hijacking of cell phone cameras and even stealthily recording sound and other environmental information, supposedly for advertising purposes.

Of course, those examples represent just one of the many ways in which our privacy is being invaded and diminished with a vengeance in the United States today.

Now new method is being explored by researchers which could allow people to use so-called “bistatic WiFi radar” at a distance in order to covertly detect and monitor people moving behind walls.

The researchers published the findings in a paper called “Through-the-Wall Sensing of Personnel Using Passive Bistatic WiFi Radar at Standoff Distances” in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, volume 50, Issue 4.

The emphasis appears to be the ability to detect people “uncooperatively and covertly,” something which is also becoming increasingly important in facial recognition technology and other biometric technologies.

The researchers, who are affiliated with the Department of Security and Crime Science at the University College London in the United Kingdom, have demonstrated the first successful through-the-wall (TTW) detection of moving people using passive WiFi radar.

The experiments carried out by the researchers included various situations involving target personnel moving around inside a building within the coverage area of a WiFi access point.

The targeted individuals inside the building were then monitored from outside using a 2.4-GHz passive multistatic receiver. The data was then processed offline in order to yield information about the targets.

Currently, the biggest limitation on the system is the signal-to-interference ratio, or SIR. However, the researchers have already demonstrated a way to suppress this interference considerably.

This method is based on the CLEAN algorithm, normally used in radio astronomy and is, according to the researchers, capable of improving the SIR by around 19 dB, which is quite considerable.

The findings of the researchers have left them quite optimistic about the potential applications of this privacy-destroying technology.

Indeed, they went as far as to state, “These encouraging initial findings demonstrate the potential for using passive WiFi radar as a low-cost TTW detection sensor with widespread applicability.”

In other words, passive WiFi radar could be leveraged in order to monitor the movements of people through walls in a widespread and cost-efficient manner.

Making surveillance increasingly cost effective seems to be a high priority for the intelligence community and the industry which is supported by it.

This can be seen in moves towards low-cost solutions (which allow for increasing ubiquity of surveillance) including the $50 spy computer known as the F-BOMB, the rise of remote biometrics and behavior detection in CCTV systems, along with advances in “behavioral recognition” software systems for surveillance.

All of these advances are an effort to expand the United States government’s massive illegal surveillance program, which was recently exposed in court by former National Security Agency (NSA) employees, through lowering the amount of human and monetary resources needed to carry out widespread surveillance.

If this type of technology can prove to be useful in that effort, I believe it is safe to say that it will indeed be used for that purpose, despite the fact that even the government now admits that they breached the 4th Amendment on at least one occasion.

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