is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems, various forms of active and passive coercion. Ideas and works about dystopian societies often explore the concept of humans abusing technology and humans individually and collectively coping, or not being able to properly cope with technology that has progressed far more rapidly than humanity’s spiritual evolution. Dystopian societies are often imagined as police states, with unlimited power over the citizens.
Epic.org recently posted an article, Revealing the Government’s “Minority Report” Scanning Program which they obtained the document below via a Freedom of Information Act request. The “Future Attribute Screening Technology” (FAST) Program gathers “physiological measurements” from subjects, including heart rate, breathing patterns, and thermal activity, to determine “malintent.” It’s a secretive “pre-crime” detection program.
But as CNET is reporting via a statement it received from Peter Boogaard, the deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security:
The department’s Science and Technology Directorate has conducted preliminary research in operational settings to determine the feasibility of using non-invasive physiological and behavioral sensor technology and observational techniques to detect signs of stress, which are often associated with intent to do harm. The FAST program is only in the preliminary stages of research and there are no plans for acquiring or deploying this type of technology at this time.
A field test of FAST has been conducted in at least one undisclosed location in the northeast. “It is not an airport, but it is a large venue that is a suitable substitute for an operational setting,” DHS spokesman John Verrico told Nature.com in May.
What really would be interesting to know is if this is being tested on the Occupying Wall Street peaceful protestors?
When Steven Spielberg, the director was promoting the film Minority Report along side with Tom Cruise, I believe in 2001 on the Oprah Winfrey Show (yes I watched it & can vaguely recall it), Mr. Spielberg said something in the effect that we were becoming a police state and this was a reason why he made this film. Could he be right?
Just as in the movie Minority Report, anyone can rig the final outcome but wait until it hits close to home. What happens then? Perhaps it’s already being tested on their own judging by the quote of DHS’s former secretary “We try to weed out those who pose a security risk,” Chertoff said in a briefing with reporters. “I don’t know … that background checks with people hired will predict future behavior.”
[ipaper docId=68070566 access_key=key-131tqg77i2b6izg429wy height=600 width=600 /]
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