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Prediction: Scary New Technology Will Make Cops Superheroes And Citizens Victims

Prediction: Scary New Technology Will Make Cops Superheroes And Citizens Victims

Have you ever wished that you had access to amazing technology like some kind of comic book superhero? You know, pretending that you are Batman or Iron Man? Many little kids (me, included, I admit it) daydreamed about that kind of thing while playing pretend with friends.

But what if that incredibly advanced technology was real and that there were people who could do amazing things with technology, what would that mean to our lives? What if they could even do things like, say, see through walls?

Well, unfortunately for us, that childhood fantasy is a reality, and that has scary repercussions for our privacy. Joe Pinkstone writes,

Soldiers could soon have ‘superhero-style X-ray vision’ thanks to an AI camera that can see enemies hiding behind walls.

Created by a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the system uses artificial intelligence to analyse radio signals that bounce off a person’s body.

These signals, which can travel through walls, are used to construct a stick figure of a person lurking behind a screen.

The system allows anyone to ‘watch’ people walk, jump and sit – even when they are obscured from view.

In the future, a soldier wearing augmented reality goggles and a transmitter device could ‘see’ projections of concealed enemies. [hat tip to here for the lead.]

Let me tell you how this is going to roll out. This will be sold two ways: 1. as a way to help disabled people without them having to open the door, and 2. as a way for law enforcement to know when someone is waiting to ambush them in a SWAT raid.

I understand the appeal of both of those. After all, with the first one, we all want to feel like our lives are private, so we don’t want to know that people are spying on us “for our own good.” And with the second one, no one wants to die, so, of course, law enforcement will want to be able to avoid ambushes. I get that.

Here’s the problem: historically, if something can be abused by government, it will be. We don’t need to look at things like MK Ultra to come up with ideas of U.S. government oppression. We can look at the IRS’s targeting of conservative and Tea Party-affiliated non-profits just because of their political leanings. And, to be clear, both major parties have histories of abusing technology for power grabs, so neither party gets a pass in this criticism.

What this basically means is that illegal search will become commonplace if law enforcement and other government officials get their hands on this technology. And that’s another right that we would be able to kiss goodbye.



View Comments (23)
  • That ship has already sailed and I hate it as much or more than anyone else. We no longer have any such thing as privacy rights. The government listens in to every one of our phone calls, reads every e-mail and tracks every dollar we spend. Any data they’re missing can be filled in by Facebook and Google. For years the government has also had infrared cameras which can tell if people are in a house by the heat their bodies give off-they can also tell where in the house you are. The only privacy anyone still possesses is that piece that allows a woman to kill her own baby and that may be the only piece Democrats are willing to protect.

  • Amen to that. Look what Obama and the crooked DOJ did with Trump. Big government has been spying on citizens for decades. Improving technology just gives them better ways to do it. It doesn’t change the fact that they have been doing it for decades. Protecting our military and our policemen is something I am for, but like any good intention it can also be abused and used in ways which will continue to invade our privacy more so than today.

  • So as it stands , because people are willing to blab all about their lives on platforms like Facebook, privacy will continue to be infringed upon by private sector companies as well as the government. Actually both work together. Facebook is nothing but an extension of the Democratic Party. All technology companies are compatible with the socialist party. Does anyone really think Zuckerburg is really a conservative or gives a rats ass about invading ones privacy especially if they are conservative? None of us right now are Having private conversations. So I guess it’s a little late for anyone who uses social media to expect their privacy hasn’t been invaded. We are on a public platform not a private one. Privacy doesn’t exist in today’s world. It’s the reality we live in.

  • It’s use domestically by government without a warrant would violate the 4th amendment.

  • This technology has actually been around for decades. Remember that old movie with the helicopter that had the camera that could see through the wall. It basically warned of the abuse that could and most likely would happen in the fictional plot of the movie when the two officers stole it when they learned its intended unconstitutional use against US civilians.

    Thing is that type of camera actually existed in fact I saw an add for an earlier version of the camera in a tech magazine marketing it to electronic maintenance people as a way to “SEE THROUGH” the case of a machine in order to see what component was overheating without having to open the machine clear back in the late 80s early 90s.

    So basically all they have done is improve its abilities and make it cheaper to manufacture since then.

    The fact is with the current state of SOCIAL MEDIA and people willingly putting SPY DEVICES that LISTEN to every word spoken in a room (voice command devices hooked to the internet) privacy is all but gone in this nation. Through in the GOVERNMENTS demands that health providers interrogate patients about things NOT RELATED to health care such as if they own guns etc. and about the only thing left that is private is unspoken thoughts in ones own head.

    Of course that is until they figure out how to translate stored memories into viewable information as they already have machines that can see every cell in a persons brain.

  • Court cases show that the government is not concerned with this fact.

    Sometimes one must wonder about the “anonymous” complaints they use as an excuse when they were about something no one could possibly see from a road (they had to spy from the air or trespass on the property). Yet they were allowed to use them as an excuse to sidestep such warrants.

    In fact back a few decades ago in one town TARGETING people with legally owned, legally parked on their own property vehicles they actually argued that they needed to “VOID THAT RIGHT in the name of SAFETY”.

    They could not get the information they needed from the vehicle’s for the paperwork they felt made it legal for them to just TAKE the property without compensation or trial.

    Until lawsuits, threats of grand theft auto charges and STATE intervention out of demands of TAG REFUNDS for the stolen cars the city thought it could label any vehicle that had not APPEARED to move at least once in the time the law they extended to cover private property stated a vehicle left on the road was considered an ABANDONED vehicle that they could just take from private property as well.

    Of course they only made an exemption for TAGGED vehicles rather than REVERT it to its constitutional state of only covering PUBLIC ROADS where abandoning vehicles actually was an issue in the 70s when the original law was past as people were just leaving their cars where they ran out of gas in protest in certain places blocking traffic.

    Basically a law that had the legal intent of keeping the roads clear and safe was then abused by a city that wanted to steal any vehicle they could during the time the GOVERNMENT was allowing corporations to “buy pollution credits” by destroying any vehicle even non functional ones.

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