Canadian Awareness Network
Oct 29, 2014
A Darpa contractor showing off the Oculus Rift cyberwar simulation at the Pentagon’s Darpa Demo Day. Photo: Andy Greenberg/WIRED
BY ANDY GREENBERG 05.23.14
For the last two years, Darpa has been working to make waging cyberwar as easy as playing a video game. Now, like so many other games, it’s about to get a lot more in-your-face.
At the Pentagon Wednesday, the armed forces’ far-out research branch known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency showed off its latest demos for Plan X, a long-gestating software platform designed to unify digital attack and defense tools into a single, easy-to-use interface for American military hackers. And for the last few months, that program has had a new toy: The agency is experimenting with using the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset to give cyberwarriors a new way to visualize three-dimensional network simulations–in some cases with the goal of better targeting them for attack.
“You’re not in a two-dimensional view, so you can look around the data. You look to your left, look to your right, and see different subnets of information,” Darpa’s Plan X program manager Frank Pound told WIRED in an interview. “With the Oculus you have that immersive environment. It’s like you’re swimming in the internet.”
In its demo setup, complete with two motion-sensing Razer Hydra controllers for navigation, the user does more than swim. As captured in the video below showing an Oculus user’s view, Darpa’s proof-of-concept begins with a collection of “missions” to choose from, each of which is represented by a spherical network of computers. Select one, and you’re presented with a planned series of actions to carry out–like scanning a certain network or probing target endpoints for vulnerabilities–and a collection of tools to use, represented by different abstract icons. Then you’re thrown into the network to carry out the mission, while the enemy launches attacks like distributed-denial-of-service bombardments back at the user.
If all of that seems more than a little contrived, Pound admits that the Oculus demo is only a “notional” proof-of-concept, created by the San Francisco design firm Frog Design and the Austin-based simulation software company Intific. But Darpa is serious about integrating the virtual-reality headset into its plans; It’s already shown the Oculus to Congress and to the Pentagon’s Joint Chief of Staffs in private demonstrations, and will be experimenting further with the second developer version of the device set to be released later this summer.
Jul 29, 2014
Advocates say that Net Neutrality means guaranteeing free speech on the Internet. Without it, big telecoms could control what you see and how you see it. But what is the truth about Net Neutrality?
Canadian Awareness Network
Oct 30, 2014
Real-time data on location, and when weapons are being unholstered and fired.
by David Kravets – Oct 24 2014, 12:30pm EDT
A Silicon Valley startup said Friday that police agencies were field testing its new product: a wireless sensor that transforms officers’ weapons into smart guns with real-time telemetry.
Yardarm Technologies’ sensor is a small device that goes inside gun handles and provides dispatchers with real-time geo-location tracking information on the weapon. The Yardarm Sensor also sends alerts when a weapon is unholstered or fired, and it can “record the direction of aim, providing real-time tactical value for commanders and providing crime scene investigators valuable data for prosecution,” the company said.
The 10-employee company based in Capitola, California, said it was deploying the technology on a trial basis. The first takers have been the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department in California and the Carrollton Police Department in Texas.
“By connecting the firearm to the cloud, we give departments a technology that enhances officer safety, improves operational efficiency, and builds community trust,” Jim Schaff, a Yardarm vice president, said.
The announcement comes as the public is seeking more accountability of officers following the August 9 shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The shooting has prompted widespread protests and left some demanding a technological solution.
In response, the Ferguson Police Department began equipping its officers with body cameras so that officers may record their daily patrols. Police departments elsewhere have also started using body cameras, and others are exploring the idea. A White House petition with 154,000-plus signatures is demanding that all police in the US “wear a camera.”
While it won’t capture the details of all of an officer’s interactions with the public, the Yardarm device may provide critical information. Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak was highly optimistic that the sensors would bolster accountability. “A law enforcement leader’s ultimate responsibility is to keep their staff and the public safe at all times,” Wowak said. “Yardarm’s technology is a groundbreaking way to do just that, and every sheriff and police chief worldwide should be looking at this product for the future of their department.”
Yardarm is also marketing the technology to private security firms and the military. It hopes to capitalize not just on its hardware but on subscription fees from dispatcher software makers.
The sensors put into gun handles are connected via Bluetooth to a law enforcement official’s smartphone, which sends the data to Yardarm’s servers. The data is then routed to police departments in encrypted form, the company said.
The 18-month-old startup has raised about $1.5 million so far and has radically altered its business model. Initially, the company focused on the consumer firearms market, but it ran into controversy. It was hawking technology that would allow private gun owners the ability to remotely lock a weapon. If a weapon was moved—or stolen—an alarm would alert the owner’s mobile phone. The owner would have the option to remotely disable the weapon from being fired.
But gun rights advocates, like the National Rifle Association, say smart guns could limit Second Amendment rights. “NRA recognizes that the ‘smart guns’ issue clearly has the potential to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology,” the group said. Marketing to the police and military would avoid this potential controversy.
Listing image by Yardarm Technologies
Read More Here
Press For Truth
Nov 11, 2014
Jeff interviews Dan Dicks independent journalist for Press for Truth, topics include: Canada’s growing nationalism and militarism, the North American Union, terrorist threat used to grow state controls, false flag attacks, the importance of unbiased journalism, internet media, old media dying, joining the fight against the new world order, Luke Rudkowski, Anarchapulco media workshop…
From facial recognition to personal data collection, this thing is downright scary — and so are the implications
I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too.
The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.” It records “the apps you use, the websites you visit, and how you interact with content.” It ignores “do-not-track” requests as a considered matter of policy.
It also has a built-in camera — with facial recognition. The purpose is to provide “gesture control” for the TV and enable you to log in to a personalized account using your face. On the upside, the images are saved on the TV instead of uploaded to a corporate server. On the downside, the Internet connection makes the whole TV vulnerable to hackers who have demonstrated the ability to take complete control of the machine.
More troubling is the microphone. The TV boasts a “voice recognition” feature that allows viewers to control the screen with voice commands. But the service comes with a rather ominous warning: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” Got that? Don’t say personal or sensitive stuff in front of the TV.
You may not be watching, but the telescreen is listening.
I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customized content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access.
Unfortunately, current law affords little privacy protection to so-called “third party records,” including email, telephone records, and data stored in “the cloud.” Much of the data captured and transmitted by my new TV would likely fall into this category. Although one federal court of appeals has found this rule unconstitutional with respect to email, the principle remains a bedrock of modern electronic surveillance.
According to retired Gen. David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, Internet-enabled “smart” devices can be exploited to reveal a wealth of personal data. “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvester,” he reportedly told a venture capital firm in 2012. “We’ll spy on you through your dishwasher,” read one headline. Indeed, as the “Internet of Things” matures, household appliances and physical objects will become more networked. Your ceiling lights, thermostat and washing machine — even your socks — may be wired to interact online. The FBI will not have to bug your living room; you will do it yourself.