Monday, February 9, 2009

The New Thought Police:

The New Thought Police:
The NSA Wants to Know How You Think—
Maybe Even What You Think


The National Security Agency (NSA) is developing a tool that George Orwell's Thought Police might have found useful: an artificial intelligence system designed to gain insight into what people are thinking.

With the entire Internet and thousands of databases for a brain, the device will be able to respond almost instantaneously to complex questions posed by intelligence analysts. As more and more data is collected—through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records—it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think.

The system is so potentially intrusive that at least one researcher has quit, citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability.


The Spy Factory

The National Security Agency's eavesdropping on phone calls, e-mails, and other communications skyrocketed after 9/11. But that was only the beginning of its high-tech invasiveness, as Bamford reports. Above, NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Getting Aquaint

Known as Aquaint, which stands for "Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence," the project was run for many years by John Prange, an NSA scientist at the Advanced Research and Development Activity. Headquartered in Room 12A69 in the NSA's Research and Engineering Building at 1 National Business Park, ARDA was set up by the agency to serve as a sort of intelligence community DARPA, the place where former Reagan national security advisor John Poindexter's infamous Total Information Awareness project was born. [Editor's note: TIA was a short-lived project founded in 2002 to apply information technology to counter terrorist and other threats to national security.] Later named the Disruptive Technology Office, ARDA has now morphed into the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

Bamford calls the widespread (and warrantless) monitoring of average citizens' communications overseen by the NSA "the surveillance-industrial complex."

A sort of national laboratory for eavesdropping and other spycraft, IARPA will move into its new 120,000-square-foot home in 2009. The building will be part of the new M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland. A mammoth two million-square-foot, 128-acre complex, it is operated in collaboration with the University of Maryland. "Their budget is classified, but I understand it's very well funded," said Brian Darmody, the University of Maryland's assistant vice president of research and economic development, referring to IARPA. "They'll be in their own building here, and they're going to grow. Their mission is expanding."

If IARPA is the spy world's DARPA, Aquaint may be the reincarnation of Poindexter's TIA. After a briefing by NSA Director Michael Hayden, Vice President Dick Cheney, and CIA Director George Tenet of some of the NSA's data mining programs in July 2003, Senator Jay Rockefeller IV, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a concerned letter to Cheney. "As I reflected on the meeting today," he said, "John Poindexter's TIA project sprung to mind, exacerbating my concern regarding the direction the administration is moving with regard to security, technology, and surveillance."

Building "Hal"

The original goal of Aquaint, which dates back to the 1990s, was simply to develop a sophisticated method of picking the right needles out of a vast haystack of information and coming up with the answer to a question. As with TIA, many universities were invited to contribute brainpower to the project. But in the aftermath of the attacks on 9/11, with the creation of the NSA's secret warrantless eavesdropping program and the buildup of massive databases, the project began taking on a more urgent tone.

"Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000. We are building HAL."

In a 2004 pilot project, a mass of data was gathered from news stories taken from the New York Times, the AP news wire, and the English portion of the Chinese Xinhua news wire covering 1998 to 2000. Then, 13 U.S. military intelligence analysts searched the data and came up with a number of scenarios based on the material. Finally, using those scenarios, an NSA analyst developed 50 topics, and in each of those topics created a series of questions for Aquaint's computerized brain to answer. "Will the Japanese use force to defend the Senkakus?" was one. "What types of disputes or conflict between the PLA [People's Liberation Army] and Hong Kong residents have been reported?" was another. And "Who were the participants in this spy ring, and how are they related to each other?" was a third. Since then, the NSA has attempted to build both on the complexity of the system—more essay-like answers rather than yes or no—and on attacking greater volumes of data.

"The technology behaves like a robot, understanding and answering complex questions," said a former Aquaint researcher. "Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000, having a conversation with David. We are essentially building this system. We are building HAL." A naturalized U.S. citizen who received her Ph.D. from Columbia, the researcher worked on the program for several years but eventually left due to moral concerns. "The system can answer the question, 'What does X think about Y?'" she said. "Working for the government is great, but I don't like looking into other people's secrets. I am interested in helping people and helping physicians and patients for the quality of people's lives." The researcher now focuses on developing similar search techniques for the medical community.

Thought policeman

A supersmart search engine, capable of answering complex questions such as "What were the major issues in the last 10 presidential elections?" would be very useful for the public. But that same capability in the hands of an agency like the NSA—absolutely secret, often above the law, resistant to oversight, and with access to petabytes of private information about Americans—could be a privacy and civil liberties nightmare. "We must not forget that the ultimate goal is to transfer research results into operational use," said Aquaint project leader John Prange, in charge of information exploitation for IARPA.

Once up and running, the database of old newspapers could quickly be expanded to include an inland sea of personal information scooped up by the agency's warrantless data suction hoses. Unregulated, they could ask it to determine which Americans might likely pose a security risk—or have sympathies toward a particular cause, such as the antiwar movement, as was done during the 1960s and 1970s. The Aquaint robospy might then base its decision on the type of books a person purchased online, or chat room talk, or websites visited—or a similar combination of data. Such a system would have an enormous chilling effect on everyone's everyday activities—what will the Aquaint computer think if I buy this book, or go to that website, or make this comment? Will I be suspected of being a terrorist or a spy or a subversive?

Controlling brain waves

Collecting information, however, has always been far less of a problem for the NSA than understanding it, and that means knowing the language. To expand its linguistic capabilities, the agency established another new organization, the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), and housed it in a building near IARPA at the M Square Research Park. But far from simply learning the meaning of foreign words, CASL, like Aquaint, attempts to find ways to get into someone's mind and understand what he or she is thinking.

One area of study is to attempt to determine if people are lying simply by watching their behavior and listening to them speak. According to one CASL document, "Many deception cues are difficult to identify, particularly when they are subtle, such as changes in verb tense or extremely brief facial expressions. CASL researchers are studying these cues in detail with advanced measurement and statistical analysis techniques in order to recommend ways to identify deceptive cue combinations."

Like something out of a B-grade sci-fi movie, CASL is even training employees to control their own brain waves.

Another area of focus explores the "growing need to work with foreign text that is incomplete," such as partly deciphered messages or a corrupted hard drive or the intercept of only one side of a conversation. The center is thus attempting to find ways to prod the agency's cipher-brains to fill in the missing blanks. "In response," says the report, "CASL's cognitive neuroscience team has been studying the cognitive basis of working memory's capacity for filling in incomplete areas of text. They have made significant headway in this research by using a powerful high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) machine acquired in 2006." The effort is apparently directed at discovering what parts of the brain are used when very good cryptanalysts are able to guess correctly the missing words and phrases in a message.

Like something out of a B-grade sci-fi movie, CASL is even trying to turn dull minds into creative geniuses by training employees to control their own brain waves: "The cognitive neuroscience team has also been researching divergent thinking: creative, innovative and flexible thinking valuable for language work. They are exploring ways to improve divergent thinking using the EEG and neurobiological feedback. A change in brain-wave activity is believed to be critical for generating creative ideas, so the team trains its subjects to change their brain-wave activity."

Ever watching and listening: a control room at NSA headquarters.


Big Brother Is Watching Everything That You Do

Big Brother Is Watching Everything That You Do

Sunday, February 08, 2009








In the previous article entitled "The NSA's Black Widow Is Watching ALL Your Calls & Emails", we discussed how the NSA literally has a supercomputer that scans millions of calls, emails and other electronic communications each day.

But that is yesterday's news.

Now the NSA is creating an artificial intelligence system called "Aquaint" that will literally pull information from thousands of databases to figure out not only what you are doing, but also what you are thinking.

Aquaint ("Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence") is being designed to pull information from your phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, GPS devices, cell phones, Google searches, Amazon book purchases and even E-Z Pass toll records to give users of the system information on where you are, what you are doing and what you are thinking.

Oh, you didn't think that the government could do that?

Oh, you didn't think that the government was ALLOWED to do that?

Guess again.

Welcome to the 21st century - the century of Big Brother.

Acquaint is so incredibly intrusive that at least one researcher has left the project because of concerns about what it is becoming.

Imagine what a technology like this could mean if it fell into the wrong hands.

For some time we have been saying that we are nearing the end of the "open society".

Every day we sink deeper towards a scientific technocracy where "Big Brother" will rule all, but people do not seem to care.

Did you know that there is a new Google application called Google Latitude that you can use to track your friends through their cell phones wherever they go?

So now you can be "Big Brother" too!

But of course your friends can track and trace you too.

Isn't that fun?

The reality is that Google knows way more about you than you would dare to think.

Someday technologies such as this will not only be able to determine what you are doing, saying and thinking, but they will also be able to control you as well.

The reality is that we are moving into times that science fiction writers never even dreamed of.

Are you ready?

Posted by Shattered Paradigm On Sunday, February 08, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bill Would Expand Homeland Security's Collection Of Biometric Information


Bill Would Expand Homeland Security's Collection Of Biometric Information
Published on 02-02-2009

A new bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a program in the maritime environment for the mobile biometric identification of suspected individuals including terrorists. The federal government has been using the excuse of fighting terrorists to incrementally expand the usage of biometric identification for quite awhile now, and this is just another step into expanding the adoption of this technology. It is not a stretch to believe that if something like this is implemented for the purposes of fighting terrorists out in the oceans, that eventually it would be utilized inside the United States for domestic policing purposes. After all, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff thought it would be a great idea to setup an internal checkpoint within the state of Vermont to search for drug dealers and terrorists. Not to mention they’ve already setup the US-VISIT program which mandates that many non-U.S. citizens visiting the United States submit to biometric identification in order to gain entry.

Below is the entire text of HR 752 which would require the Department of Homeland Security to expand their biometric identification program.

To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a program in the maritime environment for the mobile biometric identification of suspected individuals, including terrorists, to enhance border security.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. MARITIME BIOMETRIC IDENTIFICATION.

(a) In General- Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Commandant of the Coast Guard, shall conduct, in the maritime environment, a program for the mobile biometric identification of suspected individuals, including terrorists, to enhance border security and for other purposes.

(b) Requirements- The Secretary shall ensure the program described in subsection (a) is coordinated with other biometric identification programs within the Department of Homeland Security.

(c) Cost Analysis- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations and Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Appropriations and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate an analysis of the cost of expanding the Coast Guard’s biometric identification capabilities for use by the Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group, cutters, stations, and other deployable maritime teams considered appropriate by the Secretary, and any other appropriate Department of Homeland Security maritime vessels and units. The analysis may include a tiered plan for the deployment of the program described in subsection (a) that gives priority to vessels and units more likely to encounter individuals suspected of making unlawful border crossings through the maritime environment.

(d) Definition- For the purposes of this section, the term ‘biometric identification’ means the use of fingerprint and digital photography images.

There is no question that the Department of Homeland Security is attempting to put as much biometric information from people into computer databases. This bill would expand their ability to obtain additional biometric information. Most people won’t object to this since it the excuse to implement this expansion has to do with border security. None the less, it is clear that this is yet another case of the federal government attempting to utilize more and more of this technology that could ultimately be used to enslave humanity using the phony terror war hoax as the pretext.

Source: www.roguegovernment.com

By - Lee Rogers

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Bill Will Turn Old Military Bases Into FEMA Camps


On January 22nd, Representative Alcee Hastings [D-FL] introduced a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives called the National Emergency Centers Act (also known as HR 645).

If Congress passes this bill, the Department of Homeland Security will be REQUIRED to establish national emergency centers (FEMA camps) on closed military bases.

For years, mainstream apologists have tried to deny that the government was putting together a network of FEMA detention camps across the United States. But now the wording of this new law would require that closed military bases be converted into Homeland Security "emergency centers". Just check out this language from the bill: "Wherever possible, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate a closed military installation as a site for a national emergency center."

You can see the entire text of this new bill here:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-645

Let's take a look at some of the specific language in this bill.....

"In accordance with the requirements of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations."

This law would require that AT LEAST 6 FEMA camps be established on military installations around the United States. But it does not set a maximum. So the number of FEMA camps established under this law could be 6 or it could be 60.

"(4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security."

This language gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to use these FEMA camps for any purpose that he or she wishes. That is a truly sobering thought.

".....capable of meeting for an extended period of time the housing, health, transportation, education, public works, humanitarian and other transition needs of a large number of individuals affected by an emergency or major disaster"

Note that the law would require that these FEMA camps be able to house (or imprison?) large populations for an extended period of time. There camps are not just being set up as command and control centers - they are being designed to hold "a large number of individuals".

".....capable of hosting the infrastructure necessary to rapidly adjust to temporary housing"

Once again we see that these FEMA camps specifically have the purpose of "housing" people.

(c) Location of National Emergency Centers- There shall be established not fewer than one national emergency center in each of the following areas:

(1) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions I, II, and III.

(2) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV.

(3) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions V and VII.

(4) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region VI.

(5) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions VIII and X.

(6) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IX.

Please note that the law REQUIRES that at least one of these FEMA camps be established in specific FEMA regions.

Which FEMA region do YOU live in?

If the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense jointly determine that there is not a sufficient number of closed military installations that meet the requirements of subsections (b) and (c), the Secretaries shall jointly designate portions of existing military installations other than closed military installations as national emergency centers.

This part of the bill actually requires the use of an active military base for a FEMA camp if there are not enough closed military bases to do the job.

Where do you think the FEMA camp closest to your house will be established?

Are you ready to go to a "national emergency center" when the government declares martial law?

What will your response be if they come to put you on a train that will take you and your family to one of these camps?

But you know what one of the saddest things is?

The machinery of martial law is being put into place, and the American people are hardly uttering a peep in protest.

[TheFinalHour]

The NSA's Black Widow Is Watching ALL Your Calls & Emails


The NSA has a massive supercomputer called "The Black Widow" that watches millions of domestic and international phone calls and emails every single day. It is watching your electronic communications constantly and it may be aware that you are reading this article right now.

That sounds like a plot from a Bourne movie doesn't it?

But it's not.

It's real.

On October 26th, the Baltimore Sun's national security correspondent, David Wood wrote the following about the constant spying the NSA is doing: "The NSA's colossal Cray supercomputer, code-named the 'Black Widow,' scans millions of domestic and international phone calls and e-mails every hour. . . . The Black Widow, performing hundreds of trillions of calculations per second, searches through and reassembles key words and patterns, across many languages."

Perhaps you were still under the illusion that your phone calls and emails were private.

Perhaps it horrifies you to think that someone out there could be laughing at the intimate things you have said or written to those close to you.

Perhaps you think a whistle blower would have come forward by now to try to stop this.

One whistle blower did.

A former AT&T technician, Mark Klein, discovered a secret AT&T room which the NSA was using to tap into the telecom giant's fiber optic cables.

On National Public Radio on November 7, 2007, Klein said this: "It's not just AT&T's traffic going through these cables, because these cables connected AT&T's network with other networks."

According to Klein, the NSA's equipment "just copies the entire data without any selection going on. So it's a complete copy of the data stream."

The reality is that the NSA looks at everything.

The reality is that the NSA looks at all of YOUR stuff.

After all, you could be a terrorist.

James Bamford, the author of the fascinating new study of the National Security Agency entitled "The Shadow Factory" says that the NSA has "the capacity to make tyranny total in America. Only law ensures that we never fall into that abyss."

So is this the new America?

An America where the government watches everything that you say and do?

It reminds us of the lyrics from that old Alan Parsons Project song entitled "Eye In The Sky".....

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don't need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind

*

Eldon Said,

People, please do your own research.
The FBI has given up on data that was encrypted, when it could have been worth a *few* million.
The NSA is NOT able to decrypt PGP with an acceptable key length.
PGP has no "backdoor," this "Additional Decryption Key" (ADK) was intended for corporate and .gov use, and later removed.
If you feel the internet could become censored, perhaps you should familiarize yourself with TOR, Freenet, Waste, and other handy software, before you _need_ to use them.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Lawmakers, Activists Furious Over Random Laptop Border Searches

U.S. Border agents have increased their scrutiny over those entering the country, going as far as scrutinizing photos on digital cameras, examining audio files on ipods and music devices as well as whatever you're laptop (or company laptop) may contain, including any Google keyboard searches.

Full article: Lawmakers, Activists Furious Over Random Laptop Border Searches

Given all the personal details that people store on digital devices, border searches of laptops and other gadgets can give law enforcement officials far more revealing pictures of travelers than suitcase inspections might yield. That has set off alarms among civil liberties groups and travelers' advocates - and now among some members of Congress who hope to impose restrictions on the practice next year.

They fear the government has crossed a sacred line by rummaging through electronic contact lists and confidential e-mail messages, trade secrets and proprietary business files, financial and medical records and other deeply private information.

These searches, opponents say, threaten Fourth Amendment safeguards against unreasonable search and seizure and could chill free expression and other activities protected by the First Amendment. What's more, they warn, such searches raise concerns about ethnic and religious profiling since the targets often are Muslims, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Such searches, the government notes, have uncovered everything from martyrdom videos and other violent jihadist materials to child pornography and stolen intellectual property.

The problem with this policy, argues Marcia Hofmann, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is that the contents of a laptop or other digital device are fundamentally different than those of a typical suitcase.

As Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who is co-sponsoring one of several bills in Congress that would restrict such searches, put it: "You can't put your life in a suitcase, but you can put your life on a computer."

Susan Gurley, executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, which filed its own Freedom of Information request to obtain the government's laptop search policy, noted that border searches pose a particular concern for international business travelers. That's because they often carry sensitive corporate information on their laptops and don't have the option of leaving their computers at home.

And for many travelers, the concerns go beyond their own privacy or the privacy of their employers. Lawyers may have documents subject to attorney-client privilege. Doctors may be carrying patient records.

Federal appeals courts in two circuits have upheld warrantless or "suspicionless" computer searches at the border that turned up images of child pornography used as evidence in criminal cases.

But late last year, a U.S. magistrate judge in Vermont ruled that the government could not force a man to divulge the password to his laptop after a search at the Canadian border found child pornography. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Vermont is appealing the decision to the U.S. district court.

Now Congress is getting involved. A handful of bills have been introduced that could pass next year.

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., is sponsoring a bill in the House that would also require suspicion to inspect electronic devices. Engel said he is not trying to impede legitimate searches to protect national security. But, he said, it is just as important to protect civil liberties.

"It's outrageous that on a whim, a border agent can just ask you for your laptop," Engel said. "We can't just throw our constitutional rights out the window."

[AP][NewsMax]

New ID Scanners at Borders Raise Privacy Alarm

The federal government has already deployed new detection machines that can scan citizens without their knowledge from as far as 50 feet away and “read” their personal documents such as passports or driver’s licenses.

The Homeland Security Department touts the high-tech devices as increasing security at border crossings, but privacy advocates are raising all sorts of red flags.

Critics say the new machines, which read one’s personal information right through a wallet or purse, do so without consent or a warrant and may set a worrisome precedent.

The devices, called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) machines, allow officials to read remotely any passports, pass cards, and driver’s licenses that contain special chips with personal information.

The RFIDs are so sensitive that, even before a vehicle pulls up at a border checkpoint, agents already will have on their computer screen the personal data of the passengers, including each person’s name, date of birth, nationality, passport or ID number, and even a digitized photo.

The new gadgets are in place, or soon will be, at five border crossings: Blaine, Wash.; Buffalo; Detroit; Nogales, Ariz.; and San Ysidro, Calif. They are slated to have a dramatically expanded presence in June.

Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that the technology could make Americans less secure because terrorists or other criminals may be able to steal the personal information off the ID cards remotely.

Tien and other critics warn that people up to no good can use their own RFID machines in a process called “skimming” to read the information from as far as 50 feet.

Indeed, consumer privacy expert Katherine Albrecht maintains that the chips create the “potential for a whole surveillance network to be set up.” Among other abuses, she says police could use them to track criminals; abusive husbands could use the technology to find their wives; and stores could trail the shopping patterns of patrons.

Homeland Security, however, rebuts the criticism, arguing that the embedded chips surrender only a code to machine readers. That code is then broken in order to display the personal information on the border agents’ screen.

Meanwhile, the same agencies that are issuing the newfangled IDs supply a sleeve that keep out all prying electronic eyes when not in use.

[NewsMax]

LANdroids: DoD turns Homeland into one big HotSpot



The government needs more nodes: Various agencies want to seed cities with wireless networking devices (image from a DOD document).

Despite the high costs and unproven social benefits for municipal broadband, dozens of U.S. cities are ignoring laws banning anti-competitive practices and getting into the internet business.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense is planning to build robots that configure themselves into ad hoc wireless networks within urban areas.

City mayors claim they want to provide free and low-cost Wi-Fi access to the poor and attract business travelers. Defense planners say they need to have broadband capabilities in urban war zones.

But rather than closing the “digital divide” (which many academics admit is being exaggerated), or providing a redundant service to traveling salesmen, it appears that officials aim to seize control of internet communications and track individuals in urban areas.

Military and law enforcement agencies will also use the wireless networks to stage “hard PSYOP” attacks against a brain-chipped populace, according to historian and commentator Alan Watt, who specializes in secret societies and government intelligence operations.

Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, and Providence, R.I. are among the cities partnering with private companies and the federal government to set up public broadband internet access. Providence used Homeland Security funds to construct a network for police, which may be made available to the public at a later date.

None of the cities are expected to turn a profit anytime soon. Nor are the poor likely to benefit from the projects.

Subscribers to Philly’s “Wireless Philadelphia” service, for example, will pay up to 73 percent more than the rate promised to them two years ago.

“(Philadelphia) presented dangerously inaccurate estimates and figures for the costs and revenue” for its wireless network, according to a recent analysis by students at Harvard Law School.


Seeding: The DOD envisions soldiers dropping robots into cities. The robots will self-configure into what are known as “mesh networks.”

City officials have managed to line their own pockets, however.

Philadelphia’s former chief information officer, Dianah Neff (below, left), now works for Civitium, the consulting firm she paid $300,000 to help build Philly’s Wi-Fi network.



Denise Brady, San Francisco’s former deputy CIO, also took a position with Civitium after bringing the firm her city’s business.

San Franciscans might actually lose more than money to their city’s muni Wi-Fi scheme.

Google and Earthlink, the companies building San Francisco’s Wi-Fi network, want to place cameras and sensors atop lampposts at the same time they are installing their Wi-Fi antennae. The companies say they merely want to help police and emergency workers.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU have opposed such police/public proposals.

But even if the cities fail to complete their Wi-Fi projects, the military will be able to set up wireless networks within hours, perhaps even faster.

The DOD, which is in the middle of joint urban war-games with Homeland Security and Canadian, Israeli and other international forces, is experimenting with Wi-Fi networks it can set up on the fly.

According to a recent DOD announcement for contractors, soldiers will be able to drop robots, called LANdroids (below, left), when they arrive in a city. The robots will then scurry off to position themselves, becoming nodes for a wireless communications network. (Click here to download a PDF of the DOD announcement.)



The Wi-Fi antennae dotting the urban landscape will serve not only as communications relays, but as transponders that can pinpoint the exact positions of of individual computers and mobile phones–a scenario I described in the Boston Globe last year.

In other words, where GPS loses site of a device (and its owner), Wi-Fi will pick up the trail.

The antennae will also relay orders to the brain-chipped masses, members of the British Ministry of Defense and the DOD believe.

“We already are evolving toward technology implanting,” reads a 1996 Air Force report.

People, already conditioned to receiving biological agents such as flu shots in their bodies, will welcome brain chips that promise to help them control technology, the Air Force report says.

Indeed, Alan Watt believes one of the purposes of muni Wi-Fi and LANdroids will be to disseminate commands and propaganda directly into the human brain.

Tracking and control of information via wireless networks are just the beginning, Watt said. “The implanted chip will be the end goal.”

[parallelnormal.com][davidicke.com]
--------------------------------------------

The "LifeLog Program": DARPA’s Control Freak Technology

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 05:29:00


(Truth News) -- According to Wired, the Pentagon is "about to embark on a stunningly ambitious research project designed to gather every conceivable bit of information about a person's life, index all the information and make it searchable?. What national security experts and civil libertarians want to know is, why would the Defense Department want to do such a thing?"

Once again, "security experts and civil libertarians" fail to understand the authoritarian, psychopathic mind. Our rulers do these sort of things because they are the ultimate control freaks, paranoid and suspicious of the average person ? or rather what the average person may do in order to get rid of the controllers, the parasites, who are compelled to spend billions of dollars on such projects, that is to say billions fleeced off the people they want to monitor and control. As usual, the excuse is they have to protect us from the terrorists, never mind they created the terrorists, too.

"The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read," Wired continues. "All of this ? and more ? would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audio-visual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual's health."
In fact, a large part of this is already in place, thanks to the NSA's vacuum cleaner approach to searching for "al-Qaeda phone calls," cataloguing millions of phone calls each and every day, reading email, snooping internet destinations with the help of the telecoms. As for GPS, you have one in your cell phone, as well as a way for the snoops to listen in on what you say, even when you think the phone is switched off.

If the government had its way ? and it may very well in a few years, thanks to the bovine nature of the average American ? you will be chipped or at minimum have an RFID in your wallet or purse, thus they will be track where you go and when.

This gigantic amalgamation of personal information could then be used to "trace the ?threads' of an individual's life," to see exactly how a relationship or events developed, according to a briefing from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, LifeLog's sponsor.

Someone with access to the database could "retrieve a specific thread of past transactions, or recall an experience from a few seconds ago or from many years earlier ? by using a search-engine interface."

For instance, it could be determined if you harbor "discontent" with the government, in other words if you're with al-Qaeda.

On the surface, the project seems like the latest in a long line of DARPA's "blue sky" research efforts, most of which never make it out of the lab. But DARPA is currently asking businesses and universities for research proposals to begin moving LifeLog forward. And some people, such as Steven Aftergood, a defense analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, are worried.

With its controversial Total Information Awareness database project, DARPA already is planning to track all of an individual's "transactional data" ? like what we buy and who gets our e-mail.

While the parameters of the project have not yet been determined, Aftergood said he believes LifeLog could go far beyond TIA's scope, adding physical information (like how we feel) and media data (like what we read) to this transactional data.

"LifeLog has the potential to become something like ?TIA cubed,'" he said.

No doubt, the pointy-heads in the Pentagon are particularly interested in this "how we feel" aspect of the program. Not even Orwell was able to imagine such a scary control device.

You see an image of our commander-guy on television or the web, your biomedical implant registers an elevated level or disgust, and the thought police are dispatched in SWAT fashion. It's off to the re-education camp for you.

Of course, that's really "blue sky" stuff at this point. Instead, for the moment, we'll have to settle for DARPA tracking us on the internet, thanks to technology under development at Microsoft.

In the private sector, a number of LifeLog-like efforts already are underway to digitally archive one's life ? to create a "surrogate memory," as minicomputer pioneer Gordon Bell calls it.

Bell, now with Microsoft, scans all his letters and memos, records his conversations, saves all the Web pages he's visited and e-mails he's received and puts them into an electronic storehouse dubbed MyLifeBits.

DARPA's LifeLog would take this concept several steps further by tracking where people go and what they see.

Of course, if you know the government is tracking where you go, chances are you may not go there. And that's why DARPA is spending your hard-earned tax money on technology you can't get around, just in case you're with al-Qaeda or a Ron Paul supporter.

That makes the project similar to the work of University of Toronto professor Steve Mann. Since his teen years in the 1970s, Mann, a self-styled "cyborg," has worn a camera and an array of sensors to record his existence. He claims he's convinced 20 to 30 of his current and former students to do the same. It's all part of an experiment into "existential technology" and "the metaphysics of free will."

DARPA isn't quite so philosophical about LifeLog. But the agency does see some potential battlefield uses for the program.

Indeed, military types are not normally interested in all that philosophical stuff, as they are too busy finding and eliminating enemies. DARPA concentrates on the battlefield and the battlefield is right here on Main Street. DARPA does somersaults to fit LifeLog into a traditional military context but it fails and fails miserably. Obviously, this system is for us, the commoners, and the real enemies of power.

John Pike, director of defense think tank GlobalSecurity.org, said he finds the explanations "hard to believe."

"It looks like an outgrowth of Total Information Awareness and other DARPA homeland security surveillance programs," he added in an e-mail.

Sure, LifeLog could be used to train robotic assistants. But it also could become a way to profile suspected terrorists, said Cory Doctorow, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In other words, Osama bin Laden's agent takes a walk around the block at 10 each morning, buys a bagel and a newspaper at the corner store and then calls his mother. You do the same things ? so maybe you're an al Qaeda member, too!

Bingo! And as we know, al-Qaeda now encompasses at lot of behavior, as even garden variety criminals are considered terrorists. But the run-of-the-mill pot smoker or bad check writer pales in comparison to those who are walking around experiencing "discontent" with the government. Obviously, a bad check writer will have at best minimal influence on the government while an al-Qaeda terrorist in a 9/11 truth t-shirt is most certainly a direct challenge and threat to the guys in charge, and that's why DARPA was put on the case.

"The more that an individual's characteristic behavior patterns ? ?routines, relationships and habits' ? can be represented in digital form, the easier it would become to distinguish among different individuals, or to monitor one," Aftergood, the Federation of American Scientists analyst, wrote in an e-mail.

In its LifeLog report, DARPA makes some nods to privacy protection, like when it suggests that "properly anonymized access to LifeLog data might support medical research and the early detection of an emerging epidemic."

But before these grand plans get underway, LifeLog will start small. Right now, DARPA is asking industry and academics to submit proposals for 18-month research efforts, with a possible 24-month extension. (DARPA is not sure yet how much money it will sink into the program.)

Not that money is an object when the American tax payer is picking up the tab.

Like a game show, winning this DARPA prize eventually will earn the lucky scientists a trip for three to Washington, D.C. Except on this excursion, every participating scientist's e-mail to the travel agent, every padded bar bill and every mad lunge for a cab will be monitored, categorized and later dissected.

And if the scientists are not extra careful, they may end up dead or missing, like not shortage microbiologists, as secret program like to clean up and stragglers who may cause embarrassment or Nuremberg-like trials down the road.

[Kurt Nimmo][Wired][Truth News]

Rhode Island School Children to be Chipped Like Dogs


US: Rhode Island School Children to be Chipped Like Dogs
Sun, 13 Jan 2008 08:40 EST

MIDDLETOWN - The Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the Middletown School Department to drop its planned pilot program of a student-tracking system that the ACLU says would treat children like "cattle" and violate their privacy.

The school district this month will test the Mobile Accountability Program, or MAP, which will place GPS tracking devices in two school buses and attach radio-frequency identification labels to the backpacks of the 80 or so Aquidneck Elementary School students who ride those buses. School administrators will then be able to monitor - in real-time, via an online map of Middletown at MAPIT's secure Web site - the progress of those buses and their passengers as the children enter and exit the buses.

MAP is designed to improve transportation safety and efficiency and the pilot would last for the rest of the school year, after which school officials will determine whether to expand the program to the district's entire bus fleet.

The ACLU, in a letter Friday to Schools Supt. Rosemarie K. Kraeger, expressed its "deep concerns" about MAP and urged the school district to halt the pilot project.

Using radio-frequency technology to track school buses seems "rather unnecessary," ACLU executive director Steven Brown wrote.

But it's Middletown's use of electronic chips to also monitor the students themselves that most troubles the ACLU, Brown wrote.

"RFID [radio-frequency ID] technology was originally developed to track products and cattle," Brown wrote.

"The privacy and security implications with using this technology for tagging human beings, particularly children, are considerable.... Requiring students to wear RFID labels treats them as objects, not children. The Middletown school district sends a very disturbing message to its young students when it monitors them using technology employed to track cattle, sheep and shipment pallets in warehouses."

Plus, the IDs could be unsafe, according to the ACLU, because Web sites sell electronic readers that can intercept the data on students' tags.

Schools Supt. Rosemarie K. Kraeger said yesterday that the school district doesn't plan to abandon its pilot program. School officials, she said, considered MAP for more than a year and questioned the provider, MAPIT Corp., about how students' privacy would be protected.

She said the school district is confident that the program includes the necessary safeguards to protect students' identities.

"I wish Mr. Brown had called to find out the details of the project," Kraeger said.

"The company went to extra pains to make sure all our concerns had been addressed, and we did our due diligence. We feel secure."

The School Department sent letters to the parents of the 80 children included in the pilot, and Kraeger said none have complained.

In fact, she said, two parents have recently e-mailed her to express support for the tracking program.

Nonetheless, the ACLU is urging Middletown schools to "respect the privacy and civil liberties of Middletown's elementary school students" and reconsider implementing the MAP pilot.

"This is just another example of overkill," Brown said yesterday.

"The biggest concern is how this could acclimate young kids at an early age to being monitored by the government."

Meaghan Wims

[mwims@projo.com][blogger.com,Providence Journal]

Resource Websites: RFID

A) Websites :


http://www.adsx.com (Applied Digital Solutions’ website, the company that markets the verichip)


http://www.trovan.com (Trovan’s website, a european company that also markets a subcutaneous microchip for humans )


http://www.nocards.org/ (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion And Numbering,CASPIAN's privacy advocates website)


http://www.spychips.com/ (Stop RFID website)


http://www.cybertime.net/~ajgood/ch1p1.html (extremely well documented website !)


http://www.cybertime.net/~ajgood/ch1p2.html (extremely well documented website !)

http://www.prisonplanet.com


http://amsterdam.nettime.org/List-Archives/nettime-bold-0111/msg00237.html


http://www.universe-people.com
(including a petition in English against the microchip implant !)
[freewebs.com/nochip/]

Microchip implants for humans : THE article !

http://www.freewebs.com/nochip/

Probably one of the most informative articles I've run across detailing the various types of implanting/tracking around the globe from conception to introduction.
Here are some juicy tidbits you'll find:

Well, today, the microchip is part of what is named the “RFID” technologies (for Radio Frequency Identification Devices), or of the ICT implants (implants of the Internet and Communication Technologies).

In the United States of America, it’s possible for any citizen, since the end of 2002, to get the microchip implant for the “modest” amount of 200 dollars !!! The company A.D.S. (Applied Digital Solutions Inc.), through its subsidiary company “Verichip”, was indeed authorized to commercialise its revolting microchip implant that is also named “verichip”.


The verichip, in its current version, works with handheld proprietary scanners/readers, and with online databases that give all the information (public AND private) necessary. In a very close future, a GPS-based verichip, just like the cellphones that we all know, will work with relay antennas and the GPS satellite system. Its bearer will become totally localizable from space. For further information, please go to : http://www.adsx.com or to : http://www.4verichip.com

Furthermore, this microchip implant has a serial number containing 18 digits, and that number is divided in 3 groups of 6 digits (6, 6, 6… does this remind you anything ?).

“But where’s the problem ?”, will you think, since those good people chose that option in all liberty ? Well, the problem lies here : there are law projects that passed through the American Congress and that will allow to inject the microchip implant to children from birth, under so-called “identification purposes”. Moreover, the president of the U.S.A., following article 100 of the 1986 law on control of immigration, has the power to decide any kind of identification measure that he finds necessary, including a subcutaneous microchip.


The microchip implant was already used during the Gulf war in august 1991; it has already been tested on soldiers, government officials and on the personnel of some enterprises. If we don't fight, soon it will be too late and the chip will become mandatory for all to get !

Still in the USA, the ex-attorney general (who’s also a general), John Ashcroft, allowed the development of “internment camps for civilians”.

In a video called Gulag USA, it was proved that these camps are full of torture devices, but also of devices allowing to implant prisoners with the subcutaneous microchip !!!


During World War II, nazis would “mark” prisoners at the entrance of the camps thanks to tattoos… Nowadays, the USA, in these camps for civilians, would mark the prisoners (civilians !) with subcutaneous microchips in order to identify them and to follow their slightest move !

Even scarier : lately, the U.S. independent press warned about the existence of a project that will make the “chipping” of the homeless mandatory in 5 States, including New York and California ! So this means that the microchip will begin to become MANDATORY, starting with the weakest parts of the population !


The pretext invoked makes an amalgam between the homeless and the criminals (the homeless “become criminals easily”) !!!

In October 2004, the Food and Drug Administration gave the authorization to the verichip to be used in U.S. hospitals “for medical purposes”, even though this disgusting implant represents dangers for people’s health (see chapter 4 : the true dangers of the microchip and of its functioning) !!! Question : who, during his/her lifetime, doesn’t go to the hospital at least once ? If one begins to “chip” sick people in hospitals for so-called “medical monitoring” purposes, the whole population will be chipped sooner or later !!!

The Food and Drug Administration definitively classified the verichip as a “class II medical device requiring special controls” !

American intellectuals and CEO’s also began to be “chipped” !

And the verichip begins to be used in American hospitals ! For instance, the Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center installed in its emergency room verichip scanners/readers, and gets ready to chip the patients !!!

Still in the U.S.A. , a bus called the “Chipmobile” drives through the different states, trying to encourage people to get chipped ! And when they find a place where plenty unaware people are interested in getting chipped, Verichip Corporation builds a verichip center to spread the chip and its influence !


The ChipMobile?????? Are you kidding me?


Finally, always in the U.S.A. , here are the latest alarming news : a former Wisconsin governor and ex-secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush, Tommy Thompson, has just joined the Applied Digital Solutions board of directors and should get "chipped" very soon.


BUT THE MOST HORRIBLE THING IS THAT HE JUST PROPOSED A BILL (July 2005). AND THAT BILL, IF IT'S ADOPTED, WOULD ALLOW THE CHIPPING OF ALL U.S. CITIZENS !!!


In September 2005, after the ravages caused by the hurricane "Katrina", Verichip Corporation chipped the corpses of the victims of this terrible natural disaster. Some more free advertisement for the scums from Verichip Corp. ! Besides, some stocks of microchips were made in Louisiana and in Mississipi, "just in case there would be other natural disasters"...


[freewebs.com]


Texas Considers Putting RFID Tags in All Cars

San Antonio Express-News | April 8, 2005
By L.A. Lorek

With the help of a dime-size adhesive tag on a vehicle's windshield and cutting-edge technology that detractors equate with Big Brother, police soon could track Texas cars and trucks — if a legislator's bill makes it into law.
RELATED:
Texas Bill Would Require Transponders in All Cars

Though the bill hasn't made it out of the Texas House of Representatives' Transportation Committee, it already has generated outrage among technophiles and privacy advocates who believe the technology, once introduced, will creep into other law enforcement areas.

"Why don't they just tag us like cattle and be done with it?" said Scott Henson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Texas police accountability project in Austin.

House Bill 2893 calls for the state to use radio frequency identification devices, or RFID, for auto-insurance enforcement.

The bill excludes other law enforcement use, but privacy experts say it does little to protect personal rights.

"It's overkill, in my opinion," said Beth Givens, director of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a San Diego-based nonprofit advocacy group.

The tags, which can be attached to just about anything, contain antennae that transmit data to be read by a receiver up to 25 feet away.

It's unclear whether the bill, which has not had a committee hearing, can pass.

Bill sponsor Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, thinks it's a good idea to look at the technology and decide whether it can help law enforcement do a better job and also protect privacy.

"The whole concept of it is being able to let us verify whether people have insurance," said Phillips. "It's a little different approach."

The proposed RFID system works similar to the toll tags on cars today, and doesn't contain personal information, Phillips said.

Under Phillips' bill, the RFID tags would be placed on registration stickers affixed to the windshield. The tags would verify whether the vehicle is covered by automobile liability insurance.

A device such as a handheld scanner or a transmitter at a toll booth could read the tags and check them against a computer database that could immediately verify if the vehicle's insurance is current. Insurance companies would be responsible for supplying updated information to the database, which would be maintained by state agencies.

But privacy advocates say the RFID technology is subject to abuse. The readers could be placed on every lamppost or mile marker on a highway, and police could use them to track automobiles.

That means that if a car speeds by the device, then that motorist may receive a ticket in the mail similar to cameras that track people who blow through red lights now, Henson said.

"It's like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer for really what are seemingly small crimes like not having your insurance or toll violations," Henson said. "He's creating a technology that could be abused in all sorts of ways with virtually no restrictions in the bill on law enforcement."

With RFID, the government could track all of us as dots on computer screens, Henson said. Once the technology is in place, he said, it would be hard to prevent it from being used for other applications.

The bill was scheduled for a public hearing Tuesday, but the Transportation Committee didn't discuss it.

The Spring School District near Houston uses RFID tags to keep tabs on its 28,000 students on school property.

[San Antonio Express-News]

Homemade RFID tag zapper

Radio frequency IDs (RFIDs), small electronic chips that share information when scanned, are rapidly becoming an essential part of global supply management. In order to correctly route and track items from inception to purchase, these chips are attached to packaging and increasingly the products themselves.

The intentional disabling of these chips can cause supply chain disruption. The best method is to HERF (high energy radio frequency, usually microwaves) the chips using a small transmitter (read about high power home made microwave weapons for herfing). The German branch (privacy activists) of the global guerrilla innovation network has developed a simple solution that converts a standard film camera into a short range RFID zapper. This system: 180px-22c3_mahajivana_img_0419_213x320.jpg
"...copies the microwave-oven-method, but in a much smaller scale. It generates a strong electromagnetic field with a coil, which should be placed as near to the target-RFID-Tag as possible. The RFID-Tag then will recive a strong shock of energy comparable with an EMP and some part of it will blow, most likely the capacitator, thus deactivating the chip forever.
To keep the costs of the RFID-Zapper as low as possible, we decided to modify the electric component of a singe-use-camera with flashlight, as can be found almost everywhere. The coil is made from varnished wire and placed inside the camera exactly where the film has been.
180px-22c3_mahajivana_img_0443_360x447.jpg
Then the coil is soldered between the cameras electronic and its flashlight. Last but not least most single-use-cameras will require some kind of switch to be build into them, since their activating-mechanism usually is to small and primitive. Once the switch is connected and tested, the camera can be closed again and henceforth will serve as a RFID-Zapper, destroying RFID-Tags with the power of ordinary batteries."


John Cox, NetworkWorld.com

As if there wasn't enough for network professionals to worry about.

Ex-Forrester Research analyst John Robb describes a project that modifies a single-use film camera, to create a short range microwave pulse that can fry nearby RFID tags.

Robb says this and similar devices could be used to disrupt RFID-based supply chains. But...

...I'm skeptical. A short range device can only affect the tags immediately nearby. My guess is a would-be supply chain saboteur would have to visit an awful lot of Wal-Marts, and walk through most of every store, carrying around a backpack load of batteries to keep the little Zapper zapping.

Even then, it's not clear that the supply chain would be in fact disrupted: you might lose RFID data and tracking on the items zapped, but the RFID infrastructure of readers and servers would still be in place, ready to read the next lot of tagged merchandise.

The Zapper is the offspring of a German group calling itself the Chaos Communication Congress, which held its 22nd annual meeting last month in Berlin.

[NetworkWorld.com, GlobalGuerrillas.com]


Zapper Detects, Destroys Unwanted RFID Chips

Zapper Detects, Destroys
Unwanted RFID Chips

4-4-5


US-based West End Laboratories, the research arm of LDC Security, has developed a special RFID tag zapper designed to kill the RFID chip preventing readers from performing unwanted scanning and tracking of people or goods.

According to the company, because information stored on RFID tags can be read by anyone, they may pose privacy threats to customers when deployed in retail environments, and have already triggered a wave of consumer outcry.

"In a naive, RFID-enabled world without technical forethought, there is risk that sensitive information could be visible in secret to anyone with an RFID reader," said Le Derec Caden, director and chief scientist with West End Laboratories in the US.

"Moreover, the unique serial numbers emitted by RFID tags could be used to track people and objects surreptitiously. For businesses too, RFID introduces new privacy and security risks - and a whole new dimension to corporate espionage. These concerns have motivated our scientists to work on a new generation of technical solutions that match these challenges." Phil Devenport

Rfid disable: tagzapper! The TagZapper is being developed to be a light weight, handheld, device for deactivating RFID transmitting devices. This is intended to fulfill consumer demand for a means to protect their... http:// www.tagzapper.com

RFID TAg Zapper (Privacy Jammer)

RFID tags are tiny radio responders that can be attached to anything for inventory, theft prevention and other purposes. They work in the same manner as devices like "EZPass" and "SpeedPass" that allow you pay tolls and buy gasoline without any interaction. A radio signal transmitted nearby provides the energy, and the transponder responds by echoing out a serial number in a radio response. The miniature tag versions are just now starting to work their way into the economy. Recently Michelin announced that soon every tire they make will have an RFID tag, and Gillette signed a contract to buy millions of the tags.

Many people fear that with little automated inventory tags on everything, our privacy could be invaded in new and insidious ways. The theory is that you could be surreptitiously scanned in many public places, and the RFID codes from your clothing and personal belongings could be used to track you. Some stores have promised to erase the tags somehow at the checkout so they cannot be used that way, but how can we be sure?

Regardless of whether this fear is valid, its very existence creates a market for mitigation products. The Tagzapper is a handheld device that can attack the RFID and render it usless.

The Taggzapper may switch the transmitter into a high power mode, to zap any tags you can not remove from the products in a way that makes them non-functional. This is like the tag erasers that the vendors claim they will install at the checkout, but controlled by you of course.

http://www.whynot.net/view_idea.php?id=1023
[Rense.com] [Why Not.net]
European court rules DNA database breaches human rights

Peter Walker
Thursday December 4 2008 10.55 GMT


DNA sampling

Only DNA samples for those convicted of crimes should be kept, according to the ruling.

Police forces in much of the UK could be forced to destroy the DNA details of hundreds of thousands of people with no criminal convictions, after a court ruled today that keeping them breaches human rights.

The European court of human rights in Strasbourg said that keeping innocent people's DNA records on a criminal register breached article eight of the Human Rights Convention, covering the right to respect for private and family life.

The decision was welcomed by civil liberties campaigners, but the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said she was "disappointed". Police chiefs warned that destroying DNA details would make it harder to investigate many crimes.

The European court said that keeping DNA material from those who were "entitled to the presumption of innocence" as they had never been convicted of an offence, carried "the risk of stigmatisation".

Attacking the "blanket and indiscriminate nature" of the power to retain data, the judges said protections offered by article eight "would be unacceptably weakened if the use of modern scientific techniques in the criminal justice system were allowed at any cost and without carefully balancing the potential benefits of the extensive use of such techniques against important private-life interests".

The decision could oblige the government to order the destruction of DNA data belonging to those without criminal convictions among the approximately 4.4m records on the England, Wales and Northern Ireland database.

Scotland already destroys DNA samples taken during criminal investigations from people, who are eventually not charged or who are later acquitted.

The decision follows a lengthy legal challenge by two British men. Michael Marper, 45, was arrested in March 2001 and charged with harassing his partner, but the case was later dropped.

Separately, a 19-year-old named in court only as "S" was arrested and charged with attempted robbery in January 2001, when he was 12, but he was cleared five months later.

The men, both from Sheffield, asked that their fingerprints, DNA samples and profiles be destroyed. South Yorkshire police refused, saying the details would be retained "to aid criminal investigation".

They applied to the European court after their case was turned down by the House of Lords, which ruled that keeping the information did not breach human rights.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the human rights group, Liberty, which helped fund the case, said parliament should be allowed to debate new DNA database rules.

"This is one of the most strongly-worded judgments that Liberty has ever seen from the court of human rights," she said, arguing that the court had ensured "the privacy protection of innocent people that the British government has shamefully failed to deliver".

Smith, however, said existing laws would remain in place while ministers considered the judgment.

"DNA and fingerprinting is vital to the fight against crime, providing the police with more than 3,500 matches a month, and I am disappointed by the European court of human rights' decision," she said.

"The government mounted a robust defense before the court and I strongly believe DNA and fingerprints play an invaluable role in fighting crime and bringing people to justice."

Chris Sims, the chief constable of Staffordshire police, who speaks on forensics for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the ruling would have a "profound impact" on policing.

Analysis of 200,000 DNA samples retained on the database between 2001 and 2005, which would have to be destroyed under today's ruling, showed that 8,500 profiles had been linked to crime scenes, among them 114 murders and 116 rapes, said Sims.

[guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008]