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Demo of EU's Planned "INDECT" Hints At Massive Data Mining, Little Privacy 122

Posted by timothy
from the greater-good-strikes-back dept.
Ronald Dumsfeld writes "Wikinews puts together some of the details around the EU's five-year-plan called Project INDECT, and brings attention to a leaked 'sales-pitch' video: 'An unreleased promotional video for INDECT located on YouTube is shown to the right. The simplified example of the system in operation shows a file of documents with a visible INDECT-titled cover stolen from an office and exchanged in a car park. How the police are alerted to the document theft is unclear in the video; as a "threat," it would be the INDECT system's job to predict it. Throughout the video use of CCTV equipment, facial recognition, number plate reading, and aerial surveillance give friend-or-foe information with an overlaid map to authorities. The police proactively use this information to coordinate locating, pursing, and capturing the document recipient. The file of documents is retrieved, and the recipient roughly detained.'"
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Demo of EU's Planned "INDECT" Hints At Massive Data Mining, Little Privacy

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  • Enhance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slifox (605302) * on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:49PM (#29798881)
    Whenever I see facial recognition enhancement, I think of this:

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?n=1156 [phdcomics.com]

    Turns out... it's theoretically impossible!

    Seriously, this video plays like a bad science ficition movie... they say "let us monitor everything and we'll magically know when crimes are committed," without saying exactly *how* they plan on sorting through the incredible amount of data and coming up with "crime X being committed right now" in a timely manner.
    • by TheSpoom (715771) *

      FYI, MythBusters do use controls and multiple data points, at least nowadays.

      Besides, it's understood that the ultimate goal of any episode of MythBusters is one or more large explosions, regardless of the outcome of the myth.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by symes (835608)
      Not to mention all those darn kids who'll figure out how the system works. Chat rooms would be full of "if you stand on one leg and wave a small red flag at the camera you'll trigger the bomb squad... rotfl, lmas" and so on. Anyhow - I've done a very tiny bit of work in this area - more simulations than spotting criminal intent - kind of the same thing in reverse. Our simulation, if we wanted to scale it up to a realistic scenario, would have taken 32 years to run on a regular desktop. So I'm guessing that
      • It doesn't matter if the damn thing works or not because eventually it will. The truly frightening thing is the intent behind the initiative. There are people in governments around the world working as hard as they can to bring a computerized "big brother" system to life. Government's power over the individual has increased by orders of magnitude with the advent of things like internet searchable public information. It used to take some leg work to pull paperwork on someone, which acted as a natural brak

        • Re:Enhance (Score:4, Insightful)

          by stephanruby (542433) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:30PM (#29801155)

          It doesn't matter if the damn thing works or not because eventually it will.

          Actually, it doesn't matter if the damn thing works or not, because even if it doesn't -- it can still make your life a living hell [antipolygraph.org].

          But I agree with you, eventually it will work, if newspapers have mastered fortune-telling and horoscopes technology, it means it's just a matter of time before the government gets it as well.

    • by minio (1640735)
      Actually there are techniques which allows to get relatively high resolution image from low resolution video. Google for "super resolution".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by QuantumRiff (120817)

      Just look at the success of the video surveillance system in London for cutting down on crimes.

      Oh, wait.. I meant solving crimes,

      Err, I meant.. Look how many jobs it created..

  • by bmo (77928) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:49PM (#29798883)

    Guys....

    The book 1984 was not meant to be a *manual*

    Thanks.

    • Yea, that's the first thing I thought of too, very 1984.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mdm-adph (1030332)

      No, more like a prediction. :(

      • by Eudial (590661)

        History has shown that if you realize some horrible scenario is possible, writing a dystopian novel to warn people is not a good idea.

        Orwell for one, but HG Wells also inspired some very unfortunate developments (including the atomic bomb and bomber aircraft).

        • by R2.0 (532027)

          "History has shown that if you realize some horrible scenario is possible, writing a dystopian novel to warn people is not a good idea.

          Orwell for one, but HG Wells also inspired some very unfortunate developments (including the atomic bomb and bomber aircraft)."

          Ehh, not sure about that. I'm pretty sure the first guy to drop a hand grenade out of a WWI fighter cockpit didn't get "inspired" by HG Wells. More likely from dropping rocks into a pond from a bridge to scare the frogs.

      • indeed
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      No need to be concerned, it's in the interest of public security. Remember, the police are on our side. Not giving them unrestricted access to monitor everyone continuously would only help the bad guys.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dkleinsc (563838)

        See, you don't have it fully down, it's not "bad guys" (because that sounds silly). You have to appeal to fears properly, like this:
        Not giving them unrestricted access to monitor everyone continuously would only help terrorists, child predators, and unwed teenage mothers.

    • Ugh... Every time I read this bullshit statement, I die a little inside. Come up with some valid, fact-based, well researched arguments or shut up. You achieve nothing by providing an easily contradicted statement ("1984 was a work of fiction. It's allegory. Nobody is going to create Thought Police or torture you with a rat in a cage. Grow up."). All that happens is the guys you are fighting against get an easy target for their spin.

      Hush now, the adults are talking.
  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:58PM (#29799051)
    An unreleased promotional video for INDECT located on YouTube...

    In a press release dated 18 October, 2009, the World Court announced that "'a video on YouTube' has replaced 'an entry in Wikipedia' as the best source of factual evidence for any legal proceeding meeting NWO standards. Film at 11."

    • and I apparently mis-read it this way...

      An unreleased promotional video for IN C EST located on YouTube
    • So you're saying I should make a Wikipedia entry linking to the youtube video?
  • How do warrants and probable cause work in Europe?

    I mean I realize that the video is just a sales pitch. However it bothers me that they never showed someone reporting something missing. The video gave the impression of "He looks suspicious, lets mobilize the cops to pick him up".

    • The real message here is: " All white guys with long hair are evil, and exist solely to sneak into your office and steal your confidential data!"

      -Oz
  • I'm sure the Peoples Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba, etc, would love this program.

    • by Krneki (1192201) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:09PM (#29799231)
      I bet there is a chance we will see something like this in the US and not Cuba.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why is it that every single time a government, any government, does something ridiculous like this, people always blame the US and say they'll be getting it next Tuesday? I mean, sure, bash the US, but it's not the US that's got 1 camera for every 14 citizens, and it's not the US that's implementing this wacky scheme.

        • We aren't all that far away though. There are cameras everywhere here in Eugene. Traffic cams, security cameras, hell, the front of Walmart has 8 or so of these HUGE cameras pointed at various sections of the parking lot. Kinda makes me feel like I am in prison and the cameras are there to protect Walmart from me.

          -Oz
      • Of course: Cuba doesn't yet have the financial resources to afford it.
        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Cuba can afford a cop on every corner.
          The USA can afford a real Narus unit on your telco line and to run two political parties.
          Nokia Siemens might give Cuba a good deal :)
      • Cuba has had it for years.
      • by physburn (1095481)
        Cuba couldn't afford the surveillance technology. Big government have been mining signals data for spying and counter spying since the second world war, and that doesn't bother me much. Its when the legal system/internal security, starts using this massive surveillance that I feel my privacy slipping away. INDECT sound like another massive government computing contract that will overrun its budget and fail its supposed purpose.

        ---

        Privacy vs Surveillance [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.co]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sopssa (1498795) *

      And maybe UK too..

      Oh, they are actually developing this.

  • Slashdotters should fear the upcoming SPERM program.

    Surveillance
    Program
    Encompassing
    Repetitive
    Masturbation

    I dread the day Big Brother puts SPERM on everyone.

  • I'm not one who is usually prone to paranoid thinking but if they can do everything they claim then this is pretty scary.
  • by Absolut187 (816431) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:12PM (#29799287) Homepage

    WTF is this??
    We know that Osama Bin Laden is in Pakistan, yet we don't have him 8 years later.

    Is this system going to track down terrorist training camps somehow??

    I guess the next best thing to actually fighting terrorism (hard, scary) is to stomp on the privacy rights of passive citizens (easy, safe).

    • by petes_PoV (912422)
      Two possibilities:

      Osama isn't in Pakistan (or Afghanistan) at all - he's disappeared, or died, or retired to Florida to drink pina-coladas all day, or -
      The security forces don't actually WANT to find him, as once they do there's no reason for them to continue in the region: Job done, game over, go home. And then what will they do to keep the contracts flowing to their friends in low places?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Two possibilities:

        Osama isn't in Pakistan (or Afghanistan) at all - he's disappeared, or died, or retired to Florida to drink pina-coladas all day, or - The security forces don't actually WANT to find him, as once they do there's no reason for them to continue in the region: Job done, game over, go home. And then what will they do to keep the contracts flowing to their friends in low places?

        Osama Bin Laden is, truly, the modern-day Emmanuel Goldstein.

        • Exactly like Goldstein, right down to having previously been on Big Brother's side, and that fact never being mentioned.

      • A third possibility:

        The Rules of Engagement don't actually allow them to go after him.

      • by Mike Rice (626857)

        Oh yeah!

        Osama!

        OBL! Every one knows him around here!

        Man, he's been partying it up here in Fort Myers for years. Usually you first see him around time for Spring Break, rolling into town in a caravan of Hummers and Greyhounds loaded with Turkish smoke and more jiggly girls than you can imagine, straight from Mardis Gras in New Orleens.

        OBL isn't one for drinking Coladas though... he usually starts with a Margarita or two, then its on to Jack Daniels with coke, winding up with straight Jack (with extra Jack, o

  • Data poisoning (Score:1, Interesting)

    So the solution here is to alter the statistical thresholds by injecting the database with data designed to catch random people's attentions and subject them to additional scrutiny. Maybe create a worm/bot that emulates a web browser and submits queries for words like bomb, president, allah, or whatever they're searching for. Fill their database with crap, and it'll become useless.

    • The solution here is to make "guilty of something" the default for everyone and we can then do things to prove we are decent citizens. I imagine a points system.
  • As any slashdot reader would already know, the document obviously had a RFID chip in it and that alerted security when it passed through exit to the building.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I say they simply skip a few steps and have each person marked on their forehead and right arm for easy identification.

  • I worked a Coop with an employer that did government work and every time I'd leave I would have any printed documents I had on me looked over to make sure I wasn't stealing any information, yet my 4gb flash drive in my pocket, that could have held thousands of times more data than the weight of paper I can carry, was never searched. Even if they saw the flash drive on my key chain I was never questioned. And if the information in the video was so top secret it effected the security of the common person, w
    • I worked a Coop with an employer that did

      Was it a ...

      wait for it

      ...

      Chickan Coop

      ??


      Complete at http://www.instantrimshot.com/ [instantrimshot.com]

      ---

      Yup. Here all week.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Depends on how they "prevent theft of data".
      You get out with your files?
      You spread them over the net
      Your corp or gov would go over the logs of the names of x people who prepared a doc of interest in your 4gb liberation.
      Templates, style, revisions might show more that antiword or catdoc can hide.
      Its down to one person and an electronic trail of when the doc was accessed.
      match up with id tags, cctv ect and they have an idea.
      Your isp records are pulled
      You might get depressed and be found later...
      Your I
      • by Chickan (1070300)
        Absolutely, so how would this INDECT system help that again? Its not like they would be able to see the USB stick in my pocket and scan the files remotely. There are plenty of legit ways of tracking IP theft, cameras everywhere is not one of them.
        • by AHuxley (892839)
          USB stick at home is of no use.
          Unless you hold onto it for 25-40 years or so and then gift it to history.
          So you would have to chat, email, skype ect about it.
          The most important thing is tracing a leak and insuring it gets zero mainstream traction.
          With INDECT a new set of words, names and terms could be loaded in, any mention on any known communications system would light up.
          Like the NSA could always do via ECHELON, but this is internal and faces the EU not Asia, Africa, Mid East, South America, Russia
  • When they find the guy who stole my bike.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The police proactively use this information to coordinate locating, pursing, and capturing the document recipient".

    It seems to me that once the recipient has been pursed, capturing them is kind of redundant. Don't you already have them in a relatively small bag?

  • ...security-technophilia, paranoia, directionless data aggregation, and nanny-state politics. Look, I'm all for security, and I hate terrorists, but you can't just throw millions of cameras at the problem, accrue massive amounts of civilian info without having a reason why, a vague and vaporous set of goals, and, to top it off, let a computer define what is or is not a "threat" instead of giving it solid guidelines and clear directives on what to search for. Yeah, that won't cause any problems. I'm honestly
    • Great, now the EU is letting the Underpants Gnomes determine their public-surveillance policy!

      -Oz
    • Greetings, Citizen! THE COMPUTER has determined that you may or may not have read a manual that you may or may not have been granted Clarence to read. Please report to the nearest re-education facility at a time most inconvenient to you for mental re-assessment and conditioning. Remember to fill out enrollment form 245A sections 3, 4, and 7-9 (security clearance Orange and above, only) prior to arriving. Send it off for filing immediately or otherwise, your appearance at the facility may be interpreted as a
  • I feel so warm and fuzzy that all of these governments are so concerned about my safety..

  • This nice young politician, Harold Saxon [wikipedia.org], explained to me why it was so important. Said if any terrorists did something horrible, like a UN scientific adviser or a member of a secret government organization went rogue, we could track them and get them before they did something bad.

    Nice fellow, that Saxon. I'd vote for him. It's not like he'd use all that power for anything evil, would he?

  • For some reason their acronym reads and sounds in my head like "Indecent".
  • So this is supposed to prevent crime by scanning the internet and mobile phones and other electronic stuff.

    Well, I guess in that case the baddies will have to resort to the old fashioned way of doing badness without all these high-tech toys. Just like they successfully managed to do for hundreds of years. Luckily the EU is only planning on spending 15 million euros on this - over 5 years. So it won't matter very much when they discover the money's been wasted as the criminals go back to holding face-to-fa

    • At that point writing letters will probably be declared a suspicious activity that indicates you are a terrorists, or all letters will have to identify the sender and recipient, and be scanned by the post office before posting.

  • If this kind of technology were made available to EVERYONE, there'd probably be a lot less resistance to it. It's the fact that these politicians, corporate entities and governments think they are above other people that, at least, tick *me* off the most.

    • I am normally against this sort of thing. But I believe to win any argument, you just have to find out how to turn it around on them. Like the Transformers and G.I. Joe said, "Knowing is half the battle!" Once you figure out how to turn it around on them, execution is usually the easy part.

        So, I have decided I am for this. But we must use this technology in government and in big business, lest we have another Enron, etc!

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