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Monitoring Weapons Bans With Social Media 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the like-this dept.
Harperdog writes "Kirk Bansak has a great article outlining a coming revolution in non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and bio-weapons, courtesy of smart phones and social media. Early theory on arms control foresaw 'inspection by the people' as a promising method for preventing evasion of arms control and disarmament obligations and serves as a starting point for understanding 'social verification.' As Rose Gottemoeller recently stated: '[Cell phone-based] sensors would allow citizens to contribute to detecting potential treaty violations, and could build a bridge to a stronger private-public partnership in the realm of treaty verification.'"
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Monitoring Weapons Bans With Social Media

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  • Better than the TSA raping us.
    • Oh shit, this probably has marked as potentially having weapons.
      • Re:Better than... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Monday August 13, 2012 @03:01PM (#40976317) Homepage Journal

        Crowdsource actionable violations? What a great idea. You'd have domain-expertise, on the spot, in real-time - for all cases.

        There's no way that could be co-opted or manipulated by social engineering!

        It would be like "Kony 2012" on steroids. [keepittrill.com]

        All you'd need to do is add automated drone-strikes to this plan, and we will be living in the Humanitarian Utopia promised us by technology.

        • It would be like "Kony 2012" on steroids.

          What, everybody running and yelling around the streets naked?

          • They might as well be if this is ever implemented. When a regime decides to flout a treaty, the do it behind military controlled fences staffed by people under threat of death.

            Arms control required positive verification and free access. It always fails when one party is actively tring to avoid inspection: see North Korea prior to their nuke tests.

        • by Criton (605617)
          You mean dystopia.
  • It would show people when they are being x-ray'd.

    • FROM: Earth

      TO: USA-Citizens

      SUBJECT: Outside the USA

      Dear Sir or Madam:

      We want to kindly remind you that there are other countries on Earth, most of them inhabited by humans.

      In accordance, we find it hard to understand that you react to a post concerning international treatries (which assume the existence of said several countries) just by looking at your country and thinking that it only applies to it.

      Kindly regards.

      More than 90% of mankind (too lazy to do the math right now).

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday August 13, 2012 @02:51PM (#40976217) Homepage Journal

    Doing something untoward? Give lots of falsified negative readings in your area to give the impression to observers that nothing is wrong.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      Or hack the system and give your neighbors or other enemies lots of falsified positives so that the UN launches sanctions against them. A system like this would be more or less completely worthless, even assuming they could make the physical hardware accurate enough. Seismometers on a cell phone? Never mind, of course, that if there is a big enough sample for you to detect a bio-weapon, you will have a much bigger and more immediate problem to worry about than non-compliance with treaties. Specifically, the

      • by vlm (69642)

        A system like this would be more or less completely worthless, even assuming they could make the physical hardware accurate enough

        The article was pure blue sky, and you seem to be thinking of primary data gathering.

        Here's how it would really work in the real world (probably). So you've got a off the shelf U-235 reactor. And an adjacent reprocessing plant. You'd like to make a nice Pu-239 based a-bomb (nagasaki style, hold the wasabi). But there's this pesky non-proliferation treaty. What to do?

        Your "U-235" plant contains 90+% U-239 as a non-fissionable filler material. OK so holding a chunk of U-239 in a neutron flux results in

      • Absolutely and completely worthless idea. Just because you set up an easy way for your peers to nark you out does not make it a viable or effective solution. When was the last time we could effectively ban ANYTHING even inside the USA? Let's see...

        Alcohol? nope

        Drugs? nope

        Prostitution? nope

        Illegal firearm ownership?

        nope

        Asinine...

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday August 13, 2012 @02:52PM (#40976239)

    And it's a great way to get your ass killed or thrown into prison if you do it in the wrong country. It's also a great way to get shitty intelligence from fake reports [wikipedia.org] of WMD's. Hell, even in the U.S., whistleblowers are VERY rarely thanked (usually it costs you your job at the very least). How do you think some guy downloading the "Monitor My Country's WMD Activity" app will be treated in the third world?

    • by Lehk228 (705449) on Monday August 13, 2012 @03:04PM (#40976343) Journal
      And it's a great way to get your ass killed or thrown into prison if you do it in the wrong country.

      You mean like the USA?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clarkkent09 (1104833)

        There is a line between whistle blowing and treason. I suggest you look it up.

        • Yeah and I'm pretty sure that leaking something that is a state secret for national security reasons qualifies as treason.

          • Yeah and I'm pretty sure that leaking something that is a state secret for national security reasons qualifies as treason.

            Not on its own, legally speaking, in the US, where the definition of treason (unique among all crimes) is specifically limited by the Constitution.

        • by Githaron (2462596)
          That depends on the government.
        • by Lehk228 (705449)
          telling the people that our troops are shooting up vans with kids for kicks is whistleblowing. Treason would be authorizing illegal torture programs which accomplish nothing except instigate more terrorism
        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          Providing potential foreign aggressors with information about secret weapon development programs *IS* treason, regardless of the UN opinion about legality of such programs. In itself, nuclear weapons development is not a war crime.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Don't forget Thomas Drake [wikipedia.org]. He was an NSA analyst who compared a billion dollar surveillance program with a million dollar surveillance program and concluded that the million dollar program worked far better. As was his job, he reported this and was told to stop asking questions. At this point he took evidence of billions of dollars of fraud and waste inside the NSA to the media. He was then charged as a spy.

        Hey Obama voters. Were you aware that Obama has prosecuted more whistelblowers under the espiona

        • That's terribly interesting. Given the current candidates, which one do you believe will be far more lenient on whistle blowers who expose their own dark secrets and pet programs?

          • by Hatta (162192)

            Jill Stein is probably your best bet. I wouldn't trust Gary Johnson because of his support for private prisons. Nothing says justice like a profit motive for incarceration.

        • by eepok (545733)

          I don't think racking up a total count of SIX is sufficient to refer to him as a "radical authoritarian". Also, was it OBAMA who initiated the proceedings or, say, the DOD and CIA?

          • by Hatta (162192)

            I don't think racking up a total count of SIX is sufficient to refer to him as a "radical authoritarian".

            Twice as many as all other presidents in history combined. Do I need to do the statistics and report how many standard deviations from the mean Obama is?

            Also, was it OBAMA who initiated the proceedings or, say, the DOD and CIA?

            As head of the executive, Obama is responsible for everything the DOD and CIA does.

            • by eepok (545733)

              Twice as many of any other president. But doubling a small number is not particularly notable.

              Going from 1 to 3 is a 300% increase, but a difference of two.
              Obama went from 3 to 6, a 200% increase, but a differernce of three.

              What should be focused on are the cases, not the statistics of very small numbers.

              Moreover, the president is *accountable* for the actions of those below him. His validity as a president can be jeopardized for their actions (accountability), but since he doesn't directly control them, he

              • by jxander (2605655)

                Umm... quick math lesson.

                Going from 3 to 6 is an increase of 100%
                Going from 3 to 3 is an increase of 0%

                Though I suppose, going from the 3 total pre-O, adding his 6 for a total of 9 ... 3 to 9 is a 200% increase.

                /maths

              • by Hatta (162192)

                What should be focused on are the cases, not the statistics of very small numbers.

                1) So you think just all of a sudden in 2008 espionage act cases got 30 times more common and Obama's election had nothing whatsoever to do with it?

                2) the numbers are small, but the number of trials is reasonably large. If you reach into a bag 16 times(the number of presidents since the espionage act was passed) and pull out 3 orange marbles total, and then you pull out 6 orange marbles in a row, you know something has chang

    • by Trepidity (597)

      I agree, but I imagine there are some circumstances where it could work, if it's fairly passive on the user's part (no individualized choice to report) and their country agrees to the rollout as part of a treaty. Basically, countries A and B sign a treaty that says that both countries will roll out this WMD app or whatever, and then there are some regular-style inspections to make sure it's actually rolled out. Now both countries have armies of regular citizens who're walking around with the WMD app, and ca

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Countries that agree to monitoring are unlikely to be a problem, because to agree to that they either have to be honest or very good at hiding things. In fact, countries in general are rarely a problem, because they have too much to lose from actually using nukes or bio-weapons when they know other countries will retaliate.

        The real problem is individuals with such weapons, because many are crazy enough to use them.

        • The real problem is individuals with such weapons, because many are crazy enough to use them.

          Yeah, but how do you keep them off the ballot?

          • by 0123456 (636235)

            Yeah, but how do you keep them off the ballot?

            The people who would press the red button first chance they got are usually too unstable to get there; Ted Bundy, for example, was active in political campaigns and could have been a politico, but couldn't keep his murderous urges under control for long enough. Those who could reach that point are surrounded by many others who would prevent them from doing so; if Obama pressed the red button tomorrow because it's Tuesday, you can be pretty sure that the people beneath him in the nuclear chain of command wou

            • It doesn't have to go nuclear. We have mass murderers in office now. Bundy and the cults are pikers. Hell, the taliban are bit players, expendable hollywood extras. Politicians are the biggest killers in the world.

    • "Operator, please give me "011 86 800 æ'å'çZæå¼"
      Black sedan appears. Caller disappears.

  • ...countries and violated and continue to violate the non-proliferation
    treaty, or those that turn a blind eye towards some of those that do.

    The problem is not a technical one. It's a political one.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    No citizen, in any country, without some form of security clearance has access to the sort of information that would make this worthwhile. Once they have the security clearance, passing on any of this information promptly becomes illegal .......

    • by vlm (69642)

      No citizen, in any country, without some form of security clearance has access to the sort of information that would make this worthwhile. Once they have the security clearance, passing on any of this information promptly becomes illegal .......

      Come on AC try harder. See I have gathered data that shows that AC is a US educated chemist capable of performing plutonium extractions. Suddenly, instead of tweeting on a regular basis at ye olde oil refinery, AC has cut back on tweeting 99% with the occasional tweet right outside the gate of a suspected reprocessing plant. In fact known reprocessing plant workers tweet at the hookah stand and the restaurant and bazzar and gas station down the road from the plant all the time, just like AC tweets now.

  • Do people really still think that weapons can be un-invented?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was called Wikileaks, and governments weren't too happy about it.

  • I think I saw this in a movie once. Maybe we should ask Morgan Freeman how he feels about it?

  • Nukes don't kill people, people kill people. If we ban certain countries from getting nukes, they're going to get nukes anyway. All that bans on nuclear weapons do is prevent law-abiding countries from getting their own nuclear deterrents, so only the bad guys end up armed. The world will be a lot safer with more nukes, not less. Nukes keep people safer. In fact everyone should carry them as their patriotic duty.

  • What kind of sensors in cell phones? Are they talking about sniffing out nukes? Are we aware of the sensors in our cell phones? Or are we to be used like some cheesy Batman plot, with some agency/entity sniffing at our phones? Why stop there? Let's sniff out drugs, firearms, etc. Once all of that is gone, then we can work on people's attitudes, we can detect anger management problems. If you use the wrong language, it will know.

    I am a minimalist when it comes to this kind of use of technology. Sure it sound

  • When countries trying to violate their disarment treaties do secret development in the middle of the main street.

    Now, if they did somehow try to hide it in military/restricted instalations, that would make this proposal senseless. But evil war-mongering, rearming tyrants would not do that, wouldn't they?

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

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