In a very COINTELPRO-esque context, the ACLU has received more than 18 hours of video from surveillance cameras installed on FBI aircraft that flew over Baltimore in the days after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in 2015. The footage offers a rare insight into the workings of a government surveillance operation targeting protests.

The cache is likely the most comprehensive collection of aerial surveillance footage ever released by a US law enforcement agency... The footage shows the crowds of protesters captured in a combination of visible light and infrared spectrum video taken by the planes’ wing-mounted FLIR Talon cameras. While individual faces are not clearly visible in the videos, it’s frighteningly easy to imagine how cameras with a slightly improved zoom resolution and face recognition technology could be used to identify protesters in the future.

The collection of aerial surveillance footage of Baltimore protests from April 29, 2015 to May 3, 2015, from FBI archives is available on their website, or better yet, the Internet Archive.

"Records from the Federal Aviation Administration showed that the FBI’s aircraft, which were registered to front companies to conceal their ownership, carried sophisticated camera systems on board, complete with night-vision capabilities."

The FBI says they're only using the planes to track specific suspects in "serious crime investigations," and that "the FBI flew their spy planes more than 3,500 times in the last six months of 2015, according to an analysis of data collected by the aircraft-tracking site FlightRadar24."

"The FBI has been criticized in the recent past for its actions regarding domestic advocacy groups. A 2010 report by the Department of Justice Inspector General found the FBI opened investigations connected to organizations such as Greenpeace and the Catholic Worker movement that classified possible “trespassing or vandalism” as domestic terrorism cases. The report also found the FBI’s National Press Office “made false and misleading statements” when questioned by the media about documents obtained by public records requests."

Tim Holt and Katina Michael. "Dashcams Used to Gather Evidence of Adverse Driver Behaviour: Police Encourage Reporting by Citizens" ABC South East NSW Radio: Mornings with Tim Holt Jan. 2015.

Have a look at this- KnightscopeAutonomous Robots that Predict and Prevent Crime 

I talked about a future like this at the QSymposium this year and many of the international relations scholars looked at me like I was from another planet! It took about 48 hours for people to realise that what I was saying was not just the stuff of science fiction, though I admit to watching every episode of Dr Who by the time I was 10 years old. I graduated with a Masters of Transnational Crime Prevention in the Faculty of Law in 2009- this is exactly what I studied, especially with respect to the notion of "hot pursuit" and separately intelligence-led policing (although now it's a lot more fashionable to talk about evidence-based policing. See my panel chairing at this Human Rights and Policing conference. A small part of my own presentation on proactive criminalisation is here.

Is this the future we want?

Is it just me, or can't you see where we're headed with this stuff?

I'd like to think that the data being collected by this BOT was going to be used just for peace and security but that would be a pipedream!

C'mon people "startup of the year"? Do we give prizes for novelty and innovation without thinking what it all might mean in the future?

And please don't give me the rhetoric about a knife being used to butter bread or to kill someone... this ain't the same thing! This is abhorrent! 

One day autonomous data collection, the next a packed mule! Anyone remember this article? But then the way these things are marketed you'd think they weren't real! Well think again... I had the great pleasure of entering Boston Dynamics in June of this year and was greeted by the monstrosities at the front door. The packed mules DO exist, they just haven't been unleashed en mass!

Thanks for the link KMA- interesting these Knightscope guys were given airtime at PII this year. Correct me if I'm wrong- but aren't these the guys PII is raising awareness against? What a smokescreen confusing mess!

Now compare!

Darlek: "I was made to take orders..."

Dr Who: "What does that mean?"

Darlek: "I am a solider, I was made to receive orders."

Katina: "My point exactly."


Thanks for the link to the Spaxels KMA. More here

Now compare with the flying Darlek in Dr Who.

Yes it's all sci-fi... well at least the Dr Who stuff is for now...



Read more here

"A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands."

Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD 'Minerva Research Initiative' partners with universities "to improve DoD's basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US."

Poll taken as of 18 July 2014 indicates 53%|47% for|against technology is enslaving us.

poll for and against iq2.jpg


More information on attending the event here

City Recital Hall Angel Place
2 Angel Place
Sydney Australia

Tuesday, 12 August 2014 
6:45 -8:30 pm

Tickets available here