While it may seem like a step in the direction of superior intelligence, a new method of recording speech and analyzing the intentions of the speaker is being developed by a shadowy agency you likely haven’t even heard about. At least not until now. But how will the information gleaned from this higher level of domestic spying play out? And just what will it eventually reveal about you? The answer is perhaps as terrifying as we feared.
The principle essentially is much like selecting the tone of voice an individual makes in a conversation and then surmising the emotional undercurrents behind it. As the conversation progresses or as the text is analyzed by the system, developed by US Intelligence, it gives a comprehensive understanding of what the intentions of the writer are behind the system. No longer would it be necessary for a human controller to sit behind a desk and analyze the hidden meanings of words when an advanced computer system could pick up on them and essentially read the minds of whoever was posting their thoughts to the Internet.
But just as with any other system, this one likely has cues that would inevitably be analyzed by anyone seriously attempting to bypass them. Instead, the real target – as evidenced by recent expansions on the government’s ability to use wiretaps may be to study the thoughts and intentions of the average citizen – so say privacy advocates troubled by the recent grab for rights the administration has been making.
The end result is just as terrifying as it sounds. For the first time a computer automated system would be not only collecting data to be analyzed at a later date by individuals in the Intelligence community, it would actually be automatically sifting through all messages and picking up on the thoughts and intentions of all writers making blog posts, private emails, and text messages to one another. While it may sound like pure fantasy, the system was recently confirmed in a harrowing recent interview with the Telegraph.
So is the otherwise free expression of the Internet we have all enjoyed on the Internet now on the brink of an all out war of the words? Or is this system like so many others simply another step toward making the world a safer place?
Interestingly the ratio of those affected by measures such as these suggest that the average citizen is more greatly affected by changes such as this than any particular terrorist organization. And the idea of putting a computer at the head of this automated digital surveillance drone designed to read not only what we write, but what we think as well is enough to make the least paranoid bloggers’ skin crawl.
But surveillance in the world of 2011 is met incrementally as another step in a terrifying direction even while the machines that put it together are not stopped. What will tomorrow bring?