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Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category

Feb 5, 2019

China is developing a new laser satellite meant to hunt down submarines more than 1,600 feet underwater

Posted by in categories: military, surveillance

China is developing a satellite with a powerful laser for anti-submarine warfare that researchers hope will be able to pinpoint a target as far as 500 metres below the surface.

It is the latest addition to the country’s expanding deep-sea surveillance programme, and aside from targeting submarines — most operate at a depth of less than 500 metres — it could also be used to collect data on the world’s oceans.

Project Guanlan, meaning “watching the big waves”, was officially launched in May at the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology in Qingdao, Shandong. It aims to strengthen China’s surveillance activities in the world’s oceans, according to the laboratory’s website.

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Jan 26, 2019

Big Pharma’s Drug Studies Are Getting a NASA-Style Makeover

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, supercomputing, surveillance

Trying to streamline an operation that spends more than $5 billion a year on developing new drugs, Novartis dispatched teams to jetmaker Boeing Co. and Swissgrid AG, a power company, to observe how they use technology-laden crisis centers to prevent failures and blackouts. That led to the design of something that looks like the pharma version of NASA’s Mission Control: a global surveillance hub where supercomputers map and chart Novartis’s network of 500 drug studies in 70 countries, trying to predict potential problems on a minute-by-minute basis.


A third of development costs comes from clinical trials. Novartis wants to make them cheaper and faster.

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Nov 19, 2018

Transhumanism Becoming the ‘Relentless Drumbeat’ Shaping Our Future – Advocate

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, cryptocurrencies, economics, geopolitics, security, surveillance, transhumanism

Following recent trends in state-of-the-art developments, from cryptocurrencies and universal basic income to biohacking and the surveillance state, transhumanism has been moved into the limelight of political discourse to reshape humanity’s future.

Andrew Vladimirov, Information security specialist, biohacker and one of the original members of the Transhumanist Party UK, spoke in-depth with Sputnik about the rise of transhumanism and its implications.

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Oct 25, 2018

China: facial recognition and state control | The Economist

Posted by in categories: government, privacy, robotics/AI, security, surveillance, transportation

Whether it’s left there or right here… the tactics and destination look pretty much the same to me…


China is the world leader in facial recognition technology. Discover how the country is using it to develop a vast hyper-surveillance system able to monitor and target its ethnic minorities, including the Muslim Uighur population.

Continue reading “China: facial recognition and state control | The Economist” »

Oct 6, 2018

Did China hack US motherboards?; Industrial-base report, previewed; New tool to fight fake news; ‘Light footprints’ mean shaky intel; And a bit more

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, employment, government, surveillance

China put tiny spy chips on many U.S. servers. That’s the word from Bloomberg Businessweek, whose cover story published Thursday asserts that Beijing persuaded Chinese hardware manufacturers to install a surveillance chip, half the size of a grain of rice, on the motherboards of hundreds of thousands of data servers sold around the world by a U.S. company called Supermicro, including to Amazon and Apple.

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Sep 2, 2018

The future is here! Russia successfully tests exosuit enabling wearer to shoot machine gun 1-handed

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, military, surveillance

The passive exoskeleton is already part of the Russian Army’s Ratnik (warrior), or ‘future combat system’, which also includes a range of surveillance, communications, and defensive equipment. The active exoskeleton may become part of Ratnik by 2025, according to Military-Scientific Committee Chair of the Ground Forces Aleksandr Romanyuta.


Russia has tested a battery-powered electric motor exoskeleton. The ‘Iron Man’ suit enables the wearer to accurately hit a target with a machine gun one-handed.

Soldiers wearing the high-tech exosuit can run faster and wield heavier equipment and weapons, Oleg Faustov – the chief designer of military industry company TsNIITochMash, which developed the exoskeleton – told TASS.

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Aug 18, 2018

Government seeks Facebook help to wiretap Messenger — sources

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, law enforcement, surveillance

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook Inc ( FB.O ) to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so law enforcement may listen to a suspect’s voice conversations in a criminal probe, three people briefed on the case said, resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance.

The previously unreported case in a federal court in California is proceeding under seal, so no filings are publicly available, but the three people told Reuters that Facebook is contesting the U.S. Department of Justice’s demand.

The judge in the Messenger case heard arguments on Tuesday on a government motion to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Aug 13, 2018

Solar-powered aircraft stays aloft for record-breaking 25 days

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, satellites, surveillance, sustainability

While Facebook and Google recently pulled the plug on their solar-powered internet drones, another company with a lot more experience is having success with the idea. Airbus announced that its solar-powered Zephyr S HAPS (high altitude pseudo-satellite) flew for 25 straight days, setting a time aloft record for any airplane, ever. It shattered the previous record of 14 days, marked by a previous prototype Zephyr aircraft.

The Zephyr flies on sun power alone at over 70,000 feet, an altitude that just a few aircraft like the Concorde and SR-71 Blackbird have reached. That’s well above any weather, and lets it perform reconnaissance, surveillance and communications/internet duties. “[It fills a] capability gap complimentary to satellites, UAVs and manned aircraft to provide persistent local satellite-like services,” Airbus said in a press release. A video of the takeoff (below) shows that it can be lifted and launched by hand. Once aloft, it can be operated for a fraction the cost of a satellite.

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Aug 6, 2018

Designed features can make cities safer, but getting it wrong can be plain frightening

Posted by in category: surveillance

City planners and designers can help make spaces safer in many ways. One strategy is known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED, pronounced “sep-ted”). This approach is based on the idea that specific built and social environmental features can deter criminal behaviour.

Strategies can be as simple as good maintenance, like rapidly removing graffiti, which can deter some offenders.

Another method is to build houses, streets, transport hubs and retail settings in a way that promotes visibility. This can include making windows and entrances of buildings face each other and clever use of lighting. The enhanced visibility this creates is known as “passive surveillance”, which can deter some offenders.

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Aug 1, 2018

Futurists in Ethiopia are betting on artificial intelligence to drive development

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI, surveillance

“We should not start from steam and railways, or the old technologies—that is already done,” Assefa argues.

That makes sense to academics like Singh — though he also cautions that political forces are often slow to see the bigger picture. There is definitely an opportunity for developing countries, he says. “But any time we have a technological revolution, the political institutions have to catch up.”

A 2017 report (pdf) by the World Wide Web Foundation suggested that Ethiopian “intelligence services are using machine intelligence techniques to break encryption and find patterns in social media posts that can be used to identify dissidents.” And while mobile phone and internet penetration in Ethiopia is comparatively poor—a situation made worst amid widespread anti-government protests, which prompted an internet crackdown in February — the report added that government surveillance and oppression could increase as the use of smartphones expands.

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