‘Minority Report’ Police State is Already Happening – Way Ahead of Schedule

Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Government, Spying and Surveillance with 23 Comments

minority reportBy John W. Whitehead | ActivistPost.com

“The Internet is watching us now. If they want to. They can see what sites you visit. In the future, television will be watching us, and customizing itself to what it knows about us. The thrilling thing is, that will make us feel we’re part of the medium. The scary thing is, we’ll lose our right to privacy. An ad will appear in the air around us, talking directly to us.”—Director Steven Spielberg, Minority Report

We are a scant 40 years away from the futuristic world that science fiction author Philip K. Dick envisioned for Minority Report in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will crack a few skulls to bring the populace under control.

Unfortunately, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we may have already arrived at the year 2054.

Increasingly, the world around us resembles Dick’s dystopian police state in which the police combine widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining and precognitive technology to capture would-be criminals before they can do any damage. In other words, the government’s goal is to prevent crimes before they happen: precrime.

For John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise), Chief of the Department of Pre-Crime in Washington, DC, the technology that he relies on for his predictive policing proves to be fallible, identifying him as the next would-be criminal and targeting him for preemptive measures. Consequently, Anderton finds himself not only attempting to prove his innocence but forced to take drastic measures in order to avoid capture in a surveillance state that uses biometric data and sophisticated computer networks to track its citizens.

Seemingly taking its cue from science fiction, technology has moved so fast in the short time since Minority Report premiered in 2002 that what once seemed futuristic no longer occupies the realm of science fiction. Incredibly, as the various nascent technologies employed and shared by the government and corporations alike—facial recognition, iris scanners, massive databases, behavior prediction software, and so on—are incorporated into a complex, interwoven cyber network aimed at tracking our movements, predicting our thoughts and controlling our behavior, Spielberg’s unnerving vision of the future is fast becoming our reality.


Examples abound.

FICTION: In Minority Report, police use holographic data screens, city-wide surveillance cameras, dimensional maps and database feeds to monitor the movements of its citizens.

REALITY CHECK: Microsoft, in a partnership with New York City, has developed a crime-fighting system that “will allow police to quickly collate and visualise vast amounts of data from cameras, licence plate readers, 911 calls, police databases and other sources. It will then display the information in real time, both visually and chronologically, allowing investigators to centralise information about crimes as they happen or are reported.”

FICTION: No matter where people go in the world of Minority Report, one’s biometric data precedes them, allowing corporations to tap into their government profile and target them for advertising based on their highly individual characteristics. So fine-tuned is the process that it goes way beyond gender and lifestyle to mood detection, so that while Anderton flees through a subway station and then later a mall, the stores and billboards call out to him with advertising geared at his interests and moods. Eventually, in an effort to outwit the identification scanners, Anderton opts for surgery to have his eyeballs replaced.

REALITY CHECK: Google is working on context-based advertising that will use environmental sensors in your cell phone, laptop, etc., to deliver “targeted ads tailored to fit with what you’re seeing and hearing in the real world.” However, long before Google set their sights on context advertising, facial and iris recognition machines were being employed, ostensibly to detect criminals, streamline security checkpoints processes, and facilitate everyday activities. For example, in preparing to introduce such technology in the United States, the American biometrics firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) turned the city of Leon, Mexico into a virtual police state by installing iris scanners, which can scan the irises of 30-50 people per minute, throughout the city.

Police departments around the country have begun using the Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, or MORIS, a physical iPhone add-on that allows police officers patrolling the streets to scan the irises and faces of suspected criminals and match them against government databases. In fact, in 2014, the FBI launched a nationwide database of iris scans for use by law enforcement agencies in their efforts to track criminals.

Corporations, as well, are beginning to implement eye-tracking technology in their tablets, smartphones, and computers. It will allow companies to track which words and phrases the user tends to re-read, hover on, or avoid, which can give insight into what she is thinking. This will allow advertisers to expand on the information they glean from tracking users’ clicks, searches, and online purchases, expanding into the realm of trying to guess what a user is thinking based upon their eye movements, and advertising accordingly. This information as it is shared by the corporate elite with the police will come in handy for police agencies as well, some of which are working on developing predictive analysis of “blink rates, pupil dilation, and deception.”

In ideal conditions, facial-recognition software is accurate 99.7 percent of the time. We are right around the corner from billboards capable of identifying passersby, and IBM has already been working on creating real world advertisements that react to people based upon RFID chips embedded in licenses and credit cards.

FICTION: In Minority Report, John Anderton’s Pre-Crime division utilizes psychic mutant humans to determine when a crime will take place next.

REALITY CHECK: While no psychic mutants are powering the government’s predictive policing efforts, the end result remains the same: a world in which crimes are prevented through the use of sophisticated data mining, surveillance, community policing and precrime. For instance, police in major American cities have been test-driving a tool that allows them to identify individuals—or groups of individuals—most likely to commit a crime in a given community. Those individuals are then put on notice that their movements and activities will be closely monitored and any criminal activity (by them or their associates) will result in harsh penalties.  In other words, you are guilty before you are given any chance to prove you are innocent.

The Department of Homeland Security is also working on its Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, which will utilize a number of personal factors such as “ethnicity, gender, breathing, and heart rate to ‘detect cues indicative of mal-intent.’”

FICTION: In Minority Report, government agents use “sick sticks” to subdue criminal suspects using less-lethal methods.

REALITY CHECK: A variety of less-lethal weapons have been developed in the years since Minority Report hit theaters. In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security granted a contract to Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., for an “LED Incapacitator,” a flashlight-like device that emits a dazzling array of pulsating lights, incapacitating its target by causing nausea and vomiting. Raytheon has created an “Assault Intervention Device” which is basically a heat ray that causes an unbearable burning sensation on its victim’s skin. The Long Range Acoustic Device, which emits painful noises in order to disperse crowds, has been seen at the London Olympics and G20 protests in Pittsburgh.

FICTION: A hacker captures visions from the “precog” Agatha’s mind and plays them for John Anderton.

REALITY CHECK: While still in its infancy, technology that seeks to translate human thoughts into computer actions is slowly becoming a reality. Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at UC Berkeley, and his research team have created primitive software capable of translating the thoughts of viewers into reconstructed visual images. A company named Emotiv is developing technology which will be capable of reading a user’s thoughts and using them as inputs for operating machinery, like voice recognition but with brain signals. Similar devices are being created to translate thoughts into speech.

FICTION: In Minority Report, tiny sensory-guided spider robots converge on John Anderton, scan his biometric data and feed it into a central government database.

REALITY CHECK: An agency with the Department of Defense is working on turning insects into living UAVs, or “cybugs.” By expanding upon the insects’ natural abilities (e.g., bees’ olfactory abilities being utilized for bomb detection, etc.), government agents hope to use these spy bugs to surreptitiously gather vast quantities of information. Researchers eventually hope to outfit June beetles with tiny backpacks complete with various detection devices, microphones, and cameras. These devices could be powered by the very energy produced by the bugs beating their wings, or the heat they give off while in flight. There have already been reported sightings of dragonfly-like robotic drones monitoring protesters aerially in Washington, DC, as early as 2007.

FICTION: In Minority Report, Anderton flees his pursuers in a car whose movements are tracked by the police through the use of onboard computers. All around him, autonomous, driver-less vehicles zip through the city, moving people to their destinations based upon simple voice commands.

REALITY CHECK: Congress is now requiring that all new cars come equipped with event data recorders that can record and transmit data from onboard computers. Similarly, insurance companies are offering discounts to drivers who agree to have tracking bugs installed. Google has also created self-driving cars which have already surpassed 300,000 miles of road testing. It is anticipated that self-driving cars could be on American roads within the next 20 years, if not sooner.

These are but a few of the technological devices now in the hands of those who control the corporate police state. Fiction, in essence, has become fact—albeit, a rather frightening one.

About the Author

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute, where this article first appeared. He is the author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and The Change Manifesto.

 

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  1. 1042080559170763@facebook.com' Terry Henderson says:

    They did notice it failed in the long run in the movie I hope…

  2. 913416585380327@facebook.com' Remco Spacko Jansen says:

    Sure.

  3. 1622979217946828@facebook.com' Kay W. Abrams says:

    I believe this. Movies aren’t just for entertainment. There is always a message. Always pay attention to the details.

  4. 1171884296161641@facebook.com' Jasper Christiaan Van Dam says:

    I’m the minor Et(electronic transformation) laugh, didn’t you notice unbelievers, it’s always the same lord who use floodstreams as river god

  5. 10208160212273927@facebook.com' Bepirštis Mindaugas says:

    i can help. i see them everyday and especialy at night!!! can’t hide from me:)

  6. 10207282733653831@facebook.com' Dan Joseph says:

    If you want to stop the police state then you to declare religion as a mental illness
    Religion is the driving force behind the police state

  7. 1077845738905777@facebook.com' Rhane Barnes says:

    Rossjedi Clampit Francisco Chozenone Vazquez

  8. 1096699527009704@facebook.com' Brian Mcfarland says:

    The military is hundred years more advanced than we could even imagine

  9. 1141113085903223@facebook.com' James Chaney says:

    Watch the movie and it actually kinda helps you on how to defeat them. Tom cruise is actually showing you how to defeat them. I believe this is real and America better wake up.

  10. 470185079819312@facebook.com' David Middlemiss says:

    Am Reath Escam Etam Yaroot Am Ham Tearth Yam Sim Agreeth Toor Nathe Rahoon

    Ubuntu

    A Call To Stand

    The Greatest Honour For Those That Fight For Their Countries, That Have Fought And Died For Their Friends, Families And Communities, For The Dispossesed, Those Who Are Starving, Suffering, Dying Needlessly Is To Unite That We Fight For One United, All Fighting For The Same Goal,

    For That Which Can Not Be Attained By Fighting

    PEACE

    Your Duty Is To All Life, All Reality, All Consciousness
    Peace Is Created Together, For Every Reality, In Honour Of Every Past, In Anticipation Of Every Future
    In This Perfect Moment, Right Here Right Now

    We Are The Cure

    Our Consciousness, Reality, Environments, Communities, Towns and Villages are Transforming as Our Connection with Nature Is Reborn, Our Allegiances With Products leave us wanting more than ever before, Our Re Connection With Life, True Vibrancy, True Light and Life Enliven and Heal, freely Uniting, That We Can Co Create Life With Life, We Are Realising All That Is Good Unfolds From Diversity and Not mono culture, singularity or products
    Instead From Diverse, Empowering, Healthy, Natural and Fully Integrated Living Self Governing, Systems,
    Organisms Not organisations,
    That Naturally Enliven For the Greatest Good Of all Good
    Not For Money, Profit or fake power systems But For All Life
    Permaculture Creates, Sustains Native Diversity Beyond any other Singular or Complex means, is Balanced and limitless in it’s Good As All Is Bio Active, Completely Good for the entire Environment and Self Regulating, Until Human intervention Virgin Forest Whose Diversity Expanded Exponentially, We Have Produced, Destruction, Now We Must Take Responsibility To Re Create Vibrant Life Globally Allowing Nature To Thrive As An Integral Part Of Our Humility and Its Stewardship of Humanity And Our Humility As An Integral Part Of and As Stewards in The Re Creation Of The Paradise We All Once Were,Before ego had outgrown its usefulness,
    This Garden Belongs To All Life

    All Merit Protected Given Freely Expanded, Ultimate Communiversal Limitless Selflessly Perpetuating Empowerful GOODness

  11. 147688255580597@facebook.com' LunaMia Marquez says:

    shush

  12. 181519145513003@facebook.com' Wendy Imogene Caplinger says:

    Oh i know for a fact this is go ing down… true story.

  13. 1039481026061964@facebook.com' Alex Crofford says:

    Keep us pacified and we won’t care.

  14. 1491238917842684@facebook.com' Daniel Ryan says:

    Read some Philip K. Dick,H.Beam Piper

  15. 1491238917842684@facebook.com' Daniel Ryan says:

    Wait a second, there’s a knock @ my door

  16. 1484783375155856@facebook.com' Eric Brown says:

    A plan hahahaha. Anybody that has ever made a plan knows that it looks good on paper but when you try to implement your plan surprise

  17. 880810865289084@facebook.com' Stephen Baetz says:

    Great movie, but I’m afraid they are right. We are at that juncture in time. It’s scary

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