The Futures Working Group declares it is likely that extreme reactions against the "new world"¬Ě will spawn many who see it as their duty to violently oppose ever-accelerating change. UAV's and implantable chips will be commonplace, and will work together to enable tracking of anyone and anything.
Posted May 31, 2013 by William Vaughns (Comment)
In the Spring of 2005 at the University of Phoenix, a think tank of futurists and law enforcement officials known as The Futures¬† Working Group (FWG) were meeting to discuss the future of Homeland security. This group is a collaboration between the FBI and the Society of Police Futurists International whose purpose is "to develop and encourage others to develop forecasts and strategies to ethically maximize the effectiveness of local, state, federal, and international law enforcement bodies as they strive to maintain peace and security in the 21st century."¬† Since its inception in 2002, the FWG has written several articles, two books, and has appeared at numerous conferences and training programs. The group continues to probe the outer fringes of what futurists call "possible, probable, and preferable" futures.
In 2006, the FWG published a series of articles from this meeting entitled "Homeland Security: ¬†2015" which attempts to predict likely scenarios law enforcement and government agencies will have to deal with to meet the growing threat. The document, which is readily available to the public, explains that "the world of 2015 has the potential to be very different from the world of today. Futurists note that the rate of technological change is accelerating even as social change stagnates. One futurist has opined that by the year 2020, the amount of information in the world will double every 73 days."¬† The document continues to explain what is, and what is not defined as being a component of "homeland security" will have a major impact on the police. For example, "if street crime rises to the level of a threat to national security, don't be surprised to see the military on the front line. In addition, resource allocation, particularly at the federal level, increasingly will be tied to the extent to which something serves to bolster the perceived security of the homeland."
In the very first article, written by Bernard Levin and Carl Jensen III, great insight is given into what terrorism will be like in 2015 by proclaiming "One element that ties many terrorist organizations together today is a general reaction against globalization. Each group would describe its concerns somewhat differently: al Qaeda decries the decadent influences of the West, the white supremacists rail against the internationalist/Jewish conspiracy, and the environmentalists deplore what they see as the borderless, economically-driven military-industrial complex. Each of these is a reaction against various elements of our increasingly tied-together world."
The article continues to suggest that anyone in opposition to this global change could be considered a terrorist by claiming "it is doubtful that globalization is going to go away; indeed, some describe it as the most pervasive influence on the first part of the 21st century. To that end, much like the Luddites of the 18th century, it is likely that extreme reactions against the "new world" will spawn many who see it as their duty to violently oppose ever-accelerating change."
This is explained further in detail by these specific possible trends, here is where we also learn that the economic gap between the rich and the poor is predicted to widen, further proof the middle class will continue to collapse.
"Radical Islamic Movement - the manner in which the United States is perceived in predominantly Islamic countries (democratizing force or occupier) will drive opinion. As well, whether governments in the Middle East and Africa can effectively meet the needs (educational, economic, political, and religious) of the expected youth bulges will have a significant effect on this movement.
Radical Animal Rights/Anarchist/Environmental Movements - the economic gap between the rich and the poor, predicted to widen, has always been a touchstone issue for these groups, especially as it is perceived to disproportionately affect indigenous peoples.
Hate Groups/Single Interest Groups/the New Luddites - Already, citizen vigilante groups patrol the U.S.-Mexican border, often using more sophisticated tools than those available to the authorities. It is expected that new single interest groups will emerge as well. Concern about new technologies (e.g., nanotechnology and artificial intelligence) has provoked debate among scientists and engineers and has spawned Armageddon-like scenarios."
"In general, and of particular interest to the local police, the structures of each of the above may look quite similar - small, autonomous, flexible units that seek to fly under the radar of the authorities. Depending on their level of operational security, terrorists may be quite difficult to locate. And yet, complete invisibility will likely be impossible. All groups leak information from time to time. So one very important role for those involved in homeland security will be that of "leak detector." The cop on the beat, with his/her intimate knowledge of the community, is in a prime position to do just that."
Admittedly, one obstacle DHS faces is that of the public's interest in terrorism. The catch 22 with counter-terrorism is that citizens never know how well the system works until it fails. Citizens tend to be more concerned with street crime rather than terrorism because they see the effects in their individual communities. So now the next most logical question becomes "how can citizens be convinced to give up their resources in favor of homeland security?" To answer this we are given the factory town analogy:
"In addition to the factory itself, the company ran stores, schools, hospitals and other services from the cradle to the grave (or, at least, the cradle-to-retirement). The factory billed itself as a benevolent patriarch, capable and willing to support its employees in all facets of their lives. Implicit in this was the notion that, not only was the company able to care for its employees, it was better able to care for them than the employees themselves. Think benevolent caretaker vs. individual actor. Industrial age bureaucracies act similarly to factory towns, setting themselves up as wise and capable patriarchs. As the protector of the people, it is in the interest of a bureaucratic government to increase threat - or at least the perception of threat - so that citizens fear more and thus are willing to give up more of their resources, both in terms of finances and freedoms."
This statement clearly confirms advice handed down to us by Benjamin Franklin who once said "they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
So now that its confirmed we are moving in the direction of globalization, and those who oppose it will be labeled as terrorists, how does law enforcement expect to stay ahead of the game? In the article titled Law Enforcement Technology 2015, possible technological solutions are provided.
"Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will undoubtedly begin to augment conventional police helicopters as law enforcement eyes in the sky. By 2015 ultra-light UAVs of many different types and will be able to deploy directly from patrol cars and function autonomously, providing digital information for surveillance, pursuits, traffic enforcement, tactical operations and any other law enforcement mission that benefits from aerial observation.
Running on a combination of battery and solar power, these UAVs will be equipped with small electric motors, wireless cameras, sensors, devices, and GPS locators. They will be capable of loitering in one location at a preset altitude for hours or following a programmed route while sending real-time data to both officers on the ground and incident commanders. And unlike helicopters, these UAVs will be nearly invisible while in the air, have almost no noticeable noise signature from the ground and will be very inexpensive to purchase and operate, making them widely available for law enforcement operations."
"Robotics will also begin to proliferate over the next ten years. Dozens of different models of robots are available today suitable for a variety of purposes and in the near future the numbers and types of robots available for law enforcement will multiply. Market estimates predict that within a few years, millions of robots will be operating in our world. Under development today are small snake-like robots for operation in pipes and confined spaces and robots that climb walls using technology that mimics the biological capability of the gecko lizard. Police robots have been confined to the larger wheeled and tracked types that are equipped with cameras, robotic arms and shotguns but in the future these platforms will be used for many different missions such as area and perimeter security, surveillance, search and rescue and hauling equipment.
But perhaps the biggest innovation to hit the UAV and robot market will be their increasing autonomy and ability to coordinate with each other to perform tasks as a group or "swarm". ¬†A major technology initiative of the U.S. military, the autonomous operation of UAVs and robots will be commonplace by 2015 adding to their usefulness and freeing up police officers otherwise tasked with their operation or close supervision. For example, a police officer on patrol might have an assigned UAV and robot equipped with video cameras, microphones and sensors that could perform many different tasks to enhance that officers performance. They might be affixed to the patrol car when not needed or continuously roam the area around the officer providing important information that would increase the officer's situational awareness.
In a pursuit situation the UAV might launch and track the fleeing vehicle or person allowing the officer to follow from a distance at a safer speed. The robot might simultaneously perform other tasks to aid the pursuit such as helping to alert traffic at approaching intersections or following the suspect into areas where the UAV cannot follow, such as tunnels or buildings. The officer, robot and UAV would form a coordinated team working together to accomplish their assigned mission, adjusting and adapting as the situation demands."
"Biometrics. In 2015, biometrics will have advanced to the point that personal identification will be highly accurate and near instantaneous. Biometric identification systems use a person's unique physiological or behavioral characteristics to determine their identity, matching for instance, a real-time scan of a person's features with a digital record of those features previously scanned and stored in a database. Commonly scanned characteristics are fingerprints, retinas, facial features, speech patterns and hand geometry but there are numerous other unique identifiers that may be used.
Being adopted today in many commercial settings some retailers in high-security environments, including the banking industry, and biometrics systems of 2015 will be multimodal, using several different biometrics at the same time to increase accuracy. The days of signing checks and credit card receipts or remembering Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) will have long passed and it is likely that within ten years the courts and other government agencies could begin requiring biometric identification in place of signatures on driver's licenses, bail bonds, passports and the like. While the courts will certainly limit the extent to which they can be used, by 2015 the technologies may be ubiquitous in the private sector, thus mitigating the privacy controversies we experience today. Indeed, the growing problems of identity theft and fraud coupled with their ease of use and the protections afforded by biometric identification could mandate its widespread use."
"Electronic Monitoring. Perhaps equally important to the identification of individuals is the ability to monitor and track their movement when necessary. By 2015 this will be easily accomplished using various attachable and implantable devices placed on suspects, convicted criminals and other objects of interest such as personal property and evidence. Many of these technologies are already on the market such as "EZ-Pass" transponders for toll-road access, cell phones for E-911 location and On-Star devices in new cars. Others are under development. The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips and GPS receivers that make this location and tracking possible will proliferate in the coming years as they become smaller and cheaper to manufacture. There are currently implantable RFID chips for humans, and several companies are working on implantable GPS receivers that will eliminate the need for an externally worn device. By 2015 these technologies will be commonplace within our environment and will work together to enable tracking of anyone and anything.
For example, this technology will allow for secure "home detention" of suspects or non-violent convicted criminals. A suspect may be permanently assigned to a home, restricted to certain neighborhoods or communities, or allowed to travel to and from work along specific routes and at specific times of day. If a suspect diverts beyond the prescribed parameters the system could automatically alert local police and transmit his present location. Further, parameter alarms will prohibit suspects on probation or parole from violating terms of their release, such as being within a given distance from a spouse, school or another parolee. This system should prove to be far more cost effective than total incarceration and could be used for a wide variety of "low risk" crimes such as drunk driving, shoplifting, and so forth. It could also be used for some types of crimes, such as spousal abuse, minor assaults, and similar offenses but with more restrictive circumscriptions. Depending on the court sentence and circumscriptions, such a system allows a suspect to continue earning a living and greatly reduces the burden on the community for the necessary supervision."
"Data Mining. All of these digitally based technologies and many others that will emerge generate a tremendous amount of data that will need to be managed, a process that will continue to be one of law enforcement's biggest challenges in the Information Age. Consider the massive amounts of data that are expected to be collected as a result of information sharing. Because the data are compiled from various sources it will be difficult to match similar records. To accomplish this within today's homeland security environment, made up of extremely large data sets, it is inevitable that law enforcement will eventually use today's most controversial information technology - data mining."
The power of technology in the Information Age lies not only in the tools that will identify, track and monitor people and things in our world, nor in the individual tools for gathering, processing, storing and analyzing the data that are generated. Over the next decade a shift toward network centric operations will become a law enforcement imperative as digital devices such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Global Positioning System (GPS), and micro - sensor devices are incorporated into everything and everyone in our communities. As more and more people become "wired" and the individual components of our world are weaved together into "intelligent environments," traditional business processes will be eclipsed by those that take advantage of networks and their inherent ability to connect people with information seamlessly and immediately."
What we have seen in the past five years almost seems to be a renaissance in journalism, as the advent of blogging has enabled a swell of independent journalists to take their message worldwide. Not surprisingly, the FWG predicted in 2005 that "as the internet becomes more ubiquitous; the role of the media may decline. Blogging is increasing, while the traditional major network televisions news departments are viewed with less importance. Dan Ruther's unceremonious departure from CBS News in 2005 reflects the consequences of competition - driven "fast news" instead of well - researched journalism of the past. The 2005 brouhaha over "video news releases" masking government positions under the guise of independent news, the direct federal sponsorship of particular stories (and at least one set of White House media credentials) further weakened the public confidence in the media, albeit from the other end of the spectrum."
It appears the FWG might see this as a national security threat as they claim "peer - review accountability of blogs may hold increasing appeal, and the availability of Internet access equals or exceeds global access to satellite fed television. With growing information and news the relevancy of traditional media is an unknown wild card, as is the influence of whatever may take its place. "Niche news," preaching a particular position to an already - agreeable audience, is a far cry from the iconic "free press" that questioned government with an independent mind. Nor is it clear that freelance blogging represents an improvement; history has yet to judge whether the bumper crop of political bloggers are the Benjamin Franklins and Horace Greeley's of the Internet, or mere poseurs with little more to contribute than the drunk in the corner bar."
Most of the predictions in this document have since come to pass since its release almost over 10 years ago. Drones and data - mining are all too familiar controversies that are working their way into public acceptance. The statements in this document align perfectly with popular conspiracies involving the "New World Order" ¬†- ¬†a one - world government system ruled by a selection of the world's most wealthy and elite. Many would argue this document confirms the existence of this plan.