Big Sis Testing Drones That Can Detect Guns

Big Sis Testing Drones That Can Detect Guns

DHS claims technology will not be used for “nefarious” purposes

Paul Joseph Watson
April 9, 2013

The Department of Homeland Security is testing a number of different drones at a scientific research facility in Oklahoma that have sensors capable of detecting whether a person is armed, stoking concerns that the federal agency is planning on using UAVs to harass gun owners.

Researchers with Oklahoma State University are masterminding the drones for the DHS at a nondescript building that houses the Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems.

Field testing of the drones is being carried out at Ft. Sill Army Post near Lawton, Oklahoma, allowing the UAVs to avoid prying eyes due to the camp’s 200 square miles of restricted airspace.

Toney Stricklin, a member of the Governor’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Council, said the primary purpose of the drones was “to catch the bad guys.”

Attorney David Slane told KWTV-9 that the drones represented a threat to “privacy rights.” report details how, “SUAS sensor platforms are being tested for use by “first responder and homeland security operational communities” that “can distinguish between unarmed and armed (exposed) personnel,” as well as conducting detection, surveillance, tracking and laser designation of targets of interest at stand-off ranges, according to the RAPS (Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety) Test Plan obtained by Homeland Security Today.”

The drones are also fitted with cameras that can record “scene data” in high definition (HD) quality and consist of “fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft having gross takeoff weights of 25 lbs. or less.” A “Privacy Impact Assessment” conducted by a DHS official concluded that the drones posed no privacy issues – which is kind of like a fox concluding that a henhouse poses no safety issues.

A RAPS program official who declined to provide his identity assured critics that the sensor capabilities on the drones would not be used for “nefarious” purposes.

However, given that the DHS has purchased in excess of 1.6 billion bullets, which many see as an attempt to put a stranglehold on the ammunition market as an end run around the Second Amendment, such statements ring hollow.

The RAPS plan also notes how the cost of the drones being tested is continually plummeting, opening the door for some “50,000 police and fire departments” in the country to set up their own “aviation departments.”

Testing of the drones is also set to expand to two further locations, the Oklahoma National Guard’s Camp Gruber and the University Multispectral Laboratory’s test site at Chilocco, Okla.

“Public and congressional concerns over the expanding use of UAVs of all kinds by federal, state and local law enforcement were exacerbated recently following a report by that DHS has “customized its Predator drones” to be able to “identify civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones,” writes Anthony Kimery.

“ reported that DHS’s “specifications for its drones … ‘shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,’” and that “They also specify ‘signals interception’ technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones and ‘direction finding’ technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.”

The Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Ginger McCall said the testing was, “clearly evidence that the Department of Homeland Security is developing drones with signals interception technology and the capability to identify people on the ground.”  After initially covering the DHS’ plan for “public safety drones” in October 2012, we first reported on DHS-funded drones being used in the context of the federal government’s gun control agenda in February of this year. A promotional video for the Shadowhawk drone, a 50lb mini helicopter that can be fitted with an XREP taser with the ability to fire four barbed electrodes that can be shot to a distance of 100 feet, depicted the UAV being used to spy on a private gun sale.

The fictional scenario falsely characterized the private sale of firearms as an illegal activity, with the drone being used to gather information on the individuals involved in the transaction.  After being used against Somali pirates and insurgents in Afghanistan, the Department of Homeland Security approved the Shadowhawk drone for use on domestic soil in 2011, prompting the Sheriff’s Office of Montgomery County, Texas to purchase one for a cool $500,000 dollars, aided by a $250,000 DHS grant.

View a video of the Shadowhawk drone being tested in a scenario which depicts the UAV being used to keep tabs on a gun sale in the video below.

New DARPA Robot Looks Human

New DARPA Robot Looks Human

Experts warn cyborgs will eventually be used to kill

Paul Joseph Watson
April 8, 2013

The new incarnation of Boston Dynamics’ PETMAN robot, being developed for DARPA with Department of Defense funding, not only looks human but it also sweats to regulate body temperature.

A new video showing PETMAN in action depicts the robot dressed up in a post-apocalyptic chem-bio suit with sensors embedded to detect hazardous chemicals.  “Decked out in chem-resistant camo and a dystopic gas mask, this robot couldn’t look more human,” writes Jason Dorrier.  When the clothing is removed, the robot looks something like Sonny from the movie I, Robot. PETMAN is self-balancing and can also do push-ups, walk, stretch, and squat.

As you can see from the previous incarnations of PETMAN in the videos below, as the robot’s capabilities increase, so does its resemblance to a human being.  That will only serve to increase concerns expressed by numerous robotic experts, that the Pentagon’s fleet of cyborgs is being developed with one primary goal in mind – to pursue “suspects” and kill large numbers of people on the future battlefield.  Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, has repeatedly warned that the robots currently being developed under the auspices of DARPA will eventually be used to kill.

“Of course if it’s used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it’s not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers,” said Sharkey.  Last month, award-winning military writer and former intelligence officer Lt. Col. Douglas Pryer also wrote an essay warning of the threat posed by remorseless “killer robots” that will be used to stalk and slaughter human targets in the near future.  In a 50-page report published last year, Human Rights Watch also warned that artificially intelligent robots let loose on the battlefield would inevitably commit war crimes.

Last year, experts at the prestigious University of Cambridge announced a project to conduct research into the “extinction-level risks” posed to humanity by artificially intelligent robots.  Flying drones that communicate with each other are also being developed for “hunting terrorists” and other “homeland security” purposes, as well as UAVs that could one day snatch humans off the street.