List of sources

If I refer to books I will not mention page numbers because the easiest way to fact-check the quotes is to copy them here and paste them into the search field of the ebook versions. I have invited Politifact and other fact-checkers to go through all the articles I publish on this website.

Paul Scharre, a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, wrote in 2018 a book called Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War. This is what Bill Gates says about it: “[T]he book I had been waiting for. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, says: This illuminating book will dominate the discussion and analysis of this problem―and its execution in the field―for decades to come”.

Paul Scharre refers to Stuart Russell, one of the world’s leading experts on AI, who is Professor of Computer Science and Smith-Zadeh Professor in Engineering, University of California, Berkeley and Honorary Fellow, Wadham College, Oxford:

“Russell has a very different kind of autonomous weapon in mind, a swarm of millions of small, fast-moving antipersonnel drones that could wipe out an entire urban population. … He explained, “You can make small, lethal quadcopters an inch in diameter and pack several million of them into a truck and launch them with relatively simple software and they don’t have to be particularly effective. If 25 percent of them reach a target, that’s plenty.””

BBC in 2020:

“It was more than just a passing thought for Mr Caccia, who is the chief executive of Animal Dynamics, a technology start-up applying lessons from wildlife to drone design.”

“Formed in 2015 to pursue the science known as biomechanics, his company already has two drones to show for an intimate study of bird and insect life.”

“One takes inspiration from a dragonfly, and has attracted funding from the military. Its four wings make it steady in high winds that would defeat existing miniature spy drones.”

“Known as Skeeter, the secretive project has cracked the challenge of using flapping wings to power a drone. While wings are more efficient than a propeller and allow a dragonfly to hover in the face of strong gusts they are almost impossible for human engineers to emulate.”

The stealthy little drones that fly like insects

James Rickards, a lawyer and economist who worked ten years for the CIA, writes in The Road to Ruin (Penguin, 2016):

“In an award-winning series called “Stop and Seize,” The Washington Post documented the widespread abuse of civil forfeiture to confiscate property from innocent citizens without due process and use the proceeds to finance state and city budgets and to buy new weaponry for militarized police departments. The practice is called “policing for profit.”” (…)

“E-ZPass surveillance uses radio frequency identification technology (RFID). Your E-ZPass tag has a transmitter that broadcasts information about you that is read by a scanner installed overhead at a tollbooth. Now governments are installing scanners and cameras on roads everywhere to collect the same information. The New York Civil Liberties Union recently discovered that New York City and State installed scanners in diverse locations to track the whereabouts of citizens. These scanners are not collecting tolls. They are the unacceptable face of the ubiquitous surveillance state.”

Bruce Schneier, a security technologist at Harvard:

“Modern Mass Surveillance: Identify, Correlate, Discriminate” (…)

“Cameras are so good that they can read fingerprints and iris patterns from meters away.”

Modern Mass Surveillance: Identify, Correlate, Discriminate

James M. Olson, former chief of CIA counterintelligence, has written To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence where he recommends Cassidy’s Run by David Wise. In this latter book we can read this about the pinholes (pinpricks?) drilled to fit cameras that FBI had in 1971, a half century ago:

“Allen worked in the hot, cramped crawl space of the duplex to install the miniature concealed cameras, which were so small that they operated through two tiny pinholes drilled into the ceiling. “They put in two video cameras,” Charlie Bevels said, “one over the top of his [Lopez’s] desk, and one from the side.”

“The sophisticated cameras worked, allowing the FBI to watch the Lopezes inside their home.”

In the book Aftermath by James Rickards (Penguin, 2019) one can see what happens when surveillance is privatized:

“Hedge funds use private satellite companies to obtain images of store parking lots taken from space. By comparing those images over time, analysts can ascertain if store traffic is up or down (assuming there’s little pedestrian traffic). If the hedge fund has information on average purchases by customer, average shoppers per car, and vendor margins, it’s even possible to estimate a store’s net income using the satellite photos in advance of any public announcement by the owner. Such information is material and nonpublic, but was not stolen or obtained in breach of a duty. The information was obtained through diligent research by the party who hired the satellite, and that party is free to trade on the information and usually does. It’s perfectly legal.”

The New York Times:

A Paranoid Guide to Fighting the ‘Bugging Epidemic’

“With surveillance gear cheaper and easier to use, security experts say checking your environment for cameras and microphones is not a crazy idea.”

The Guardian:

Quick, cheap to make and loved by police – facial recognition apps are on the rise

The Intercept:

The Rise of Smart Camera Networks, and Why We Should Ban Them

“Private businesses and homes are starting to plug their cameras into police networks, and rapid advances in artificial intelligence are investing closed-circuit television, or CCTV, networks with the power for total public surveillance. In the not-so-distant future, police forces, stores, and city administrators hope to film your every move — and interpret it using video analytics.”

Trillions of nano-sensors can be produced to track everything from tourists and hikers to forest fires and troop movements. Already in 2004, one could read that “Motes are inexpensive enough to deploy by the thousands in factories, farms or wildernesses.”

David E. Culler, Hans Mulder: Smart Sensors to Network the World. Scientific American 290(6):84-91, July 2004.

“Smart dust” is a technical term describing wireless networked computers of different sizes, from a centimeter to less than a millimeter, but all small enough to be “sprinkled” or thrown over a surface, or even stay airborne like the smallest dust particles. For more info on smart dust see this article here.

The Daily Mail:

“Tucker Carlson accuses Bank of America of treating customers ‘like Al Qaeda’ as he reveals it gave the FBI details of every customer who spent money on hotels or AirBnb, flights and guns in DC around time of the Capitol siege”

Max Tegmark, a professor at MIT, writes in Life 3.0 (Penguin Books, 2018):

“Whereas past totalitarian states generally proved unstable and collapsed, novel surveillance technology offers unprecedented hope to would-be autocrats. “You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” Wolfgang Schmidt said in a recent interview about the NSA surveillance systems revealed by Edward Snowden, recalling the days when he was a lieutenant colonel in the Stasi, the infamous secret police of East Germany.”

The Guardian:

India’s founding values are threatened by sinister new forms of oppression

“By employing drones and facial recognition against the opposition, Narendra Modi seems heedless of civil liberties and justice”

The Guardian:

Met police to begin using live facial recognition cameras in London

FDA (Nov, 2017):

“FDA approves pill with sensor that digitally tracks if patients have ingested their medication.”

Robots now enforcing Covid social distancing in Singapore parks (00:20):

If some cultural conservatives don’t take robotic development seriously, watch:

Sophia is the coolest, “prettiest”

and scariest, at the moment, as far as we know in Cold War 2:

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