On the completely fictitious (but technically possible) use for super data collection..

Disclaimer: this is only one POSSIBLE use the kind of data collection the new NSA Utah data center is capable off ( and would need support from other governmental agencies for maxim effectiveness.)

 

Ok, so massive data collection: control of information is a crazy effective tool for law enforcement, imagine all Google searches (and not just searches that return a result, anything typed into search bar) logged by IP (and user if available). A potential use: A suspicious corpse and found, through traditional investigational method a suspect is found as well, and more impotently his pc, his internet search history is then recorded. This process is repeated with most major crimes and a database is formed. Now models can be created and comparisons to the IP recorders could be made, and from what was hundreds of millions of users, a few thousand might become “Of Interest” a little bit of human snooping can then find out most anything, the end result is the government knowing what it’s citizens know, as the learn it. It would crazy difficult to mach something like social security to IP for everyone, but as I opened with, well researched and defined search could whittle down IP, and then government personal ( lets be real, contractors) can mach IP to SS # and location. It is a crazy amount of power, and while in theory if our government was worthy of our trust such power should not be cause for pause, I think governments in general have a bad history with acting in the governed best interest (see War).

 

Now again I stress, this all in theory, I make no claim that this will happen. I do state that it can, the technology is there. Moreover the government might just have an interest in knowing what we are doing for any amount of time we are “online”. I would expect it to start in the next 5 to 10 years, with a huge story about how ip profiling helped stop a mass murder of some sort, by intervening in the life of some troubled youth. It will take some time to figure out exactly what type of information is most predictive of behavior (it may not be so much what is searched for, but maybe timing of the searches, or a theme in the searches or any number of other things). Figuring this out to make a good predictive model is a ripe challenge indeed, BUT it will only get easier with time, each criminal caught and matched w/ his IP will add a piece to the puzzle, and in time a really good profile might be made. Now this of course implies a strong correlation between such things and action, but if you took cross-sections of everyone who ever searched “key logger” and another of everyone else, I think it’s safe to say the former would have a far higher probability of people who might use one.

So ya, I would think anonymity on the info webs has its days numbered. The technology is there to record everything, mouse position, clicks, what we are seeing and when. Now how this will be used? I am just taking a stab in the dark, maybe police will have no interest in predictive measures. They may simply pull the information after the fact to strengthen a court case (search histories have been admissible in court proceedings in other counties) the point is maybe we should be having a bit o public discourse about this tremendous power that COULD have a super huge impact on the lives of most people in the developed world…

 

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