Moore’s Law, Cheap Electronics and Homeland Security Money Combine to Create Big Brother

George Washington's picture

1984 wall TV Moores Law, Cheap Electronics and Homeland Security Money Combine to Create Big Brother


We extensively documented last week that Americans are the most spied upon people in world history.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal gave a glimpse of a small part of the pervasive spying:

Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime.

Why is this happening?

Technology … and money.

Specifically, Moore’s law says that computing power doubles every two years.  Computer processing and storage are advancing so quickly that massive quantities of visual and auditory data can be gathered, analyzed and stored.

Moreover, high-quality videocams and microphones keep getting cheaper and cheaper.  Today, most people shoot video with their smartphone, and alot of people have webcams on the computers.

At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security is giving huge amounts of cash to local governments to obtain  military hardware and software.

These 3 trends – increased computing power, cheaper videocams and microphones, and government funding for “homeland security” purposes – has led to a 1984 style surveillance society.

As Wired reports:

Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations….


The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases ….


The IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server (.pdf), and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.




The systems use cables or WiFi to pair audio conversations with camera images in order to produce synchronous recordings. Audio and video can be monitored in real-time, but are also stored onboard in blackbox-like devices, generally for 30 days, for later retrieval. Four to six cameras with mics are generally installed throughout a bus, including one near the driver and one on the exterior of the bus.




Privacy and security expert Ashkan Soltani told the Daily that the audio could easily be coupled with facial recognition systems or audio recognition technology to identify passengers caught on the recordings.

RT notes:

Street lights that can spy installed in some American cities


America welcomes a new brand of smart street lightning systems: energy-efficient, long-lasting, complete with LED screens to show ads. They can also spy on citizens in a way George Orwell would not have imagined in his worst nightmare.


With a price tag of $3,000+ apiece, according to an ABC report, the street lights are now being rolled out in Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh, and may soon mushroom all across the country.


Part of the Intellistreets systems made by the company Illuminating Concepts, they have a number of “homeland security applications” attached.


Each has a microprocessor “essentially similar to an iPhone,” capable of wireless communication. Each can capture images and count people for the police through a digital camera, record conversations of passers-by and even give voice commands thanks to a built-in speaker.


Ron Harwood, president and founder of Illuminating Concepts, says he eyed the creation of such a system after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He is “working with Homeland Security” to deliver his dream of making people “more informed and safer.”

Fox news notes that the government is insisting that “black boxes” be installed in cars to track your location.

The TSA has moved way past airports, trains and sports stadiums, and is deploying mobile scanners to spy on people all over the place.  This means that traveling within the United States is no longer a private affair.  (And they’re probably bluffing, but the Department of Homeland Security claims they will soon be able to know your adrenaline level, what you ate for breakfast and what you’re thinking … from 164 feet away.)

And Verizon has applied for a patent that would allow your television to track what you are doing, who you are with, what objects you’re holding, and what type of mood you’re in.  Given Verizon and other major carriers responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011, such information would not be kept private.  (And some folks could be spying on you through your tv using existing technology.)

Thanks to Moore’s law, cheap electronics and the all-pervasive “homeland security” state, Big Brother is here.

Postscript: George Orwell was not the only one to foresee pervasive high-tech surveillance.  National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in 1970:

The [future] era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.

Fortunately, Big Brother is a gentle soul who would never hurt a fly.  Oh, waitnever mind.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
steve from virginia's picture


Three ways to manage your future:


 - throw away the TV,


 - get out of debt (shorting the Fed in the process),


 - get rid of the car. (It takes awhile to learn how to live without one.)


If you feel like it you can 'do' the Max (Keiser) and buy silver (and squeeze JPM).



Vooter's picture

All the surveillance in the world isn't going to stop the dollar from crashing and the U.S. economy from collapsing. This surveillance ramp-up is the last gasp of a dying empire, so I say, LET'S DO WHATEVER THE FUCK WE WANT TO DO, WHENEVER AND WHEREVER THE FUCK WE WANT TO DO IT.

JohnFrodo's picture

Common sense will always lose in a race with technology

MrPalladium's picture

Come the revolution, all this data will be very uselful for the purpose of quickly identifying and rounding up the miscreants who authorized, created and deployed this information gathering system. Hubris in the face of collapse when this system is up for grabs. Those in the greatest danger are the terrorists who have built this monster.

DeadFred's picture

They can avoid the expense of facial recognition software if they just tattoo a barcode on our foreheads. Maybe they'll be nice and let us choose the color :)

Element's picture

If the world's ending next week we may as well go all romantic and try and score a few home runs.  Turn it up Georges, time to get out from under that blog and go get laid:


This lyric could actually be true in all respects:

"This could be the love of a life-time, even if it lasts a week."

diogeneslaertius's picture

Just say no to the borg beehive

Racer's picture

Pre-crime detectives coming to a town like yours if not already in place, will be very shortly

proLiberty's picture

The only way to curb this is to starve government to such an extent that it must focus only on the most essential tasks.  Sadly, our Leviathan State is well on its way to be self funding, thanks to how ithe Federal Reserve Corporation can create infinite money to buy the infinite perpetual  government debt instruments.  We have sold ourselves into serfdom to Big Brother.  And if this is the land of the un-free, what about elsewhere where such tyranny is even more secret?

rwe2late's picture

 With the transition to a "cashless" economy, the surveillance society will be pretty much complete.

Former totalitarian regimes relied a lot on the paranoia created by the threats of torture and other punishments, and that you never knew when you were watched, who to trust. Or what to believe given the non-stop propaganda and mass diversions.

Beginning to look like it won't just be paranoia in the future, you will really be under constant surveillance.


tetsujin's picture

more productive
not drinking too much
regular exercise at the gym (3 days a week)
getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries
at ease
eating well (no more microwave dinners and saturated fats)
a patient better driver
a safer car (baby smiling in back seat)
sleeping well (no bad dreams)
no paranoia
careful to all animals (never washing spiders down the plughole)
keep in contact with old friends (enjoy a drink now and then)
will frequently check credit at (moral) bank (hole in wall)
favours for favours
fond but not in love
charity standing orders
on sundays ring road supermarket
(no killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants)
car wash (also on sundays)
no longer afraid of the dark
or midday shadows
nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate
nothing so childish
at a better pace
slower and more calculated
no chance of escape
now self-employed
concerned (but powerless)
an empowered and informed member of society (pragmatism not idealism)
will not cry in public
less chance of illness
tires that grip in the wet (shot of baby strapped in back seat)
a good memory
still cries at a good film
still kisses with saliva
no longer empty and frantic
like a cat
tied to a stick
that's driven into
frozen winter shit (the ability to laugh at weakness)
fitter, healthier and more productive
a pig
in a cage
on antibiotics

unirealist's picture

Ever the optimist, I agree with Hannah above.  We are now plummeting toward a catastophic collapse of not only the US, but the entire civilized world, and a new Dark Ages from which we will probably never again emerge--since we have used up all the easy sources of energy by which a primitive society could once hope to bootstrap itself.

I do believe that TPTB realize a global financial apocalyse is nigh.  Much of what we see happening now, like the developments GW points out, is most likely a desperate effort to put in place the apparatus that will be soon needed to control the population when suddenly the ATM's no longer work and the supermarket shelves are empty and the guns come out of the closet across middle America.

But its a pipe-dream.  They won't be able to achieve their COG (continuity of government).  For two particular reasons: not enough gold in the gov't coffers (the dollar will rapidly lose any value), and not enough energy (due to fracturing of oil production, shipping, and refining infrastructure).

Oh, they will put up a valiant fight to hold the fragmenting US society together, our noble leaders.  And if they weren't so hopelessly corrupt and incompetent and unprincipled at the core, they might have a small chance.

No, we're not headed for 1984.  We're headed for 1394.  

jomama's picture

and except in these modern times, they've got the ace in the hole.  440+ nuclear reactors that must be maintained or we all die.

nice, eh?

Element's picture

The fricken Renaissance?

sure ... why not

duo's picture

Except the plague only wiped out 20% of the population.  If we are to live post-oil, 90-95% of the popluation would starve.

It will be like H.G. Well's The Time Machine, the human race will have split into two species, the eloi and morlocks.  It's already up on epigenetics.  HFCS and other chemicals are changing gene expession so that obesity is programmed from birth.  Homo sapiens turns into Homo diabetus.

JOYFUL's picture

Now that we've had our spate of N Korea jokes, we might come back down to earth(I believe it to be called Baumgartenin in ZH vernacular)and, courtesy of GW's latest report, realize which way the wind be blowin...

hard outta the East, and in addition to all the fine particulates n stuff via FukUshima, it blows a message that just could not be fit in a bottle...

The hard core surveillance\police state which Merika has become[n.b. -no longer -is becoming] has outstripped all it's competitors in the formerly huge swath of territory which used to belong to the red zone...and the formerly free Republic now stands alone as the premier terror-tory of communo-fascist backwater devolution.

It's goin on daily, that boiling frog thingy, and every time I step up to suggest that thinkin folk consider the wisdom of an exit strategy, the hard core deadenders(proto CampFema Capos) aboard the sinking ship leap up n shout blue murder...why just the other day I was accused of bein an ÜNAM|ER\I-KAN T_Ráitor...though neither Merikan, nor traitorous to the race to which I subscribe*...for daring to point out the obvious implications of the giant transfer of wealth n power which is taking place 24\7 now courtesy of central banking and the usual\usurial suspects which brought us two world wars and a whole lotta other phony wars since then...

On the second leg of my tour of former peoples socialist paradises now, I am witnessing daily the (re)birth of old fashioned, gone outta style free enterprise type market economies in the very epicentre of what used to be(and still is amongst the less intelligent in the west) considered the headquarter of state-directed basket case failure-ism...

those who flow will get hip n just go...and as to the rest, back in the west...hey, don't say nobody warned ya's...

*race traitor....someone who refuses to recognize the deliberate efforts of our collective(dual-citiizened) enemy to defraud and destroy the western peoples and waves their big Merika-first flag in accordance with the instructions of their sionist-dupe controllers. Irregardless of the construction of  unproductive barriers in the form of the various national subsidiaries of the Sio-Nazi behemoth, we are the Europoid peeples...and we will stand(or fall) through our sense of solidarity with each other.

One World Mafia's picture

Take your Prozac now and you won't feel a thing.

DavosSherman's picture

And if you are too poor to buy it, and too young to get use the Prescription Drug plan then just drink the public water to get your recycled piss water with Prozac and Riralin.

AldousHuxley's picture

Dumbasses willingly gave up privacy when they signed up for facebook to show off to all of their virtual friends.


DavosSherman's picture


Fuck FaceBook or simply put, FuckBook.

Father Lucifer's picture

No cell, no GPS no Onstar. Older car, radio disabled, CD player works fine. If you want to find me you're gonna have work a little harder.

duo's picture

Every notice your Android tablet never really shuts off, and starts Google Maps on it's own (soon after you kill the app) to tell Big Bro where you are and what wifi networks are available.  So, if you use your own wifi for your tablet, it's essentially connected to Google's servers all the time.  I'm sure Google would never spy on you.

DavosSherman's picture


Hope Lloyd "Doing God's Work" doesn't see you've taken his real name.

hannah's picture

the us gov has soooo much excess money to spend on these toys...?!?! all dis chit will never happen. we will take the big dirt nap long before we have the money to put all this into effect....

Chuck Walla's picture

the us gov has soooo much excess money to spend on these toys...?!?

Once the single party NWO statists are secure in their power, they will need to "relieve" the pressure on the state from certain constituencies. That will necessitate a planned "die-off" of the old and poor. Neither group is very useful for work. Wealth can be stolen from the one and new living space and reduced pressure on food and resources can be gotten from the other.



Vooter's picture

Even the elderly can pull a trigger or light a fuse...

DavosSherman's picture

With no stupidity bubbles (like tech and housing) to blow, these fucking morons are creating a modern day Monopoly game when the bases are loaded with hotels and houses.  Everyone will work or be dependent on the guberment is their master plan.

Pass Go (Friday) collect SSDI, SS, Medicare, SNAP, Wick, 99 weeks of Unemployment, Section 8 and God knows what else.

johnQpublic's picture

no phone

no tv

no cell

no wifi

no cable

no car

its getting to the point you need to get rid of it all

the last thing i need is my tv watching me

and seriously, does no one who invents or works on this stuff realize it will be used on them and their children, and their childrens children forever or until someone else comes out with something worse?

and the apocalypse came and went and no one realized that they had been present for the apocalypse for they did not recognize it, instead expecting fire and brimstone, when was really all just as simple as.....this

SafelyGraze's picture

retro remix of johnqpublic message for zh:

spoiler: it's a post card
(apologies to JQP if you don't like the remix) 

DavosSherman's picture

SafelyGraze is related to William Banzi 7.

SafelyGraze's picture

not a chance

at best just a cheap imitation

but thanks for the comparison. +100 for you and your scary avatar.

DavosSherman's picture

The Grim Reaper of Economic Death as we know it, LOL!

DavosSherman's picture

+1 !

I have no TV.

No Cable.  I read that Shitcast is going to put sensors in, yell, you'll get ads for marriage counseling.  Like phones, as GW's article relates, it'll be a matter of time before the guberment rifles through this data too.

No cell.  Smartphones?  Are they seriously smart when people use them while driving?  Is one eye and one thumb on your family really smart?


Joebloinvestor's picture

Want a real surprise?

Try mailing a package outside of the US.

Now you have to have phone #'s of both the sender and the recipient on the box.

Everyone knows that smugglers put their correct return address on the packages.

DavosSherman's picture

As always GW, pleasure to read your fine work.

Sad, we're paying for our own demise, in taxes and passivity.

Chuck Walla's picture

The only people that will be "more informed and safer" is your thieving politician.