News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinesecuritybigbrothertech — Viewing Item


Surveillance identifies walking style { May 19 2003 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)
   http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-2694090,00.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-2694090,00.html

Pentagon System Hopes to Identify Walks
Monday May 19, 2003 9:09 PM

Pentagon system hopes to identify walks<< Pentagon anti-terror surveillance system hopes to identify people by the way they walk

By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Watch your step! The Pentagon is developing a radar-based device that can identify people by the way they walk, for use in a new antiterrorist surveillance system.

Operating on the theory that an individual's walk is as unique as a signature, the Pentagon has financed a research project at the Georgia Institute of Technology that has been 80 to 95 percent successful in identifying people.

If the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, orders a prototype, the individual ``gait signatures'' of people could become part of the data to be linked together in a vast surveillance system the Pentagon agency calls Total Information Awareness.

That system already has raised privacy alarms on both ends of the political spectrum, and Congress in February barred its use against American citizens without further congressional review.

Nevertheless, government documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that scores of major defense contractors and prominent universities applied last year for the first research contracts to design and build the surveillance and analysis system.

DARPA is the federal agency that helped develop the Internet as a research tool for universities and government contractors. Its newest project is massive by any measure.

In its advice to contractors, DARPA declared, ``The amounts of data that will need to be stored and accessed will be unprecedented, measured in petabytes.''

One petabyte would dwarf most existing databases; it's roughly equal to 50 times the Library of Congress, which holds more than 18 million books.

Conceived and managed by retired Adm. John Poindexter, the TIA surveillance system is based on his theory that ``terrorists must engage in certain transactions to coordinate and conduct attacks against Americans, and these transactions form patterns that may be detectable.''

DARPA said the goal is to draw conclusions and predictions about terrorists from databases that record such transactions as passport applications, visas, work permits, driver's licenses, car rentals, airline ticket purchases, arrests or reports of suspicious activities.

Other databases DARPA wants to access include financial, education, medical and housing records and biometric identification databases based on fingerprints, irises, facial shapes and gait.

TIA is an effort to design breakthrough software ``for treating these databases as a virtual, centralized grand database'' capable of being quickly mined by counterintelligence officers even though the data will be held in many places, many languages and many formats, DARPA documents say.

One goal is to provide ``focused warnings within an hour after a triggering event occurs,'' the documents say.

Poindexter's plan would integrate some projects DARPA has been working on for several years, including research headed by Gene Greneker at Georgia Tech.

At a cost of less than $1 million over the past three years, he has been aiming a 1-foot-square radar dish at 100 test volunteers to record how they walk. Elsewhere at Georgia Tech, DARPA is funding other researchers to use video cameras and computers to try to develop distinctive gait signatures.

``One of the nice things about radar is we see through bad weather, darkness, even a heavy robe shrouding the legs, and video cameras can't,'' Greneker said in an interview. ``At 600 feet we can do quite well.''

And the target doesn't have to be doing a Michael Jackson moonwalk to be distinctive because the radar detects small frequency shifts in the reflected signal off legs, arms and the torso as they move in a combination of different speeds and directions.

``There's a signature that's somewhat unique to the individual,'' Greneker said. ``We've demonstrated proof of this concept.''

The researchers are anticipating ways the system might be fooled.

``A woman switching from flats to high heels probably wouldn't change her signature significantly,'' Greneker said. ``But if she switched to combat boots, that might have a difference.''

The system could be used by embassy security officers to conclude that a shadowy figure observed a few hundred feet away at night or in heavy clothing on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday was the same person and should be investigated further to see if he was casing the building for an attack, Greneker said.

At a restricted facility, the technology could warn security officers that an approaching person was probably not an employee by comparing his gait with those on file. ``And we now know how to detect people who are carrying heavy packages, which could include a 25-pound bomb in a backpack,'' Greneker said.

Greneker hasn't gotten caught up in the privacy debate. ``We are research and development people. We think about what's possible, not what the government will do with it. That's somebody else's job. And this isn't a weapons system.''

DARPA contracting records made available through a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group, show Poindexter agreed to fund 26 research projects and rejected 154 others through last Dec. 4. Other DARPA contract award data were released under FOIA to the Center for Public Integrity, an ethics advocacy group.

One of the largest was a contract for up to $27 million to Veridian Systems Division of Arlington, Va., to design software to allow ``intelligence analysts and decision makers to jointly participate in the development of a full range of contingencies.''

Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003



Airport eye scanners for members { December 1 2003 }
Airport screeners may get xray vision
Asia using electronic devices for purchasing { September 30 2007 }
Britain tests car satellite control device { July 3 2005 }
Britian fingerprint
California tries tax by mile with car tracking { November 16 2004 }
Carjacking tracked high tech { July 17 2003 }
Chase introduces radio microchip payments { May 19 2005 }
Clone born soon
Consumer database { November 21 2002 }
E big brother { April 18 2002 }
Eye recognition { April 21 2003 }
Fbi prepares vast database of biometrics { December 22 2007 }
Finger prints { May 15 2002 }
Fingerprint checks
Fingerprint jeffco { October 2 2002 }
Gene precrime
Government tracks laser printer documents { November 22 2004 }
Hi tech security { September 24 2002 }
Iao [gif]
IAO [jpg]
Ibm asci purple { November 19 2002 }
Ibm ascii purple 290m
Ibm jumps on rfid bandwagon { September 16 2003 }
Internet e dna
Iris scanning airport
Iris scanning being at german airport { February 13 2004 }
LAPD studies facial recognition software { December 26 2004 }
Laser star wars
Library id
Nasa denies { August 20 2002 }
Nasa mind read
National geospatial agency watching americans from space
New jersey school institutes iris scanning
New life weapon { November 21 2002 }
Nima spy satellite { December 15 2002 }
Nonlethal weapons
People zapper { November 3 2002 }
Police use iris scan to track kids
Radio tag track consumers products
Retailers experiment with biometric payment { June 9 2005 }
Satellite tracking cars { June 8 2003 }
Scan eyes { November 14 2002 }
Sleeping weapons
Space images tracking you { May 18 2003 }
Speed cameras { September 22 2002 }
Supermarket chain uses fingerprinting { March 4 2004 }
Surveillance identifies walking style { May 19 2003 }
Tampa scraps facial recognition
Thumb print { July 23 2002 }
Toxic sensors newyork

Files Listed: 51



Correction/submissions

CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Archives
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple