Startups Backed By The CIA

The spy agency has a venture capital arm that is funding an array of companies developing bleeding-edge technologies.

Tiny cameras. Hearing devices for the teeth. Wi-fi for refrigerators. These are some of the products made by companies that have caught the eye of In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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Vehicle Tracking Bill Introduced in House

A Member of Congress proposes to use taxpayer money to fund the development of technology to track motorists as part of a new form of taxation. US Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) introduced H.R. 3311 earlier this year to appropriate $154,500,000 for research and study into the transition to a per-mile vehicle tax system. The “Road User Fee Pilot Project” would be administered by the US Treasury Department. This agency in turn would issue millions in taxpayer-backed grants to well-connected commercial manufacturers of tolling equipment to help develop the required technology. Within eighteen months of the measure’s passage, the department would file an initial report outlining the best methods for adopting the new federal transportation tax.

“Oregon has successfully tested a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) fee, and it is time to expand and test the VMT program across the country,” Blumenauer said in a statement on the bill’s introduction. “A VMT system can better assess fees based on use of our roads and bridges, as well as during times of peak congestion, than a fee based on fuel consumption. It is time to get creative and find smart ways to rebuild and renew America’s deteriorating infrastructure.”

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Homeland Security to scan fingerprints of travellers exiting the US

The US Department of Homeland Security is set to kickstart a controversial new pilot to scan the fingerprints of travelers departing the United States.

From June, US Customs and Border Protection will take a fingerprint scan of international travelers exiting the United States from Detroit, while the US Transportortation Security Administration will take fingerprint scans of international travelers exiting the United States from Atlanta.

Biometric technology such as fingerprint scans has been used by US Customs and Border Protection for several years to gain a biometric record of non-US citizens entering the United States.

But under the Bush Administration, a plan was formulated to also scan outgoing passengers.

Michael Hardin, a senior policy analyst with the US-Visit Program at the United States Department of Homeland Security told a Biometrics Institute conference today that the DHS will use the data from the trial to “inform us as to where to take [exit screening] next.”

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Patent for killer chip denied in Germany

A Saudi inventor’s proposal to insert semiconductors subcutaneously in visitors and remotely kill them if they misbehave will not be patented in Germany.

On Wednesday, a German Patent Office spokeswoman said the application was received on October 30, 2007 and published 18 months later, as required by law, in a patents database. But inventions that are unethical or a danger to the public are not recognized.

Reporters said the document proposed that tiny semiconductors be implanted or placed by injection under the skin of people so their whereabouts could be tracked by global-positioning satellites. This could be used to prevent immigrants overstaying.

A model B of the system would contain a poison such as cyanide, which could be released by remote control to “eliminate” people if they became a security risk. The document said this could be used against terrorists or criminals.

Microchip implantation in humans has raised new ethical discussions by scientific professional forums, academic groups, human rights organizations, government departments and religious groups.

The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) of the American Medical Association published a report in 2007 alleging that Radio-frequency identification implanted chips may compromise privacy because there is no assurance that the information contained in the chip can be properly protected, notwithstanding health risks (chips can travel under the skin).

Canadians Take Notice, the U.S. Is Militarizing the Border

More troops, more searches, more surveillance drones. The U.S. is taking Canadians’ pictures as they cross the border, and their biometrics.

A camera snaps your license plate.

An electronic card reader mounted on a yellow post scans your car for the presence of any radio-frequency ID cards inside. If there is an enhanced driver’s license embedded with biometric information, its unique PIN number is read without you offering it.

The Customs and Border Protection computer connects with your province’s database and in less than a second – .56 to be exact – your personal information is uploaded to a screen in the booth. A second camera snaps the driver’s face.

Welcome to the United States of America.

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Glenn Beck and Penn Jillette on MIAC report

See also: The Radical Polarization of Law Enforcement

The Radical Polarization of Law Enforcement

The Radical Polarization
of Law Enforcement

Patriots, Christians and concerned citizens are increasingly in the cross hairs of the U.S. intelligence community, and battle lines are being quietly drawn that could soon pit our own law enforcement and military forces against us.

A February 20 report entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” was issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) that paints mainstream patriotic Americans as dangerous threats to law enforcement and to the country. Operating under the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the MIAC is listed as a Fusion Center that was established in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.

Because authenticity of the report was questioned by some, this writer contacted Missouri state Representative Jim Guest (R-King City) who had personally verified that the report had indeed been issued. Rep. Guest is chairman of the Personal Privacy Committee and is a prominent leader in the national Blowback against the Real ID Act of 2005 that requires states to issue uniform driver’s licenses containing personal biometric data. (See Guest warns against Big Brother, Real ID)

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