back to article Euro project to arrest us for what they think we will do

Radical Think Tank Open Europe has this week exposed a study by the EU that could lead to the creation of a massive cross-Europe database, amassing vast amounts of personal data on every single citizen in the EU. The scope of this project also reveals a growing governmental preference for systems capable of locking people up …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. SuperTim
    Big Brother

    Minority report?

    Do we get the benefit of having two of the three databases having to agree? or is it one fudge of a system which has no comebacks?

    Missing: Liberty, last seen many years ago, presumed dead and buried.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Not Just Orwell

    Well... smatterings of 1984 of course, but could we be on the verge of seeing the sort of society & law enforcement as portrayed in Minority Report ?

  3. Mark Greenwood
    Big Brother

    Holy Minority Report, Batman

    "...recognition of abnormal behaviour..."

    Abnormal by what definition, exactly?

    Screw this, I'm off to live in a cave and eat moss. Oh wait, that's a bit abnormal isn't it... I'm scared now.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Soon

    A revolution in this country is long overdue, and if it does not happen soon, it will not be possible at all. The governments' love of databases and control is frightening. It's like something out of "Brazil" So you all know what to do? The next time there is a mass protest in London or where ever, go to it if you agree with the point being made, otherwise you'll lose what took hundreds of years of struggle to get. Show these gangsters pretending to be politicians that they WILL go the same way as Ceauşescu. Hanging from a lamp post or up against a wall.

  5. Dan 10
    Big Brother

    Officially not funny anymore

    You mention how mistakes will be handled - what mistakes? If the system says I haven't done anything, but it predicts that I will be a serial killer, that's not a mistake - I haven't done anything, and the future hasn't happened yet. The fact that I could be prevented to travelling/getting a particular job or whatever doesn't bother them.

    you'd think the Poles would have a bit more memory to see the problems caused by surveillance states etc

  6. The Original Ash
    Black Helicopters

    Where is my...

    ... minority report?

  7. Stef 4
    FAIL

    Chuck

    "amassing vast amounts of personal data on every single citizen in the EU."

    Having watched a few episodes of Chuck, I can confidently predict that this will lead to wacky-non-lethal-spy-based-shenanigans on a regular basis, with hilarious consequences for all involved.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Woosh of rotors barely audible.....

    Enough said..... Anon for obvious reasons. 1984 anyone?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    (KGB+SS)^2

    I thought those institutions were scary. This proposed scheme would make Hitler and Stalin green with envy. I thought the Chinese or North Koreans would be the first to implement this, I guess not. I think I'll steer clear of Europe if this ever gets implemented.

    Anonymous for obvious reasons...*looks over shoulder*...

  10. ContentsMayVary
    Unhappy

    Minority Report?

    Oh great. Minority Report, here we come.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    prediction

    The problem with such systems is that all of them failed in the past. The system selects political activists and people working for non government organisations as possible ciminals or terrorists, but fails to identify the real ones, who act like normal people and then commit a crime or turn into terrorists. Profiling and predictions are only good for opressing free speech and establishing a dictatorship.

  12. Asgard
    Big Brother

    Oh great, now Big Brother gets Precrime!

    This is a big step towards Precrime. Do the relentless control freaks want a revolution to throw them out of power? ... or by saying this, have I just earned my place in Room 101.

  13. Sandtreader

    Minority Report?

    OK, let me guess, they'll have all this data displayed on some kind of super-high-resolution holographic display and move it about randomly with extravagant gestures?

  14. Josco
    Welcome

    When will the revolution start?

    Not that I am advocating one, oh no not me..... I think our overlords are wonderful. The man in Whitehall (or Brussels) really does know best.

  15. The Vociferous Time Waster
    Big Brother

    In the mean time...

    All through history governments have, by their very nature, headed towards collapse because they get too oppressive. A power to the police here and a nod towards socialism there, those in charge will always try to expand their power to justify their existence and pay grade. Ultimately it will take a revolution, bloody or otherwise, to return us to a civilised state but that's not going to happen any time soon because there are too many well fed retards watching Poop Idol on a Saturday night and stuffing their chops with doritos and beer.

    When the revolution comes that mass will rise up and demand freedom but in the mean time the smart folk should keep their heads down because it's always the students and the academics who are first on the train to the re-education centres.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Thought crime

    From looking at your media choices and travel patterns, we have detected that you are likely to cause behavior disruptive to the state and your fellow citizens.

    Pleas log-off and await your transportation to the patriotism realignment facility.

  17. Schultz
    IT Angle

    Worth it!

    Locking away the millions of dubious characters will be totally worth IT. At least I, and the other 23 respectable members of society can then live in peace.

    Finally a useful application for IT, lock them away already!

  18. RichardB
    Stop

    Who's pushing it?

    Now it looks like we might not get a national database after all, this pops up.

    Coincidence?

    Or just another example of our government using 'EU' to push through unpopular legislation?

    Who are the main drivers of this? I rather imagine it is UK, or UK business at the very least.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    All that money

    Why don't we just buy the US system ?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    euro oversight... don't make us laugh

    ... when ALL of our governments, but particularly the one we have in the UK, do not want us to have any say about treaties such as the lisbon treaty, we have absolutely no chance of having any say over anything like this.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Do...

    ...the algorithms allow for innocent people becoming criminals to any degree because of constant harassment by system-dispatched law enforcement?

    System-Dispatched Officer - walks into your office: "You're under arrest for portraying abnormal behavior which could potentially lead to criminal actions."

    You: "No I'm not, I haven't done anything."

    System-Dispatched Officer: "Actually Section 56768135 states it's a criminal offense to deny a system-produced prediction, you're coming with us."

    I was trying to be funny, but I think I just scared myself :(

  22. gjw
    Dead Vulture

    Really...

    OE is interested in seeing less formal integration across Europe, and a return to more issues being resolved at the national level.

    Please guys, don't publish all looney so called investigations from all kinds of silly so called think tanks cum conspiracy theory-mongers that raise their stupid heads.

    'Europe' guarantees and protects more civil liberties than most of its member states ever would.

  23. Maurice Shakeshaft
    Big Brother

    While I'm sure the article is not tongue in cheek

    Who are the paymasters of these misguided souls?

    When we know who they are we can cut off the money supply because, in truth, that is what it is about.

    The internet may have been conceived to be a democratic tool for information exchange but what it has become is a glorified 'porn line'. The more effectively Ms/Mr Public can be sold/bought then the more attractive it will be for those in 'Authority' to access and control the process and find out about us.

    If we don't want that to happen we have to stop them - they wont stop themselves, it is not in their nature...

    To do so we must firstly control the money supply and then change the culture. The former is much easier than the latter and must happen first or the greedy blighters will keep at it like rabbits!

  24. Jimbo 6
    Grenade

    Factual correction...

    When they re-branded the RUC, they changed it to "Police Service of Northern Ireland", not "Northern Ireland Police Service".

    The originally-proposed name was quietly shelved when someone in power finally realised that people might take the mick (no joke intended) if they were called N.I.P.S.

    And after all, it's the UK police that wear tits on their heads.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russell's Paradox

    ".. aims to develop models for abnormal and threat behaviours and algorithms for automatic detection of such behaviours as well as deviations from normal behaviour in surveillance data ..."

    Will this system be self-referential? I only ask because I consider this kind of surveillance to be a threat to human society.

    One wonders: Will the barbers shave themselves, or shall we do it for them?

    "it's always the students and the academics who are first on the train to the re-education centres"

    No - it's the people who are considered socially undesirable and who are picked on mercilessly. The only class of people I can think of that fits this description across class barriers are paedophiles. Watch closely what happens to them because it's going to happen to you next.

  26. Vision Aforethought
    Flame

    We'll all moan here - and do nothing...

    ...about it. Don't know about you, but until recently, I had never felt frightened in my own country. Ever. Whether it is technology or politics, those visionary sci fi and political writers were only wrong about one thing, the exact timing of their prophecies which tended to be about 20 years ahead of reality. Almost there now children, almost there.

    We could support these guys: http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/

    But some of what they stand for may not appeal to us all, so what do to?

    There are about five El Reg emoticons appropriate to this article. Ah, which to choose?!

  27. Cameron Colley

    Where's the ship to mars?

    After listening to people denying that we're walking into Stalin's wet dream I'd love to sit back and watch some morons loose everything -- but, unfortunately, the morons wanted to drag us all down.

  28. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    See you

    all at the re-education center

    After all with the results of scanning what I get upto

    1. Violent video games

    2. knows howto make explosives

    3. Involved with the manufacture of guns

    4. Involved with the manufacture of surgical instruments(definetly a Jack the ripper candidate)

    5. Uses Linux (very very very abnormal behaviour there... refuses to use the same OS as the other 99% of the population)

    6 and finally, has been known to take pictures of policemen using his camera and being over 6' tall

    Yupp I need to be locked up for people's* safety

    Yours

    Prisoner #65423 , Cell #234 , Block D

    *People being the muppets in charge

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I've got a great idea

    We could start sterilising those that the database chooses, a bit like Doctors doing a blind diagnosis. That's never happened before.

    Doomed to repeat history..........

  30. Andus McCoatover
    Big Brother

    Do potential criminals float?

    Like little tiny rocks? If they do, BURN THEM!!! Witches!!!

    If they don't float, no problem - CO2 emission target met.

    This EU government - using the term loosely - gets more like a Python skit every day.

  31. ZenCoder
    Grenade

    Terrorism is not a real threat!

    Risk of being killed in a terrorist attack if you live in the USA or UK is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 in 9 million.

    To protect you from that risk, we are letting out governments take away our rights and freedoms a little bit at a time, waste our tax dollars, fight questionable wars, divert law enforcement resources from REAL threats.

  32. Zack Mollusc
    Flame

    How complex are the predictions?

    "Evening all! The predict-o-tron says that you will go insane with rage at being arrested and kill the arresting officers then successfully lead a peasant's revolt. Are you going to come quietly?"

  33. Aaron Em

    You know...

    ...I can't think of anything more finely calculated to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, terrorists, and revolutionaries, than for people to be punished for crimes they weren't even *thinking* of committing. After all, if you're going to be treated as though you've been convicted of a crime no matter what you do -- why not actually commit the crime? At least that way you stand a chance of getting a little good out of it.

  34. Aaron Em

    My God.

    "This is a big step towards Precrime."

    Did none of you nose-picking fools watch the fucking movie? The idea of "Precrime" in the movie was based on the precognitive capabilities of (presumably mutant) humans; the EU's latest plan involves statistical analysis of supposedly reliable behavioral indicators.

    It's not that I expect people never to wear tin foil hats; while I consider it merely an enjoyable pastime, I realize that many people find it much more addictive than heroin, and behave as such. But if you're going to go dribbling off on some conspiracy theory nonsense, could you at least check to make sure that the few facts you have in common with reality are straight?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Fourth Reich

    off to find the little Gaulish Village with the Magic Potion.

  36. Christoph Silver badge

    Re Soon

    "The next time there is a mass protest in London or where ever, go to it if you agree with the point being made"

    And spend several hours tightly jammed with a mass of other people into somewhere out of the way where nobody can see you? With no way to get out, no access to toilet facilities or medical services?

    The police have made it entirely clear that they have abolished the 'right' to protest long ago.

  37. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Flame

    Government Announcement

    Future contributors to this thread should note that voicing ANY opinion on future government plans for control of subjects is grounds for entry on our surveillance systems and a disciplinary mark on your state record. We assume that any positive comments are sarcastic.

    People who have already contributed are hereby fined £1000, under the new Government Civil Penalty scheme, which enables fines to be levied without the tiresome inconvenience of going through the courts. It will be automatically docked from your next pay packet.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Vote Lib Dem and UKIP!

    Ditch the Tories and Labour, and replace them with UKIP and the Lib Dems. Then they can argue against each other, UKIP exposing the dangers of the EU as it currently exists, and the Lib Dems wanting to reform it, democratise it, make it more transparent and accountable, blah blah blah. What they'll agree on is that there are all sorts of problems with the way the EU currently is, since both parties can use those problems as arguments in support of their respective positions.

    Okay, perhaps replacing the Tories with UKIP is a bit implausible at present, but the Lib Dems replacing Labour isn't quite so far fetched. And the Tories seem really quite Eurosceptic these days anyway.

  39. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Ah!!--for the heady days of 10 years ago....

    When we thought that information technology would usher in a new age of human freedom!! Maybe instead of technology I should have devoted my career to marketing mountaintop survivalist cabins, complete with weapons locker, off-grid power systems and home food preservation systems :(

    Black stealthicopter--because now it carries a strike team from the Department of Public Security and it has been upgraded with a built in real-time link to the database of future enemies of the people.

  40. TimeMaster T
    Black Helicopters

    Fear

    To those who are afraid, good.

    To those who are not, you need to be.

    I used (note past tense) to respect the Police/Law Enforcement, now I find I fear them more than I do a possible "Terrorist Attack".

    Terrorism; "the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear"

    Yep, sounds like what the governments are doing.

    Not Anon because I know I'm already on some lists and if they think I'm that much of a threat for exercising my Right to Free Speech hiding wouldn't help me, hang on, someones at the doo

  41. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Alien

    v2.0 Novel Phormations ......21st Century Networking ... Brave Territories Style

    Metadatamining is a razor-sharp two edged Sword of Damocles ........ for whenever you/a system would profess to know of everything that everyone was thinking and going to do, the question is asked why does the system not supply us with new thoughts ....... which is not at all difficult to do, is it. All IT needs are Advanced IntelAIgents Systems with ESPecial Servers for Media Production of Virtual Reality Projects.

    For of course, there is an Abiding Colossal Flaw in such as would be Remote Iterative Thinking, because what a third party analyst thinks a first party subject/object is going to do, is merely a reflection of what they, the third party would/could/might be able to do, and could never be considered a valid interpretation of a remote first party choice, for a change of direction/mind, into an infinite number of alternative imaginative thoughts, is the truth instantly available to all and is always taken at such higher levels of Confusion ........ Progress ....... Evolution.

    And the SMARTer System will always Virtually BetaTest itself to Discover Catastrophic Systemic Flaws for Correction rather than Permitting Vulnerabilities to Persist and Pervert and Subvert AIR&dDevelopments ........ Magical Mystery Turing Trips ...... ZerodDay Rides ..... which is what the Future holds in Store with ITs NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive ProgramMINGs

    And here is one such Virtualised BetaTest for Systems' Engagement towards Enlightened Resolution/Astute Handling/Proxy Marketing ...... http://tinyurl.com/BetaTest-XSSXXXX.

    Oh, and just one more thing before we move on to greener pastures and other subjects, .... nowadays it is incredibly easy to communicate with anybody/anything on the planet, so rather than a third party falsely wild guessing and inventing a first party future thought, just cut out all the Middleman FUD, aka C.RAP, and Simply Ask. All you Lose is Ignorance and Arrogance and what you Gain is Knowledge Aforethought and Facts.

  42. Tony Paulazzo
    Pirate

    Dear governments of the world

    FOAD!

    >Future contributors to this thread should note that voicing ANY opinion on future government plans for control of subjects is grounds for entry on our surveillance systems and a disciplinary mark on your state record. We assume that any positive comments are sarcastic.<

    Entropy is a wonderful thing.

    The problem with defining abnormality (or 'Freedom defined is freedom denied.'), is that you have to have a baseline normality, and how thick that line is. Is S&M abnormal, or the guy who goes for a walk at 3am for quiet time, the group who hate Britain has <no> talent, people who hate Tom Cruise in Minority report and think he and the kids ruined 'War of the worlds'? Is murdering abnormal? governments appear to love doing it in the guise of freedom, oil or whatever.

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Hassan i Sabbah, 10th century. Crap! I'm quoting a Middle East terrorist.

    Iching: Things fall apart from the centre (or something).

    The bankers (paranoid conspiracy coming up), think they can control the worlds population for their own use, chips in brains, global government etc etc etc, but this too shall pass.

    Terry Pratchet insult: May you live in interesting times.

    And finally: Rocky horror picture show: Don't dream it, be it.

    Peace out. Don't try to be normal, be abnormal and fuck 'em!

  43. Dodoze

    Fear of Life

    "Abnormal" or "normal" are subjective descriptions of being - in the eye of the beholder. Those tasked with the challenge of establishing the boundaries of normality are the agents of the neo-fascism which is extant. Who, then, is to define the conception of "normality" which the history of philosophers, prophets or political theorists has established as non-existent? The eccentric, the "indie" or alternative culture, those in dialogues of dissent or perhaps those who still insist on using cash rather than cards, chips, security codes?

    The essence of humanity is a diversity of being, of culture, of taking a risk on life. The corporate finds it simpler to deal with a monocultural market. To resist those who would have us deny our humanity requires a pan-national awareness at a popular level which is absent.

    We needs must extend that awareness. Something of a challenge when the propaganda/PR fosters a culture of fear-of-the-other, regards those who hold strong personal faith, philosophy or engage in political action as some form of threat.

  44. Dodoze

    Correcting the Fear of The Other?

    "Abnormal" or "normal" are subjective descriptions of being - in the eye of the beholder. Those tasked with the challenge of establishing the boundaries of normality are the agents of the corpo-fascism which is extant. Who, then, is to define the conception of "normality" which the history of philosophers, prophets or political theorists has established as non-existent? Where is the room for the eccentric, the "indie" or alternative culture, those in dialogues of dissent or perhaps those who still insist on using cash rather than cards, chips, security codes?

    The essence of humanity is a diversity of being, of culture, of taking risks on life. The corporate finds it simpler to deal with a monocultural market. To resist those who would have us deny our humanity requires a pan-national awareness at a popular level which is absent.

    We needs must encourage that awareness. Something of a challenge when the propaganda/PR fosters a culture of fear-of-the-other, regards those who hold strong personal faith, philosophy or engage in political action as some form of threat.

  45. SuperTim
    FAIL

    @ Aaron Em

    whoooooo! (holds handbag against chest).

    I watched it. It is about so-called cognitives seeing things before they happen, but not necessarliy getting it right, and as a result of one getting it wrong (the aforementioned minority report) then this report is expunged from the system and the two assumed correct reports being taken as true.

    I can't think of a better film to compare this ludircous proposal with, apart from the daft idea of cognitives.

    Let's assume that the cognitives are actually 3 government held databases. Then let us also assume that some techy analyst with no real qualifications makes a massive assumption about behaviour based on never-before-seen data. Now let's have them apply this to the billions of perfect entries into the database and come up with a score.

    Now, one of the databases doesnt agree, OK, wipe that entry as it is anomylous. Hold on, this bloke has a low score on two, but a high one on the third. Wipe it? No , store it indefinately.

    Data protection shows an entry is wrong, correct it? Yes, that will take 12 years. This report says he will possibly do something we consider wrong before then.... arrest him.

  46. TeeCee Gold badge
    Alert

    Re: (KGB+SS)^2

    I don't know about Stalin, but I'm sure that Hitler would approve of a pan-European police state run by the Germans with the active collaboration of the French.

  47. John Sturdy
    Coat

    Suspicious behaviour

    Forms of suspicious behaviour (from David Mery's article "Innocent in London", GIYF if you haven't already got it bookmarked):

    * I went into the station without looking at the police officers at the entrance or by the gates, i.e. I was ‘avoiding them’

    * two other men entered the station at about the same time as me

    * I am wearing a jacket ‘too warm for the season’

    * I am carrying a bulky rucksack

    * I kept my rucksack with me at all times (I had it on my back)

    * I looked at people coming on the platform

    * I played with my mobile phone and then took a paper from inside my jacket.

    Let me guess, the database will be confidential and so they won't be allowed to give you this amount of information when they use the database as an excuse for arresting you?

    I'm glad I emigrated from the UK. My next move will probably be non-EU, I hear (from a Chinese colleague) that day-to-day freedoms are much better in China as long as you don't want to vote, whereas here (Ireland) if you vote the wrong way (Lisbon) they just ask you to vote again, and both in Ireland and the UK the only parties with much chance of getting in aren't going to do anything significantly from each other.

    Time for a massive souveillance database perhaps? Then we can correlate frequency of speeches with Hansard with the phase of the moon, and find out which MPs are actually werewolves ;-)

  48. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Hiding in Full Sight Challenges to Intelligence Services ...... White Hat Active Testing ...

    .... by Red Team SMART Players/Non-State Virtual Actors

    Actually, you might like to consider that there is a much bigger problem for that which we presume to be the establishment/status quo, should it ignore thoughts which have been Openly and Transparently Shared for their Uptake and Communal Action, and which then, as they are further communicated into wider foreign fields for Consideration and Uptake, and embedded as future sleeper agents/steganographic code in Native Operating Systems, would cause them to rethink and react badly with the imposition of subjective sanction/arbitrary censure ..... for that would be akin to a criminal entrapment, should their thoughts be criminal in nature and unjust.

  49. James Smith 3
    Big Brother

    Paranoia

    Reminds me of an old RPG called Paranoia: "Trust the computer, the computer is your friend."

  50. fajensen Silver badge
    Terminator

    It needn't Work to Function!!!

    @ Tony Paulazzo

    """

    The problem with defining abnormality (or 'Freedom defined is freedom denied.'), is that you have to have a baseline normality,

    """

    No you do not - Defined standards are an encumbrance, not a feature.

    Assuming the system does not work At All - but is believed to work - you are completely free to pull anyone off the street, disappear people, prevent them from getting a job, whatever the situation merits.

    The capriciousness will create more fear of sticking out in the plebes, thereby controlling them better because how can one even hope to game a system that does not have any discernible rules?

    Every Western government's wet dream come true!

    "If in doubt, Robo-Nanny is against it!" will be the law of the land

  51. TrishaD

    Such is Life...

    Speaking as an openly bisexual transgendered person who occasionally campaigns for transgender rights and has been known to smoke the odd bit of weed....

    I'm stuffed, basically, arent I?

  52. David S 1

    Time to rise up or leave, or both

    Being British, I was pleasantly surprised on a return long holiday to China this summer that my previous impressions of day to dat living there were much less full of this kind of ham-fisted restrictions that seem now to be plaguing the UK. Either it is time to rise up and say firmly "no", or leave the UK for good, or do both.

  53. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Time to rise up or leave, or both

    Christ, you know it's come to something when people are celebrating China as a beacon of personal freedom.

  54. Asgard
    Big Brother

    @Aaron Em

    Profiling the views of people is a means to *predict* behavior. Combining that with an ever growing and improving Big Brother level of *automated* surveillance and data processing (i.e. data mining) gives a means to predict criminal behavior on a country wide level. The question then becomes what do the people in power choose to label as criminal? … Remember the people in power choose what is considered law, as NuLabour have shown repeatedly. So what happens if they choose to define for example, political protesting near them as illegal, which has already happened in the UK as protesters are now not allowed anywhere near government buildings anymore and large organizations that are a threat of protesting have repeatedly been blocked from access to anywhere near government buildings. (Such as the RSPB! ... yes Bird feeders! ... because they are also potentially environmental protesters ... and there's over 2 million members in that organization and when 2 million people protest everyone else gets to hear about it and people in power know they cannot oppose large numbers of people protesting against them, so they seek to divide such groups and distract the media from such groups ... which becomes ever easier the more profiled information they have on the members of these groups).

    Anyway, combine automated prediction of behavior with automated data gathering and automated data formating (via data mining) and you get effectively a means to achieve Precrime. It doesn't require scifi precognitive capabilities because its simply based on the science of psychological profiling and everyone can be profiled and given enough data it is effective at predicting behavior. (But that doens't make it right to even consider using profiling against an entire population, because the people in power will abuse that power … they always do, after all, they seek power as their job and if they don't others who do seek power gain power over them, so the most power seeking fight to the top jobs).

    As for your comment here : "could you at least check to make sure that the few facts you have in common with reality are straight" … I have checked facts, but you evidently haven't. The key to your shocking inability to see the way things are going is because you evidently prefer to jump to the conclusion "conspiracy theory nonsense". You are evidently so blinded by this assumption that its conspiracy nonsense that its stopping you reading up on enough details to allow you to learn and see the truth. Its people like you who only learn once you finally get punished by the growing system of controls, fines and punishments. But once you or your friends are punished its already way to late to stop the implementation of such a system.

    By the way, the UK already has the government ONSET database which is already effectively Precrime style prediction of future criminal behavior and that is used against children to predict their behavior! … ONSET is already used now … Its not scifi, its being used now.

    We all know knowledge is power, so is it any wonder people who seek power would also seek knowledge on the people they seek to gain power over. But going as far as profiling a population is a very scary amount of details to gain on an entire population (and so very powerful). But then the people in power want power over us so the more knowledge they gain the more power they gain.

  55. Spleen

    @Aaron Em

    "Did none of you nose-picking fools watch the fucking movie? The idea of "Precrime" in the movie was based on the precognitive capabilities of (presumably mutant) humans; the EU's latest plan involves statistical analysis of supposedly reliable behavioral indicators."

    Which is actually a point against the EU's scheme. Mutant humans with pre-cognitive abilities are pure science fiction. They don't exist, and we can't imagine how they might exist, but - crucially - we can't say that it won't be possible for them to exist in the future.

    Whereas when it comes to statistical analysis of databases, we know that the databases will be based on inaccurate data, we know that the people put in charge of administering the database (because they couldn't get a proper job) will introduce errors either through incompetence, spite or corruption, we know that the magical algorithm that analyses the data (cooked up by consultant cronies who know the right people to get the contact) will be shit, and we know that it will be virtually impossible to correct any errors in the database or flaws in the algorithm because The State Does Not Make Mistakes.

    Our knowledge of this is not based on high-flown futuristic musings but on the cold, hard fact of prior experience - we know how bureaucracy works and what it does when it's in charge of databases. So if the EU told us that three bald mutant children in a swimming pool were going to decide who should be locked up and who shouldn't, that would actually be better than being told they were going to build a database. We know nothing about mutant pre-cogs, so we might be able to hope that they would do the job properly, whereas we know with certainty that a database won't.

    Oh, and this is the EU, so I can't wait for someone to be imprisoned for life after the temp in charge of translating Ruritania's criminal records for entry into the database assumes that the Ruritanian word "ermurdrin" means "murder", when it in fact means "theft of gooseberry pie from old lady's windowsill". Since we already have the European Arrest Warrant, under which British citizens have been sent to hellhole jails on the other side of the continent because the corrupt judiciary of an emerging economy convicted them on blatantly manufactured evidence, without any recourse to British courts whatsoever, I can't see why not.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Time to rise up or leave, or both

    Perhaps one of El Reg's contributing journalists would like to do a series of articles comparing the state of personal freedom between the UK and China?

  57. The elephant in the room
    Big Brother

    Wasnt Tom Cruise in this film?

    Its beginning to look like we should start stockpiling weapons to defend whats left of our civil liberties with.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Feedback?

    Complex systems can be prone to problems with feedback. And when these predictive systems are combined with society, they form truly complex systems. How will these predictive systems deal with the inevitability that some people will change their behaviour as a result of learning of such systems' existence and use?

    It's easy to end up with all sorts of unwanted oscillations (like when a PA system amplifies itself as picked up by the microphones plugged into it, resulting in a ghastly squeal). In the case of a society with these kinds of predictive systems plugged into it, we could end up seeing, say, bizarre waves of social unrest, civil disobedience, politicians turning such unintended consequences into political footballs with the result that such political activity ends up contributing to the chaos.

    How are the people in such projects going to deal with these kinds of difficult engineering challenges?

  59. Tony Paulazzo
    Joke

    Oh my God!

    >Complex systems can be prone to problems with feedback. And when these predictive systems are combined with society, they form truly complex systems. How will these predictive systems deal with the inevitability that some people will change their behaviour as a result of learning of such systems' existence and use?<

    It'll come to life, won't it? call itself Skynet, scorch the sky and use the human survivor as batteries (because it wouldn't occur to it to launch sunlight collecting satellites - garbage in, human programming, garbage out, Skynet AI).

    Meanwhile Kaneda is trying to stop Akira from blowing the matrix wide open, whilst Blakes seven tries to destroy the Federation with an alien starship. Picard isn't taking this lying down, having been abused by the borg (Skynets bigger brother), and they have a huge JJ Abrams space battle with sweeping camera moves, gorgeous lens flares and multi coloured nebulae.

    It ends with the precogs, Martians and Scientologists taking a hit out on Tom Cruise, so happy ending all round really.

  60. fajensen Silver badge
    Happy

    You forgot to mention ....

    @Spleen:

    You forgot to mention that the day-to-day operation will be outsourced to the lowest-quality bidder; currently Pakistan, so first the ISI and then by extension the Taliban will be all over it.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Well, blast...

    Hey! Do the MPs think they're in the US or something??

    :-P

  62. Simon Dummett
    Alert

    Not Minority Report, Asimov's "All The Troubles Of The World"

    For the benefit of those who choose not to visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_Troubles_of_the_World I provide this excerpt:

    "Multivac, the world's largest supercomputer, is given the responsibility of analyzing daily, in essence, the entire sum of data present upon the planet Earth... It receives annually a precise set of data on every citizen of the world, extrapolating the future actions of humanity based upon the personality, history, and desires of every human being...

    Recently, however, in addition to its existing duties, it has been given the responsibility of producing a daily list of crimes predicted to be carried out by the population at large, ranging from murder to spousal abuse...

    The story begins with several of the administrators of the government being warned by Multivac of an upcoming murder attempt. Joseph Manners, the man accused of the crime, is quickly placed under house arrest, despite his protests that he is ignorant of any planned crime and the unwillingness of the law enforcement officers to inform him of what crime he is going to commit. In spite of the arrest, Multivac reports that the odds of the crime being consummated increase as a result of the governments actions, continuing to rise with every further movement."

    Please, read the story, or at least the rest of the potted version at the URL above. The ending might be just what we need...

  63. Timmo
    Pint

    Better Idea

    Sounds like insidious labour plan to convert Europe to their Data hoarding ways. I have a better Idea ! Why not make a database of everyone who DOES NOT live in Europe, then we Free Citizen's of the enlightened EU can be checked against that and if we don't appear on it we will be fine & our data can be deleted !

    The Beer glass as this is Pub Logic

  64. wv9e

    What else is new?

    And they told us the escaped Nazis all went to Brazil.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019