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More information about the €14.68 million, FP7-funded INDECT project, which aims to mine data from television, internet traffic, cellphone conversations, p2p file sharing and a range of other sources, has been published on Wikinews.  Concern about this project is clearly growing and few will be reassured by the comments of Suresh Manandhar, leader of the University of York researchers involved in INDECT, who told Wikinews: “it is important to bear in mind that the scientific methods are much more general and has wider applications. The project will most likely have lot of commercial potential. The project has an Ethics board to oversee the project activities. As a responsible scientists [sic] it is of utmost importance to us that we conform to ethical guidelines”.

Read the full story: “Listening to you at last: EU plans to tap cell phones

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The production of extravagant PR material is always a good indication that government agencies or public bodies have been given too much money. This is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from “No, you can’t”, the short film that now greets visitors to the European Commission’s security research website.


“No, you can’t” – EU Security Research ‘infomercial’

It’s clearly something to do with preventing lightly armed people with mental illness boarding European aircraft, but is the deranged central character, crude Asian stereotyping and abject lack of meaningful information in this ‘infomercial’ meant to convey a deeper message about the European Union? Barrack Obama said “yes, we can”, the European Commission says “no, you can’t”. Speaks for itself really.

Regardless of message or metaphor, how anyone thought this was a justifiable use of public funds beggars belief. You’d have thought the Commission might have learned a few lessons from the frankly even more embarrassing INDECT video and the ridicule it invited.

Here’s a PR video for the aforementioned INDECT project.

Apparently it was shown at the Security Research conference in Sweden last week to a rather stunned audience.

Words cannot really do it justice.

Watch it until the end.

A five-year research programme, called Project Indect, aims to develop computer programmes which act as “agents” to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers.
Its main objectives include the “automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence”.
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Project Indect, which received nearly £10 million in funding from the European Union, involves the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and computer scientists at York University, in addition to colleagues in nine other European countries.
Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty, described the introduction of such mass surveillance techniques as a “sinister step” for any country, adding that it was “positively chilling” on a European scale.

This from the Daily Telegraph a couple of weeks ago:

“A five-year research programme, called Project Indect, aims to develop computer programmes which act as “agents” to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers.

Its main objectives include the “automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence”.

Project Indect, which received nearly £10 million in funding from the European Union, involves the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and computer scientists at York University, in addition to colleagues in nine other European countries.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty, described the introduction of such mass surveillance techniques as a “sinister step” for any country, adding that it was “positively chilling” on a European scale”.

Read the full article.

Check out the project website.