Military-industrial corps turn to civilian market
A balloon launched by Raytheon at the Indy 500, on Memorial Day weekend, contains a surveillance system known as RAID (Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment).
According to http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/ "the system is kitted-out with 'electro-optic infrared, radar, flash and acoustic detectors' ".
Apparently there are already 300 such blimps operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s a goodly number, mass production probably no problem.
They like this system because, as one Raytheon person put it, "The airship is great because it doesn’t have that Big Brother feel, or create feelings of invasiveness," … .
Great. The ultimate stalker nightmare. Miniaturization is all, so it won’t be long before they mass market miniature systems for personal use.
I’m skipping lots of important details in this article, which was based on a Newsweek story (Kurt Soller, "Are You Being Watched? The blimp flying above your head may be watching your every move," Newsweek, June 11, 2009), but here I’m quoting in full:
“In this context, the public roll-out of RAID is all the more pressing for securocrats and the companies they serve since Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ‘plans to kill a program begun by the Bush administration that would use U.S. spy satellites for domestic security and law enforcement,’ the Associated Press reported June 22.
“That program, the National Applications Office (NAO) was first announced by the Bush regime in 2007 and was mired in controversy from the get-go. As Antifascist Calling reported last year, NAO would coordinate how domestic law enforcement and “disaster relief” agencies such as FEMA utilize GEOINT and imagery intelligence (IMINT) generated by U.S. spy satellites. But as with other heimat security schemes there was little in the way of oversight and zero concern for the rights of the American people.
“The intrusiveness of the program was so severe that even Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the author of the despicable “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007″ (H.R. 1955) vowed to pull the plug. Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee’s Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment subcommittee, Harman introduced legislation earlier this month that would have shut down NAO immediately while prohibiting the agency from spending money on NAO or similar programs.”
I guess they think the ezy brezy blimp can slide by Congress.
This article is a keeper, because it gives essential details (which I have omitted here) and names the companies involved. We all may want to refer to it as time goes by.
Looks like the technology for total surveillance is here: gps positioning, embedded computer chips… . It’s a growth market and will not be denied.