The hunger for spying on Americans includes watching how you walk.
A new gait-recognition system is being refined to identify Terrorists
as well as the average person. Is this a waste of
time or an act of Vigilance? Find out who Keyser Soze really
is--the guy with the limp or the strolling, horrible Beast of Terror.
8, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 634
Keyser Soze--The Usual Suspect
Limping Beast Of Terror Gait
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, New York--June
8, 2003--"A small step of Terrorism, a giant step for Vigilance!"
That's the credo of the researchers
at the Georgia Institute of Technology who are working feverishly to
perfect a new method of ferreting out Terrorists--gait recognition.
recognition through variation in hip inclination
Gait recognition is
a new method of personal identification, similar in nature to video
face recognition. Instead of identifying the "bad guy" by sight,
the radar based technology measures 17 different points of the body
using what scientists call "four dimensional walk vectors" to single
out a potential Terrorist strolling in an airport, or, simply walking
down the street.
At least, that's the message being
delivered by Georgia Tech researchers, funded by the Defense Advance
Research Projects Agency(DARPA), with a $2.5 billion-a-year budget to
find new and better ways to snoop on the "enemy."
The latest system is based on radar
and has the potential to identify an individual up to 500 feet away,
allegedly giving scanners more time to identify potential Terrorists.
Far from perfected, in a recent test
the system was able to identify from 80 to 95 percent of individual
The seventeen measurement points
include the foot, angle knee, hips, wrist elbows, shoulders, temples
and the crown of the head. Data records such things as
"joint angle trajectories in the walking plane."
points on body for gait recognition
everyone is happy about the government finding new ways to "spy" on
Dave Farber offered the website,
, the DARPA as Privacy Villain of the Week in October,
2002. He claims the gait recognition research is just
another step toward government snooping on people, and a big chip
knocked out of individual rights in the name of Terrorism.
It makes little sense that we should
be working on how to identify people by how they walk, when we can't
find Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden when their faces are splattered
over the world, including pictured on Terrorist playing cards.
Snooping on people, however, seems to
be a prime directive of any government. The idea we are
all being "watched" is a chilling thought to people who savor their
privacy, and were suckled on the principle of Individual Rights as the
core of their freedom.
Plus, there seems to be some insanity
involved in this project.
Keyser Soze is
the Beast of Terror
I think of the
movie, Usual Suspects, starring Kevin Spacey. Spacey plays a
crippled con man, a low-life named Roger Kint, who is relating the
events of a murder to a U.S. Customs Agent, David Kujan, played by
The "bad guy," the "Terrorist," the
"Beast of Terror," in the story is a vicious cold-blooded killer named
Keyser Soze. Whenever the name, "Keyser Soze" is spoken,
there is a pause, a shudder, as though Evil himself had entered the
Eventually, the crippled,
leg-dragging low-life Kint convinces the Customs Agent he is just a
small fish in the big Sea of Terror ruled by Keyser Soze.
The crippled low-life is released. And, in the final scene we
see his leg-dragging gait shift into a firm, solid series of
quick-steps as the character morphs from his disguise as a low-life
crippled hack con into the powerful stature of the Beast of Terror,
Keyser Soze himself.
Bottom line, can a person
shuffle, drag his leg, walk with a hump, put a lift in his or her
shoes, or any other form of gait alteration to foil the radar, to
circumvent the gait-recognition system?
It seems so, at least,
If we're going to spend
money and toss out individual rights, why not stick to simple and
mundane proven systems like fingerprints. Just stick
your thumb on the scanner. Of course, there are
those who believe fingerprints are private, and unless a person
agrees, or, as a result of a crime or working for the government is
forced to divulge his or her personal prints, they shouldn't be forced
to submit them. But, let's say someone wants to fly on a
plane. The right to fly might include the price of a
I get confused on giving up
certain rights to obtain other rights that currently exist.
It seems I'm losing the game, but then there is a bigger
issue--security. Perhaps my fingerprints are less
important than the overall protection of all others.
But that's another discussion.
Here, the point is gait recognition.
I find it
incredible the government could promote gait recognition as a tool
Is it an act
of Vigilance to spend millions of dollars to measure how someone
walks, and to rely on the gait recognition systems as a screening tool
As a Sentinel of Vigilance who
realizes we have only a limited amount of time and money to find ways
to protect our children and our Children's Children's Children, I find
it incredible the government could promote gait recognition as a top
Fingerprints, retina scanning, facial
scanning all seem a lot more effective than something as possibly
inaccurate as how someone walks.
Remember Keyser Soze!
Terrorists are smart. They are
smart enough to elude, at least for three years, all the snooping
systems of the United States and other nations hunting for Osama bin
Laden. It would seem that gait recognition would be so far
down the food chain that any justification for funding such a project
under the "TerrorHunting" category would be so low that lopping it off
would be an act of public-funding mercy.
Further, the idea of errors are not
only humorous to think about, but potentially tragic. Take some
guy and gal who had their gaits measured when they were forty pounds
lighter. Now, with oodles of new blubber, and perhaps joints
creaking with gout, they shuffle and grimace toward the gait
gait data would be too confusing
become Fat Alberts to the radar, and, it just happens that there is a
Terrorist who fits the Fat Albert gait.
Our overweight Fat Albert is on his
or her way to get a heart transplant. Wheezing and coughing,
dragging hunks of adipose tissue lugubriously behind him or her, an
alarm sounds. Out of nowhere appear SWAT teams, rifles and guns
aimed at Fat Albert. Blinding spotlights stun Fat
Albert. Bomb sniffing dogs growl and snarl.
Fat Albert is shoved down and thuds on the floor. His or
her arms are so bulbous they cannot be placed behind his or her back
to be cuffed.
Twenty agents haul Fat Albert's
dead-weight body to a steel-reinforced van and rush him or her to a
detention center where he or she is grilled by expert interrogators.
Alas, they find out hours later he or she is not Keyser Soze.
Not even a distant relative. Just a poor fat slob whose gait
facts got just too close to those of Keyser Soze.
Humor aside, the billions of
dollars invested by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency could
be spent not on bizarre methods of violating individual rights under
the guise of Homeland Security, but much better spent on promoting the
Pledge of Vigilance.
Terrorism will never be stopped
at the gates of an airport.
The fuse of Terrorism must be
snuffed before it is lighted, not after it has been ignited.
Terrorism begins in the mind of
a child, and is twisted through time into belief systems fostered by
those who serve as models of violating the rights of others to achieve
their own goals.
Governments who, in the name of
security, Terrorize the rights of future generations a little at a
time, are not much different than Keyser Soze. They may
not do any one act at any one time that matches the horror of a
September 11, 2001 attack, but, over many years and billions of
dollars, and slowly draining away the rights of future generations,
their ultimate impacts may be even worse than any single Terrorist
attack or threat.
We must remove
the roots of Terrorism
our haste to stop Terrorism in its tracks, we need to remember that
solving the The Pledge of Vigilance, and the
Principles of Vigilance, rip out the Roots of Terrorism.
When parents and loved ones use their wisdom and beliefs to protect
children from the ravages of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, and
society as a whole is eager to promote Terrorism's counterpoints,
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's
Children, then there is no need nor justification for the wasted
expenditure on gait recognition as a TerrorHunting Tool.
Terrorism can only be hunted
down and destroyed by the citizens of the world who refuse to allow
the Beast of Terror entry into their minds, into their beliefs, into
Don't drag The
Leg of Vigilance behind you
took the two billion dollars from the DARPA and invested them in
training parents and loved ones, neighborhoods and communities to
become Sentinels of Vigilance, we wouldn't have to worry about Keyser
He's gimping his way to some
other part of the world where people let their governments seduce them
into thinking only government had the ability to protect the people
from Terrorism. Then he'd shuffle his way into the
homes of all his victims, and hope they never came to realize that
they, not gait recognition, were the keys to capturing him.
Take the Pledge of Vigilance.
Don't drag the Leg of Vigilance
Give Keyser Soze a swift kick
Your children, and their
Children's Children's Children will thank you for it later.
June 7--Insurance Against Creeping
Terrorism--The Pledge Of Vigilance
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