Article Overview:   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.


Sunday--June 8, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 634
Keyser Soze--The Usual Suspect Limping Beast Of Terror Gait
Cliff McKenzie
   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.

Gait 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 gaits scanned.
        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."

Measuring 17 points on body for gait recognition

        Not everyone is happy about the government finding new ways to "spy" on people.   
        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 Chazz Palminteri.
        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 room.
         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, logically.
          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 fingerprint.
         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 of Vigilance

       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 for Terrorists?
        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 Vigilant Tool.
       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 recognition radar.   

Fat Albert's gait data would be too confusing

        They 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

         In 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 their actions.

Don't drag The Leg of Vigilance behind you

        If we 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 Soze.  
         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 behind you.
         Give Keyser Soze a swift kick in butt.
         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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