28 June 2008

Don't Look Now, Dear, But I Think that Spider is Looking Up Your Skirt

Spy robots are getting smaller and harder to spot. Militaries and spy agencies around the globe are focusing on small, difficult to detect mobile spy-eyes that can flit, crawl, and sneak their way into the most private settings.
Officials believe these insect- and bird-sized robots will help close the gap on surveillance needs not being met by the larger drones flying in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan.

...Imagine a Marine or soldier patrolling a city block when he suspects there might be insurgents in one of the buildings ahead. He stops, pulls several small robots out of his backpack and deploys them into the air and on the ground. They fly and scramble ahead, sending back images and audio to a handheld device monitored from the safety of his vehicle or under protection of his comrades. _Source
Or imagine internet-linked tiny spybots in the dressing room of your favourite boutique. Or in the gym locker room of your school? Or just about anywhere you do not want them to be? These are not nanobots, but nanobots are coming and will be much harder to detect than bug-bots.

Our horror films focus generally on human-sized monsters or larger. Our national fears center around huge mushroom clouds, collapsing buildings, exploding trains, planes, cars, and buses . . . If we fear a bit more deeply, we worry about bacteria, viruses, toxins, loosed radiation . . . But what about monsters as small as viruses, but smarter in aggregate than an attack dog? What about nano-monsters that can be combressed in a small wafer sized package, mailed to a city, then when it detects via local radio and television signals that it has arrived, it eats its way out of its packaging, disburses into tiny sub-gnat-sized fliers and proceeds to alter the genetic composition of every person in that city?

The idea is not to be afraid. The idea is to think ahead, and consider your options. You may believe that western militaries and spy agencies would develop no such thing as civilisation attacking nano-neuter-bugs or nano-zombie-bugs. Perhaps. But what about China, Russia, or cooperating narco-terror criminal conglomerates with fingers inside scientific labs?

This is your world. Spiders looking up skirts are one thing. There are worse things out there, in your future.


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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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