An American BBC, and a New "Manhattan Project" for "Intimate Surveillance"

The Defense Science Board, the quasi-independent body that's paid to give advice to the Dept. of Defense, presented in December a long report and policy brief [PDF] on Stabilization & Reconstruction (S&R) efforts following American military interventions. Among the more-urgent-than-usual recommendations are a "revolution in strategic communication"; a "'Manhattan Project'-like program" to develop "more intimate, terrestrial, 21st-century ... intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities"; and, shockingly (to me) an American BBC:

There is no reason why the United States cannot sustain an activity analogous to the UK government-funded BBC World Service, which has tremendous credibility around the world and serves as an instrument to promote truthful news and British values. Building up that credibility -- building up that "brand" -- requires a decade or two of persistence.

Oh, I can think of a few "reasons".... More on this interesting report later, and thanks as always to the Federation of American Scientists for making it available to the rest of us.

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    Sounds like someone was playing Scrabble using buzzwords to score points. What exactly would a "Manhattan Project" involving intelligence look like?

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    Rounding up all the intellegent citizens into a camp in the middle of the desert and dropping a bomb on them?

  • Matt Welch||

    cdunlea -- I should have summarized that bit better. The Manhattan Project would be to develop the technology to allow for the collection & processing of "intimate" (i.e., individual) surveillance & tracking in a terrestrial (i.e., non-satellite) way. We have the technology to guide missiles into bathrooms, or to detect certain objects with a degree of clarity, but we don't yet know where the hell everybody is, and what they're doing & saying.

  • ||

    What exactly would a "Manhattan Project" involving intelligence look like?

    Blowing up brains?

    "Every time I touch brains I'm superfly TNT"

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    I'm the Guns of the Navarone!

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    So, Matt, what you're saying is that they want to develop the intimate technology to know what I'm doing in the bathroom? Jeez, it's worse than I thought.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  • gaius marius||

    "more intimate, terrestrial, 21st-century ... intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities"; and, shockingly (to me) an American BBC

    so we can see everyone, every where all the time; propagandize them; and shoot hellfire missiles at the resistant.

  • drf||

    "Rounding up all the intellegent citizens into a camp in the middle of the desert and dropping a bomb on them?"

    LOL!

    all five of them?

    and CD!!! you told us you were washing your hands (OH!!! GARY!!!!!)

    and i like how the rat was a decoy explosive. and i confess, force ten from navarone is a guilty pleasure...

    did you see The Big Red One on tv the other day? 'nuther good one!

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    Public or private, I wish we had a news service as good as the BBC World Service.

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    Dude,
    I get the BBC when I get tv, and I am not that impressed with it. I like Fox and MSNBC a whole lot more (the evening shows, not the morning ones).

    The BBC sucks

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    Matt Welch,

    ...but we don't yet know where the hell everybody is, and what they're doing & saying.

    So I am going to have to get PGP for my body now?!?!

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    We already have market-provided technology for "intimate surveillance" -- the webcam.

    Simply provide every household with a hot exhibitionist lass, Internet access, a PayPal account and a webcam, and anybody would be able to look into anybody's house, anytime.

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    So, Matt, what you're saying is that they want to develop the intimate technology to know what I'm doing in the bathroom? Jeez, it's worse than I thought.

    I'm BUSY!!! I'll be RIGHT OUT!

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    Two way TV sets?

    Wasn't that predicted in a book called 21 years ago, or something?

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    Ye Gods, Stevo, now that's a link!

    Imagine my horror the first time I ordered a Manhattan here in Wisconsin. Without warning me, they made it with brandy! Now, "Brandy Manhattan" would be a great name for a stripper, but nobody should get served one of those when they are expecting a proper whiskey-based drink.

    One of our local, tax-guzzling, licensed-to-the-state-university "Public radio stations" was carrying the BBC World Service overnight, a while back. Britain, having an established Church, has no trouble running a "Word of Faith" segment on Auntie Beeb. The local PD's never could grasp the concept that their rebroadcast was not in the spirit of the First Amendment. It seems Anglophilia trumps even the committment to separation of our bureauvrats.

    Kevin

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    rumour: Al Jazeera was set up through the bbc world service, and funded by the the uk foreign office

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