By BJ Bjornson
You can treat this as basically my own follow-up to John�s post on the Zuccotti Park Raid below. First off, a dampening word on the whole �DHS coordinated the OWS takedowns� meme. Over at Balloon Juice, ABL has noted that the only real source for this particular tidbit seems to be an unnamed Justice official in the Examiner.com article, which doesn�t appear to be the most credible of news agencies. Doesn�t mean it isn�t true, or that there wasn�t some coordination of efforts, but it was hardly necessary or, I would argue, even all that important in the scheme of things. The pushback from the elite was going to come in some fashion, and with interest and support for the OWS movement on the wane, its not a surprise that many cities took it upon themselves to do so now.
It also doesn�t make the following any less true when you remove the references to DHS:
Remember when people were freaking out over the Patriot Act and Homeland Security and all this other conveniently ready-to-go post-9/11 police state stuff, because it would obviously be just a matter of time before the whole apparatus was turned against non-Muslim Americans when they started getting complain-y about the social injustice and economic injustice and income inequality and endless recession and permanent unemployment? That day is now, and has been for some time.
Still, probably the scariest thing I�ve read today comes from John Robb, who posits the all-too-plausible and near-term future of protest movements.
* Software bots monitoring CCTV footage and social media traffic (as well as GPS info from every cell phone) detect a "signature" of a protest (aka a "riot/mob" to plutocrats).
* The signature is confirmed by human analysts in a corporate facility (this capability was outsourced) located in xyz remote country getting paid (low single digits $ per hour).
* Spy drones would be dispatched to confirm data via electromagnetic sensors (including a sniff check for weapons/drugs and remote sensing of IDs).
* The "signature" of a "riot" is confirmed by software bots that pattern match it against pattern guidance from the Mayor's office (in particular, it's important to make sure that this "riot" isn't a Tea Party or pro Wall Street gathering). At that point, regulatory bots would produce the needed e-paperwork to disperse the "riot."
* Drones, both ground and air, with non-lethals would be dispatched/released. Arrival in minutes given urban launching points.
* Audio warning to protesters, "You are attempting to conduct a demonstration in violation of xyz regulation and code. Disperse immediately or face discomfort."
* 1 minute later, the drones use non-lethal but painful doses of sound/heat to force those people unwilling to leave out of the area.
As noted by Robb, all of the tech needed is already available. This may be coming to a city near you all too soon.