[FoRK] Fwd: [Politech] MIT Media Lab project on "Things that Fink?" [priv]

Rob van Kranenburg kranenbu at xs4all.nl
Wed Mar 31 14:01:49 PST 2004

>Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 14:27:24 -0500
>From: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com>
>Subject: [Politech] MIT Media Lab project on "Things that Fink?" [priv]
>X-BeenThere: politech at politechbot.com
>[April fool's warning, of course... --Declan]
>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: Things that Fink: For Politech (anonymous posting, please)
>Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 14:24:01 -0500
>From: deleted
>To: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com>
>I found this announcement on an internal Media Lab mailing list.  I
>thought it might be of interest to your readers.  Please remove my
>name and email address if you choose to post it.
>	Cheers,
>	deleted
>Embargo: April 1, 2004.
>Today the MIT Media Lab announced the "Things that Fink" research
>consortium, a ground-breaking joint academic/industry/government
>venture to explore the benefits of ubiquitous surveillance in the
>public and private sectors.
>The "Things that Fink" consortium is an extension of the Media Lab's
>successful "Things that Think" (TTT) research consortium, with an
>emphasis on RFID, data mining, sensor networks, biometrics, and
>behavior modeling technologies.  The involvement of DARPA and the
>newly created Homeland Security Agency reflects both a new level of
>involvement by the government in funding Media Lab work and a
>recognition of the growing synergy between private-sector and
>public-sector surveillance efforts.
>"The success of the CAPS II passenger profiling system, and the
>successors to the TIA (Total Information Awareness) project, depend
>heavily on the active cooperation of the private sector in the
>aggregation of personal financial, travel, and other data," said one
>Media Lab researcher. "Fortunately, privacy invasion has significant
>economic benefits for our sponsors."
>The benefits of ubiquitous surveillance are enormous, say TTF
>sponsors.  "Data aggregation is just the beginning.  Imagine being
>able to track every piece of equipment in your lab, or every
>employee's location.  A smart network of tags and sensors can reveal
>almost everything about your employees' work-place performance,
>habits, even the most intimate details of their personal lives."  said
>one CEO, "And the cost is so low.  The only real expense is personal
>But it doesn't stop in the workplace.  The real goal of TTF is to
>extend the benefits of ubiquitous surveillance into the world at
>large.  "This technology is everywhere," said one researcher.  "The
>combination of bank cards, closed circuit cameras, and RFID tags
>already in use make for an almost seamless web of surveillance.  We
>just have to pull it together --- and access to this data is getting
>easier all the time."
>A few researchers have raised privacy concerns, "Privacy just isn't an
>issue," says Professor Blackbridge, chairman of the Media Lab. "People
>are giving up their privacy in the workplace, in the market, and even
>at home without a second thought.  If they don't care, why should we?"
>Politech mailing list
>Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
>Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)


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