Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! each month for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $10 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Wednesday, July 9, 2003 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Clear Channel Sued For Firing Radio Host Opposed to Iraq...
2003-07-09

Pentagon Goes Sci-Fi: A Review of DARPA’s Plans to Build Hypersonic Attack Drones, the Big Brother-like Lifelog and a Massive Urban Surveillance System

DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announces new projects that would give U.S. military the ability to strike at any target in the world within two hours without the need of foreign bases. Meanwhile proposed surveillance programs raise ire of civil libertarians.

Hypersonic drones that fly 10 times the speed of sound.

A digital super diary that records everything a person does.

Cameras that track and identify every vehicle and its passengers.

These are some of the technologies being developed by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA.

DARPA is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense.

Last week the Guardian of London reported that DARPA is developing a new line of superweapons including huge hypersonic drones that fly 10 times the speed of sound and space-based bombers. The new technology would allow the US military to strike anywhere in the globe at lightning speed from within the U.S. border.

The Guardian went on to report that the new superweapons would free the military?s dependence on overseas military bases and it would decrease the need for cooperation from its allies.

The U.S. is hoping to develop an unmanned attack drone that could fly 10 times the speed of sound and be able to drop 12,000 pounds of bombs.

The new weapons are being developed under a program codenamed Falcon which stands for Force Application and Launch from the Continental US.

Jane’s Defense Weekly reports the government has just begun accepting bids on the project which could take 20 years to develop.

DARPA is also overseeing a project called "Combat Zones That See" that would allow military officials to track and identify every vehicle and its passengers in a city by using high-tech computers and a team of cameras. The images would be automatically analyzed by computers. Warning messages would be generated if a wanted vehicle or person was located.

The Pentagon is saying it needs the program to keep watch on foreign cities during military conflicts but privacy experts say the technology could be adapted to spy on Americans. Many fear it will be used more by the Department of Homeland Security than the Pentagon.

And finally, DARPA is overseeing a project to develop a digital super diary that captures and analyzes a multimedia record of everywhere a subject goes and everything he or she sees, hears, reads, says and touches. Data is captured by a camera, microphone and sensors worn by the user. The project is known as LifeLog.

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories

    Peoplesclimatemarchjustseedsimage
    A People’s Climate Movement: Indigenous, Labor, Faith Groups Prepare for Historic March
    New York City is set to host what could be the largest climate change protest in history. Organizers expect more than 100,000 people to converge for a People’s Climate March on Sunday. Some 2,000 solidarity events are scheduled around the world this weekend ahead of Tuesday’s United Nations climate summit. We spend the hour with four participants representing the labor, indigenous, faith and climate justice communities: Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the president of Union Theological Seminary, which recently voted to divest from fossil...

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.