NSA Google Glass Fantasies


In a way, movies and TV shows predict the future. In Star Trek, we saw the first imaginings of the iPad. Iron Man presented a new interface involving holograms. Back to The Future showed us the self-lacing shoe, the hover board, and even predicted Google Glass! If you don’t believe me, watch the films again.

I’m sure you’ve seen a rough “prototype” of Google Glass in other movies too. It’s not hard to fantasize about wearable technology because everybody wants one, even the NSA.

The Google Glass is priced around $1500 so it’s safe to say that we won’t see too many people wearing the new tech. If the price reaches $300 then expect to see a lot of “Glassholes” walking in streets and malls. But before the Glass reaches the masses, I’m pretty sure security agencies already have one right now, and they’re probably figuring out how to use it to spy on the whole world.

You see, the intelligence community fantasized about a piece of technology just like the Google Glass as early as 2008. There is a session of meetings called SHARP or Summer Hard Problems. This is a 4 week session that puts together smart people to solve different problems by inventing new technology. The one who organized the whole thing is the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the same agency that over sees the NSA.

There are these things they call final reports, a summation of what has been talked about or produced in the sessions. These things are usually classified, but our good friends at the Federation of American Scientists managed to get a copy and published it secretly in 2008. The report talked about simulated environments like “Second Life” and online role-playing games like “World of Warcraft”. It also looked at economies and their currencies; even rise of Bitcoin was predicted.

The most interesting thing that the report stated was something called iGlasses and how the technology could affect the lives of people.

From the report – “One plausible future development is iGlasses. The iGlasses would feature a fully integrated computer, PDA, cell phone, ID tag, HMD (Head Mounted Display) and GPS. … When integrated with sub-meter GPS systems and HMDs, they would allow Reality+ graphic overlays enhancing what people see through the glasses in real time as they walk and traverse the real world. Built-in Internet access would come standard with all models.”

That seems… obvious, but wait till you read how the “iGlasses” can be used for other “extreme” activities.

“Of course, this technology could also be abused. Right-wing extremists, for instance neo-Nazis, could overlay racial or ethnic slurs and slogans on buildings or individuals in the real world. Or jihadist sympathizers could gather on the Capital Mall wearing iGlasses as they conduct a virtual meeting that overlays an avatar of Usama bin Ladin on the real-world steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Their reality, their world, their hate — all reinforced with the blending of the virtual and real worlds, with Reality+ displays.”

Is it just being cautious, or being paranoid? What’s your stance? Hit the comments!

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