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Mind Reading -- 60 minutes CBS News video
June 28, 2009 4:50 PM
Neuroscience has learned so much about how we think and the brain activity linked to certain thoughts that it is now possible - on a very basic scale - to read a person's mind. Lesley Stahl reports.
How Technology May Soon "Read" Your Mind
Read more: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1998/07/08/60minutes/main4694713.sht...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,426485,00.html

LiveScience Topics: Mind Reading

Mind-machine interfaces can read your mind, and the science is improving. Devices scan the brain and read brain waves with electroencephalography, or EEG, then use a computer to convert thoughts into action. Some mind-reading research has recorded electrical activity generated by the firing of nerve cells in the brain by placing electrodes directly in the brain. These studies could lead to brain implants that would move a prosthetic arm or other assistive devices controlled by a brain-computer interface.

http://utdev.livescience.com/topic/mind-reading

 

16:09 03/11/2010 © Alex Steffler

Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Mind-reading devices to help screen Russian cops

It reads like science fiction, but it’ll soon be science fact. Special mind-reading devices are to be rolled out across Russia’s revamped police force.
http://en.rian.ru/papers/20101103/161202851.html

 

Homeland Security Detects Terrorist Threats by Reading Your MindTuesday, September 23, 2008
By Allison Barrie
Baggage searches are SOOOOOO early-21st century. Homeland Security is now testing the next generation of security screening — a body scanner that can read your mind.

Most preventive screening looks for explosives or metals that pose a threat. But a new system called MALINTENT turns the old school approach on its head. This Orwellian-sounding machine detects the person — not the device — set to wreak havoc and terror.

MALINTENT, the brainchild of the cutting-edge Human Factors division in Homeland Security's directorate for Science and Technology, searches your body for non-verbal cues that predict whether you mean harm to your fellow passengers.

It has a series of sensors and imagers that read your body temperature, heart rate and respiration for unconscious tells invisible to the naked eye — signals terrorists and criminals may display in advance of an attack.

But this is no polygraph test. Subjects do not get hooked up or strapped down for a careful reading; those sensors do all the work without any actual physical contact. It's like an X-ray for bad intentions.

Currently, all the sensors and equipment are packaged inside a mobile screening laboratory about the size of a trailer or large truck bed, and just last week, Homeland Security put it to a field test in Maryland, scanning 144 mostly unwitting human subjects.

While I'd love to give you the full scoop on the unusual experiment, testing is ongoing and full disclosure would compromise future tests.

• Click here for an exclusive look at MALINTENT in action.

But what I can tell you is that the test subjects were average Joes living in the D.C. area who thought they were attending something like a technology expo; in order for the experiment to work effectively and to get the testing subjects to buy in, the cover story had to be convincing.

While the 144 test subjects thought they were merely passing through an entrance way, they actually passed through a series of sensors that screened them for bad intentions.

Homeland Security also selected a group of 23 attendees to be civilian "accomplices" in their test. They were each given a "disruptive device" to carry through the portal — and, unlike the other attendees, were conscious that they were on a mission.

In order to conduct these tests on human subjects, DHS had to meet rigorous safety standards to ensure the screening would not cause any physical or emotional harm.

So here's how it works. When the sensors identify that something is off, they transmit warning data to analysts, who decide whether to flag passengers for further questioning. The next step involves micro-facial scanning, which involves measuring minute muscle movements in the face for clues to mood and intention.

Homeland Security has developed a system to recognize, define and measure seven primary emotions and emotional cues that are reflected in contractions of facial muscles. MALINTENT identifies these emotions and relays the information back to a security screener almost in real-time.

This whole security array — the scanners and screeners who make up the mobile lab — is called "Future Attribute Screening Technology" — or FAST — because it is designed to get passengers through security in two to four minutes, and often faster.

If you're rushed or stressed, you may send out signals of anxiety, but FAST isn't fooled. It's already good enough to tell the difference between a harried traveler and a terrorist. Even if you sweat heavily by nature, FAST won't mistake you for a baddie.

"If you focus on looking at the person, you don't have to worry about detecting the device itself," said Bob Burns, MALINTENT's project leader. And while there are devices out there that look at individual cues, a comprehensive screening device like this has never before been put together.

While FAST's batting average is classified, Undersecretary for Science and Technology Adm. Jay Cohen declared the experiment a "home run."

As cold and inhuman as the electric eye may be, DHS says scanners are unbiased and nonjudgmental. "It does not predict who you are and make a judgment, it only provides an assessment in situations," said Burns. "It analyzes you against baseline stats when you walk in the door, it measures reactions and variations when you approach and go through the portal."

But the testing — and the device itself — are not without their problems. This invasive scanner, which catalogues your vital signs for non-medical reasons, seems like an uninvited doctor's exam and raises many privacy issues.

But DHS says this is not Big Brother. Once you are through the FAST portal, your scrutiny is over and records aren't kept. "Your data is dumped," said Burns. "The information is not maintained — it doesn't track who you are."

DHS is now planning an even wider array of screening technology, including an eye scanner next year and pheromone-reading technology by 2010.

The team will also be adding equipment that reads body movements, called "illustrative and emblem cues." According to Burns, this is achievable because people "move in reaction to what they are thinking, more or less based on the context of the situation."

FAST may also incorporate biological, radiological and explosive detection, but for now the primary focus is on identifying and isolating potential human threats.

And because FAST is a mobile screening laboratory, it could be set up at entrances to stadiums, malls and in airports, making it ever more difficult for terrorists to live and work among us.

Burns noted his team's goal is to "restore a sense of freedom." Once MALINTENT is rolled out in airports, it could give us a future where we can once again wander onto planes with super-sized cosmetics and all the bottles of water we can carry — and most importantly without that sense of foreboding that has haunted Americans since Sept. 11.

Allison Barrie, a security and terrorism consultant with the Commission for National Security in the 21st Century, is FOX News' security columnist.

 

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Would the neuralaw also take into consideration the state of mind of TIs who may have been experiencing "implanted" thoughts e.g. dellusions, fake dreams, voices in the heads etc ?

For example, look at the not too distant future.
Take the example of the current proposal of mind reading machine at the airport security checkpoints.

Is there any slightest possibility that a particular TI who happen to board a plane find himself under influence
of external "noise" planted in his thoughts ? What if the mind reading machine capture that slightest change in
his neurons firing patterns and label him "malintent" ? My country has not implemented all this yet, but US and European TIs may soon find this machine operational at all airports. The public system is lagging seriously behind the intelligence technology.
Mind Reading with Functional MRI
Scientists use brain imaging to predict what someone is looking at.
http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/20380/
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
By Emily Singer
Scientists can accurately predict which of a thousand pictures a person is looking at by analyzing brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The approach should shed light on how the brain processes visual information, and it might one day be used to reconstruct dreams.

"[The research] suggests that fMRI-based measurements of brain activity contain much more information about underlying neural processes than has previously been appreciated," says Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and senior author of the study.

FMRI detects blood flow in the brain, giving an indirect measure of brain activity. Most fMRI studies to date have used the technology to pinpoint the parts of the brain involved in different cognitive tasks, such as reading or remembering faces. The new study, however, adopts an emerging trend in fMRI: using the technology to analyze neural information processing. By employing computer models to analyze the kinds of information gathered from the neural activity, scientists can try to assess how neural signals are processed in different brain areas and ultimately fused to create a cohesive perception. Researchers have previously used this approach to show that some visual information can be gleaned from brain-imaging data, such as whether a person is looking at faces or houses.

According to the study, published Wednesday in the online version of the journal Nature, scientists first gathered information about how the brain processes images by recording activity in the visual cortex as subjects looked at several thousand randomly selected pictures. Neurons in this part of the brain respond to specific aspects of the visual scene, such as a patch of strongly contrasting light and dark, so the activity recorded in each area of the brain scan reflects the visual information being processed by neurons in that area of the brain. The researchers compiled this information to develop a computer model that would predict the pattern of brain activity triggered by any image.


When volunteers were later shown a new image not included in the first set, the computer model was able to correctly predict which picture out of 120 or 1,000 possibilities the person looked at with 90 or 80 percent accuracy, respectively.

"They can do this with a surprising degree of accuracy," says Frank Tong, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, TN, who was not involved in the research. "People will be struck by how much visual information these researchers were able to extract from the brain."

Gallant and his team plan to use this technology to better understand how the visual system works by building computational models of various theories and then testing their ability to interpret brain scans. "The most direct way to test theories about how the brain transforms information is to measure what information is stored in different parts of the person's mind, and how that changes from structure to structure," says Ken Norman, a neuroscientist at Princeton University, in New Jersey, who was not involved in the research. Similar methods might also be useful in determining how those steps go awry in people with different kinds of cognitive deficits, he says.

This approach could also shed light on cognitive phenomena that are difficult to study, such as attention. For example, when a person looks at a picture of a skier on a mountain, he can focus either on the skier in the foreground or on the mountain scenery in the background. Exactly how this happens is a major open question in cognitive neuroscience. Neural activity, and thus the information captured by the fMRI, might change depending on where the person focuses his attention. Computer models developed by Tong have shown early success in predicting where a person is focusing his attention using a similar approach.

In the long term, this technology might be used to study even more ephemeral phenomena, such as dreaming. "It is currently unknown whether processes like dreaming and imagination are realized in the brain in a way that is functionally similar to perception," says Gallant. "If they are, then the techniques developed in our study should be directly applicable."

However, Gallant and others caution that the technology is not yet able to actually reconstruct from scratch what a person sees. While researchers are working on this capability, it is largely limited by the resolution of fMRI itself. Current brain-scanning devices have a spatial resolution of approximately one millimeter, an area that contains hundreds of neurons, each responding to different bits of visual information.

One of the most provocative potential applications for this type of "mind reading" technology has been in lie detection--for example, trying to determine directly from brain activity whether a suspect recognizes a photograph of a crime scene that she says she has never visited. (See "Imaging Deception in the Brain.") Most neuroscientists believe that there isn't enough data to determine if this is a reliable method of lie detection, and Gallant says that his technology is unlikely to make it any more so. "Any brain-reading device that aims to decode stored memories will inevitably be limited not only by the technology itself, but also by the quality of the stored information."
Reading Thoughts with Brain Imaging
Researchers use fMRI to determine the contents of short-term memory.
http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22201/
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
By Jocelyn Rice
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) looks more and more like a window into the mind. In a study published online today in Nature, researchers at Vanderbilt University report that from fMRI data alone, they could distinguish which of two images subjects were holding in their memory--even several seconds after the images were removed. The study also pinpointed, for the first time, where in the brain visual working memory is maintained.

Visual working memory allows us to briefly store and act upon specific details from images that we've seen: what color they are, how they're oriented, and how frequently they appear. But how and where these details are stored has remained a mystery. Early visual areas, which are the first to receive and process visual information, don't seem to stay active long enough to do the job. And higher visual areas don't have the machinery to retain such fine-grained details.

"It's been elusive," says John-Dylan Haynes, a neuroscientist at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, in Berlin. "This is a truly brilliant study that now convincingly demonstrates that the information about fine-grained contents of visual experience is held online in the early visual cortex across memory periods."

In the study, subjects were briefly shown two subsequent images of a grating, each image oriented at a different angle. They were then given a cue telling them which one to remember. To ensure that the memory was maintained, subjects were shown a third grating several seconds later and prompted to indicate how it was rotated compared with the remembered one. Throughout the whole process, an fMRI scanner monitored activity in four different early visual areas of the brain.


By analyzing the activity in those areas during the 11-second remembering period, the experimenters were able to determine, with more than 80 percent accuracy, which grating orientation the subject had in mind. To do so, they used a sophisticated analytical tool called a pattern classifier, calibrated for each individual subject by a number of training trials. Rather than simply measuring the overall level of activity, the pattern classifier could probe for patterns in how that activity was distributed across the brain.

This approach turned out to be crucial. Previous studies had unsuccessfully tried to predict subjects' memories by looking at overall brain activity in the early visual areas--an approach that was similarly unsuccessful here. In roughly half of the subjects, overall activity returned to baseline levels soon after the images were removed from view, and in all subjects activity was drastically reduced, making it impossible to decode which image the subject was remembering. But by teasing out specific activity patterns, the pattern classifier was able to reveal the previously hidden information encoded in those areas.

"Using these pattern-recognition-based techniques, the authors have been able to show that there is information stored there, even if on the surface it might not be obvious because the overall activity levels don't go up," says Haynes.

Previous studies using fMRI have shown that it's possible to determine which of a number of pictures a person is looking at. But the new study is unique in that it is not decoding sensory information in the brain, but memory.

The researchers also found that the brain-activity patterns linked to looking at a grating and remembering it bear a striking resemblance to each other. "During working memory for visual information, it almost seemed as though these early areas are holding an echo of the initial visual response," says Stephenie Harrison, a graduate student at Vanderbilt and the lead author on the Nature paper. "It suggests, in a way, that the memory trace itself is very similar to perception."

It still remains to be seen how the activity patterns detected by fMRI, which essentially measures blood flow in the brain, translate into actual neural signals, says Haynes. Because it measures information in chunks of three cubic millimeters, fMRI can't gather information about what individual neurons are doing. But "it gives us a better sense of what memory is," says Harrison. "It's hard to know because it's such a subjective personal experience, but this gives us a better sense of what someone might be doing: they might actually be visualizing the information."

No need to worry yet about Big Brother reading your mind. For now, real-world applications remain limited, says Frank Tong, an associate professor of psychology and senior author on the study. The ability to reconstruct from scratch a complex memory or imagined scenario is a long way off. "We're still just discriminating a simple binary state," Tong says. "If you increase the number of options, this would get progressively more difficult."
16:09 03/11/2010© Alex Steffler
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Mind-reading devices to help screen Russian cops
http://en.rian.ru/papers/20101103/161202851.html
It reads like science fiction, but it’ll soon be science fact. Special mind-reading devices are to be rolled out across Russia’s revamped police force.
In addition to the current standard background checks undergone by all police recruits (just to make sure they do not have any serious gangster connections), now HR managers and Federal Security Service officers will be able to delve deep into the minds of future policemen. The sincerity of their desire to serve and protect, as well as any latent criminal or sadistic traits, will all be assessed.

The Interior Ministry has reopened a center where specialists will spend their time reading people’s minds and probing deep into their subconscious. The newly-overhauled Center for Socio-Psychological and Special Psychological and Physiological Research will screen individuals to weed out any who are unfit for service. It will also, where needed, provide psychological assistance to serving members of the force, said Deputy Interior Minister Sergei Gerasimov.

He said specialists at the center would do their best to prevent police brutality, and that any police force considered having lax moral standards to be inadmissible. Although police officers are under constant stress as they deal with the criminal underworld, they also have a considerable amount of contact with law-abiding citizens. Consequently, they must always be ready to come to the rescue, to display tact and consideration for those in trouble.

Apart from sorting the wheat from the chaff, the center’s psychologists are there to help those employed to work under conditions of extreme stress and, where necessary, to rehabilitate them following trauma experienced in the line of duty, Gerasimov explained. The center will primarily focus on generals and senior officers, assessing their performance and selecting candidates for top positions.

Their aptitudes, professionalism, reliability, mental stability and resistance to corruption will be assessed. The mental stability of officers authorized to own and use service weapons is a key issue. The team spirit of entire police units, and the morale of individual officers, will also be looked at.

This innovative center is developing and introducing the very latest psychological technology, and has a solid track record of adopting both new equipment and approaches. A psychological diagnostic complex allows them to assess human needs and motivations, individual traits and intellectual abilities, as well as psychomotor, neurodynamic and sensory-perception faculties.

One device is used in the diagnosis and correction of police officers’ psychological and physiological capacities. Another device takes a radical new approach to drug-testing, in addition to which the center has also developed several lie detectors for screening rank-and-file personnel and for conducting internal investigations and HR checks.

Vremya Novostei

Most Russians admit National Unity Day means nothing to them

This November’s long weekend starts with National Unity Day, a recently decreed public holiday, and ends with the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. However, the holidays mean little more to most Russians than some welcome time off to wind down or get some vital gardening in before winter.

Unity Day commemorates a popular uprising that freed Moscow from Polish-Lithuanian invaders on November 4, 1612. It was led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky. In 1918, the communists replaced it with a new holiday, November 7, marking the Russian Revolution, which was faithfully celebrated right through until 2005.

Paradoxically, 66% of respondents in a recent survey told national pollsters at VTsIOM that the date means nothing to them, while 48% didn’t even know what holiday it was. Although many people mentioned the national heroes, Minin and Pozharsky, 7% vaguely explained it as being “a day to remember that all peoples should be friendly and tolerant.” “Respondents start making things up, trying to work out what the holiday’s all about from its name - national unity day” said VTsIOM head Valery Fyodorov. Another 2% came up with a truly fantastic explanation, saying November 4 was “what we used to celebrate on November 7, the old Bolshevik Revolution Day.”

It appears most Russians still have a long way to go before they see November 4 as a day for unity, patriotism or even simply a heightened interest in national history. Those on the left have no reason to be any more cheery. Although Russians know more about 1917 than they do about 1612, they are similarly lacking in enthusiasm for the communist holiday.

Most Russians (57%) never celebrate November 7; 39% said they were “indifferent” to Lenin, whereas in 2001, 40% said they “respect” him. As many as 41% of respondents believe his body should be removed from it’s Red Square mausoleum, while 37% said he should stay – but only as a tourist attraction.

A wave of nostalgia swept the country in 2005 when the old holiday was replaced. In the end, 31% are still nostalgic about the word “Soviet” and 18% said they felt proud saying it. The term “anti-Soviet” is associated with “condemnation” (23%), “disappointment” (13%), “anger” (11%), “shame” (8%) and “fear” (6%).

Some analysts claim the new holiday has failed to take root in public mindset despite the government’s propaganda efforts because it is something that simply cannot be implanted or imposed on people; others believe it will, in time, take root, and argue that Soviet holidays did not become popular overnight either.

Incidentally, November 4 is also the feast day of Our Lady of Kazan, one of the most popular Orthodox icons. Some Russians go to church while others prefer working in their gardens.

Moskovsky Komsomolets
New civil service code of conduct bans foreign words and crumpled suits

Russian officials will now be banned from wearing crumpled suits, from smoking and from concealing any medical conditions they might have. They will also have to forget all about euros and dollars and even abandon their condescending ways. These rules are taken from the model code of ethics and business conduct for government and municipal employees drawn up by the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development.

Above all, employees are told to keep their hands off others’ property. Excerpts from the code read as follows: employees “must avoid any actions that may influence personal, property-related (financial) or other interests.” They “must not abuse their official position to exercise influence on organizations’ and officials’ activity when dealing with issues of a personal nature.” If a state employee has been presented with a gift during, say, a business trip, he will have to hand it over to his employer, in this case the state, however loathe he is to do so.

Second, officials will now have to keep their distance. The code says they must no longer allow any influence on their official duties by political parties or public movements, nor should they display bias towards any individuals or professional or social groups.

Third, when dealing with rank-and-file citizens, these officials must be attentive, well-mannered, and patient. They must make sure they never look down on people, are rude or condescending. If the code is anything to go by, an official must not turn his nose up at social outcasts or slam his office door shut in the face of a whining spinster. He also has to rinse his mouth out: no foul language will be countenanced. There will be no public criticism of his colleagues, except for where this forms a constructive part of his managerial duties, or of the authorities.

But the most curious thing is that any public utterances, including comments made in the media, must use rubles, not foreign currencies, to estimate the costs of goods, services, budget figures or anything else relating to Russia. Even discussions of debts their region owes foreign companies must be carried out in the national denomination (rubles).

The intriguing question remains: what punishment will be meted out to any unfortunate government employee found breaching the code? Moral censure: this “terrible punishment” will be handed out during conflict commission meetings. But if the employee concerned not just soiled the honor of his profession and his peers by using such words as “euro” or “dollar,” but also pocketed their equivalent, the full weight of the law will come crashing down on him.

RIA Novosti is not responsible for the content of outside sources.
DARPA, Army fund 'telepathy' research
Steve Hammons May 18, 2009
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/102714
A research program to develop mind-to-mind communication among U.S. military personnel will receive $4 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), according to published reports.

The "Silent Talk" project seeks to create technologies that can read the "pre-speech" brain waves of individuals, interpret them and communicate them to other individuals.
A book Reading the Enemy's Mind: Inside Star Gate: America's Psychic Espionage Program [Hardcover]
Paul Smith (Author)

When word got out in 1995 that the U.S. Defense Department and CIA had funded efforts to read people's minds, the news understandably excited all sorts of derision and conspiracy theories. Who would imagine that the story behind the efforts is actually a fascinating tale about the possibilities of human potential? Paul H. Smith tells the story of the U.S. "psychic spying" program in his book Reading the Enemy's Mind. Smith doesn't come across as some flaky new-ager. He was a young U.S. Army intelligence officer and Arab linguist who had no previous interest in extra-sensory perception when he was recruited into the program code-named "Star Gate" in 1983. Over the next seven years, he became one of the army's premier "remote viewers" and the primary author of its training manual on the subject. He also served as a tactical intelligence officer in the 101st Airborne Division in Operation Desert Storm/Shield and got a Master's degree from the Defense Intelligence College.

In Reading the Enemy's Mind, Smith reveals that the military and intelligence communities performed hundreds of experiments and operational intelligence assignments using "remote viewing," the government's term for ESP. The program's first big success came in 1979 when a viewer found a downed Soviet bomber in Africa after other intelligence operatives had failed--a coup praised by President Jimmy Carter. The psychics received target assignments from virtually every U.S. national-security agency, and Smith says they produced numerous positive results. Smith's biggest revelation, however, is that the government research found that almost all people--not merely a gifted few--seem to have the potential of developing ESP skills, with enough practice and a few tips from a pro like Smith. Many readers will no doubt find it hard to know what to make of Reading the Enemy's Mind and whether to believe any of it, but Smith writes with both color and a measured tone that together produce a captivating yarn even for the non-believers out there. --Alex Roslin
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312875150/qid=1105726490/sr...
Consumer Brain Control Headset Opens Door To Wireless Mind Gaming Using Nordic 2.4-GHz Transceivers
November 11, 2010
http://www.rfglobalnet.com/article.mvc/Consumer-Brain-Control-Heads...

The EPOC consumer wireless headset, from Emotiv, can reliably distinguish between unique electrical (EEG) brain pattern signatures produced when a wearer simply 'thinks' of performing various computer game-applicable actions (left/right, push/pull, lift/drop, rotate, vanish), pulls certain facial expressions, or experiences certain emotions. In operation, brain wave data from 14 independent sensors on the headset is transmitted to a USB wireless dongle using Nordic Semiconductor ULP 2.4GHz transceivers

Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA recently announces that pioneering wireless mind-control specialist, Emotiv, is employing Nordic 2.4GHz proprietary transceivers in the off-the-shelf EPOC Neuroheadset platform that Emotiv is now actively targeting at the mainstream consumer gaming industry.

The Emotiv EPOC headset is essentially a wireless, real-time brain wave (EEG) acquisition device optimized for consumer use that uses 14 non-invasive sensors to measure unique brain wave signatures produced when a wearer simply 'thinks' of up to 13 gaming-applicable cognitive actions: left/right, push/pull, lift/drop, rotate in six dimensions, and vanish. (What this means, for instance, is that if the wearer thinks 'push' a gaming object will be propelled away from them, and if they think 'pull', it will be drawn towards them.)

But the headset – which additionally incorporates a gyroscope to detect movement – is more than just a brain-powered joystick: It can also detect facial expressions and even emotional states (e.g. excitement, calmness, tension, frustration, engagement) and so 'knows' how the gamer is feeling or responding, which means on-screen characters or games could be designed to respond 'empathetically'.

In operation, the EPOC headset requires no specialist training or equipment (such as a trained technician or conductive gels) to use beyond a simple on-screen guided initial setup and learn procedure (that can be designed as part of a game) to ensure all 14 sensors (located on self-adjusting arms) are correctly positioned and making adequate electrical contact with the user's head. Uniquely in the case of the EPOC headset, this includes being able to operate through human hair – a natural electrical insulator. (See 'About the EPOC Neuroheadset technology' below for more detailed information on how the headset works.)

"What each of the 14 EPOC sensors is doing is taking 128, 16-bit sample 'snapshots' – every second – of the electrical fluctuations [EEG brain wave signals] resulting from the chemical activity of billions of active neurons in the brain measured on the µV scale," explains Geoff Mackellar, Research Manager and CTO at Emotiv.

This data is then transmitted using a proprietary Nordic 2.4GHz transceiver to a twin transceiver located in a USB wireless dongle plugged into a computer USB port. The ultra low power operational characteristics of the Nordic transceivers helps the EPOC's rechargeable lithium-polymer battery to run for up to 14 hours of continuous operation between charges – enough to satisfy even the most hard-core gamers.

"What all this means is that gamers can now interact with the virtual world by the power of thought alone," continues Mackellar. "And this will enrich the gaming experience beyond all recognition as it will allow gamers to interact with gaming content in entirely new and seemingly magic ways that can include accurate emotional responses from virtual characters. In fact it could be just what the gaming market needs to take it to the next 'must have' product level."

"But even this could be just the tip of the iceberg," adds Tan Le, co-founder and president of Emotiv. "I believe that our wireless mind-control technology has begun a trend that means that one day, gamers may not need an input device like a joystick or gamepad at all to play a game, instead they will interact directly with the virtual gaming world by using the power of thought alone. And although the initial target for our product is the global consumer gaming industry, the potential is there to transform the way that we interact with all machines in the future."

"The Emotiv EPOC platform is a truly fantastic example of the leading edge of consumer electronics design," says Ståle Ytterdal, Nordic's Director of Marketing and Sales in Asia. "It has laid down the technological foundation to create a brand new 'mind gaming' segment within the global gaming industry by offering reliable operation at a consumer pricing point. As such it is truly an honor to have Nordic's ULP wireless technology involved in enabling a product of such ground-breaking magnitude."

About the EPOC Neuroheadset technology
The Emotiv EPOC Neuroheadset combines engineering, mathematics, neuroscience and computer science in a device that is powerful, affordable, and consumer friendly.

The mechanical structure of the Neuroheadset incorporates flexible arms that expand to ensure the sensors reliably track the movement of the skull – even as the user chews, talks or sneezes – for all shapes and sizes of head from older children up to large adults.

Traditional, a medical electroencephalogram (EEG) usually requires hair removal, abrasion of the skin, and the use of messy conductive gels. In addition, EEGs in medical applications can take a dedicated technician up to an hour to successfully configure. In contrast, the user can fit their own Emotiv EPOC Neuroheadset in minutes – regardless of hair type or styling – using felt pads soaked in ordinary saline (salt water) solution to conduct electrical signals with high fidelity.

In operation, the user demonstrates a selection of pre-determined mental commands while raw EEG signals are collected from up to 14 significant areas of the brain and combined with advanced pattern-recognition algorithms. Later, when the user repeats the pre-determined command, the system recognizes the electrical signal pattern generated by the brain and executes the command.

With a longer training duration the Neuroheadset is also able to detect the user's mental state including background mood and instantaneous emotional reactions. This training sequence takes longer than teaching the Neuroheadset the pre-determined commands because users are unable to become, for instance, happy, sad, engaged, or frustrated on cue. Instead the EPOC software gradually refines each emotional detection in the background as it observes the variability in the user's mental patterns over many hours of use.

To ease the training for background mood and instantaneous emotional thought patterns, Emotiv collected data from many volunteers and used this to develop a set of "standard" signals. This was a challenging process because of the significant differences in anatomy between users. While the functional areas of the cortex have the same spatial relationship across the surface of the brain in all individuals, each person's cortex is folded in a different orientation. Consequently, for each individual, the functional areas are in unique locations and depths in the brain's tissue. Emotiv's standard signal patterns effectively "unfold the cortex" by applying mathematical corrections to each signal prior to processing by the pattern-recognition algorithms.

Because muscles generate high levels of electrical "noise" which can swamp the brain signals, movement such as a smile, head tilt or even a blink overwhelms a traditional EEG. Medical systems go to great lengths to avoid these muscle-movement generated artifacts so that faint brain electrical activity can be picked up. This selective signal conditioning is impractical for a consumer electronics device which will inevitably have to cope with the user laughing, smiling or reacting in horror during their gaming experiences.

Emotiv turned the electrical signals generated by facial expressions to its advantage by developing a suite of facial expression "commands" which can be used to animate an on-screen avatar or perform actions during the game (for example, by scaring away mischievous creatures with a growl). These commands enable the system to ignore the large electrical signals generated by muscle movement and easily detect the much smaller electrical signals generated by the brain when instigating the various facial expressions without using sophisticated and expensive electronics and software.

The Emotiv detection suite is built into a single driver which produces simple yet meaningful outputs that can be detected directly through Emotiv's Application Programming Interface (API). Consequently, the function of the Neuroheadset can be controlled directly by the game or application. Emotiv also provides a general interface which allows users to interact with all of the headset functionality, and a simple application which converts user-defined conditions such as a user-initiated PUSH action into user-defined keystrokes or control sequences. These control sequences can then be shared by other applications, allowing Neuroheadset to be used seamlessly with existing games.

About Emotiv
Emotiv is a neuroengineering company that has brought to market a breakthrough interface technology for digital media taking inputs directly from the brain. This technology utterly transforms the way we interact with computers. Emotiv's vision is to revolutionize human-computer input in the same way the graphic user interface did 20 years ago. For more information, visit www.Emotiv.com.

Applications for the Emotiv technology and interface span an amazing variety of potential industries – from gaming to interactive television, everyday computer interactions, hands-free control systems, smart adaptive environments, art, accessibility design, market research, psychology, medicine, robotics, automotive, transport safety, defense and security. Plans for introducing Emotiv into these and other broad realms are well established with developers and researchers in over 70 countries already working with the technology.

About Nordic Semiconductor ASA
Nordic Semiconductor is a fabless semiconductor company specializing in ultra low power (ULP) short-range wireless communication. For more information, visit www.nordicsemi.com.

Nordic Semiconductor's nRF24xxx range of 2.4GHz transceiver and transmitter devices are aimed at applications including PC peripherals (wireless keyboards/mice/multimedia controllers), game controllers, intelligent sports equipment and wireless audio (for example, MP3 and portable CD player wireless headphones and wireless PC speakers).

Nordic is a member of the ANT+ Alliance and has successfully collaborated with ANT Wireless of Cochrane, Canada, since 2005. ANT devices such as the nRF24AP2 family – using Nordic 2.4GHz transceivers and the proven ANT protocol – have been used in millions of wireless sensor nodes across the world. ANT is perfectly suited for any kind of low data rate sensor network topologies in personal area networks (PANs) and practical wireless sensor networks (WSNs). ANT+ (built on the ANT protocol) facilitates interoperability between ANT+ Alliance member devices in application segments such as sports, wellness, and medical health sensors.

Nordic is an associate member of the Bluetooth SIG, and has contributed core expertise in ultra low power (ULP) RF design to Bluetooth low energy wireless technology (formerly ultra low power Bluetooth). Bluetooth low energy is a short range RF communication technology featuring ultra low power consumption, a lightweight protocol stack and simple integration with Bluetooth chips. It is a hallmark feature of the latest Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0. The technology will support the next generation of RF communications by opening up many new opportunities for ULP wireless data links between suitably equipped mobile handsets or computers and small (typically coin cell) battery-powered devices such as sports, wellness, and medical health sensors.

Nordic's products are all manufactured in state of the art semiconductor process technologies through strong, long-term relationships with world-best manufacturing facilities. Sales are primarily made through a carefully selected worldwide distribution network.

SOURCE: Nordic Semiconductor ASA
Homeland Security Mind reading machine
 
Mind Reading - FMRI - Machine that Reads Your Thoughts - 60 Minutes
 
Astrium Remote Satellite Medical Surveillance (Personnel Included) 
Remote Medical Monitoring (Assault(s)???)

JUSTICE MARSHALL WROTE IN STANLEY VS. GEORGIA:" Whatever may be the justifications (for other statues relating to obscenity) we do not think they reach into the privacy of one's own home. If the first ammendment means anything the state has no business telling a man sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or which films he may watch. Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds."  (( on the government, and privacy in the home.)) It may be shown that the first ammendment also protects the freedom of cognitive liberties and silent speech, the right to form ideas without persection and interference from the state or federal government.

Justice Kennedy wrote: "These matters involving the most intimate choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to dignity and autonomy are central to the liberty protected by the fourtheenth ammendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existance, of meaning of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.  The petitioners are entitled to respect to their private lives.The state cannot demean their existance or control their destiny (by making their private sexual conduct a crime).their right to liberty under the due process clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct  without intervention of the government. It is a promise of the constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty that the government may not enter. "

Justice Brandies dissent in Olmstead vs. US. :" The makers of our Constitution understood the need to secure conditions favorable to the persuit of happiness, and the protections guaranteed by this are much broader in scope and include the right to life and an inviolate personality-- the right to be left alone the most  comprehensive of rights and the most valued by civilized men. The principal underlying the fourth and fifth ammendments is protection against invasions of the sancitities of a mans home and privacies of life. This is a recognition of the signifigance of a man's spiritual nature, his feelings, and his intellect."

Monitoring America

By DANA PRIEST and WILLIAM M. ARKIN

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/moni...

Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.

 

The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

 

The government's goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States.

 

Other democracies - Britain and Israel, to name two - are well acquainted with such domestic security measures. But for the United States, the sum of these new activities represents a new level of governmental scrutiny.

 

This localized intelligence apparatus is part of a larger Top Secret America created since the attacks. In July, The Washington Post described an alternative geography of the United States, one that has grown so large, unwieldy and secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or how many programs exist within it.

 

Today's story, along with related material on The Post's Web site, examines how Top Secret America plays out at the local level. It describes a web of 4,058 federal, state and local organizations, each with its own counterterrorism responsibilities and jurisdictions. At least 935 of these organizations have been created since the 2001 attacks or became involved in counterterrorism for the first time after 9/11.

 

(Search our database for your state to find a detailed profile of counterterrorism efforts in your community.)

 

The months-long investigation, based on nearly 100 interviews and 1,000 documents, found that:

 

* Technologies and techniques honed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in America.

 

* The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously. It is accessible to an increasing number of local law enforcement and military criminal investigators, increasing concerns that it could somehow end up in the public domain.

 

* Seeking to learn more about Islam and terrorism, some law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies.

 

* The Department of Homeland Security sends its state and local partners intelligence reports with little meaningful guidance, and state reports have sometimes inappropriately reported on lawful meetings.

 

The need to identify U.S.-born or naturalized citizens who are planning violent attacks is more urgent than ever, U.S. intelligence officials say. This month's FBI sting operation involving a Baltimore construction worker who allegedly planned to bomb a Maryland military recruiting station is the latest example. It followed a similar arrest of a Somali-born naturalized U.S. citizen allegedly seeking to detonate a bomb near a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore. There have been nearly two dozen other cases just this year.

 

"The old view that 'if we fight the terrorists abroad, we won't have to fight them here' is just that - the old view," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told police and firefighters recently.

 

The Obama administration heralds this local approach as a much-needed evolution in the way the country confronts terrorism.

 

However, just as at the federal level, the effectiveness of these programs, as well as their cost, is difficult to determine. The Department of Homeland Security, for example, does not know how much money it spends each year on what are known as state fusion centers, which bring together and analyze information from various agencies within a state.

 

The total cost of the localized system is also hard to gauge. The DHS has given $31 billion in grants since 2003 to state and local governments for homeland security and to improve their ability to find and protect against terrorists, including $3.8 billion in 2010. At least four other federal departments also contribute to local efforts. But the bulk of the spending every year comes from state and local budgets that are too disparately recorded to aggregate into an overall total.

 

The Post findings paint a picture of a country at a crossroads, where long-standing privacy principles are under challenge by these new efforts to keep the nation safe.

 

The public face of this pivotal effort is Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, which years ago built one of the strongest state intelligence organizations outside of New York to try to stop illegal immigration and drug importation.

 

Napolitano has taken her "See Something, Say Something" campaign far beyond the traffic signs that ask drivers coming into the nation's capital for "Terror Tips" and to "Report Suspicious Activity."

 

She recently enlisted the help of Wal-Mart, Amtrak, major sports leagues, hotel chains and metro riders. In her speeches, she compares the undertaking to the Cold War fight against communists.

 

"This represents a shift for our country," she told New York City police officers and firefighters on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary this fall. "In a sense, this harkens back to when we drew on the tradition of civil defense and preparedness that predated today's concerns."

 

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From Afghanistan to Tennessee

 

On a recent night in Memphis, a patrol car rolled slowly through a parking lot in a run-down section of town. The military-grade infrared camera on its hood moved robotically from left to right, snapping digital images of one license plate after another and analyzing each almost instantly.

 

Suddenly, a red light flashed on the car's screen along with the word "warrant."

 

"Got a live one! Let's do it," an officer called out.

 

The streets of Memphis are a world away from the streets of Kabul, yet these days, the same types of technologies and techniques are being used in both places to identify and collect information about suspected criminals and terrorists.

 

The examples go far beyond Memphis.

 

* Hand-held, wireless fingerprint scanners were carried by U.S. troops during the insurgency in Iraq to register residents of entire neighborhoods. L-1 Identity Solutions is selling the same type of equipment to police departments to check motorists' identities.

 

* In Arizona, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Facial Recognition Unit, using a type of equipment prevalent in war zones, records 9,000 biometric digital mug shots a month.

 

* U.S. Customs and Border Protection flies General Atomics' Predator drones along the Mexican and Canadian borders - the same kind of aircraft, equipped with real-time, full-motion video cameras, that has been used in wars in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan to track the enemy.

 

The special operations units deployed overseas to kill the al-Qaeda leadership drove technological advances that are now expanding in use across the United States. On the front lines, those advances allowed the rapid fusing of biometric identification, captured computer records and cellphone numbers so troops could launch the next surprise raid.

 

Here at home, it's the DHS that is enamored with collecting photos, video images and other personal information about U.S. residents in the hopes of teasing out terrorists.

 

The DHS helped Memphis buy surveillance cameras that monitor residents near high-crime housing projects, problematic street corners, and bridges and other critical infrastructure. It helped pay for license plate readers and defrayed some of the cost of setting up Memphis's crime-analysis center. All together it has given Memphis $11 million since 2003 in homeland security grants, most of which the city has used to fight crime.

 

"We have got things now we didn't have before," said Memphis Police Department Director Larry Godwin, who has produced record numbers of arrests using all this new analysis and technology. "Some of them we can talk about. Some of them we can't."

 

One of the biggest advocates of Memphis's data revolution is John Harvey, the police department's technology specialist, whose computer systems are the civilian equivalent of the fancier special ops equipment used by the military.

 

Harvey collects any information he can pry out of government and industry. When officers were wasting time knocking on the wrong doors to serve warrants, he persuaded the local utility company to give him a daily update of the names and addresses of customers.

 

When he wanted more information about phones captured at crime scenes, he programmed a way to store all emergency 911 calls, which often include names and addresses to associate with phone numbers. He created another program to upload new crime reports every five minutes and mine them for the phone numbers of victims, suspects, witnesses and anyone else listed on them.

 

Now, instead of having to decide which license plate numbers to type into a computer console in the patrol car, an officer can simply drive around, and the automatic license plate reader on his hood captures the numbers on every vehicle nearby. If the officer pulls over a driver, instead of having to wait 20 minutes for someone back at the office to manually check records, he can use a hand-held device to instantly call up a mug shot, a Social Security number, the status of the driver's license and any outstanding warrants.

 

The computer in the cruiser can tell an officer even more about who owns the vehicle, the owner's name and address and criminal history, and who else with a criminal history might live at the same address.

 

Take a recent case of two officers with the hood-mounted camera equipment who stopped a man driving on a suspended license. One handcuffed him, and the other checked his own PDA. Based on the information that came up, the man was ordered downtown to pay a fine and released as the officers drove off to stop another car.

 

That wasn't the end of it, though.

 

A record of that stop - and the details of every other arrest made that night, and every summons written - was automatically transferred to the Memphis Real Time Crime Center, a command center with three walls of streaming surveillance video and analysis capabilities that rival those of an Army command center.

 

There, the information would be geocoded on a map to produce a visual rendering of crime patterns. This information would help the crime intelligence analysts predict trends so the department could figure out what neighborhoods to swarm with officers and surveillance cameras.

 

But that was still not the end of it, because the fingerprints from the crime records would also go to the FBI's data campus in Clarksburg, W.Va. There, fingerprints from across the United States are stored, along with others collected by American authorities from prisoners in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

There are 96 million sets of fingerprints in Clarksburg, a volume that government officials view not as daunting but as an opportunity.

 

This year for the first time, the FBI, the DHS and the Defense Department are able to search each other's fingerprint databases, said Myra Gray, head of the Defense Department's Biometrics Identity Management Agency, speaking to an industry group recently. "Hopefully in the not-too-distant future," she said, "our relationship with these federal agencies - along with state and local agencies - will be completely symbiotic."

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

The FBI's 'suspicious' files

 

At the same time that the FBI is expanding its West Virginia database, it is building a vast repository controlled by people who work in a top-secret vault on the fourth floor of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington. This one stores the profiles of tens of thousands of Americans and legal residents who are not accused of any crime. What they have done is appear to be acting suspiciously to a town sheriff, a traffic cop or even a neighbor.

 

If the new Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, or SAR, works as intended, the Guardian database may someday hold files forwarded by all police departments across the country in America's continuing search for terrorists within its borders.

 

The effectiveness of this database depends, in fact, on collecting the identities of people who are not known criminals or terrorists - and on being able to quickly compile in-depth profiles of them.

 

"If we want to get to the point where we connect the dots, the dots have to be there," said Richard A. McFeely, special agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore office.

 

In response to concerns that information in the database could be improperly used or released, FBI officials say anyone with access has been trained in privacy rules and the penalties for breaking them.

 

But not everyone is convinced. "It opens a door for all kinds of abuses," said Michael German, a former FBI agent who now leads the American Civil Liberties Union's campaign on national security and privacy matters. "How do we know there are enough controls?"

 

The government defines a suspicious activity as "observed behavior reasonably indicative of pre-operational planning related to terrorism or other criminal activity" related to terrorism.

 

State intelligence analysts and FBI investigators use the reports to determine whether a person is buying fertilizer to make a bomb or to plant tomatoes; whether she is plotting to poison a city's drinking water or studying for a metallurgy test; whether, as happened on a Sunday morning in late September, the man snapping a picture of a ferry in the Newport Beach harbor in Southern California simply liked the way it looked or was plotting to blow it up.

 

Suspicious Activity Report N03821 says a local law enforcement officer observed "a suspicious subject . . . taking photographs of the Orange County Sheriff Department Fire Boat and the Balboa Ferry with a cellular phone camera." The confidential report, marked "For Official Use Only," noted that the subject next made a phone call, walked to his car and returned five minutes later to take more pictures. He was then met by another person, both of whom stood and "observed the boat traffic in the harbor." Next another adult with two small children joined them, and then they all boarded the ferry and crossed the channel.

 

All of this information was forwarded to the Los Angeles fusion center for further investigation after the local officer ran information about the vehicle and its owner through several crime databases and found nothing.

 

Authorities would not say what happened to it from there, but there are several paths a suspicious activity report can take:

 

At the fusion center, an officer would decide to either dismiss the suspicious activity as harmless or forward the report to the nearest FBI terrorism unit for further investigation.

 

At that unit, it would immediately be entered into the Guardian database, at which point one of three things could happen:

 

The FBI could collect more information, find no connection to terrorism and mark the file closed, though leaving it in the database.

 

It could find a possible connection and turn it into a full-fledged case.

 

Or, as most often happens, it could make no specific determination, which would mean that Suspicious Activity Report N03821 would sit in limbo for as long as five years, during which time many other pieces of information about the man photographing a boat on a Sunday morning could be added to his file: employment, financial and residential histories; multiple phone numbers; audio files; video from the dashboard-mounted camera in the police cruiser at the harbor where he took pictures; and anything else in government or commercial databases "that adds value," as the FBI agent in charge of the database described it.

 

That could soon include biometric data, if it existed; the FBI is working on a way to attach such information to files. Meanwhile, the bureau will also soon have software that allows local agencies to map all suspicious incidents in their jurisdiction.

 

The Defense Department is also interested in the database. It recently transferred 100 reports of suspicious behavior into the Guardian system, and over time it expects to add thousands more as it connects 8,000 military law enforcement personnel to an FBI portal that will allow them to send and review reports about people suspected of casing U.S. bases or targeting American personnel.

 

And the DHS has created a separate way for state and local authorities, private citizens, and businesses to submit suspicious activity reports to the FBI and to the department for analysis.

 

As of December, there were 161,948 suspicious activity files in the classified Guardian database, mostly leads from FBI headquarters and state field offices. Two years ago, the bureau set up an unclassified section of the database so state and local agencies could send in suspicious incident reports and review those submitted by their counterparts in other states. Some 890 state and local agencies have sent in 7,197 reports so far.

 

Of those, 103 have become full investigations that have resulted in at least five arrests, the FBI said. There have been no convictions yet. An additional 365 reports have added information to ongoing cases.

 

But most remain in the uncertain middle, which is why within the FBI and other intelligence agencies there is much debate about the effectiveness of the bottom-up SAR approach, as well as concern over the privacy implications of retaining so much information on U.S. citizens and residents who have not been charged with anything.

 

The vast majority of terrorism leads in the United States originate from confidential FBI sources and from the bureau's collaboration with federal intelligence agencies, which mainly work overseas. Occasionally a stop by a local police officer has sparked an investigation. Evidence comes from targeted FBI surveillance and undercover operations, not from information and analysis generated by state fusion centers about people acting suspiciously.

 

"It's really resource-inefficient," said Philip Mudd, a 20-year CIA counterterrorism expert and a top FBI national security official until he retired nine months ago. "If I were to have a dialogue with the country about this . . . it would be about not only how we chase the unknowns, but do you want to do suspicious activity reports across the country? . . . Anyone who is not at least suspected of doing something criminal should not be in a database."

 

Charles Allen, a longtime senior CIA official who then led the DHS's intelligence office until 2009, said some senior people in the intelligence community are skeptical that SARs are an effective way to find terrorists. "It's more likely that other kinds of more focused efforts by local police will gain you the information that you need about extremist activities," he said.

 

The DHS can point to some successes: Last year the Colorado fusion center turned up information on Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-born U.S. resident planning to bomb the New York subway system. In 2007, a Florida fusion center provided the vehicle ownership history used to identify and arrest an Egyptian student who later pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorism, in this case transporting explosives.

 

"Ninety-nine percent doesn't pan out or lead to anything" said Richard Lambert Jr., the special agent in charge of the FBI's Knoxville office. "But we're happy to wade through these things."

 

---------------------------------------------------------------

Expert training?

 

Ramon Montijo has taught classes on terrorism and Islam to law enforcement officers all over the country.

 

"Alabama, Colorado, Vermont," said Montijo, a former Army Special Forces sergeant and Los Angeles Police Department investigator who is now a private security consultant. "California, Texas and Missouri," he continued.

 

What he tells them is always the same, he said: Most Muslims in the United States want to impose sharia law here.

 

"They want to make this world Islamic. The Islamic flag will fly over the White House - not on my watch!" he said. "My job is to wake up the public, and first, the first responders."

 

With so many local agencies around the country being asked to help catch terrorists, it often falls to sheriffs or state troopers to try to understand the world of terrorism. They aren't FBI agents, who have years of on-the-job and classroom training.

 

Instead, they are often people like Lacy Craig, who was a police dispatcher before she became an intelligence analyst at Idaho's fusion center, or the detectives in Minnesota, Michigan and Arkansas who can talk at length about the lineage of gangs or the signs of a crystal meth addict.

 

Now each of them is a go-to person on terrorism as well.

 

"The CIA used to train analysts forever before they graduated to be a real analyst," said Allen, the former top CIA and DHS official. "Today we take former law enforcement officers and we call them intelligence officers, and that's not right, because they have not received any training on intelligence analysis."

 

State fusion center officials say their analysts are getting better with time. "There was a time when law enforcement didn't know much about drugs. This is no different," said Steven W. Hewitt, who runs the Tennessee fusion center, considered one of the best in the country. "Are we experts at the level of [the National Counterterrorism Center]? No. Are we developing an expertise? Absolutely."

 

But how they do that is usually left up to the local police departments themselves. In their desire to learn more about terrorism, many departments are hiring their own trainers. Some are self-described experts whose extremist views are considered inaccurate and harmful by the FBI and others in the intelligence community

 

Like Montijo, Walid Shoebat, a onetime Muslim who converted to Christianity, also lectures to local police. He too believes that most Muslims seek to impose sharia law in the United States. To prevent this, he said in an interview, he warns officers that "you need to look at the entire pool of Muslims in a community."

 

When Shoebat spoke to the first annual South Dakota Fusion Center Conference in Sioux Falls this June, he told them to monitor Muslim student groups and local mosques and, if possible, tap their phones. "You can find out a lot of information that way," he said.

 

A book expanding on what Shoebat and Montijo believe has just been published by the Center for Security Policy, a Washington-based neoconservative think tank. "Shariah: The Threat to America" describes what its authors call a "stealth jihad" that must be thwarted before it's too late.

 

The book's co-authors include such notables as former CIA director R. James Woolsey and former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, along with the center's director, a longtime activist. They write that most mosques in the United States already have been radicalized, that most Muslim social organizations are fronts for violent jihadists and that Muslims who practice sharia law seek to impose it in this country.

 

Frank Gaffney Jr., director of the center, said his team has spoken widely, including to many law enforcement forums.

 

"Members of our team have been involved in training programs for several years now, many of which have been focused on local law enforcement intelligence, homeland security, state police, National Guard units and the like," Gaffney said. "We're seeing a considerable ramping-up of interest in getting this kind of training."

 

Government terrorism experts call the views expressed in the center's book inaccurate and counterproductive. They say the DHS should increase its training of local police, using teachers who have evidence-based viewpoints.

 

DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said the department does not maintain a list of terrorism experts but is working on guidelines for local authorities wrestling with the topic.

 

So far, the department has trained 1,391 local law enforcement officers in analyzing public information and 400 in analytic thinking and writing skills. Kudwa said the department also offers counterterrorism training through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which this year enrolled 94 people in a course called "Advanced Criminal Intelligence Analysis to Prevent Terrorism."

 

-----------------------------------------------

A lack of useful information

 

The DHS also provides local agencies a daily flow of information bulletins.

 

These reports are meant to inform agencies about possible terror threats. But some officials say they deliver a never-ending stream of information that is vague, alarmist and often useless. "It's like a garage in your house you keep throwing junk into until you can't park your car in it," says Michael Downing, deputy chief of counterterrorism and special operations for the Los Angeles Police Department.

 

A review of nearly 1,000 DHS reports dating back to 2003 and labeled "For Official Use Only" underscores Downing's description. Typical is one from May 24, 2010, titled "Infrastructure Protection Note: Evolving Threats to the Homeland."

 

It tells officials to operate "under the premise that other operatives are in the country and could advance plotting with little or no warning." Its list of vulnerable facilities seems to include just about everything: "Commercial Facilities, Government Facilities, Banking and Financial and Transportation . . ."

 

Bart R. Johnson, who heads the DHS's intelligence and analysis office, defended such reports, saying that threat reporting has "grown and matured and become more focused." The bulletins can't be more specific, he said, because they must be written at the unclassified level.

 

Recently, the International Association of Chiefs of Police agreed that the information they were receiving had become "more timely and relevant" over the past year.

 

Downing, however, said the reports would be more helpful if they at least assessed threats within a specific state's boundaries.

 

States have tried to do that on their own, but with mixed, and at times problematic, results.

 

In 2009, for instance, after the DHS and the FBI sent out several ambiguous reports about threats to mass-transit systems and sports and entertainment venues, the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center's Threat Analysis Program added its own information. "New Jersey has a large mass-transit infrastructure," its report warned, and "an NFL stadium and NHL/NBA arenas, a soccer stadium, and several concert venues that attract large crowds."

 

In Virginia, the state's fusion center published a terrorism threat assessment in 2009 naming historically black colleges as potential hubs for terrorism.

 

From 2005 to 2007, the Maryland State Police went even further, infiltrating and labeling as terrorists local groups devoted to human rights, antiwar causes and bike lanes.

 

And in Pennsylvania this year, a local contractor hired to write intelligence bulletins filled them with information about lawful meetings as varied as Pennsylvania Tea Party Patriots Coalition gatherings, antiwar protests and an event at which environmental activists dressed up as Santa Claus and handed out coal-filled stockings.

 

---------------------------------------------------

'We have our own terrorists'

 

Even if the information were better, it might not make a difference for the simplest of reasons: In many cities and towns across the country, there is just not enough terrorism-related work to do.

 

In Utah on one recent day, one of five intelligence analysts in the state's fusion center was writing a report about the rise in teenage overdoses of an over-the-counter drug. Another was making sure the visiting president of Senegal had a safe trip. Another had just helped a small town track down two people who were selling magazine subscriptions and pocketing the money themselves.

 

In the Colorado Information Analysis Center, some investigators were following terrorism leads. Others were looking into illegal Craigslist postings and online "World of Warcraft" gamers.

 

The vast majority of fusion centers across the country have transformed themselves into analytical hubs for all crimes and are using federal grants, handed out in the name of homeland security, to combat everyday offenses.

 

This is happening because, after 9/11, local law enforcement groups did what every agency and private company did in Top Secret America: They followed the money.

 

The DHS helped the Memphis Police Department, for example, purchase 90 surveillance cameras, including 13 that monitor bridges and a causeway. It helped buy the fancy screens on the walls of the Real Time Crime Center, as well as radios, robotic surveillance equipment, a mobile command center and three bomb-sniffing dogs. All came in the name of port security and protection to critical infrastructure.

 

Since there hasn't been a solid terrorism case in Memphis yet, the equipment's greatest value has been to help drive down city crime. Where the mobile surveillance cameras are set up, criminals scatter, said Lt. Mark Rewalt, who, on a recent Saturday night, scanned the city from an altitude of 1,000 feet.

 

Flying in a police helicopter, Rewalt pointed out some of the cameras the DHS has funded. They are all over the city, in mall parking lots, in housing projects, at popular street hang-outs. "Cameras are what's happening now," he marveled.

 

Meanwhile, another post-9/11 unit in Tennessee has had even less terrorism-related work to do.

 

The Tennessee National Guard 45th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, one of at least 50 such units around the country, was created to respond to what officials still believe is the inevitable release of chemical, biological or radiological material by terrorists.

 

The unit's 22 hazardous-materials personnel have the best emergency equipment in the state. A fleet of navy-blue vehicles - command, response, detection and tactical operations trucks - is kept polished and ready to roll in a garage at the armory in Smyrna.

 

The unit practices WMD scenarios constantly. But in real life, the crew uses the equipment very little: twice a year at NASCAR races in nearby Bristol to patrol for suspicious packages. Other than that, said Capt. Matt Hayes, several times a year they respond to hoaxes.

 

The fact that there has not been much terrorism to worry about is not evident on the Tennessee fusion center's Web site. Click on the incident map, and the state appears to be under attack.

 

Red icons of explosions dot Tennessee, along with blinking exclamation marks and flashing skulls. The map is labeled: "Terrorism Events and Other Suspicious Activity.

 

But if you roll over the icons, the explanations that pop up have nothing to do with major terrorist plots: "Johnson City police are investigating three 'bottle bombs' found at homes over the past three days," one description read recently. ". . . The explosives were made from plastic bottles with something inside that reacted chemically and caused the bottles to burst."

 

Another told a similar story: "The Scott County Courthouse is currently under evacuation after a bomb threat was called in Friday morning. Update: Authorities completed their sweep . . . and have called off the evacuation."

 

Nine years after 9/11, this map is part of the alternative geography that is Top Secret America, where millions of people are assigned to help stop terrorism. Memphis Police Director Godwin is one of them, and he has his own version of what that means in a city where there have been 86 murders so far this year.

 

"We have our own terrorists, and they are taking lives every day," Godwin said. "No, we don't have suicide bombers - not yet. But you need to remain vigilant and realize how vulnerable you can be if you let up."

 

Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this story.

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