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Thermal Imaging, .ca spy museum, Y2Pentagon, .mil search engine, and other stories...



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As seen on the SpyKing lists...
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              New spy museum is so secret
              that no one's allowed to visit

              Many artifacts on display still
              considered 'classified'...

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/national/000104/3385136.html
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.mil search engine for .mil stuff

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50295-1999Dec30.html

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Y2K pentagon glitch:

http://www.boston.com/dailynews/001/wash/Y2K_glitch_blinded_Pentagon_sp:.shtml
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Idaho State U offers spy course:

http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,145015860,00.html
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Subject: Thermal skin imaging

The Sunday Times - London - January 2 2000

It's not just fingerprints that are unique, ROGER
DOBSON finds blood vessels are also one-offs, and that's
great news for fighting crime

Turning up the heat on crime

Long-distance imaging has become so sophisticated that a
football hooligan, or a villain with a criminal record, can be
spotted in a crowd by cameras that detect blood vessels in
the head. The same technology - thermal skin imaging, as
it's called - will also help track lost children, allow entry
into secure areas, and even identify people who are
stressed before they know it themselves.

Just as our fingers bear skin patterns that are unique to
each individual, so blood cells generate a heat pattern that
follows the veins beneath the skin, because the temperature
of the skin directly over a blood vessel is slightly higher
than the surrounding area. And the thermal contours so
produced are as unique as a fingerprint.

An individual's walking profile, their silhouette and even
their ears are being targeted as potential ways of
recognising them. Applications range from terrorist
surveillance to visual answering machines and computers
that won't start until they recognise their operator. The
American government's Defence Advanced Research
Projects Agency (Darpa) believes the technology is so
important that it is about to start a 9m-a-year research
programme to develop a working system.

The technique operates on the principle that humans have
so many blood vessels just below the skin that statistically
no two individuals can have identical layouts.

Researchers hope the system will replace existing video
camera methods. Although viable over short distances,
their image quality is not good enough to allow recognition
from more than a few feet away.

At Mikos biotech in Virginia, Dr Francine Prokoski and
her team have developed an infrared system that can spot
the unique vascular signature of an individual. With the right
optics, detection at 500ft or more is possible. Just as
military infrared sights on guns home in on body heat, the
Mikos's infrared cameras pick out the tiny temperature
variations in the skin that are telltale signs that blood
vessels are underneath. Tests carried out by Mikos show
that the system can even distinguish between identical twins
who are virtually impossible to tell apart otherwise.

According to Prokoski, the technique can be extended to
other body parts. She says: "It's not only the head and face
you can look at: you can image the whole body at a
relatively long distance. Many people can disguise
themselves against conventional cameras using hats,
earrings or built-up shoes, for example, but you can't do
that with infrared. A suspect cannot create or take away
blood vessels."

One of the spin-off advantages of thermal imaging is that it
removes any racial bias as the facial profiles are
independent of skin colour or physical shape.

The thermographic technique developed by Mikos is just
one of the ideas being considered by the American
government's Darpa as part of its Image Identification for
Force Protection programme. Its primary concern is
military surveillance, and potential applications range from
the protection of installations from known terrorists to using
scene-of-crime images to see whether the same faces
occur at more than one incident.

A similar system could also find a home limiting access to
desktop PCs. Visionics, a New Jersey-based biometrics
company, has developed FaceIt, a software program
coupled with a video camera that can control access to the
operator's workspace as well as the areas around it. The
software helps to detect a human presence, to locate and
track figures in the area, and identify them. It will boot-up
only when it recognises the user's face, and will not decrypt
files without seeing the face it knows. The software could
also be extended to search for missing children. A child
lost in a crowded shopping mall, for instance, could be
picked up instantly by feeding his or her vascular profile
into the software running the security camera system.

The technology could also help to ease stress levels at
work. Researchers in Fairfax are looking at using a thermal
imaging system and infrared cameras that will detect tiny
changes in facial temperature and muscle tone triggered by
rising stress levels. When the software installed in your PC
sees that you are becoming stressed too quickly while
playing a computer game, it will simply close down the
game and put on some soft music.

Darpa projects: http://www.darpa.mil/

Biometric consortium: http://www.biometrics.org/


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