[QODLink]
Archive
US investigates new spy technology
US spy agencies are investigating new technologies that could improve their success rates in tracking individuals, after their fruitless hunts for fugitives such as Usama bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein.
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2003 01:01 GMT
The US boosted its military budget by 15% to $396.1 billion in 2003
US spy agencies are investigating new technologies that could improve their success rates in tracking individuals, after their fruitless hunts for fugitives such as Usama bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein.

“There are certain infrastructure elements or entities that we can find through our sensors, but this is a real challenge to find an individual person,” Lt General James Clapper, director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) told AFP Thursday.
   
To an individual requires a mixture of different types of intelligence, he said. The best way of combining those elements is currently still by using spies on the ground.
Still, the agency is working on reducing reliance on man-power.

“There are some potential phenomena, scientific phenomena, technical phenomena that are being looked at in terms of the ability to track individuals through individual signatures,” he said.
   
“There is a lot of work being done on it that is classified that we're not real interested in revealing what the technical approach might be for fear of compromising it,” Clapper added.

Technical prowess

NIMA, which analyses satellite photographs and makes maps, sent some 90 people to the Gulf during the Iraq conflict. It used its agents to identify targets utilising unmanned Predator drones.
   
The use of precision-guided munitions in the Iraq war compared with the first Gulf War placed a “high premium” on the agency's analysis of imagery and maps, he said.
In the 2003 war, about 90% of the bombs dropped were precision guided.

As the amount of imagery grows, NIMA wants to find a way to automate the recognition of what sites are, “leaving the more ambiguous challenges to the eyeball and the mind of the analyst,” he said.

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after caf killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.