We all love SMART! Especially being told by others that we are SMART! Smart phones, smart cities, smart meters all make sense to us as they benefit us in many ways. But, is there another level of SMART we need to pay attention to?
“Good thinking, 99!”
In the late 1960s, families laughed at “Get Smart … an American comedy television series that satirizes the secret agent genre. It was … [a combination of] James Bond and Inspector Clouseau. Some of the popular catchphrases generated during its run, included:
“Would you believe …,” “Good thinking, 99,” “Missed it by that much!,” “Sorry about that, Chief,” “The old (such-and-such) trick,” “And loving it,” “I asked you not to tell me that …”
“The series centers on bumbling secret agent, Maxwell Smart, also known as Agent 86, and his female partner, Agent 99 … Agent 86 (portrayed by Don Adams) is the central character. Despite being a top-secret government agent, he is absurdly clumsy, very naive and has occasional lapses of attention. Due to his frequent verbal gaffes and physical miscues, most of the people Smart encounters believe he is grossly incompetent. Despite these faults, Smart is also resourceful, skilled in hand-to-hand combat, a proficient marksman, and incredibly lucky. These assets have led to him having a phenomenal record of success in times of crisis in which he has often averted disaster, often on a national or global scale.”1
Get Smart was a satire about government agents; watching it made us question if indeed, government agents were SMART – or smarter than us. Oh, and one of its ironies, Maxwell Smart’s smart phone was his shoe – an integral and vital part of his persona.
Welcome to Smart Cities …
Pet Project of the Surveillance State!
How exactly do Smart Cities really work? Is YOUR city a Smart City?
In Smart Cities, local government considers itself smarter than the residents. Many cities have signed on to the U.S. “safe cities” agenda of “digital, health, infrastructure, and personal”2 security. Cities have also signed agreements with international agencies, which are committed to the surveillance state in order to “protect, conserve, restore and promote [the cities] ecosystems, water, natural habitats and biodiversity, minimize their environmental impact, and change to sustainable consumption and production patterns.”3 This requires working with the utilities to curtail energy usage, installing sensors everywhere, and implementing the Sustainable New Urban Agenda. Ultimately, where you live,
• Will you be able to decide when or even IF you can wash your clothes?
• Will you be able to travel where you want? Communicate as you wish?
• Will your city adopt facial-recognition technologies to track your every move?
Tracking energy, water, travel, jobs (national ID) are characteristics of the 21st century surveillance state that would have thrilled 20th century totalitarians such as Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, and others. This invasion into all these aspects of our daily lives is happening today.
“There is nothing government can give you that it hasn’t taken from you in the first place.” (Winston Churchill)
Water: Using the Global Warming narrative and the UN Sustainable Development programs, notice what priority is listed first on their website, “Key priorities including carbon footprint reduction …”
Purchasing a new washing machine, dishwasher, or new water heater probably invites the “Smart Appliance” into your home. You might even have received a rebate by buying them. They all have Smart Meter technology that can respond to a Smart electric meter and a Smart water meter. If you are profiled as using too much water, George Orwell’s Big Brother can shut off your appliances for a period of time from a remote location.
Heat/Energy: The UN Sustainability movement, established in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, started with Global Warming. The rally cry became Climate Change when questions as to the fudging of data and the fact that rising seas buried no cities became evident. Every school child knows the mantra: climate change if unstopped will cause us to die. In actuality, energy is what brings prosperity to the poor, keeps them warm and provides jobs.
Transportation: The U.S. Bill of Rights correctly lists freedom of association as vital to freedom. If you cannot move about without always being watched and tracked, you are no longer free.
Communication: The First Amendment to the Constitution specifies freedom of speech. Tracked and monitored speech is not free. When speech is chilled, Churchill’s “Life is fraught with opportunities to keep your mouth shut” takes on added meaning.
Jobs – No ID means No Job: Without a source of earned income, you cannot provide food and home for yourself and your family. With a national ID, your ability to work can be prevented by any government employee with access to your data.
SMART CITIES need four things to work:
• High speed 5G internet blanketing the area4
• Citizen buy-in
• Everyone on smart phones or access to smart phones (digital inclusion)
• Unfettered, unlimited massive data collection
High Speed 5G
“Smart City: A smart city uses communication networks, wireless sensor technology and intelligent data management to make decisions in real time about infrastructure needs and service delivery.”5 Only exponentially faster internet can do this. 5G becomes central.
“What will cities of the near future look like when buildings, cars, people and a whole slew of other things can communicate with each other? … plans for 5G—a next-generation wireless network that will enable exponentially faster data processing and media downloads. And while lightning-quick speeds might seem like a small luxury, they’re crucial for enabling everything from self-driving cars and smart grids to a broader Internet of Things that could benefit big-data-minded brands and governments alike … By gathering data from buildings, 5G can help cities understand patterns in electricity usage …”6(Emphasis added.)
The U.S. Department of Transportations’ Smart City Challenge notes cities need to “enhance their ability to collect, process, analyze and share data. They plan to take in data from an immense array of sources from connected DSRC infrastructure, crowdsourced data from smartphone users…”7 Presumably, this includes their pitch for theatergoers being able to also order their [public] transportation at the same time they buy their tickets.
Buy-In: Smart Phones And Crime
Americans will not give up the benefits of a smart phone, so ultimately, most of the population will be accessible by their phones. This then allows local municipal highway departments to “tag” your phone and others while you move from “mile 5” to “mile 10” on the local interstate, enabling them to post on their “amber” boards that traffic to “mile marker 10 will take six minutes.” Since none of us relish traffic delays, we support these boards without even questioning how they know how long it will take to get between these points. The Big Brothers in government know selling efficient and easy travel is a win-win.
The next win-win in their tool kit is crime. With the breakdown of law and order comes fear for safety. We have been sold the idea that cameras will (and do) keep us safer, so cameras in every street light with facial recognition capacity makes sense, but we don’t consider the possibility that someday Big Brother will be tracking us.
Smart Phones and Data
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, one of the seven U.S. DOT awardees for Smart City Challenge, provides examples of Digital Inclusion, 5G high speed and unfettered data collection.
“Kansas City is committed to evolving into a Smart City through the use of technology to optimize operational efficiencies, manage City services, and improve citizen engagement … [By leveraging] data and analytics to drive performance management, and explore the potential of predictive modeling in order to work smarter. … A Smart City uses technology such as Wi-Fi and sensors to improve efficiency and maintenance of the City by capturing real-time data on how our infrastructure is performing.” 8
In 2018, KCMO.gov listed how infrastructure does not just include roads. “As Smart City infrastructure expands, the city will use big data to drive decisions that save taxpayer money through more efficient repairs and maintenance of streets, water lines and other infrastructure. … Other Smart City infrastructure includes interactive kiosks, … free public Wi-Fi, smart streetlights and sensors, … Dynamic signals and lights will be responsive to citizen activity along Main St. … Sensity sensors and integrated LED street lighting to capture data as needed for future smart city applications.”9 (Emphasis added.) Does this data capturing include facial recognition and voiceprints?
In the definition area of the KCMO.gov document, sensors are described as being able to “track information such as air quality, light levels, activity, temperature, etc.”10 The DOJ Smart Cities program was launched under the umbrella of the UN and its mission to shut down all fossil fuels that produce most of the reliable energy in the world. Air quality, light levels and temperature all qualify as “must control” and to control them, you must control people.
Smart City Challenge lists one of the six “urban mobility challenges … [as] limiting the impacts of climate change and reducing carbon emissions.”11 The third vision of the smart cities receiving funds is “Smart cities are taking the lead in how we adapt to climate change by installing electric vehicle infrastructure … [and] closely monitoring air pollution …”12 One of the cities showcased in the Smart City Challenge is Pittsburgh that has a goal of “establishing smart street lights with sensors to monitor local air quality.”13 In other words, tracking energy use and controlling its usage is the primary goal of Smart Cities, because “Climate change is a major threat to our way of life…”14
Subsequently, when you control energy usage, you control people.
Kansas City promises to “expand social media engagement. … [It] will engage SMART, a team of social media leaders, to serve as a hub for the internal collaboration and management of social media services and communications.”15 Who uses social media except for the citizens? How does management work in “future smart city applications”? Smart City Challenge says “Cities are also pioneering new ways to collect, integrate, and analyze travel data to guide policies and investments … [by] installing closed-circuit cameras and sensors to collect data on vehicle movements, transit reliability, and pedestrian and bicycle traffic; collecting data from vehicle probes, connected vehicles and connected infrastructure.”16
All of life is targeted by Smart Cities. According to Grand View Research:
“The market addresses a diverse set of requirements, such as efficient mobility, smart and enhanced buildings and homes, optimum energy utilization, and better administrative services. … The market encompasses myriad sectors such as healthcare, transport, water, assisted living, security, and energy and their implementation varies from city to city due to technological penetration in the region.”17 (Emphasis added.)
National and Worldwide Influence of SMART CITIES
“Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R-VA-6] introduced H.R.4760 – Securing America’s Future Act of 2018, a sweeping bill … are the details of a new biometric National ID card that could soon be required for everyone. … H.R. 4760 establishes a mandatory National Identification system that requires all Americans to carry a government-approved ID containing “biometric features.” Without this card, according to the legislation, you will not be able to work in this country. … [It] allow[s] federal bureaucrats to include biometric identification information on the card, potentially even including fingerprints, retinal scans, or scans of veins on the back of hands, which could easily be used as a tracking device …”18
“The digital reign of terror that Zuckerberg, … recently unleashed on those whose views he disagrees with consisted of a change in the newsfeed algorithm … the algorithm selects which stories show up in each user’s newsfeed … The newsfeed algorithm isn’t some omniscient, politically neutral computer program that somehow randomly or objectively selects what to highlight in newsfeeds. It is controlled by flesh-and-blood human beings in Silicon Valley, a hotbed of leftism. If they change the variables or inputs in an algorithm, they change the results it generates.”19
Can an automated algorithmic program drawing on massive troves of voice data make voiceprints from the calls of American citizens? After all, sources of audio are only growing. Smart Cars, smart thermostats, smart fridges, smart light bulbs, and “even trash cans have been turning into ‘intelligent’ (that is, internet-equipped) listening devices.”20 It is disconcerting when our cell phone tells us as we start our car’s engine, how long it will take us before we arrive home. How does it know that I am going home? Did I say something? Did I tell it where I was going?
“Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, noted how the NSA’s speaker recognition technology could hypothetically be used to track journalists, unmask sources, and discourage anonymous tips. While people handling sensitive materials know they should encrypt their phone calls, Timm pointed to the many avenues from televisions to headphones to internet-enabled devices — through which voices might be surreptitiously recorded. ‘There are microphones all around us all the time. We all carry around a microphone 24 hours a day, in the form of our cellphones,’ Timm said. ‘And we know that there are ways for the government to hack into phones and computers to turn those devices on.’ … Classified documents, provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, reveal that the NSA has developed technology not just to record and transcribe private conversations but to automatically identify the speakers. … [and the] XKeyscore program, which Snowden revealed in 2013, allowed agents to pull email addresses — which they classified as metadata — out of the body of intercepted emails.”21
“The NSA’s XKEYSCORE program, first revealed by The Guardian, sweeps up countless people’s Internet searches, emails, documents, usernames and passwords, and other private communications.”22
“Timothy Edgar, a former White House adviser to the Director of National Intelligence. ‘Our voice is traveling across all sorts of communication channels where we’re not there. In an age of mass surveillance, this kind of capability has profound implications for all of our privacy.’”
“Edgar and other experts pointed to the relatively stable nature of the human voice, which is far more difficult to change or disguise than a name, address, password, phone number, or PIN. This makes it ‘far easier’ to track people, according to Jamie Williams, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. ‘As soon as you can identify someone’s voice,’ she said, ‘you can immediately find them whenever they’re having a conversation, assuming you are recording or listening to it.
“The voice is a unique and readily accessible biometric: Unlike DNA, it can be collected passively and from a great distance, without a subject’s knowledge or consent. …In October, Human Rights Watch reported that the Chinese government has been building a national database of voiceprints so that it could automatically identify people talking on the phone. The government is aiming to link the voice biometrics of tens of thousands of people to their identity number, ethnicity, and home address. … They described the need to integrate biometric data, like voiceprints, with biographic information, like social networks and personal history. In the agency’s own words, “It is all about locating, tracking, and maintaining continuity on individuals across space and time. It’s not just the traditional communications we’re after — It’s taking a ‘full arsenal’ approach.” (Emphasis added.)23
“China has been ramping up its use of facial-recognition technology [special glasses] as it moves toward a nationwide database that can recognize any citizen within three seconds. … In China, people must use identity documents for train travel. This rule works to prevent people with excessive debt from using high-speed trains, and limit the movement of religious minorities who have had identity documents confiscated and can wait years to get a valid passport. While this is the first time Chinese officials have used glasses to implement facial-recognition, the technology is widely used by police. China is also currently building a system that will recognize any of its 1.3 billion citizens in three seconds.”24
“William Nee of Amnesty International [said] in a comment to The Wall Street Journal
‘The technology could also make it easier to monitor political dissidents and ethnic minorities.’ … China, remember, has been collecting biometric data on its citizens for years. It also has the largest network of surveillance cameras in the world. The dragnet approach to adding both suspects and citizens to a database that makes them instantly recognizable to authorities is firmly toeing the line with dystopian fiction.”25
Facial recognition is already being used in the United States by TSA for air travel, municipalities, and police in tracking criminals, and as a part of many private security measures.
In Britain, the “Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called for a ban on trendy wood burning stoves in a bid to combat air pollution in parts of the capital.”26 and “Ministers are considering tougher regulations to deter the burning of damp wood, which is less energy efficient than dry wood and produces more smoke.”27 In America, the “… Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new standards [that set] … official limits [and deadlines] on emissions from several devices including … [stoves].”28 As of mid-March, President Trump is purported to be postponing the 2020 deadline.
Saving water is an honorable and important goal, especially worldwide. It presents an admirable challenge of walking the fine line between the individual’s rights to his well water and the ownership and management of water by international monopolies. Countries such as Israel have been able to turn salt water into fresh drinking water, thus tapping into an endless source of water.29 Without water, the human being and all life perish; being able to have reasonable and affordable access to it allows society to flourish.
The “global smart water grid market is likely to witness robust growth during the forecast period. Registering 18.8% CAGR, the market is projected to reach US$ 52,212.3 million revenue by the end of 2026. Key priorities including carbon footprint reduction and financial savings are driving water utilities to optimize operations by deploying advanced analytical software, automation, control, design and other services. Increasing focus on integrating smart water grid with information and communication technologies is leading to the remote maintenance, monitoring, and tracking. … [and with it] supporting planning … Municipalities across various countries are focusing on implementing smart water grid technology that can offer information and communication technologies at the same time in a single smart water management scheme, thus increasing efficiency. … increasing initiatives by the government to improve water infrastructure and stringent regulations, …”30
TRANSPORTATION/ASSOCIATION WITH OTHERS
“Columbus lays groundwork for connected transportation data exchange. Columbus, Ohio, is in the process of building the platform that will act as the brain of the city’s connected transportation system.
“The platform is being called the Smart Columbus Operating System, and Jordan Davis, the director of Smart Columbus, spoke about it at Smart Cities Week in Washington D.C.
“The operating system will share near-real-time data on traffic throughout the city, Davis said. It will collect information from cars that are equipped to transmit it and share metrics like time, speed and location with roadside units. [RSU] These RSUs will then feed data into the system to provide a regional look at traffic. …
“The city also plans to place dedicated short-range communication systems in 3,000 citizen volunteer vehicles to collect data. These systems will also be placed in school buses, public transit buses and other government fleet vehicles, Davis said. A system like this can be used as leverage to gain access to data from companies like Uber and Lyft, creating a ‘community of sharing,’ Davis said. If a company shares its data, the city will share its platform, but no details on how an agreement like that could work have been finalized. …
“Columbus is funding these efforts in part with the $50 million it was awarded as the winner of the Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge. …”31
Do elections REALLY make a difference?
Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision. Winston Churchill
In the United States, local government and local schools are run by locally elected citizens. Thus, all the erosion of the concept of good has been allowed, or in some cases, purposefully planned. Good cries out for good people to understand the times, think biblically and take back their schools and cities.
The Challenge from the Radical Left …
Radical progressive, anti-God, anti-Constitution, George Soros, “claims latest victory in Democrat primary in Texas suburbs of San Antonio,” on Tuesday, March 6, where he “pumped almost $1 million into a Texas district attorney’s race … [If Gonzales wins the general election he] will join at least 11 progressive lawyers since 2015 who have won district attorney’s seats thanks to massive financial donations from Soros.”32
“Mega-donor George Soros … who funded the ongoing Ferguson protests, has waded into the St. Louis City circuit attorney election, funding a television ad for state Rep. Kim Gardner …”33 Gardner received $200,000 from Soros and is the St. Louis Circuit Attorney who is prosecuting Missouri’s Governor Eric Grietens.34
YES! Elections do make a difference. Unless those who want freedom and a moral society for their grandchildren engage at the local level, Soros and like-minded, Soros- funded groups like the ACLU will prevail.
Welcome, Big Brother!
Guns can be used for stopping evil, or committing evil. Sex within marriage can be used to forge a unique exclusive bond between a man and a woman who create a nurturing family, or it can enslave. Technology can enable our daily lives for good and free up time, or it can be used to control every step of our lives.
Smart meters for electricity, water, and natural gas can be used to prevent disasters, or they can be used to shut down our use of energy. Think about that. It is 15 degrees outside, near dinner time, the oven is on, you are running a load of dishes in the dishwasher and a load of clothes in the washer, and at the same time, you are finishing up a project for work on your computer. Suddenly, the power goes off. Storms? Power lines down? No, you have just been deemed an over-user of energy. Continued use of gas (furnace), electricity (appliances) and water (washing) pushes your local municipalities quota of energy above its goal. (Fortunately, you were not taking a long hot shower.) The algorithms used by government to meet their UN agreement on Climate Change35 for your allowed usage shut it all down. The process didn’t even need the touch of a human.
“What officials in the UK want to be able to do is remotely turn off these sensor equipped smart appliances dur-ing times of peak demand to reduce the load on the electrical grid. Shutting down the appliances equipped with smart sensors would not require the owner’s approval.”36
Welcome to the Smart City!
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm describe the results of an all-powerful central authority (Big Brother) controlling every facet of our lives. They did not foresee the Smart City by name, but they saw it by its power.
In order to keep guns, sex and technology in the good column as a society, we need to:
• Recognize that a divisive culture is the product of the abandonment of truth.
• Recognize that we are responsible humans created in the image of God with a call to live each day in His image.
• Recognize we must engage for good, for God, country and family.
Finally, is it SMART to Get Smart,
or is getting smart bringing us harm?
The selling point of Smart Cities is safety. Nevertheless, you can remove all the guns in the world, but if you do not remove the anger, alienation, and yes, victimology, a knife, a club or a car becomes the tool of a young person who feels betrayed by his home, school, and community; e.g., a child set to become another Nikolos Cruz. It is not just one child, but also a community that has accepted the worldview propagated by the schools, media, and culture that each of us is nothing more than a mass of cells with no purpose. Throw the passion of sex into the equation, and you have a culture of death, not life; a culture of sexualized, narcissistic, unrestrained, self-absorbed beings ready to lash out when they cannot reign in their feelings and anger. Then, because we want to be safe, we accept the promises from central authorities.
Yet, there is no guarantee that the agencies will provide for us. In fact, they will fail because Utopia is not real, man is not without fault, and no government body can perfect the world. It is only the Judeo-Christian worldview that can heal the soul with forgiveness and unconditional love. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the fruits of the spirit, and against such things there is no law.
Let us as individuals seek the Judeo-Christian God for our guidance and help, not the secular central authorities who are no different than we are except that we allow them earthly power.
One man with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions. (Winston Churchill)
Endnotes accessed March 2018.
1 Wikipedia, “Get Smart,” https://en.wikipedia.org.
2 “Safe Cities Index 2017 – Security in a rapidly urbanizing world,” The Economist-Intelligence Unit, http://safecities.economist.com.
3 Draft outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III),” United Nations General Assembly, October 17-20, 2016, http://habitat3.org/wp-content/uploads/Draft-Outcome-Document-of-Habitat-III-E_29556.pdf, Item 13 (h).
4 Swant, Marty, “A Look at the Future of 5G-Powered Smart Cities,” ADWEEK, March 11, 2018, http://adweek.com
5 City of Kansas City, “KCMO = the world’s most connected Smart City,” http://kcmo.gov/smartcity.
6 Ibid., Swant, Marty.
7 “Smart City Challenge,” U.S. Department of Transportation, page 13.
8 Ibid., City of Kansas City, “KC DIGITAL ROADMAP 2015,” page 7.
9 Ibid., City of Kansas City, “KCMO = the world’s most connected Smart City.”
11 Ibid., “Smart City Challenge,” page 4.
12 Ibid., page 6.
13 Ibid., page 12
14 Ibid., “How We Adapt,” page 11.
15 Ibid., “KC DIGITAL ROADMAP 2015-Engagement,” page 5.
16 Ibid., “Smart City Challenge,” page 13.
17 Grand View Research, “Smart Cities Market Size Worth $2.57 Trillion by 2025|CAGR: 18.4%,” February 2018, https://www.grandviewresearch.com.
18 Agorist, Matt, “Congress Quietly Pushing Bill to Require National Biometric ID for ‘ALL Americans’,” The Free Thought Project, January 22, 2018, http://thefreethoughtproject.com
19 Vadum, Matthew, “Facebook’s Digital Reign of Terror,” Front Page Magazine, March 8, 2018, https://www.frontpagemag.com/.
20 Kofman, Ava, “Finding Your Voice,” The Intercept_, January 19, 2018, https://theintercept.com.
22 Marquis-Boire, Morgan, Glenn Greenwald and Micah Lee, “XKEYSCORE, NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications,” The Intercept_, July 1, 2015, https://theintercept.com.
23 Ibid., Kofman, Ava.
24 Chan, Tara Francis, “Chinese police are using facial-recognition glasses to scan travelers,” Insider, February 7, 2018, http://www.thisisinsider.com
25 Clark, Bryan, “These Chinese Facial recognition glasses are a dystopian nightmare come true,” The Next Web, February 2018, https://thenextweb.com.
26 Simpson, Fiona, “Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wants to ban wood-burning fireplaces,” Business Insider-Evening Standard, September 29, 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com.
27 Ward, Andrew and Jim Pickard, “Roaring Christmas fires threatened by pollution fears,” Financial Times, December 22, 2017, https://www.ft.com/
28 “Wood Burning Stoves Could Be Harming Your Health,” American Lung Association, February 8, 2016, http://www.lung.org
29 Sales, Ben, “”Water surplus in Israel? With desalination, once unthinkable is possible,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 28, 2013, https://www.jta.org/
30 “Smart Water Grid Market to reach US$ 52,212.3 million revenue by 2026, globally,” Future Market Insights, December 11, 2017, https://globenewswire.com
31 Leonard, Matt, “Columbus lays groundwork for connected transportation data exchange,” GCN, October 6, 2017, https://gcn.com
32 Admin, “Soros Dropping $Millions into DA Races; 12 Won Since 2015,” Liberty Headlines, March 7, 2018, http://http.libertyheadlines.com.
33 Curtis, Tim, “Rep. Gardner gets aid from Soros in St. Louis circuit attorney race,” The Missouri Times, July 21, 2016, https://themissouritimes.com, and Currier, Joel, “St. Louis circuit attorney candidate defends accepting super PAC campaign money from liberal billionaire,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, July 24, 2016.
34 Delk, Josh, “Missouri GOP suggest George Soros is behind indictment of governor, The Hill, February 23, 2018, http://thehill.com
35 See numerous past FRONT LINES for more on UN and Climate Change.
36 McGlaun, Shane, “Government in your fridge: mandatory remote appliance control could ease UK power grid,” Slash Gear, May 2, 2013, https://www.slashgear.com.