Here's another controversial news story in which we can reference Room 101 and 1984 and all that. The European Union is creating programs to act as agents in monitoring discussion forums, website information, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and, best of all, personal, individual computers. It'll be looking for "automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence."
It's called Project Indect, and it's received about 10 million Euro in funding from the EU. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and researchers at York University are spearheading the project.
Unsurprisingly, the project has come under fire from a number of civil rights group, including Liberty and Open Europe. Stephen Booth of Open Europe has called the project "Orwellian" and said, "This is all pretty scary stuff in my book. These projects would involve a huge invasion of privacy and citizens need to ask themselves whether the EU should be spending their taxes on them."
There isn't all that much information yet released about the project, other than that it aims to monitor web and computer activity for suspicious activity. It's the old can of worms: how to police something that is based somewhat on being unpoliced. The open exchange of information seems to be constantly threatened, but leaving it unpoliced in a world of global crime and terrorism also seems frightening.
We're curious to hear your thoughts on the project. Let us know in the comments below!
Via The Telegraph