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Weaponising Big Data

This site is the home of the ‘Weaponising Big Data’ Project, a Free Range research project on the military and intelligence sites in Britain that are preparing for offensive cyberwarfare and automated state surveillance.

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Welcome to the ‘Weaponising Big Data’ Project

‘Weaponsing Big Data’ is a project of the Free Range Network which seeks to map and document the growing networks of military and intelligence operations preparing for ‘unconventional’ automated- & cyber-wars – both ‘domestic’, and the notional ‘NATO’ operations which are an extension of US foreign policy – in order to highlight the threats to civil society and democracy from advanced data processing and automation technologies within an increasingly networked society.

Driven by technological change, the nature of conflict is changing. No longer is geopolitical power a matter of large standing forces squaring-off across fixed boundaries. Conflict is becoming increasing smaller, more mobile, more political, and far more lethal – all of which is being driven by automation and the data networks that these systems operate across.

The larger problem with these technologies is that, unlike the traditional concept of ‘dual use’ – where hardware had specific military or civilian uses – the programmable and multi-purpose automation and digital networking technologies render everything dual use; often untraceably.

Today it is becoming harder to say what is a military technology, and what is civilian – and to keep the two separate. For intelligence gathering and targeting military action, mobile phones and wifi routers have become as important as tanks and missile sites.

More problematically, for the companies creating these systems conflict is becoming a ‘business plan’ – where threats are created through political lobbies in order to justify the spending to create the technological mechanisms to respond to those manufactured threats.

As a result, conflict is spilling over into civil society as those ‘threats’ overlap with everyday social or political activities. And as these technologies are taken up by lobbies and corporations, they are being used against civil society directly for economic or political ends.

The data processing technologies which allow companies to identify and market to individuals, and the data they collect to identify their subjects, are broadly similar to those which allow the targeting of surveillance or drone strikes. In the ‘cyber’ age, never has civility been under such a threat from those who would curtail or negate its freedoms, or use technology as a means to wage low level foreign conflicts for political ends.

The objective of the project is to highlight the sites which collectively create these ‘networks for unconventional conflict’ in Britain, the roles of the companies or agencies in the operation of those sites, and both the expense to the state and threat to civility that these networks pose – and in response, to encourage the public to set-up their own ‘Citizen’s Monitoring Group’ for their local site.

We will produce more information on the mechanics project in 2020. In the meantime, if you would like to take part in this setting-up this process, please email us – lifechain☮fraw·org·uk.

‘Weaponising Big Data’ updates

All updates to the ‘Weaponising Big Data’ site are listed below, in reverse chronological order:

CroughtonWatch, 3rd October 2019:

How Donald Trump’s Border Wall Helped to Terminate the USAF Croughton ‘Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre’ (JIAC)

After five years of work and awareness-raising on Croughton’s role in the “War on Terror”, CroughtonWatch celebrates the demise of plans for an upgraded surveillance and intelligence centre, implicated in human rights abuses and war crimes.

Weaponising Big Data, 1st October 2019:

‘Weaponising Data’ Project Outline

A summary of how – from mini-nukes, to autonomous drones, to mass surveillance, to industrial-scale hacking – information technology is changing the military and intelligence agencies, making them more injurious to civil and human rights

For the article with hyperlink references from which this summary was produced, click here.