Skynet is real and it might be watching you, or your neighbor at this moment.
It has recently been confirmed that the U.S. Government has a program called Skynet. It’s not as autonomous as the infamous Skynet from Terminator and it’s not going launch a nuclear attack that will destroy most of humanity, but it is a powerful system. The current Skynet is labeled as a high-tech surveillance system that uses phone location and call metadata from bulk phone records to monitor and track the phone activities of suspected terrorists.
Skynet looks for connections that the U.S. Intelligence has decided are terrorist related such as people who have traveled from Peshawar to Faisalabad or Lahore (and back) in the a certain period of time, who the traveler speaks with, and who they call. The program also looks for suspicious behavior such as excessive SIM or handset swapping or those who receive incoming calls only.
This system was supposedly used to track Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, bureau chief for Al Jazeera’s Islamabad office after U.S. Intelligence identified him as a possible Al Qaeda member.
This system may be called Skynet, but there are other systems out there that bear a closer resemblance to the Terminator computer.
MonsterMind was revealed last year by Edward Snowden in an interview with WIRED. MonsterMind is a defense surveillance system that was designed to recognize and autonomously neutralize foreign based cyberattacks on the United States. It is also designed to retaliate against such attacks, however at this point the retaliation must be initiated by a human, it wouldn’t take much to make the counter attack also autonomous.
Now Onto the Really Interesting Stuff.
Those of you that are old enough probably remember Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars program? It’s real name was the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and it was supposed to create a ‘missile shield’ that would automatically destroy incoming missiles. The program was deemed as too expensive and it seemed to just fade away.
SDI never went away, it instead changed focus and eventually became the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization under President Clinton. George Bush gave it a whole new life under the Missile Defense Agency where it now gets billions of dollars every year to supposedly maintain and enhance the current missile silos which were established during the Star Wars years. However the system is also supported by advanced radar and SM-3 interceptors aboard 26 naval ships, and this is just the stuff that the government lets us know about.
There are a lot of detractors to the system that tell us test results were faked and that nothing really works. They tell us that the system is nothing more than a sinkhole. It’s been referred to as a pipe dream. In 2014, the Pentagon proposed a budget of $9.2 billion for the system with $45.7 billion over the following five years.
Why would so much money be invested in something that doesn’t work? And what is up there that they don’t let us know about? What is the current defense system truly capable of? Do we possibly have a real-life, fully functioning version of Skynet up there?
What is Technology Capable of?
There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there and a lot of suppositions, but keep in mind the quality of satellite photos, or at least the ones the government has released to us, because they are now ‘old’ technology. Have you ever watched Enemy of the State?
The KH-9 HEXAGON, also known as Big Bird, was a series of reconnaissance satellites launched twenty times by the U.S. between 1971 and 1986. Only one of those twenty launches was considered a failure. These satellites used film which was launched back to Earth where it was processed and interpreted. The best ground resolution for the main camera on these space-based cameras was better than 0.6 meters (1.96′.)
If you want to know about the KH-9, then check out this video, it’s a little long, but interesting (if you ignore the redacted photos.) To hear about some of the capabilities of the satellite then skip to the 30 minute mark.
Now think about some of the facts: only one of twenty failed, that is a pretty good pass rate for new technology, so I don’t think the failure rate of the defense system is as high as they are telling us. Also, think about how far technology has come since 1986, and this is just the technology that is available to the public… what is available behind closed doors?
Just look at the detail available in the below imagery. This was the final shot taken by the Quickbird Satellite before it was decommissioned in January. The best resolution we know of out there on a satellite is 30cm (1 foot). The Quickbird was a commercial satellite, so you can guarantee it doesn’t have the capability that the military ones do.