Secretive Military Outfit Created The iPhone Software In The First Place

Steve Watson
February 7, 2014

The US Military’s Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA), has indicated that future government surveillance programs will operate much like Siri does on today’s iPhones, in that NSA spooks will interact with algorithms that become smarter as they know what to expect.


Defense One reports that Dan Kaufman, director of the Information Innovation Office at DARPA made the comments during a live webcast interview this week.

“Imagine someone stationed at an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance facility looking for visual data of interest.” Kaufman said. “Today this looks like one person in front of a bank of screens, not really seeing anything. In the future, it looks like a person interacting with an algorithm that becomes smarter about you and what you’re looking for as you interact with it.”

Kaufman also sees no problem with privacy issues in the future, arguing that better encryption will negate the debate about the trade off between privacy and security.

“We feel like there’s a slider that goes back and forth. Where, either we should collect everything, which feels bad, or we should collect nothing. And that also feels bad. What if there was a way to collect the data but encrypt it so that people couldn’t use it in a way that wasn’t approved?” he said.

Kaufman pointed to a DARPA program known as PROCEED, which operates with fully “homomorphic” encryption, a new kind of super-encryption for data in the cloud.

Of course, it is no surprise that DARPA is advocating such technology for future surveillance, given that it pioneered it. Indeed, the Siri software that now comes as standard on every iPhone was invented by DARPA in the 1990s.

Siri was developed at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), hence the name. It was a spin off of DARPA’s PAL (Perceptive Assistant that Learns) program, which SRI called CALO (Cognitive Agent that Learns and Organizes), a name inspired by the Latin word “calonis”, which means “soldier’s servant”.

In essence, DARPA’s long term technological vision for future mass government surveillance is already integrated with the majority of the most popular communications devices used by people all over the planet. Those devices also report every single interaction with Siri back to Apple, leaving them wide open, as we have recently seen, to the NSA.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

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