Nanosurveillance comments from Arizona State, Bell Labs

Earth & Sky brings us comments on nanosurveillance:

“Nanotechnology experts have suggested that nano sensors — tiny devices too small to see with the unaided eye and able to monitor sounds and physical conditions — could be put into paint and sprayed on a wall.

“David Guston [Director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University] told Earth & Sky, ‘And anything and everything that happened in the room could be observed and transmitted by those nano sensors that were painted on the wall. And this has profound implications for what we consider private versus what we consider public, how we behave, how we handle data that’s gathered through these methods that are enhanced by nanotechnology, where such sensors could be omnipresent and utterly unobtrusive.’ ”

And Nanotech Briefs (subscription req’d) in their January 2006 issue features comments from David Bishop, VP for Nanotechnology Research at Bell Labs:

“I think some of the sensor applications are particularly exciting because I think one of the issues we struggle with in the U.S. is how do we trade off security and freedom. I think some of the networked nano-enabled sensors give us an opportunity in situations, for example, where a million people who go across a bridge or through a tunnel and are doing what they are supposed to be doing can go about their business, while the nano-enabled sensors, which are appropriately networked with all kinds of algorithms, can detect that one person in a million that should not be there.”

So, should Foresight have a conference on this topic? Meanwhile, you can get a free email newsletter from the Smart Sensors web portal (click on “subscribe”). —Christine

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