August 21st, 2012
(HigginsBlog) – Researchers have devised a prototype device that can see through walls by tracking signal changes of WiFi frequency signal changes.
Researchers have created a working prototype of a devise that defense agencies are hoping to use in urban warfare situations which allows them to see through wall using a technique called bi-static radar.
The device works by beaming two wi-fi signals through a wall and detecting frequency changes of the signal to monitor the movement of people and objects which researchers say has been successfully test through a 1 foot thick solid brick to covertly track the location, speed and direction of subjects.
Network World reports that the technology has been adapted so that those seeking to spy on you can actually pickup signals from the wireless router in your own house to perform the same spying technique, with the additional bonus that since no signals are being given off the surveillance can’t be detected.
Before you freak out and shut off your wireless router, lets extend this technology to the next logical step.
By taking this research one step further we can easily assume if such a feat can be accomplished with WiFi signals then it extends to other signals as well.
It was most likely discovered with the WiFi signals simply because it is a widely available technology capable of easily that transmits and controlling radio signals using computers.
Hence, following Logic, NSA, which has the ability to pickup any signal sent through the airwaves, undoubtedly can use the same technology to track people from the electromagnetic interference given off by other signal emitting devices inside a building including your TV, motors inside of appliances, and probably even by using the electromagnetic interference emitted from the electrical wiring in your house.
The research paper title, “Through-the-Wall Sensing of Personnel Using Passive Bistatic WiFi Radar at Standoff Distances,” appeared in the April Issue of iGeoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions.
From the Abstract:
A series of experiments was conducted which involved personnel targets moving inside a building within the coverage area of a WiFi access point. These targets were monitored from outside the building using a 2.4-GHz passive multistatic receiver, and the data were processed offline to yield range and Doppler information. The results presented show the first through-the-wall (TTW) detections of moving personnel using passive WiFi radar. The measured Doppler shifts agree with those predicted by bistatic theory. Further analysis of the data revealed that the system is limited by the signal-to-interference ratio (SIR), and not the signal-to-noise ratio. We have also shown that a new interference suppression technique based on the CLEAN algorithm can improve the SIR by approximately 19 dB. These encouraging initial findings demonstrate the potential for using passive WiFi radar as a low-cost TTW detection sensor with widespread applicability.
Researchers in England have created a prototype surveillance device that can be used to spy on people inside buildings and behind walls by tracking the frequency changes as Wi-Fi signals generated by wireless routers and access points bounce off people as they move around The device, which is about the size of a suitcase and has two antennae and a signal processing unit, works as a “passive radar system” that can “see” through walls, according to PopSci.com. It was able to successfully determine the location, speed, and direction of a person behind a one-foot-thick brick wall, but can not detect people standing or sitting still, the article said. The U.K. Military of Defense is looking into whether the device — designed by Karl Woodbridge and Kevin Chetty of the University of College London — can be used in “urban warfare” for scanning buildings, PopSci reported.
Given the concerns over the government’s use mobile body scanner technologies, the development of a device that allows someone to snoop on a person’s movements within his or her own home will no doubt be met with public outcry.
From Network World:
Stealthy Wi-Fi Spy Sees You Through Walls Thanks to Your Wireless Router
We use Wi-Fi so much that we often take it for granted, but if you are using Wi-Fi right now then that signal that gives you your online fix can also be used for surveillance to see through walls.
here’s another prototype meant to enhance security, but will it too eventually turn into an assault on privacy?
Researchers in London have devised a stealthy system that gives off no radio waves so it can’t be detected, but by sniffing Wi-Fi signals, it can pinpoint a person’s movement inside a building. University College London scientists Karl Woodbridge and Kevin Chetty developed this suitcase-sized prototype that has successfully been tested through a one-foot-thick brick wall to determine “a person’s location, speed and direction.” PhysOrg added, “See Through The Wall (STTW) technologies are of great interest to law enforcement and military agencies; this particular device has the UK Military of Defense exploring whether it might be used in ‘urban warfare,’ for scanning buildings. Other more benign applications might range from monitoring children to monitoring the elderly.”
“Fundamentally, this is a radar system – you’re just using radio waves that have been emitted by an external WiFi router, rather than creating your own,” explained ExtremeTech. “Compare this with MIT’s through-the-wall (TTW) radar, which is 8 feet (2.4m) across and requires a large power source to generate lots and lots of microwaves.”
1. MOVING SUBJECT: When Wi-Fi radio waves bounce off a moving object, their frequency changes. If, for example, a person is moving toward the Wi-Fi source, the reflected waves’ frequency increases. If a person is moving away from the source, the frequency decreases.
2. REGULAR OL’ ROUTER: A Wi-Fi Internet router already in the room fills the area with radio waves of a specific frequency, usually 2.4 or 5 gigahertz.
3. BASELINE SIGNAL: One antenna of the radar system tracks the baseline radio signal in the room.
4. SHIFTED SIGNAL: A second antenna detects radio waves that have reflected off of moving objects, which changes their frequency.
5. PERP, SPOTTED: By comparing the two antennas’ signals, the computer calculates the object’s location to within a few feet as well as its speed and direction.
If you think the answer would be to hold perfectly still in order to avoid detection, to trick it into thinking you are nothing more than a piece of furniture, think again. As Engadget previously pointed out, engineers at the University of Utah developed a wireless network capable of seeing through walls to detect and monitor breathing patterns. In this case, it’s not meant to be a surveillance system, but an inexpensive way to monitor patients’ breathing.
As we move forward and more covert surveillance tech that was previously science fiction becomes real-life technology, it will continue to clash with civil liberties. In the military where our soldiers’ lives are on the line, then seeing through the walls could be a good thing. In the case of a bank robbery or another such crime where regular surveillance cameras have been disabled, then this tech could again be used for good. However, as we’ve seen historically, technology that starts off for military or law enforcement use often bleeds out and onto the public for covert surveillance. One example of this is Z Backscatter, full-body scanners in the form of mobile X-ray scanning units covertly driving around on streets that can scan you without you ever knowing it happened. Another example is Homeland Security’s portable molecular-level scanning devices that can see through clothing at 164 feet away. It could scan everyone at airports without anyone knowing it happened. DHS said “this scanning technology will be ready within one to two years.”
Source: Network World
More from End The Lie:
Researchers Use WiFi Radar to Covertly Monitor the Movement of People Through Walls
In today’s world, the seeming safety and privacy provided by four walls and a roof is quickly diminishing with microchips enabling mobile devices to see through walls, microchips allowing mobile devices to provide ultra-precise location information, the hijacking of cell phone cameras and even stealthily recording sound and other environmental information, supposedly for advertising purposes.
Of course, those examples represent just one of the many ways in which our privacy is being invaded and diminished with a vengeance in the United States today.
Now new method is being explored by researchers which could allow people to use so-called “bistatic WiFi radar” at a distance in order to covertly detect and monitor people moving behind walls.
The researchers published the findings in a paper called “Through-the-Wall Sensing of Personnel Using Passive Bistatic WiFi Radar at Standoff Distances” in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, volume 50, Issue 4.
The emphasis appears to be the ability to detect people “uncooperatively and covertly,” something which is also becoming increasingly important in facial recognition technology and other biometric technologies.
The researchers, who are affiliated with the Department of Security and Crime Science at the University College London in the United Kingdom, have demonstrated the first successful through-the-wall (TTW) detection of moving people using passive WiFi radar.
The experiments carried out by the researchers included various situations involving target personnel moving around inside a building within the coverage area of a WiFi access point.
The targeted individuals inside the building were then monitored from outside using a 2.4-GHz passive multistatic receiver. The data was then processed offline in order to yield information about the targets.
Currently, the biggest limitation on the system is the signal-to-interference ratio, or SIR. However, the researchers have already demonstrated a way to suppress this interference considerably.
This method is based on the CLEAN algorithm, normally used in radio astronomy and is, according to the researchers, capable of improving the SIR by around 19 dB, which is quite considerable.
The findings of the researchers have left them quite optimistic about the potential applications of this privacy-destroying technology.
Indeed, they went as far as to state, “These encouraging initial findings demonstrate the potential for using passive WiFi radar as a low-cost TTW detection sensor with widespread applicability.”
In other words, passive WiFi radar could be leveraged in order to monitor the movements of people through walls in a widespread and cost-efficient manner.
Making surveillance increasingly cost effective seems to be a high priority for the intelligence community and the industry which is supported by it.
This can be seen in moves towards low-cost solutions (which allow for increasing ubiquity of surveillance) including the $50 spy computer known as the F-BOMB, the rise of remote biometrics and behavior detection in CCTV systems, along with advances in “behavioral recognition” software systems for surveillance.
All of these advances are an effort to expand the United States government’s massive illegal surveillance program, which was recently exposed in court by former National Security Agency (NSA) employees, through lowering the amount of human and monetary resources needed to carry out widespread surveillance.
If this type of technology can prove to be useful in that effort, I believe it is safe to say that it will indeed be used for that purpose, despite the fact that even the government now admits that they breached the 4th Amendment on at least one occasion.
Source: End the Lie
Source: Higgins Blog