In the near future, say 2030, with current technology, the Texas state government is implementing a unified surveillance program that will extensively use a variety methods, including :
- Street cameras
- Wi-fi location trackers
- 911 call data
- Stingray technology
- Automated license plate readers
- Criminal record/vehicle registration database
- Passive social media monitoring
- Web traffic interception (NSA tech)
in an attempt to give their state the advantage when it comes to gathering intelligence on the notorious cartels that are waging a territory war which has been ravaging the state. However, this program is different from others in one way : it utilizes an experimental AI developed jointly with SRI International, the DHS, MIT and the FBI. Named the ADAS (Analytic Data Assisted Surveillance), it has the power to track and identify suspicious behaviors or patterns by taking in data from all of the sources listed above.
This AI is nowhere near sentient. It is closer to the purpose built AIs that are strictly designed to function as an automated data analyst. Think of it as a less advanced version of the Superintendent from Halo ODST, connected to a surveillance grid that is a somewhat more intrusive version of modern day Camden's surveillance grid. It can detect and interpret complex patterns using pattern recognition, natural language processing, image processing and machine learning.
Examples of how it would reason :
import sqlite3 import ADASpack setloc(6700 Sherman Street) cur = con.cursor() scn_plate(E29346) cur.execute(SELECT * FROM VEH_REGIST;) df = pd.read_sql_query(cur.execute(WHERE plate_num = E29346;), con) if theft_status == 1: return(warn_veh_theft, plate_num, scan_loc) veh_sus.append(plate_num) else : return() veh_log.append(plate_num) scn_face(ID9283498132475) cur.execute(SELECT * FROM FED_PER_ID;) df = pd.read_sql_query(cur.execute(WHERE id_no = ID9283498132475;), con) if warrant_status == 'FELONY': return(warn_felon, id_no, scan_loc) act_felony.append(id_no) elif warrant_status == 'MISDMR': return(warn_misdmr, id_no, scan_loc) act_misdmr.append(id_no) else: return() per_log.append(id_no)
How would this affect the lives of citizens? Each person knows that they are constantly being watched, so it would obviously have a chilling effect on dissenting speech, although that has already happened to some degree in my universe.
How would the cartels adapt? Assume that the larger ones have skilled hackers that are good enough to find holes in the system, and are skilled enough to keep up with the cat and mouse game of encryption against the government's programmers. Would they focus on disrupting the system, going back to old-school hand ciphers, or both?
What would the political ramifications be? Since whoever controls this system has a lot of power to do some serious muckraking, or cover it up as well...