Basically I am trying to build a mass surveillance and MRI mental condition analysis network to manage law enforcement at small and medium scale inside threats to national and civilian security.

I am thinking about a mashup between commonplace surveillance tactics (complete access to camera circuits, surveillance drones, social engineering, online history and personal data such as emails, discussions within instant-messaging platforms, IP directions, financial information, tax returns, transactions registers, wiretapping, physical infiltration on activist movements, cellular and homeland phone intervention, data mining and so on) and a hardware component able to localize, detain and restrain the suspect in the middle of or as a preventive measure against criminal activity.

The obvious difficulties behind said system are vastly defined by three circumstances:

  1. How can we develop and introduce the device to society as a mandatory usage component and modify the judicial system to satisfy the use of this network to monitor, prevent and stop criminal activity without facing the public outcry over freedom of speech and attacks against privacy?
  2. What kind of processing system and public organization would we need to establish such a massive network of civil control across a interstellar federation knowing that we have access to FTL communication technologies and this society currently developing on the year 5000 has a at least Type II Technological development on the scale of Kardashev?
  3. How can we approach a high rate of success and objective analysis of human behavior/personal thought in the different scenarios and conflicts over the societal activity general landscape taking into account that the AIs managing the system have a very similar POV over said subjects?

In the case of physical enforcement itself, I was personally thinking about some kind of neural implant able to send electric signals directly to the nervous system to paralyze the individual and if necessary make him unconscious/kill him before authorities reach the zone, nanomachine replicants able to control the suspect's body or a nanoparticle radiation device built into the chip able to send lethal levels or energy to the body of the criminal like cancer treatment does to the infected cells of the patient. But I don´t really know how to decrease the size of such kind of hardware or which energy provider would maintain them in optimal conditions.

In the case of software, as said before, my plan was to create a huge network of AIs to control and monitor the network based on the legal code of the nation, a moral code shared across the local culture of this society and information of previous cases to update the system responses and objective approach of human activity as well as several layers of simulated situations algorithms to create a bigger database of options and complex answers.The thing is, the generalized bias of the AIs code of response might difficult said evolution.

I want to mention that the scenario for this actions is the middle of a galactic war.

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    $\begingroup$ The funny thing about this is that we're already raising generations of children who happily give up their privacy. They live their lives in full public view and appear to not care that people (including the government) are perfectly happy to keep tabs on them. Half the time they don't even realize the danger (what? The nude pics I sent you are on the Internet? How'd that happen?) It's no stretch of the imagination at all that people 30 years from now would accept this level of scrutiny as routine. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:10
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    $\begingroup$ You must of course realize that absolute power corrupts absolutely: this is not a dream about law enforcement, this is a dream about enabling the absolute rule of an aristocracy over a mass of serfs. I just don't see what are the massive efficiency gains in return for the huge cost differential between this fantastically complicated system and the traditional time-tested method of just hiring a suitable number of thugs with whips and truncheons. Just tell the police that they can beat and kill any serf they please and you will get your compliant populace. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:26
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP Thugs with whips and truncheons! Sweated labour. Traditional time-tested methods are being steadily replaced by newer more efficient and effective technological ones. A civil control system could keep a serf population under its steel thumb 24/7. All serfs trying to rattle could be zapped before the whip & truncheon thugs were out the door to visit those serfs. The cost of technology falling. The problem with relying on thugs is they can turn against their masters. Better to take them out of the loop. The absolute rulers will then sleep easier. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Sep 13, 2017 at 9:14

3 Answers 3


A civil control system like this won't suddenly pop up whole and entire of itself. The different elements of the system will be developed and improved until they represent mature and reliable technologies. Currently many of the technologies and systems to do what your hypothetical civil control system does are under development and are being implemented to considerable effect. By 'considerable effect' that means they work and are suppressing political dissent and civil disobedience. By 5000 it can be expected these technologies will be far superior to anything we can imagine today.

If the society is on a war footing it will be remarkably easy for a society to implement a civil control system. For the greater good, of course, and for the duration of the war, naturally, but once implemented it will be extremely hard to undo. During the time of war, societies have implemented much more draconian systems of social and political control. A future society, during a galactic war, would have little difficulty implementing a civil control system. Social and political protest could be readily suppressed. Systematic implementation would soon roll up any opposition. Dissents can be detained and processed to become part of the system.

As for the hardware needed for its implementation, this only needs to be locally. In cities, regional areas, or even for whole planets as this circumvents the need to control the populace across astronomical distances. Using FTL communication this can update the requirements of the system in terms of who and what needs suppressing or controlling. Just like software updates really. Doing it locally means only locally-based servers and devices are needed.

To control and maintain such system effectively would require the development of AIs capable of exercising legal and moral judgement at approximately same level as a human being. Considering software agents and algorithms are capable of writing legal documents, searches case law, and more accurately diagnosing heart aliments than human doctors, improvements in software and hardware should make a civil control system relegated to the level of an easy to install system by the year 5000.

Never forget there are a lot of ordinary citizens who would welcome reliable, incorruptible and all-encompassing law enforcement to make their lives safe and well regulated. Already people tolerate mass surveillance with CCTV especially if it makes their lives safe. Current systems aren't effective enough to do that well, but when they are effective and reliable a civil control system will be welcomed.

During the introduction of such a system, which won't happen in one fell swoop, it will be done in stage and in small steps with all components in place for its implementation at least a millennium or three ago. Then it will only be a matter of integrating the systems to form one all-encompassing control system. With sufficiently advanced technology that might only involve giving a few orders or passing a few laws. It would be that easy by fiftieth century.

  1. There will be public outcry and there will always be dissidents even after it's introduced and generally accepted; people today already disagree over loads of stuff athat were already accepted, like the police, racism, homophobia, and in the case of SJW's: freedom of speech. How to get it to be generally accepted? The technology has to be there, it has to work and be seamless to provide as little discomfort as possible, and people have to be afraid. People only want security when they're afraid of danger. Once people are afraid of being within their own homes due to the danger outside, they'll take it. Say, mass and unrelenting terrorism + anarchism? The only American law that goes against this to my knowledge is the 4th Amendment and it's portion of unreasonable searches and seizures, though this can be bypassed if the argument made that searching everyone at all times is no longer unreasonable due to the convenience and facility of the search and the imminent danger ever citizen potentially poses.

  2. Processing system and programming? Unless you want me to start spouting C++ (which I can't) I'm going to ignore the programming part. The processing systems would be lots, even in the future, but it can be manageable. Think the twin towers in New York. It'll be that more or less where one of those towers per that much population. You'll need a lot of processing power, not just for analyzing the people's thoughts and sights and sounds, but also for the A.I.'s that are making minute-to-minute judgement calls.

  3. The fact that people are being watched at all times is an ENORMOUS deterrent of crime, since anonymity is essential to a successful crime which is impossible if you have a camera stuck inside your head in the form of a chip.

Another idea for deterring crime while requiring enormous processing power or even AI is have people themselves be their own judge. An alternate system would be a chip with two purposes: 1. Send over wifi a constant recording of everything that's happening, a constant video stream, this alone should be an enormous deterrent. 2. Send an ongoing ping whenever the subject feels guilty. This way you don't need an army of AI reviewing every action minute-by-minute, just a few that review on a guilty-basis.

The obvious drawbacks is that you need the infrastructure for always on WiFi that's nationwide and not interrupted by tunnels or caves or blockers. If there are interruptions in connectivity that were probably done on purpose than the ongoing guilty ping will allow the authorities to be alerted that something suspicious is going on whenever they happen to be back online. The second drawback is that the subject has to feel guilty, which isn't a problem for most of the population since even if they feel they're justified there is an automatic sense of guilt whenever something wrong is done. The only exception would be sociopaths/psychopaths (I still can't tell the difference between them) which are incapable of feeling guilt.

  • $\begingroup$ The first question was mostly directed towards a possible solution which wasn´t intrusive in the sense of producing social outcry or being easily noticed by the public. In relation to the second question I was actually talking about which kind of infraestructure would approach the requirements to sustain said processing and what kind of public organization could be in charge of management and repairs over the complex as well as correcting errors and replacing components. $\endgroup$
    – Rietzche
    Sep 13, 2017 at 4:22
  • $\begingroup$ The third was more about how can I diversify the criteria of enforcement and objective approach of the system considering the generalized morality over the coding. Finally I was also asking about the technological feasability of the hardware and a optimal method to disrupt criminal activity with this physical device. $\endgroup$
    – Rietzche
    Sep 13, 2017 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ There, adjusted answer. 1 and 2 still stand, but I adjusted 3 and threw in an alternative idea. $\endgroup$
    – Roshiron
    Sep 14, 2017 at 15:33

1) terrorism, it makes people scared and concerned for their safety. If people are scared enough they are willing to accept literal slavery for safety.

2) processing system: with your vast empire it will need to be a distributed network, with hundreds of millions of enforcer units in constant communication with each other.

3) it will be controlled by a Neural network that had been trained to recognize criminal behavior, it might not be perfect, there might be some criminal activity that will not register but that just leads to interesting story options.


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