Do you think the government uses our wireless devices to keep tabs on us? Well, we’ve found proof that you’re right—if you work for the U.S. government.
ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) is developing MOSAIC (Multimodal Objective Sensing to Assess Individuals with Context): a project to help “U.S. intelligence firms” pick people who are spy material. The project is voluntary (have we heard that before?) and funded through IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity).
The goal of the project is to develop customized wearable devices that will monitor intelligence workers as they work at their various jobs that they can’t talk about. A notice on FedBizOpps.gov says MOSAIC will allow agencies to “better understand and anticipate changes in an individual that may impact their work effectiveness” and “to develop accurate assessments of an individual over time.”
As with all intelligence issues, this raises some questions. What exactly is an intelligence firm—CIA, Inc.? FBI Corp.? Is it voluntary for the individual workers or for department heads who want to monitor those individuals for reasons of their own?
And how much of this attempt to analyze employees psychologically can—or will—be used for more than identifying potential spies? It might be used, for example, to develop accurate assessments of whistleblowers before they have the chance to blow the whistle — especially when added to the DoD’s Component Insider Threat Records System, meant to prevent leaks of classified information by monitoring people who have access to that information.