CIA-backed tech can instantly spot terrorists in a crowd

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

WASHINGTON The U.S. intelligence community is investing in new technology meant to provide instant recognition of insurgency fugitives in such crowded facilities as airports and subways.

A Los Altos, Calif. company, Pixlogic, has been developing technology meant to search for fugitives and insurgency suspects in a crowd.

Pixlogic has employed new software based on visual pattern recognition and search technologies to match archived still or video images with those gathered from security cameras or other sources, Middle East Newsline reported.

Executives said the CIA has been an investor in the development of technology by Pixlogic and other U.S. companies.

"It does a reasonable job of matching people that sort of look alike," Pixlogic chief executive officer Joseph Santucci said. "Most [competing] software tools only work under constrained circumstances."

Executives said the company's software could also detect and alert investigators to anomalies in video footage provided by closed-circuit television systems. Such anomalies could include an individual carrying a large box, or a truck that returns to the same spot. They said such technology has not yet been employed in either Britain or the United States.

Industry sources said the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement community was also expected to increase investment in counter-terrorism technology. They said the technology would include instant translations, particularly from Arabic to English, as well as search and text mining.

"We have put a little over 100 technologies into the intelligence community that are actively being used," In-Q-Tel chief executive officer Gilman Louie said. "Some of them you know, while other technologies we don't broadly advertise."

U.S. companies have been wooed by their counterparts in Israel for joint marketing and development projects in counter-insurgency. Several Israeli firms have been developing software and sensors to track insurgency suspects and detect bombs.

Copyright 2005 East West Services, Inc.

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