Think surveillance and communications privacy law is bad now? Just wait until the military’s “bioreactive taggants” and “smart dust” migrate back to the United States, and end up in the arsenals of the FBI, DHS, DEA, ATF, LAPD, and NYPD.
Known as Continuous Clandestine Tagging,
Trackingand Locating,” or CTTL, it involved using advanced biometrics and chemistry to develop a long-range facial recognition program as well as a “Human Thermal Fingerprint” that could be isolated for any individual. They also used a chemical “bioreactive taggant” to mark people by discreetly swabbing a part of their body. The taggant would emit a signal that [the Joint Special Operations Command] JSOC could remotely monitor, enabling it to track people 24/7/365. It was like a modern version of the old spook’s tracking devices made famous in films, where spies would weave them into an enemy’s clothes or place them on the bottom of a vehicle. The taggant allowed JSOC to mark prisoners and then release them to see if they would lead the task force to a potential terror or insurgent cell. Putting them on nonprisoners was a greater challenge, but it happened. The use of such technology, along with the accelerated pace of the killings and captures, would inspire President Bush’s declaration that “JSOC is awesome.”
Tracer Detection Technology Corp. marks targets with a paraffin wax crayon, filled with a perfluorocarbon, a thermally-stable compound used in everything from
refrigeratorsto cosmetics. The perfluorocarbon’s vapor can then be tracked with sensors, such as a gas chromatograph. The smell lingers for hours. Think locking yourself in a room with the windowsclosed or removing the tag will help? Too bad, you still reek. According to a research report submitted to the Justice Department (.pdf), the perfluorocarbon tracers can “permeate closed doors and windows, containers and luggage,” and even give you away for a while after a tagged item is removed.