A report in The Washington Post Thursday claims the White House has been presented with a project that would collect information on Americans via technological means. The reason? To cut off at the path mental health-related violence.

As per the Post, the initiative would involve the creation of a new agency within the Department of Health and Human services: the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency — or HARPA.

The non-profit Suzanne Wright Foundation, which initially proposed the system, states the following:

[HARPA is] modeled after the spectacularly successful DARPA unit at the Department of Defense, [and] would leverage federal research assets and private sector tools to build new capabilities for diseases that have not benefitted from the current system.

The re-submission was purportedly prompted by recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, which took the lives of 31 innocents. A modification: A new sub-program will utilize “breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence” to stop the madness.

And what kind of devices will be employed?

Buckle up:

The document goes on to list a number of widely used technologies it suggests could be employed to help collect data, including Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home. The document also mentions “powerful tools” collected by health-care provides like fMRIs, tractography and image analysis.

The 4-year, $40-60 million project would be voluntary.

Okay, but what happens at the end of the four years, if it’s prevented crime? Perhaps a move toward the involuntary? And what about privacy rights?

As noted by The Daily Wire, NYU Law School professor Barry Friedman points out that any non-voluntary data collected would be in violation of the Fourth Amendment, having “profound…implications.”

Personally, I’m not in favor of the government moving any closer to our personal lives. In fact, I’d be pleased as punch for them to step back a foot or 97.

How about you?

-ALEX

 

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