CANARY Event Detection Software screen projection. Canary is open source software developed by Sandia in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency to enhance the detection of terrorist attacks or natural contaminants to public drinking water systems.. Image & caption credits:Sandia Labs
Turning the internet from an avenue for hackers to do harm into a tool to help municipal authorities better protect public health would be a lovely idea wouldn't it? Well now then, thanks to your USA taxpayer dollars and not-think-tank scientists at work, remote sensors in public water system reservoirs, tanks, and pipes can be monitored by public authorities: enabling rapid intervention if a sign of contamination appears. Even Tea Partiers and Libertarians will benefit from the added safety.
Specifics: CANARY event detection software is being promoted as capable of "telling utility operators within [20 to 40] minutes whether something is wrong with their water, giving them time to warn and protect the public." CANARY, because it is open source, is cheep.The idea is to enable fast response to prospective "bio-terror attacks' or 'natural contaminants.' Instead of waiting for a wet chemical sample to be lab processed or for people to report sickness, and as soon as contamination is indicated via computer network relays, operators can act.
I wonder if CANARY is able to detect and warn against Republican members of the US House of Representatives and lobbyists arranging to de-fund such excellent work? The press release from Sandia Labs makes no mention. We should probably assume the worst; as, by all indications, the Libertarian Express train is completely unstoppable. Obama himself seems to have sipped the tea.
If you happen to be a manufacturing executive or to work for a Wall Street bank.
Call Sandia and ask if your firm can help defray the costs of getting Canary installed in your local municipal water operations. That would really help the budget-stretched municipality and make your company look good as well as smart.
Stirring the tea pot. One more thing you might bring up should you make that call. I was uncomfortable reading that CANARY is being tried out in Singapore. Handing the source code to foreign entities makes no sense from a threat prevention standpoint. I mean...keep the source code open but keep it within the confines of public water supply entities.