The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) recently launched an effort to make computerized clothing a reality — a move critics say could result in massive biometric surveillance of citizens and an increase in people’s exposure to radiofrequency radiation.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on Aug. 22 announced that the IC’s advanced research and development arm, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), would develop its computerized clothing program — Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems, or SMART ePANTS — over the next three-and-a-half years.

The government’s SMART ePANTS program works to create clothing with “integrated audio, video, and geolocation sensor systems that feature the same stretchability, bendability, washability, and comfort of regular textiles.”

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