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Facial recognition tech turns people into ‘waking ID cards,’ warn privacy activists

Police force use of facial recognition technology in public spaces risks turning people into “walking...

Eye spy: Facial recognition tech gets govt cash boost despite claims it’s illegal

Britain’s Home Office is ready to invest more in facial recognition technology for police forces...

Face off: ACLU demands Vermont DMV suspend facial recognition program

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has been running a facial recognition program to conduct illegal...

Facial Recognition Tech

It’s often the case that new technologies arrive on the scene faster than our society and its legal code can keep up. Sometimes this...

Man sees humour in 'racist' facial recognition software

A New Zealand man of Asian descent had his passport photo rejected by a government website when its facial recognition software registered...

One out of two Americans in facial recognition databases

Shelley Connor Over 117 million Americans—half of the adult population—are in facial recognition databases used by law enforcement, according to a report released by Georgetown...

Facial recognition tech set for NY bridges & tunnels ‘to fight terrorism’ (VIDEOS)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has revealed details of his high-tech plans for the state, including...

Cleveland Police to RNC Protesters: Don’t Hide Your Faces (Facial Recognition)

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams issued a warning to an undisclosed number of masked protesters outside the Republican National Convention: “If you are a...

411mn photos on FBI’s facial recognition database – govt watchdog report

The FBI’s facial recognition database contains 411 million photos, both criminal and civilian, but the program hasn’t been tested for accuracy and the agency...

Facebook sued over facial recognition, judge refuses to throw case out

Facebook’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit over its facial recognition software was denied on Friday, meaning that the three users who claim the social...

Alvaro Bedoya on Facial Recognition and the Color of Surveillance

PlayStop pop out ...

Video: Pippa King: “Police Covertly Using Facial Recognition Software Without Discussion In Parliament!”

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Nowhere to hide: Facebook goes beyond ‘facial recognition’ to track you

Mick Meaney (RINF) - Terrifying new research shows Facebook's ambitions to track users has gone far beyond the company's 'old' technology that recognises users faces,...

Facebook hit with class action lawsuit over facial recognition data

A new class action lawsuit claims Facebook violated its users' privacy rights in acquiring what it describes as the largest privately held database of facial...

FBI’s facial recognition system will combine faces of criminals and ordinary citizens

THE FBI has launched its “next generation” facial recognition system – and the implications are terrifying. It not only draws on a database of criminal...

FBI’s facial recognition program hits ‘full operational capability’

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Next Generation Identification System, a biometric database reliant on tens of millions of facial-recognition records, is now fully operational,...

UK Cops Brag About Using Facial Recognition Software To Capture… A Shoplifter

Facial recognition software is the law enforcement frontier. Rather than having to build a lineup, law enforcement can just run suspected criminals' faces against...

UK Adds Facial Recognition to Surveillance Arsenal

by Nicholas West - The UK is probably the only place that surpasses New York's "Ring of Steel" for bringing a full-spectrum Big Brother...

Privacy concerns? UK police test ‘faster-than-ever’ facial recognition software

Facial recognition surveillance software being tested by British cops that allows “faster than ever” data searching and tracking of subjects is raising concerns among...

NSA Gathering Millions of Images for Facial Recognition Technology

New York Times report shows spy agency obtains images from social media, text messages, and emails Sarah Lazare The National Security Agency is mass collecting facial...

Facial recognition – coming soon to a shopping mall near you

John Hawes  Technology giant NEC's Hong Kong branch is promoting a small, "easy to install" appliance which will enable businesses to monitor their customers based on facial...

The FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Combines Lo-Res Photos With Zero Civil Liberties Consideration

Another FOIA lawsuit brought against the government by the EFF has resulted in the release of previously withheld documents. The papers cut loose this time...

Facebook Facial Recognition Software Has Almost Human Accuracy

 Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. Facebook may soon possess the power to match faces to users with almost human-like accuracy. According to the social-media giant, sophisticated facial...

Intelligence agency seeks facial recognition upgrade

Ray LockerUSA TodayNovember 13, 2013 The U.S. intelligence community is pushing a leap forward in facial recognition software that will enable it to determine better...

Homeland Security Tests Facial Recognition “Machine”

On September 21, the Department of Homeland Security tested a new facial recognition system at the 6,000 seat Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington, during...

‘Homeland’ to Test Facial Recognition System

Rawlson Kingbiometricupdate.comSeptember 21, 2013 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will test its crowd-scanning facial recognition...

The Facebook, CIA & DARPA Facial Recognition Database

RINF Alternative News Facebook Inc, notorious for their long and controversial history surrounding privacy policies, policy breaches and questionable handling of sensitive customer information, yesterday...

Ohio admits facial recognition used to scour state driver’s license database without public knowledge

For nearly three months, law enforcement in Ohio have had access to an unregulated facial recognition database that includes all statewide driver’s license photos...

New breed of government facial recognition technology raises fear of privacy violations

RINF Alternative News The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) development of a Biometric Optical Surveillance System (BOSS) has raised concerns among civil rights advocates that...

Hackers give Google Glass facial recognition capability

Google’s head-mounted computer Glass has yet to hit stores, though the Palo Alto company is already facing backlash from privacy advocates due to the...

FBI sued over secretive facial recognition program

Soon the FBI will be done building a database containing the photographs, fingerprints and other biometric data for millions of Americans, but the agency...

Goggles Block Facial Recognition Algorithms

Addy DugdaleFast CompanyJune 20, 2013 Worried about privacy in the age of wearable tech such as...

Google Glass bans facial recognition

Matt WarmanTelegraph.co.ukJune 3, 2013 Google Glass is currently being trialled by ‘Explorers’ as the company tries...

New Glasses Prevent Facial Recognition

In an unexpected twist against the rising tide of image-capturing technologies, an engineer has created glasses that thwart facial recognition scanners.

New facial recognition cams to spy on everyone at once

RT | In a single second, law enforcement agents can match a suspect against millions upon millions of profiles in vast detailed databases stored on...

Video: Retailers Track Consumers With Facial Recognition Technology As They Shop

Disinfo | Time to go shopping in a ski mask? Fashion retailers and others are unleashing surveillance systems equipped with NeoFace, a face detection and...

Facebook’s facial recognition to be probed

The Norwegian Data Protection Agency is planning to launch an investigation into Facebook's facial recognition feature this fall, a spokesman said on Monday. Last year,...

School begins using biometric facial recognition

By Kim Thomas | "Ainsley. Babcock. Bland. Carthorse. Dint. Ellsworth-Beast Major. Ellsworth-Beast Minor." For some of us, Rowan Atkinson's monologue of a schoolmaster taking the...

Facial recognition is same as tossing coin

By Geraint Bevan - NO2ID | After all the rhetoric about securing our borders, the Home Office has now announced its intent significantly to weaken passport...

London’s iconic Piccadilly Circus billboards to contain facial-recognition cameras — RT UK

Published time: 19 Oct, 2017 10:07 Facial-recognition technology in revamped billboards over Piccadilly Circus has...

Chicago police start using facial-recognition software to arrest suspects

Police officers in Chicago, Illinois can remotely access video shot from any of the city’s 24,000 closed-circuit television cameras, and they are already using...

UK airport tests facial-recognition technology

Manchester Airport is testing facial-recognition technology as part of the UK £1.2bn e-Borders scheme to tighten controls. The facial-recognition system, provided by Fujitsu Services in...

NYPD sued for refusing to disclose face recognition technology docs

A privacy group is suing the NYPD for documents related to their secretive and unregulated facial...

Half of Americans in ‘virtual lineup’ face-recognition police programs – study

To help identify a culprit, police may ask people to volunteer to be in a line-up....

NSA collects facial images of hundreds of millions of people

Patrick Martin In the latest exposure of the US National Security Agency based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the New York Times reported...

­Guess who? Japanese scientists launch face recognition-blocking glasses

The glasses stymie facial recognition software with infrared LED light. (Image from press release of The National Institute of Informatics, Japan)

The glasses stymie facial recognition software with infrared LED light. (Image from press release of The National Institute of Informatics, Japan)

Those concerned with online privacy may soon get another weapon to defend it. Two Japanese scientists have designed glasses that confuse face recognition technology without affecting one`s vision.

An associate professor at Tokyo's national Institute of Informatics, Isao Echizen, together with Professor Seiichi Gohshi from Kogakuin University, have created a pair of glasses preventing internet search engines, social networks and other services using face recognition technology from identifying photos of a wearer.

The device is equipped with near-infrared light sources which distort the features of one who wears the glasses for cameras and at the same time do not affect his or her vision.

The glasses are powered by a battery placed in the wearer’s pocket. But the researchers say they are working on an improved version of their ‘privacy visor’ which would not need a separate battery.

Some companies have already demonstrated interest in the device, the inventors said. When mass-produced the glasses are expected to be priced very reasonably, at about $1 a pair.

According to Professor Echizen, the essential goal of the technology is to protect “photographed subjects from the invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret and unintentional capture in camera images."

The idea of the device came about as  Echizen discovered that Google face recognition technology was able to recognize individuals wearing five different types of sunglasses from various angles.

Face recognition technology is extensively used by law enforcement services, internet search engines and social networks. The technology also has been adopted by shops to collect statistical data about their customers for better marketing.

Execution of facial detection (examples). Area in green frame indicates successful detection. (Image from press release of The National Institute of Informatics, Japan)
Execution of facial detection (examples). Area in green frame indicates successful detection. (Image from press release of The National Institute of Informatics, Japan)

Spotting ‘fashion fingerprints’: Google Glass app helps locate friends

Published time: March 08, 2013 12:47

A Google employee wears Glass at Google's Developers Conference. (AFP Photo / Mathew Sumner)

New Google Glass app InSight takes the experience of spotting your friends to the next level, as it recognizes your peers by their clothes and accessories – matching specific color patterns and textures to the user.

This new human recognition software makes it impossible to lose your friends in a packed place, such as an airport, concert hall or shopping center.

The app creates a ‘fashion fingerprint’ for every friend based on the outfit they are wearing including clothes, jewelry, glasses, etc.

‘Fashion fingerprint’ is generated by snapping pictures of the user and creating a file of that image called a ‘spatiogram’, which calculates patterns and spatial distribution of colors on the user and analyzes the information to identify that particular person later on in the distance or from a different angle. 

The new system is being partly funded by Google and was presented at the HotMobile technology conference last week, while currently still being developed by the Duke University in North Carolina.

So far the app has been tested by 15 volunteers and managed to identify people correctly 93 per cent of the time.

The software does not use facial recognition systems to locate individuals since it is unlikely that the users will be looking straight into the Google Glass’ camera, InSight developer Srihari Nelakuditi told New Scientist.

He also noted that the ‘fashion fingerprint’ lasts only as long as the user does not change clothes. Afterwards, a new snapshot must be made and a new ‘fingerprint’ created. Thus, for privacy protection, all the user has to do is change outfits, argues Nelakuditi.

Google Glass is a new wearable computer with a head-mounted display. It displays information in a smartphone-like format hands-free and can interact with the internet via natural language voice commands.

The new product does raise new privacy issues, especially considering that users will be able to video record everything through Google Glass without being noticed by others.

Australian Senator Cory Bernardi believes that Google Glass will be “the end of privacy as we know it” because the device can be used for massive surveillance, The Register quoted him as saying.

“A single Google Glass wearer in your favorite restaurant could capture your image and your conversation without you ever knowing,” argues Bernardi. “The footage would be stored on the Google servers, your voice could be translated into text and with the use of facial recognition, could be actually matched to your Google profile.”

Google also has been facing a row of privacy battles in EU and US for its current products.

Just last month European data protection agencies said they intend to crack down on the US internet giant Google before summer after it allegedly failed to follow their orders to comply with EU privacy laws.

Previously, the data protection agencies warned Google that its new confidentiality policy was not in line with EU laws. The regulators included a list of 12 "practical recommendations" which would bring Google’s privacy policy and data collection up to standard. The advisory centers on the firm’s automatic collection of personal data, ranging from browsing histories, to real-time location, to credit card details.

Since January, Google has also been embroiled in its biggest privacy battle yet in the UK over reportedly tracking users’ online habits. At least 10 UK citizens began legal action with dozens more lining up. According to media estimates up to 10 million Britons could join in.

Google is accused of evading security settings on Apple’s devices and Safari’s web browser in order to keep tabs on people’s online preferences.

On the News With Thom Hartmann: The Fight for Election Reform Got Some Huge...

In today's On the News segment: The fight for election reform got some huge support; Ohio Gov. John Kasich has joined the growing list of Republican governors trying to screw poor people in their states; Sen. Bernie Sanders took a stand against corporate greed by introducing his newest piece of legislation, the Corporate Tax Fairness Act; and more.


TRANSCRIPT:

Thom Hartmann here – on the news...

You need to know this. Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders took a stand against corporate greed, by introducing his newest piece of legislation, the Corporate Tax Fairness Act. And now, Rep. Jan Schakowsky has announced that she too, is fighting in the House to make corporations pay their fair share. The Corporate Tax Fairness Act will stop corporations from sheltering income in the Caymen Islands, and ends tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas. Richard Trumpka, president of AFL-CIO said this legislation "would increase investment, employment, and wages in the United States." According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, this bill would raise more than $590 billion in revenue over the next decade – eliminating the need for nearly half the proposed austerity looming in the sequester. And it's the best way to keep – and create – American jobs. It's time to make corporations pay their fair share for the benefits of using our commons, and for making huge profits off hard-working Americans. Call your senators, and your representative, and tell them to support the Sanders-Schakowsky Corporate Tax Fairness Act.

In screwed news...Ohio Governor John Kasich has joined the growing list of Republican governors trying to screw poor people in their states. Kasich is pushing a plan to reduce income taxes for rich people in his state, and cut the business tax rate in half, while replacing the revenue by raising the state sales tax. This seems to be the newest Republican "screw-the-poor" fad, as Governors in Red States all over our country, like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Dave Heineman of Nebraska, and Sam Brownback of Kansas, are all pushing this regressive tax scheme. As poor and working people typically spend 100% of their disposable income, an increase in sales tax hurts those who can least afford it. As the Think Progress Blog points out, Kasich's plan would raise taxes on the poorest 60% of the states residents, while giving the wealthiest 1% in the state an average tax cut of over $10,000. As state budget cuts are already devastating many of the social programs that poor people in these states rely on, an additional tax increase will only make it more difficult for them to survive. The wealthy don't need more tax breaks. It's time for Republican governors like John Kasich to start working for all of the people in their states - not just their largest campaign donors.

In the best of the rest of the news...

Today, the fight for election reform got some huge support. One of the nation's largest teachers unions, the National Education Association, is pushing President Obama to prioritize protecting our democratic process. In a letter to Obama, NEA president, Van Roekel said, "We must correct this threat to our democracy by ensuring: 1) universal voter registration; 2) equitable administration by state of voting procedures and access to the polls; and 3) that we curb the influence of money in politics that has resulted from the infamous Citizens United decision." That pretty much says it all. Republicans around our nation gave voter-suppression their all in 2012, and already in 2013, we've seen scheme after scheme to rig the next election. It isn't surprising that those responsible for crafting the leaders of our future, recognize the importance of protecting our nation's historic democratic principles. Mr. Roekel's ideas are a great starting point in the fight to protect our democracy... but let's go even further. Take the election-rigging ability away from Republican governors and legislators by moving to a national popular vote. Go toNationalPopularVote.com.

In Australia – unsubsidized renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels. A new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that wind farms in Australia are supplying energy at $80/MWh, while coal plants are more costly, at $143/MWh. As the chief executive at Bloomberg New Energy Finance said, "The perception that fossil fuels are cheap, and renewables are expensive, is now out of date." It's actually been out of date for a while if you account for all the externalities of fossil fuels – from diseases to war – that are being paid for by taxpayers instead of by oil companies. It's time for a Manhattan Project for renewable energy right here in America.

Seattle residents won't be stalked from the sky. In an announcement today, Mayor Mike McGinn said the Seattle police department will not use two small surveillance drones it obtained through a federal grant. In a brief statement, Mayor McGinn said "I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work." This is a huge victory for privacy advocates, who've been protesting the proposed use of drones, as the program would have allowed police to use facial recognition software during surveillance. Seattle is the second city to announce this week that drones won't be spying on residents. On Monday, Charlottesville, Virginia passed a resolution imposing a two-year moratorium on drone use. Our Constitution guarantees the right of privacy, and it's nice to know that some of our leaders still understand that.

And finally...who knew that former President George W. Bush enjoyed painting himself in the nude? The Smoking Gun is in possession of several images it claims were hacked from personal emails belonging to people close with the Bush family. And those emails contain a number of paintings that were allegedly done by the former President himself. Two of the paintings depict Bush bathing – one in the shower and one in the bathtub. A third picture shows Bush hard at work over a canvas painting a church. A hacker names "Guccifer" is claiming responsibility for the stolen emails – and he says there's more to come. It's rumored that Bush plans to sell his painting – and any proceeds will go to his war crimes legal defense fund.

And that's the way it is today – Friday, February 8th, 2013. I'm Thom Hartmann – on the news.

Graphic ‘Graph Search’: New Facebook system reveals too much

Introducing its new search engine, Facebook assured users that the system is strongly privacy aware. However, prank searches made by one of the beta testers have revealed that the system may expose just a bit more people would want.

­The new ‘Graph Search’ system was presented by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his team last week. The engine was designed to search Facebook for specific information, be it a Mexican restaurant your Facebook friends like the most or single people from India in your neighborhood.

The current Graph Search is a beta version still to be tested; it is limited to searches of people, their likes, places, interests and photos. Posts and status messages so far are out of reach, but soon may become searchable as well, Forbes reported.

During the presentation Zuckerberg and his crew devoted a special part to the issue of Facebook privacy. They assured the audience that the engine is only going to process data that has been allowed to be processed by the users themselves.

To demonstrate the system at work the team conducted a number of sample searches including ‘Friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter’, ‘Languages my friends speak’, ‘Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney’ and ‘Music liked by people who like Obama’.

However, one of the people invited to test the beta version of the engine soon found out that Graph Search can find way more than Star Wars fans and music preferences of Obama supporters.

In his blogpost published on Wednesday, computer programmer and ‘Gadget Geek’ Tom Scott revealed some peculiar searches he conducted using Graph Search. The results turned out to be quite controversial, if not scandalous.

Scott found out that the new search engine will readily find ‘Married people, who like prostitutes’ and ‘Spouses of married people who like Ashley Madison’, a dating website for people who are already in a relationship.

Furthermore, he was able to find ‘Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran’, where homosexual relations are prohibited by law and ‘Places where they’ve worked’.

Something corporate America would not like – a search exposing ‘Current employers of people who like Racism’.

These are just some of the searches Scott was able to do using the new Graph Search. When posting the results, he blurred the names and the pictures of those he found.

Commenting on his research, Scott said that although the search does not directly violate Facebook privacy settings, users just need to be aware of the new search engine capabilities and might want to reconsider the information they put on the web.

“If it’d be awkward if it was put on a screen in Times Square, don’t put it on Facebook. Oh, and check your privacy settings again,” he said.

Facebook has repeatedly been accused of violating the privacy of its users. In early January, the EU pressured the world`s most popular social network to provide more data protection. In September, Facebook was forced to stop using its facial recognition software in Europe following an investigation by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland.

Envy and dissatisfaction on Facebook

A recent study conducted by German scientists revealed that envy and dissatisfaction are among most popular feelings Facebook users experience while browsing through their friends’ ‘timelines’.

The survey of some 600 Facebook users showed that one third of them have negative feelings as using the social network mostly because they are envying their ‘Facebook friends’, whose life seems more interesting and wholesome than their own.

“Although respondents were reluctant to admit feeling envious while on Facebook, they often presumed that envy can be the cause behind the frustration of ‘others’ on this platform – a clear indication that envy is a salient phenomenon in the Facebook context,” said project manager Dr. Hanna Krasnova from Humboldt-Universität.

She explained that access to positive news and the profiles of seemingly successful friends bolsters social comparison, which can easily provoke envy.

The survey found that about one-fifth of all recent online and offline events provoking envy among respondents were posted on Facebook. According to the researchers, respondents’ envy often led to “embellishing their Facebook profiles” creating what they called “envy spiral.”

It was also established that the envy provoked by looking through Facebook lead many to “greater life dissatisfaction”.

“Considering the fact that Facebook use is a worldwide phenomenon and envy is a universal feeling, a lot of people are subject to these painful consequences,” Co-author Helena Wenninger of TU-Darmstadt University said.

Stealth Wear: New Counter-Surveillance Clothing Makes You Invisible to Drones

Mac Slavo
January 11th, 2013
SHTFplan.com

Read by 21,401 people

In early 2012 the U.S. Congress authorized the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. Within this bill is a provision calling for the deployment of some 30,000 robotic drones over the skies of America by 2015, arguably the boldest overt domestic surveillance initiative to have ever been introduced in the land of the free. With an average of some 600 drones allocated per state, this future network of highly advanced surveillance systems promises to give law enforcement, military and intelligence assets unprecedented video and audio access into the lives of every single American.

Privacy advocates are justifiably outraged.

But whenever government attempts to institute a ban on contraband items, or pass draconian laws, or introduce new tracking and surveillance methods, rebellious elements within the target populace rapidly develop counter-strategies and technologies to marginalize the threat.

Oftentimes, billion dollar government initiatives and development projects are rendered almost useless by low-tech strategies and designs.

Artist and fashion designer Adam Harvey, who objects to the authoritarian nature of the global surveillance state, has done just that.

In an effort to  counter the high-tech integrated drone surveillance systems soon to be fused into intelligence networks across the country, Harvey and a group of partners have developed a line of clothing dubbed Stealth Wear.

Making its debut on January 17th, the Stealth Wear line will include hoodies, scarves, hats, and t-shirts that will make the wearer invisible to thermal imaging cameras widely used throughout the unmanned aerial vehicle community.

The idea is that the material blocks heat signatures, captured using infrared sensors, which give people away to surveillance helicopters or drones from the skies above. [link]

The flagship Stealth Wear line will include:

  • The anti-drone hoodie and anti-drone scarf: Garments designed to thwart thermal imaging, a technology used widely by UAVs.
  • The XX-shirt: A x-ray shielding print in the shape of a heart, that protects your heart from x-ray radiation
  • And the Off Pocket: An anti-phone accessory that allows you to instantly zero out your phone’s signal

Via: Adam Harvey Projects

Harvey and his project team aren’t just limiting the scope of their work to anti-drone technology either.

They’ve introduced new techniques to counter computer vision (CV), also known as facial recognition.

CV Dazzle is camouflage from computer vision (CV). It is a form of expressive interference that combines makeup and hair styling (or other modifications) with face-detection thwarting designs. The name is derived from a type of camouflage used during WWI, called Dazzle, which was used to break apart the gestalt-image of warships, making it hard to discern their directionality, size, and orientation. Likewise, the goal of CV Dazzle is to break apart the gestalt of a face, or object, and make it undetectable to computer vision algorithms, in particular face detection.

Because face detection is the first step in automated facial recognition, CV Dazzle can be used in any environment where automated face recognition systems are in use, such as Google’s Picasa, Flickr, or Facebook

Source: CV Dazzle

 

They’ll also be launching a product called Off the Pocket for your cell phone, a technology that is capable of zeroing out your phone’s broadcast signal, making it invisible to GPS and mobile network triangulation.

Building off previous work with CV Dazzle, camouflage from face detection, Stealth Wear continues to explore the aesthetics of privacy and the potential for fashion to challenge authoritarian surveillance. Presented by PRIMITIVE at TANK MAGAZINE HQ will be a suite of new designs, made in collaboration with NYC fashion designer Johanna Bloomfield, that tackle some of the most pressing and sophisticated forms of surveillance today.

Source: Primitive London

Accompanying each project will be videos and tests revealing the process behind each technology and counter technology.

Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 21,401 people
Date: January 11th, 2013
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

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“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”–James Madison “Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.”–Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department […]

Orwell’s Oceania in ‘1984’

Allen Mendenhall George Orwell, novelist, essayist, journalist and critic, was born 111 years ago on June 25th. His novel 1984, a disturbing reminder of the dangers...

On 6/5, 65 Things We Know About NSA Surveillance That We Didn’t Know a...

It’s been one year since the Guardian first published the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, that demonstrated...

Surveillance drones coming to Los Angeles

For a city infamous for circling police helicopters, Los Angeles Police were surprisingly late to the drone game. All that has changed, however, as...

They ARE Watching You

Todd Miller With the agility of a seasoned Border Patrol veteran, the woman rushed after the students. She caught up with them just before they...

They Are Watching You–How the U.S. Is Secretly Creating a Border Surveillance State

Todd Miller  With the agility of a seasoned Border Patrol veteran, the woman rushed after the students. She caught up with them just before they...

What Will You Do When You Can No Longer Buy Or Sell Without Submitting...

In some areas of the world, payment systems that require palm scanning or face scanning are already being tested.  We have entered an era where biometric security is being hailed as the “solution” to the antiquated security methods of the past.  We are being promised that the constant problems that hackers are causing with [...]

The Window To Resist Tyranny Is Closing Due To The New Super Weapons

Dave Hodges RINF Alternative News Many talk about the fact that Americans have an estimated 300 million privately owned hand guns as the reason why no...

IBM Head: Stop Fighting And “Embrace” Total Biometric Surveillance Because It Cannot Be Stopped

Steve Watson A leading IBM official has urged the world to “embrace” ubiquitous surveillance of the public through biometrics, because, he argues, it is too...

America’s Staggering Hypocrisy

Robert Parry Since World War II — and extending well into the Twenty-first Century — the United States has invaded or otherwise intervened in so...

Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ

- Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk - 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone - Yahoo: 'A whole new...

Why We Oppose Big Brother in the Bay Area

On March 4, 2014, the Oakland City Council will decide to award a contract that, if approved, will impact your civil rights. The Domain...

Termination Squads Targeting Veterans Before Martial Law?

By Susan DuclosA day after a piece I did about Obama preparing for civil war, planning a false flag event, a  shooting, in order to move bills that are sitting in the Senate to strip veterans of their weapons, because they would be our first line ...

How the Pentagon Covers Up the Truth About Its War Atrocities

Nick Turse  RINF Alternative News The Pentagon's 3-year program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War is filled with distortions. It’s 2053 – 20 years...

The Pentagon Makes History the First Casualty

Nick Turse  RINF Alternative News Call me human. It turns out that I’m no better at predicting the future than the rest of humanity. If as...

Putting Big Brother in the Driver’s Seat: V2V Transmitters, Black Boxes & Drones

“It’s a future where you don’t forget anything…In this new future you’re never lost…We will know your position down to the foot and down to the inch over time…Your car will drive itself, it’s a bug that cars were invented before computers…you’re never lonely…you’re never bored…you’re never out of ideas… We can suggest where you […]

10 Prison Security Techniques Being Implemented on the American People

Marlon Brock  Americans are not typically aware of how their federal and state prison systems work. What we think we know, we learned from watching...

Putting Big Brother in the Driver’s Seat: V2V Transmitters, Black Boxes & Drones

John W. Whitehead RINF Alternative News Time to buckle up your seatbelts, folks. You’re in for a bumpy ride. We’re hurtling down a one-way road toward...

Syria: False U.S. Intelligence on Sarin Gas — The Mistaken Guns of Last August

Robert Parry RINF Alternative News After hundreds of Syrians died from Sarin gas last summer, Secretary of State Kerry insisted the U.S. had solid intelligence on...

Police Hunger for Drones May be Growing, but So Are Privacy Concerns

Sandra Fulton  RINF Alternative News The ACLU’s Chris Calabrese testified Wednesday before the Senate Commerce Committee in a hearing on the economic benefits and the safety, privacy, and...

Drone Surveillance of Border Far Greater Than Previously Known

Jennifer Lynch  RINF Alternative News Customs and border protection loaned predator drones to other agencies 700 times in three years according to 'newly discovered' records Customs &...

More US border drone surveillance

A Predator drone operated by the U.S. Office of Air and Marine taxis toward the tarmac for a surveillance flight near the Mexican border...

Customs and Border Protection Loaning Drones to Police

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – the law-enforcement agency created as a division of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 – flew...

Customs and Border Protection Loaning Drones to Police

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – the law-enforcement agency created as a division of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 – flew...

Ohio Refuses to Enforce REAL ID Standards

"Your papers, please." This is a phrase that Americans should get used to hearing. In April, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reportedly will begin enforcing...

Life in the Electronic Concentration Camp: The Many Ways That You’re Being Tracked, Catalogued...

“[A security camera] doesn’t respond to complaint, threats, or insults. Instead, it just watches you in a forbidding manner. Today, the surveillance state is so deeply enmeshed in our data devices that we don’t even scream back because technology companies have convinced us that we need to be connected to them to be happy.”—Pratap Chatterjee, […]

NYPD Testing ‘Smart’ Cars

License plate scanners check police database in real time Adan Salazar Folks attending Super Bowl festivities in the Big Apple next month will...

Why Is Homeland Security Taking Control of Local Police?

A key plank of the Obama administration platform seems to be the conversion of the local police into a fifth branch of the U.S....

More Airports Set to Install TSA ‘Detention Pods’

Devices that critics liken to cattle grids have biometric capabilities Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comDecember 6, 2013 A new Transportation Security Administration directive that mandates airports provide...

Amazon, Domino’s and Big Brother: Drones Flying the Not-So-Friendly Surveillance Skies

“The privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen–a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person's] […]

Wave fingers, make faces: The future of computing at Intel

Shara TibkenCNET.comDecember 1, 2013 Chip giant working on “perceptual computing” technology to sense emotions and body language.(Wikimedia Commons) If the next big wave in devices turns...

32 Privacy Destroying Technologies That Are Systematically Transforming America Into A Giant Prison

If you live in the United States, you live in a high tech surveillance grid that is becoming more oppressive with each passing day.  In America today, the control freaks that run things are completely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that we do.  If we continue on the path that [...]

Local Police Increasingly Subordinate to Homeland Security Department

Reports from towns and cities around the country prove that the federal government is determined to abolish the independence of local law enforcement. Using “grants”...

TSA ‘Detention Pods’ Have Biometric, Object Detection Capabilities

Promo video shows user scanning fingerprint to leave containment area Paul Joseph Watson TSA ‘detention pods' currently being rolled out at major airports across the U.S....

.New Mesh Network Documents Confirm Police Vehicle’s Real-Time Access To DHS Spy Cameras

Mikael Thalen Infowars.comNovember 16, 2013 Following bombshell documents released by Storyleak and Infowars last Tuesday uncovering Seattle's expansive $2.6 million Homeland Security funded mesh network...

New Mesh Network Documents Confirm Police Vehicle’s Real-Time Access To DHS Spy Cameras

Following bombshell documents released by Storyleak and Infowars last Tuesday uncovering Seattle's expansive $2.6 million Homeland Security funded mesh network surveillance grid, new documents...

The Government Plans To Track Us And Those We Are Related To Using Our...

The Department of Homeland Security is soliciting information from potential contractors for a new program that the DHS hopes will enable it to use...

Seattle Latest City to Install DHS Surveillance Equipment

Add Seattle to the list of local governments taking money from the Department of Homeland Security to put their citizens under federal surveillance. Seattle newspaper...

Las Vegas Installs “Intellistreets” Light Fixtures Capable Of Recording Conversations

Mikael ThalenInfowars.comNovember 9, 2013 The Las Vegas Public Works Department has begun testing a newly installed street light system around City Hall with wide-ranging capabilities...

Las Vegas Installs “Intellistreets” Light Fixtures Capable Of Video Recording

The Las Vegas Public Works Department has begun testing a newly installed street light system around City Hall with wide-ranging capabilities including audio and...

RINFORMATION

USA Topics 9/11 Agenda 21 Assassinations Banks Bush, George Jr Boston Bombings Bohemian Grove CIA Cointelpro Corruption DARPA Democrats Disinformation Congress Drones Eugenics FBI Federal Reserve Guantanamo HAARP ...

EXPOSED: The iPhone and The Government Biometric Database

RINF Alternative News A recent video released by hacktivist group Anonymous presents compelling evidence which claims that Apple’s TouchID technology is linked to the FBI...

From NSA Spying and VIPR Sweeps to Domestic Drones: A Round-Up of the Police...

Like clockwork, we’ve ticked back to the annual government shutdown scare that invariably dominates news headlines and sends stocks seesawing for a few scant weeks until, at the very last moment, the nation is miraculously pulled from the brink of disaster. It’s always an entertaining show, with both Republicans and Democrats doing their best to […]

Do Not Worry Citizen, RoboCop is Coming…

RayPlanet InfowarsSept. 25, 2013 Do you remember the 1987 movie “RoboCop”? Guess what? He's back! ...

The Many Ways the Government Is Spying On Us

The Government Is Spying On Us Through Our Computers, Phones, Cars, Buses, Streetlights, At Airports...

Destroying the Right to Be Left Alone: Government Agencies Exploits Technology to Make Privacy...

For at least the last six years, government agents have been exploiting an AT&T database filled with the records of billions of American phone...

Destroying the Right to Be Left Alone

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/destroying_the_right_to_be_left_alone_20130922/ Posted on Sep 22, 2013 ...

11 Million Users Abandon Facebook

Users vacate Facebook over serious privacy concerns Julie WilsonInfowars.comSeptember 17, 2013 A new report by the Daily...

DHS to Test Face Scanning Cameras at Tri-City Hockey Game

Long term goal is to “identify terrorists and criminals in public areas” Paul Joseph Watson The Department of Homeland Security is set to test new facial...

Las Vegas Installs 37 DHS Surveillance Cameras on the Strip

What happens in Vegas will be recorded by cameras provided by the Department of Homeland Security. All along the storied Las Vegas Strip, 37 surveillance...

Five acts of terror since 9/11

Every clear-thinking American knows that education and jobs are needed more than armed guards in poor neighborhoods. But average Americans are led to believe...

Tech Co. Pressure FISA Court to Release More Detailed Reports on Govt Data Requests

Google: The levels of secrecy built up around national security requests undermine the basic freedoms...

Tech Co. Pressure FISA Court to Release More Detailed Reports on Govt Data Requests

Google: The levels of secrecy built up around national security requests undermine the basic freedoms...

Google Glass app will map your face to detect your emotions

A facial recognition app has been created for the Google Glass platform which maps your face and detects your emotions based on your expressions....

Google Glass app will map your face to detect your emotions

A facial recognition app has been created for the Google Glass platform which maps your face and detects your emotions based on your expressions....

6 Apocalyptic Technologies That Most People Have Not Even Heard About Yet

Are you ready for the future? We live at a time when technology is advancing at an exponential pace. Today, scientists are rapidly developing...

16 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True

Are you a conspiracy theorist? If not, perhaps you should be. Yes, there have certainly been a lot of “conspiracy theories” over the years...

The Brave New World of Big Data

The Snowden leaks and ensuing debates about our government, big data, and privacy have led to more Orwell allusions than I’ve heard in all...

The Government Is Spying On ALL Americans’ Digital and Old-Fashioned Communications

Washington’s Blog July 12, 2013 Even now — after all of the revelations by Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers — spying apologists say...

Oklahoma Woman's Fight Against Real ID Moves Forward

Oklahoma woman Kaye Beach refused to renew her driver’s license several years ago as a means to protest forced biometric enrollment, a decision that...

Surveillance State USA: Government Scanning, Storing Billions of Pieces of Mail

The US government is monitoring and permanently storing information on regular mail, in a vast and previously secret program known as the Mail Isolation...

Michael Hastings Assassinated for Work Uncovering Surveillance State

Kurt NimmoInfowars.comJune 20, 2013 The journalist Michael Hastings, who died in what authorities have...

Do You Have ANY IDEA How Widespread the Spying Really Is?

Washington’s Blog June 20, 2013 Preface: Americans now know that the government is spying. But they still have no idea how many of...

Is the Government Also Monitoring the CONTENT of Our Phone Calls?

Yes, Government Spooks May Be Listening The Obama administration has been caught spying on the Verizon phone calls of tens of millions of Americans. But the government has...

The Monitoring of Our Phone Calls? Government Spooks May Be Listening

The Obama administration has been caught spying on the Verizon phone calls of tens of millions of Americans. The spying effort specifically targeted Americans...

Is the Government Also Monitoring the CONTENT of Our Phone Calls?

Yes, Government Spooks May Be Listening The Obama administration has been caught spying on the Verizon phone calls of tens of millions of Americans. But the government has...

How the Chinese Exploited the Shady Relationship Between US Spymasters and Google

Silicon Valley is now ground zero of the biggest espionage struggles facing the United States since the height of the Cold War.

Through a Google Glass, Darkly

Let me throw out two predictions so obvious that I shouldn’t even have to commit them to print: 1) Within days, if not hours, of...

Big Brother sees you off: Foreigners in US to be fingerprinted upon leaving country

Travelers visiting the US may have to prepare for more hassles at customs: All foreign nationals leaving the country at 30 airports must have...

“Big Brother” is Big Business?

CBS NewsMay 17, 2013 The odds are you are not just a face in the crowd...

“Big Brother” is Big Business?

CBS NewsMay 17, 2013 The odds are you are not just a face in the crowd...

No Turning Back From Surveillance Drones

The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has admitted that there is no turning back from the use of surveillance drones on American citizens, comparing them to CCTV cameras.

Spy Agencies Plan ‘Black Box’ Style Web Surveillance

British intelligence services are planning to significantly increase the level of web surveillance on UK citizens. Agencies would use 'black box' style snooping devices to monitor nearly all web activity including Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

FDR’s Four Freedoms: Diminished and Defiled

If asked why we live in a great country, an American is likely to respond: "Because we are free." Fortunately for the respondent, explanation is rarely required. Freedom is difficult to define, and today it seems to exist more in our minds than in rea...

Data protection agency says Facebook violates law

Data protection commissioner says social network violates law by not allowing users to use a pseudonym A German state data protection agency has threatened Facebook's billionaire founder...

Drones, phones and other 2012 privacy threats

Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld US | Verizon's attempt -- unsuccessful so far -- to secure a patent for a so-called 'snooping technology,' which in this case would let...

Student group to sue Facebook over privacy policies

The group filed 22 complaints against Facebook Ireland before the Irish Data Protection Commissioner A student group in Austria, calling itself "europe-v-facebook.org", is planning to...

Homeland Security Wants to Double Predator Drone Fleet

EFF | Despite renewed criticism from both parties in Congress that domestic drones pose a privacy danger to US citizens--and a report from its own Inspector General recommending...

29 Signs That The Elite Are Transforming Society Into A Total Domination Control Grid

Michael Snyder, Activist Post |  The elite want to tightly control almost everything that we do, say and think. When most people think of "tyranny", they...

Shops use dummies fitted with airport security to profile customers

  Mannequins have cameras instead of eyes to monitor people as they shop Campaigners denounce 'creepy' move and claim it is profit over privacy EyeSee dummies, made...

FTC: Companies need to obtain consent before collecting biometric data

Grant Gross | Web companies using facial recognition technology should avoid identifying anonymous images of consumers to someone who could not otherwise identify them, unless...

Big Brother cars “Stasi-type secret spy operation”

Mick Meaney | New plans to expand the UK's controversial 'spy car' scheme has been labeled a 'Stasi-type spy operation'. The plans are to supposedly protect...

Big Brother Britain: Surveillance drones ‘a huge potential for abuse’

Jamie Doward, The Observer | Drones will be commonplace in the skies above the UK within a decade, according to a European commission document suggesting that hundreds of firms will...

New breed of CCTV ‘a threat to human rights’

Daily Mail | Powerful CCTV cameras which can recognise and track faces from more than half a mile away are being installed across the country...

Regulators demand Facebook tighten up privacy practices

guardian.co.uk | Facebook could be fined up to €100,000 (£80,000) if it does not comply with the orders of Irish regulators within four weeks. The social media...

Leak suggest TrapWire is global surveillance network

Jane McCallion | Emails released by WikiLeaks appear to show the UK Government and London’s Metropolitan Police Service (Met) are involved in controversial surveillance network,...

Emails expose secret, widespread TrapWire surveillance system

RT | Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology – and have installed it across...

Coming Soon: New York Mass Surveillance

LBC | New York police have unveiled what they claim is a revolutionary camera surveillance system designed to simultaneously scan the streets and call up...

MP angered by Street View ‘invasion’

By Ed O'Mara | CITY MP Stewart Jackson has accused "creepy" global internet giant Google of an unacceptable invasion of privacy after its Street...

ID cards: protecting the nation or an open door for fraudsters?

Stewart Hefferman explores the potential pitfalls of the Government’s national ID card scheme, raising concerns that it may be vulnerable to cloning if more...

Don’t sleepwalk into Big Brother surveillance, schools warned

By STEPHEN NAYSMITH | Schools which employ biometric technologies such as fingerprint patterning to manage libraries or dinner queues should put surveillance and privacy issues...

Big brother, big bother?

Is the proposed Communications Data Bill a step too far for the British way of life? Timothy Pitt-Payne reports   By Timothy Pitt-Payne | On 15...

Passengers test new face scanners

Facial recognition scanners are being trialled at an airport as part of government efforts to improve security and reduce passenger congestion. The system has been...

CCTV doesn’t keep us safe, yet the cameras are everywhere

By Bruce Schneier | Pervasive security cameras don't substantially reduce crime. There are exceptions, of course, and that's what gets the press. Most famously,...

The Surveillance Society Does Not Work

By Mick Meaney — RINF | Costing in excess of billions of pounds each year, every single area of the British surveillance society has...

Face scans for air passengers to begin in UK

By Owen Bowcott | Airline passengers are to be screened with facial recognition technology rather than checks by passport officers, in an attempt to improve...

Why I am against biometric ID cards

Charles Arthur Only people who have been arrested are placed on the DNA database. Photograph: Press Association Can you support Britain's current DNA database yet oppose...

The Future of Big Brother

Homeland Security is bankrolling futuristic profiling technology to nab terrorists before they strike. Robert L. Mitchell As soon as you walk into the airport, the machines...

Surveillance Society – the future now

Indymedia IT is a chilling, dystopian account of what Britain will look like 10 years from now: a world in which Fortress Britain uses fleets...

Eerie CCTV

By Patrick Goss I’ve got a confession to make; whenever I see a security camera I feel inexplicably guilty. So it was with some concern...

America under surveillance

Granted new power to spy inside the U.S., the Bush administration may be doing more than eavesdropping on phone calls -- it could be...

Big brother Britain

How can free people grapple with growing threats to their privacy and liberty? A computer-security guru's view of the surveillance dystopia worries Becky Hogge Becky...

Brawl between transgender activists and feminists leaves police searching for suspects — RT UK...

Published time: 26 Oct, 2017 12:25 Police are searching for three suspects after a confrontation...

Plain-clothes SAS troops deployed on London Underground with ‘shoot to kill’ orders

Published time: 18 Sep, 2017 11:26 Edited time: 18 Sep, 2017 11:31 Armed SAS troops...

AI can tell if you’re gay or straight just by your face – study

Published time: 8 Sep, 2017 13:42 Edited time: 9 Sep, 2017 12:30 Technology which can determine...

Police make 26 ‘preemptive’ gangland arrests ahead of Notting Hill Carnival

Published time: 22 Aug, 2017 15:17 Edited time: 22 Aug, 2017 15:58 At least 26...

Snapchat’s new video-recording ‘Spectacles’ raises spying concerns

Snapchat’s new video specs are going like hotcakes, showing promising signs it won’t be another Google...

Surveillance Isn't Colorblind

During the 1960s, the FBI and NSA followed, wiretapped, and bugged Martin Luther King Jr. -- all under the veil of proper...

Surveillance Isn’t Colorblind

Rapidly developing technology exposes communities of color to near-constant surveillance and over-policing During the 1960s, the FBI and NSA followed, wiretapped, and bugged Martin Luther...

Surveillance Isn’t Colorblind

During the 1960s, the FBI and NSA followed, wiretapped, and bugged Martin Luther King Jr. — all under the veil of proper legal process....

Mass Surveillance Isn’t Colorblind

(Photo: ‘Pong / Flickr) During the 1960s, the FBI and NSA followed, wiretapped, and bugged Martin Luther King Jr. — all under the veil of...

‘Very troubling’: FBI confirms collecting 430,000 iris scans in alleged pilot program

Documents show three California sheriff’s departments have been collecting iris data from arrestees over the last...

Even Orwell Didn’t Predict This

I love technology. I can’t imagine life without modern conveniences like telephones, email, and the Internet. Not to mention running water, air conditioning, and...

Revealed: Almost 3 Million Faces Stored On Met Police Database

(RINF) - As the result of a Freedom of Information request it has emerged that the London Met Police are compiling a database of almost...

JOHN CHUCKMAN ESSAY: HURTLING INTO DARKNESS: AMERICA’S GREAT LEAP TOWARDS GLOBAL TYRANNY

              HURTLING INTO DARKNESS: AMERICA’S GREAT LEAP TOWARDS GLOBAL TYRANNY John Chuckman   The darkness to which I refer is something largely unanticipated in political studies and even in science fiction, a field which definitely enters this discussion, as readers will see. There have been many examples of national […]

Narrating space and time: the elite television anchor

Narrating space and time: the elite television anchor by Jon Rappoport February 4, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com I grew up in the early days of television, when Edward R Murrow and Douglas Edwards were the voices of the news. Murrow came to be the king. It was his hollow, somber delivery that seemed to resonate with poetry. […]

The virtual society is being built: refining the Matrix

Jon RappoportInfowars.comJanuary 15, 2014 Research on simulating the human brain is marching forward. Corporations are attempting...

High-Tech Tyranny in the Gulf: Biometric Technology to Become Mandatory for All Citizens in...

Timothy Alexander Guzman RINF Alternative News As war continues to ravage many parts of the Middle East, Orwellian technology continues to make its presence more apparent....

High-Tech Tyranny in the Gulf: Biometric Technology Mandatory for All Citizens in the UAE

As war continues to ravage many parts of the Middle East, Orwellian technology continues to make its presence more apparent. Israel uses biometric technology...

The virtual world is being built: refining the Matrix

The virtual society is being built: refining the Matrix   by Jon Rappoport January 14, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com   Research on simulating the human brain is marching forward. Corporations are attempting to build devices that talk to their users in a “realistic” fashion.   These computers would continuously update profiles of their owners, seeking to read […]

The World of Hidden Emotions

Machine Elf 1735 (CC) Emotions are important, but there is the massive confusion in both popular and scientific conceptions of even what they are. ...

Drones With Face Detection Cameras Obey Visual and Vocal Commands

Researchers from British Columbia's Simon Fraser University recently unveiled a new fleet of drones capable of obeying vocal and visual commands. The project, which was...

Who will narrate space and time in the future?

Who will narrate space and time in the future? by Jon Rappoport October 14, 2013 www.nomorefakenews.com Since I wrote this piece seven months ago, there have been so many public scandals and eruptions I might miss one or two, if I tried to name them all. But through the twisted belching landscape, there has been […]

Daniel Ellsberg: Whistle-Blowers Are Good for Democracy

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/daniel_ellsberg_whistle-blowers_are_good_for_democracy_20130829/ Posted on Aug 29, 2013 ...

Surveillance Society: If You Drive, You Get Tracked

Wolf Richter testosteronepit.com July 8, 2013 We’ve been teased for weeks with tantalizing leaks about the NSA, its cohorts in corporate America, and their...

Commercials to be Broadcast Directly Into Consumers’ Heads

“Suddenly a voice inside their head is talking to them” Paul Joseph Watson Infowars.com July 5, 2013 A company in Germany has...

The Changing Video Business

The way Americans watch TV is fundamentally and irreversibly changing. This change in video viewing is having two significant consequences, one corporate, the other...

State photo-ID databases become troves for police

Craig Timberg & Ellen Nakashima Washington Post June 17, 2013 The faces of more than 120 million people are in searchable photo databases that...

How MDMA Can Take You on the Healing Path … Even for a Former...

May 23, 2013  | ...

The Fridge Has Eyes: Cara Gives Anything With A Camera Powers To See Faces,...

Sarah KesslerFast CompanyMay 17, 2013 When Jason Sosa started work on a webcam technology that detects,...

The Fridge Has Eyes: Cara Gives Anything With A Camera Powers To See Faces,...

Sarah KesslerFast CompanyMay 17, 2013 When Jason Sosa started work on a webcam technology that detects,...

Big Brother Knows How You’re Feeling

A company that develops crowd control weapons for the military and law enforcement personnel have now created an advanced 'Minority Report' style facial - and emotion - recognition system.

Meet the Contractors Turning America’s Police Into a Paramilitary Force

The national security state has an annual budget of around $1 trillion. Of that huge pile of money, large amounts go to private companies the federal government awards contracts to. Some, like Lockheed Martin or Boeing, are household names, but many of the contractors fly just under the public's radar. What follows are three companies you should know about (because some of them can learn a lot about you with their spy technologies).

L3 Communications

L3 is everywhere. Those night-vision goggles the JSOC team in Zero Dark Thirty uses? That's L3. The new machines that are replacing the naked scanners at the airport? That's L3. Torture at Abu Ghraib? A former subsidiary of L3 was recently ordered to pay $5.28 million to 71 Iraqis who had been held in the awful prison.

Oh, and drones? L3 is on it. Reprieve, a UK-based human rights organization, earlier this month wrote on its Web site:

“L-3 Communications is one of the main subcontractors involved with production of the US’s lethal Predator since the inception of the programme. Predators are used by the CIA to kill ‘suspected militants’ and terrorise entire populations in Pakistan and Yemen. Drone strikes have escalated under the Obama administration and 2013 has already seen six strikes in the two countries.”

Unsurprisingly, L3 Communications is well connected beyond the national security community. Its chief financial officer recently spoke at Goldman Sachs, at what the financial titan hilariously refers to as a “fireside chat.”

L3 also supplies local law enforcement with its night-vision products and makes a license-plate recognition (LPR) device, a machine with disturbing implications. LPR can be mounted on cop cruisers or statically positioned at busy intersections and can run potentially thousands of license plates through law enforcement databases in a matter of hours. In some parts of the country LPR readers can track your location for miles. As the Wall Street Journal noted, surveillance of even “mundane” activities of people not accused of any crime is now “the default rather than the exception.”

L3 Communications embodies the totality of the national security and surveillance state. There is only minimal distinction between its military products and police products. Its night-vision line is sold to both military and law enforcement. Its participation in the drone program is now, as far as we know, limited to countries in the Middle East and North Africa. But in the words of the New York Times editorial board, “[i]t is not a question of whether drones will appear in the skies above the United States but how soon.” The NYT estimates the domestic drone market at $5 billion, likely a conservative estimate, and contractors will vie for that money in the public and private sphere. L3's venture into airports, the border of where domestic policy meets foreign policy in the name of national security, is therefore significant both symbolically and materially.

In many ways, that is the most important story of the post-9/11 United States: the complete evaporation of the separation of foreign and domestic polices. Whether we're talking about paramilitarized police, warrantless wiretapping, inhumane prison conditions, or drone surveillance, there exist few differences between a United States perpetually at war and a United States determined to police and imprison its people in unacceptable ways and at unacceptable rates.

Harris Corporation: Stingray “IMSI catcher”

Harris Corp. is a huge provider of national security and communications technology to federal and local law enforcement agencies. Though many people have never heard of it, Harris is a major player in the beltway National Security community. President and CEO William M. Brown was recently appointed to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, and in 2009 the Secret Service offered Harris a contract to train its agents in the use of Harris' Stingray line. The Secret Service awarded the company additional contracts in 2012.

If you've heard of Harris at all, it's likely been because its controversial Stingray product has been getting attention as an information-gathering tool with major privacy implications. The Stingray allows law enforcement to cast a kilometers' wide digital net over an area to determine the location of a single cell phone signal – and in the process collect cell data on potentially hundreds of people who aren't suspected of any crimes. EFF claims the device is a modern version of British soldiers canvassing the pre-Revolutionary colonies, searching people's homes without probable cause – exactly what the Fourth Amendment was created to prevent. EFF describes the process this way:

“A Stingray works by masquerading as a cell phone tower—to which your mobile phone sends signals to every 7 to 15 seconds whether you are on a call or not— and tricks your phone into connecting to it. As a result, the government can figure out who, when and to where you are calling, the precise location of every device within the range, and with some devices, even capture the content of your conversations.”

According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC),the FBI has been using similar technology since 1995. But a recent federal case, United States v. Rigmaiden, has raised Fourth Amendment questions regarding whether law enforcement officials need to obtain a warrant before employing a Stingray. The judge in that case determined that the government hadn't provided enough information about how the devices work, and ordered that the information collected in Rigmaiden couldn't be used in court.

What's especially troubling about Stingrays is that the government either won't say, or doesn't understand, how the technology works. The WSJ reported that the US Attorney making the requests “seemed to have trouble explaining the technology.”

And it's not just the federal government that uses Stingrays. As Slate notes,referencing FOIA documents recently obtained by EPIC, “the feds have procedures in place for loaning electronic surveillance devices (like the Stingray) to state police. This suggests the technology may have been used in cases across the United States, in line with a stellar investigation by LA Weekly last year, which reported that state cops in California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona had obtained Stingrays.”

Harris has been tightlipped about the Rigmaiden case, but expect to be hearing a lot about Stingrays in the future.

BI2 Technologies

BI2 makes a fine pitch. Its iris-scanning technology can be made to sound very appealing. Iris scans are relatively non-invasive, there's no touching involved so the likelihood of spreading disease is reduced, and as B12 states on its Web site, "there are no lasers, strong lights or any kind of harmful beams.” It also claims that iris scanning is "strictly opt-in," and that a “user" (who in most cases would be better described as an “arrestee”) “must consciously elect to participate” in the scanning. (When I was arrested by the NYPD while covering a protest, the scan was voluntary -- though the NYPD didn't tell me that, a protester did. But if I refused to submit to it I could have been punished with an extra night in jail.)

Reuters reported that BI2's iPhone-based iris scanner -- called MORIS -- is capable of taking an accurate scan from four feet away, “potentially without the person being aware of it.” MORIS has drawn harsh condemnation from the ACLU. The primary concern from privacy advocates is that law enforcement will deploy this technology in an overly broad way. ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley told Reuters that he didn't want the police “using them routinely on the general public, collecting biometric information on innocent people.”

MORIS isn't just for irises; it also scans faces. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that the sheriff's office in Pinellas County, Florida, “uses digital cameras to take pictures of people, download the pictures to laptops, then use facial-recognition technologies to search for matching faces.” New database technology like Trapwire, a data mining system that analyzes “suspicious behavior” in purported attempts to predict terrorist behavior, makes face scanning potentially more worrisome. Trapwire uses at least “CCTV, license-plate readers, and open-source databases” as input sources, and although it doesn't employ facial-recognition software, the incentives to combine these types of technology is clear.

Beginning in 2014, BI2 will manage a national iris-scan database for the FBI, called Next-Generation Identification (NGI).Lockheed Martin is also involved in building the database.Much of BI2's iris data comes from inmates in 47 states, and despite BI2's claims that iris scanning can't be gamed, that is not the case. Experts showed last summer that the iris can be “reverse-engineered” to fool the scanners, which are generally thought to be more accurate than fingerprinting.

The usual suspects lamented in 2011 that iris scanning isn't used at airports or borders, but security creep is difficult to combat, especially once “national security” is invoked. Just days ago it was reported that the FBI is teaming with the Department of Homeland Security to ramp up iris scanning at US borders. AlterNet has previously reported that the Department of Defense scans the irises of people arriving at and departing from Afghanistan.

The story of BI2 is important because the initial technology is superficially appealing. The company's first projects were called the Child Project, designed to help locate missing children; and Senior Safety Net, developed to identify missing seniors suffering from Alzheimer's. According to B12's Web site, sheriffs' departments in 47 states use the BI2 iris-scanning device and database, which makes it easy to mobilize support to facilitate the safe return of children and seniors.

While the desire to find missing children and seniors is perfectly legitimate, the collection of biometric data is a pandora's box. Once it's opened, it's proven difficult if not impossible to limit.

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