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Documents Reveal Feds Are Excited To Create A Mass Surveillance Network

Documents Reveal Feds Are Excited To Create A Mass Surveillance Network

A FOIA request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center revealed how excited the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) is about using CCTV cameras to create a national surveillance network.

An NSCAI presentation titled “Chinese Tech Landscape Overview” discusses China’s facial recognition CCTV camera network in glowing terms.

“When we talk about data resources, really the largest data source is the government.'” 

The presentation discusses how the Chinese government profits from encouraging companies to use facial recognition on visitors and employees.

“Now that these companies are operating at scale they are building a host of other services (e.g. facial recognition for office buildings, augmented reality)”

In America things are not all that different.

In the United States, the Feds encourage private companies like Clearview AI, Amazon Ring and Flock Safety to use facial recognition and automatic license plate readers to identify everyone.

Under the section “State Datasets: Surveillance = Smart Cities” the presentation extol’s China’s smart city surveillance saying, “it turns out that having streets carpeted with cameras is good infrastructure for smart cities as well.”

Americans do not need more government surveillance and we certainly do not need our smart cities carpeted with government surveillance devices.

The NSCAI says, “mass surveillance is a killer application for deep learning.
As our government applies AI deep learning to things like CCTV cameras, cellphone locations, and license plate readers, a person’s entire life can be predicted.

AI’s will use deep learning to accurately guess where you work, eat, shop, sleep, worship and vacation. Basically, mass surveillance is a killer application for knowing all there is to know about everyone.
Last week MLliverevealed that a startup AI company co-founded by the University of Michigan is helping governments use CCTV cameras to monitor people for social distancing as indicated by a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan (UM):

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Despite Denials, RCMP Used Facial Recognition Program for 18 Years

Despite Denials, RCMP Used Facial Recognition Program for 18 Years

NDP critic calls on government to explain why RCMP falsely denied using Clearview AI technology.

Charlie-Angus
On Monday, NDP MP Charlie Angus called on the federal government to explain why the RCMP had denied using Clearview AI’s technology when several departments within the force were using it. Photo by Adrian Wyld, the Canadian Press.

Despite denials, the RCMP has been routinely using facial recognition technology since 2002, The Tyee has learned.

And the software continues to be used in British Columbia, the RCMP confirmed Monday.

Attention has been focused on the RCMP’s use of Clearview AI’scontroversial facial recognition software, which uses a database of billions of images scraped from social media. The technology allows police forces — and individuals and companies — to upload a photo and see any matching images on the web, along with links to where they appeared.

But The Tyee has learned the RCMP has been using facial recognition software for 18 years.

“The Computerized Arrest and Booking System (CABS) has been in use at the RCMP for many years,” spokesperson Catherine Fortin said in a written response to emailed questions. “Currently, it is only being used by the RCMP in B.C.”

The technology is used to store and compare faces of “charged persons” and to create photo lineups, said Fortin.

When the RCMP bought the system, the supplier said it provided “increased efficiency of surveillance and investigation activities” and “the ability to identify an individual within very large databases of images in seconds.”

The RCMP did not respond to a question about how the use of the software could be reconciled with its previous claims it was not using facial recognition technology.

In July 2019, the RCMP told The Tyee it was not using such software.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Leaked Reports Show EU Police Are Planning a Pan-European Network of Facial Recognition Databases

LEAKED REPORTS SHOW EU POLICE ARE PLANNING A PAN-EUROPEAN NETWORK OF FACIAL RECOGNITION DATABASES

A POLICE INVESTIGATOR in Spain is trying to solve a crime, but she only has an image of a suspect’s face, caught by a nearby security camera. European police have long had access to fingerprint and DNA databases throughout the 27 countries of the European Union and, in certain cases, the United States. But soon, that investigator may be able to also search a network of police face databases spanning the whole of Europe and the U.S.

According to leaked internal European Union documents, the EU could soon be creating a network of national police facial recognition databases. A report drawn up by the national police forces of 10 EU member states, led by Austria, calls for the introduction of EU legislation to introduce and interconnect such databases in every member state. The report, which The Intercept obtained from a European official who is concerned about the network’s development, was circulated among EU and national officials in November 2019. If previous data-sharing arrangements are a guide, the new facial recognition network will likely be connected to similar databases in the U.S., creating what privacy researchers are calling a massive transatlantic consolidation of biometric data.

The report was produced as part of discussions on expanding the Prüm system, an EU-wide initiative connecting DNA, fingerprint, and vehicle registration databases for mutual searching. A similar system exists between the U.S. and any country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program, which includes the majority of EU countries; bilateral agreements allow U.S. and European agencies to access one another’s fingerprint and DNA databases.“This is concerning on a national level and on a European level, especially as some EU countries veer towards more authoritarian governments.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

40 Privacy Groups Warn That Facial Recognition is Threatening Democracy

40 Privacy Groups Warn That Facial Recognition is Threatening Democracy

We must take action and guard what little privacy remains before it’s too late. 

(TMU) — On Monday, forty organizations signed a letter calling on an independent government watchdog to recommend a ban on U.S. government use of facial recognition technology.

The letter was drafted by the digital privacy advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and signed by organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Color of Change, Fight for the Future, Popular Resistance, and the Consumer Federation of America. The letter calls on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to “recommend to the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security the suspension of facial recognition systems, pending further review.

The PCLOB was originally created in 2004, as an independent agency that advises the administration on privacy issues. “The Congress specifically found that new surveillance powers ‘calls for an enhanced system of checks and balances to protect the precious liberties that are vital to our way of life and to ensure that the Government uses its powers for the purposes for which the powers were given’,” the letter states.

The organizations challenge the PCLOB to “examine the more significant public concerns about the use of facial recognition in public spaces.” They also call on the board to address concerns that facial recognition software can be used by “authoritarian governments to control minority populations and limit dissent could spread quickly to democratic societies.

The letter from EPIC mentions a recent New York Times investigation of a facial recognition service used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies across the country.  As the Mind Unleashed recently reported, Manhattan-based Clearview AI is collecting data from unsuspecting social media users and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is using the controversial facial recognition tool to pinpoint the identity of unknown suspects.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Chicago Police Are Using a Facial Recognition Program That Scans Billions of Facebook Photos

Chicago Police Are Using a Facial Recognition Program That Scans Billions of Facebook Photos

The end of privacy as we know it? 

Chicago Police Facial Recognition Billions Photos Facebook

(TMU) — Manhattan-based Clearview AI is collecting data from unsuspecting social media users and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is using the controversial facial recognition tool to pinpoint the identity of unknown suspects, reads a report from the Chicago Sun-Times.

And according to a bombshell New York Times report, it is also being used by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

The software’s creator, Hoan Ton-That, maintains that it is purely “an after-the-fact research tool for law enforcement, not a surveillance system or a consumer application.” However, privacy advocates are saying this technology is so intrusive and ripe for abuse its use should be immediately halted. And earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed in federal court seeking to do just that.

Chicago attorney Scott Drury who filed the lawsuit describes CPD’s signing of a two-year, $49,875 contract with Illinois tech firm CDW Government to use Clearview AI’s software as “frightening.”

Conversely, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi explains:Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Our obligation is to find those individuals that hurt other people and bring them to justice. And we want to be able to use every tool available to be able to perform that function, but we want to be able to do so responsibly.”

According to police, some CPD officials at the Crime Prevention and Information Center used the software for two months on a trial basis prior to the signing of the contract in January.Robin Williams’ Net Worth Left His Family in TearspopcornewsFIND OUT MORE >

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Localism in the 2020s (Part 2) – Facial Recognition, Psilocybin and Beyond

Localism in the 2020s (Part 2) – Facial Recognition, Psilocybin and Beyond

Contrary to popular opinion, I think a loss of faith in Washington D.C. and its institutions is entirely rational and healthy. Maintaining faith in something due to tradition or the fumes of hope won’t lead to anything productive, rather, it’s preferable to honestly assess the reality of whatever situation you’re in and reorient your worldview and priorities accordingly.

Whether the issue relates to above the law criminal bankers, a Federal Reserve which systematically funnels free money to the already wealthy and powerful, the societal dominance of free speech and privacy-despising tech giant monopolies, or the national security state’s undeclared forever wars for empire, there’s no good reason to maintain any faith in the federal government and the oligarchs/special interests who control it.

Philosophically speaking, I’ve come to conclude the only way to truly have self-government where community life reflects the desires and needs of the people who live there is by concentrating decision making at the local level. I’ve become increasingly interested in the general idea of localism not just because I agree with it in theory, but because it seems more and more people will begin to gravitate toward this perspective and life strategy out of necessity and frustration.

Rather than groveling to Washington D.C., grassroots movements should focus more on the local level where community can be built and things can get done to reflect the desires of the people living there. The entire notion of a one-size fits all approach to virtually all aspects of life dictated via laws passed by corrupt egomaniacs in the swamp is certifiably deranged.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Beijing To Link Facial Recognition System With Social Credit Score In New Metro Security Checks

Beijing To Link Facial Recognition System With Social Credit Score In New Metro Security Checks

Officials in Beijing will combine the country’s state-of-the-art facial recognition technology with a version of their controversial ‘credit system’ to speed up security checks in the city’s overcrowded metro system, according to HKFP.

Long queues and commuters arguing with staff over slow security procedures are common sites during rush hour in the metro system of the 20 million-strong metropolis. –HKFP

Cameras set up at the entrance to subway stations will scan the faces of passengers, sorting them into different security channels, according to the director of the Beijing Rail Traffic Control Center, Zhan Minghui.

He added that the plan will involve the creation of a “passenger credit system” in which ‘white-listed’ individuals will enjoy expedited security clearance. Those who receive “abnormal feedback” after their face scans will be subject to extra security measures.

“The technique aims to improve the efficiency of security checks and includes both body checks and luggage screening when large numbers of passengers enter the station,” Zhan said on Thursday at an urban transportation forum in Beijing.

In May, the Beijing subway announced that it had started “deducting credit points” from passengers who eat in metro cars.

Officials did not announce a timeline for the rollout.

Beijing’s subway system currently handles approximately 12 million trips on an average workday – a figure expected to increase to 17 million within the next two years. 

China’s use of facial recognition is becoming more commonplace. The Beijing Universal Studios amusement park which is currently under construction will admit visitors without a ticket – and will use cameras that scan their faces to determine whether they have paid for a ticket.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

BigBrotherWatch: Facial Recognition ‘Epidemic’ in the UK

BigBrotherWatch: Facial Recognition ‘Epidemic’ in the UK

BigBrotherWatch: Facial Recognition ‘Epidemic’ in the UK

At TruePublica we have written endlessly about the continued slow strangulation of civil liberties and human rights in Britain. We have warned about the rise of a techno-Stasi-state where technology is harnessed and used against civilians without any debate or indeed any real legal framework.  We have alerted the public on the illegal mass data collections by the government and subsequent loss of much it by MI5 who should not have had it all in the first place. We warned against ‘digital strip searches‘ – an activity of the police of the victims in rape cases, and the fact that Britain is becoming a database state. At TruePublica we have tried to press home the story that surveillance by the state on such a scale, described as the most intrusive in the Western world – is not just illegal, it’s immoral and dangerous. (see our surveillance database HERE).

Here is more evidence of just how dangerous and out of hand this creeping surveillance architecture is becoming. An investigation by Big Brother Watch has uncovered a facial recognition ‘epidemic’ across privately owned sites in the UK. The civil liberties campaign group has found major property developers, shopping centres, museums, conference centres and casinos using the technology in the UK.

Millions of shoppers scanned

Their investigation uncovered the use of live facial recognition in Sheffield’s Meadowhall, one of the biggest shopping centres in the North of England, in secret police trials that took place last year. The trial could have scanned the faces of over 2 million visitors.

The shopping centre is owned by British Land, which owns large areas within London including parts of Paddington, Broadgate, Canada Water and Ealing Broadway. Each site’s privacy policy says facial recognition may be in use, although British Land insists only Meadowhall has used the surveillance so far.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Privacy Advocates Celebrate as Massachusetts City Becomes Second in US to Ban Facial Recognition Technology

Privacy Advocates Celebrate as Massachusetts City Becomes Second in US to Ban Facial Recognition Technology

“The city is sending a bold statement that it won’t sit by idly while the dystopian technology further outpaces our civil liberties protections and harms privacy, racial and gender justice, and freedom of speech.”

a facial recognition system for law enforcement

A display shows a facial recognition system for law enforcement during the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 1, 2017. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Civil liberties advocates around the country celebrated after Somerville, Massachusetts on Thursday became the second city in the United States to bar local government—including law enforcement—from using facial recognition technology.

“Facial recognition can be used to track our every movement, supercharge racial profiling and discrimination, target political dissidents, and control nearly every aspect of our lives.”
—Evan Greer, Fight for the Future

By approving the ordinance, Somerville is “joining a growing nationwide movement to bring the technology under democratic control,” Kade Crockford, director of the ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Program, said in a statement to the news website Wicked Local North of Boston.

“The city is sending a bold statement that it won’t sit by idly while the dystopian technology further outpaces our civil liberties protections and harms privacy, racial and gender justice, and freedom of speech,” Crockford added.

BREAKING: Somerville just became the first East Coast city to ban government use of face recognition technology.

The Massachusetts city joins a growing nationwide movement to bring the technology under democratic control before it further harms our civil liberties and privacy. https://twitter.com/onekade/status/1144413996486987786 …Replying to @onekade

Wicked Local reported that the ACLU of Massachusetts—which launched a “Press Pause on Face Surveillance” campaign earlier this month to highlight mounting concerns about how the technology can be used and abused—worked on the ordinance with Ben Ewen-Campen, the Somerville City Council member who introduced it.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Facial Recognition Destroying our Right to Privacy?

Is Facial Recognition Destroying our Right to Privacy? 

The recent Financial Times investigation revealed that Microsoft had collected discreetly a facial recognition database of some 10 million images of some 100,000 people. They apparently used it for facial recognition software. When the FT began investigating, Microsoft discretely deleted the database. The public dataset, called ‘MS Celeb,’ included images of ‘celebrities’ pulled from the internet, but also contained photos of ‘arguably private individuals,’ often without their knowledge or consent, the FT found.

The classic film, the Minority Report, takes place where facial recognition is just using eye scans. To become invisible, he goes through a procedure where he gets eye transplants to hide his identity. This scene shows that when walking through a store, they scan his eyes and offer advertising tailored to preferences. There is no question that this technology can become much like the movie but using facial recognition eliminating the option of just getting our eyes replaced.

Already there are government agencies using facial recognition to look for people walking in public places. New York Police Department’s facial recognition system, includes image alteration and the use of non-suspect images. They are using facial recognition in Britain to look for criminals, but it is apparently wrong 96% of the time. There has even been lawsuits filed over this intrusive approach. San Francisco banned the police from using facial recognition. There are companies offering facial recognition for police.

There is no question that facial recognition poses a significant threat to our privacy and could hamper First Amendment-protected protests and other legal activities. Anyone who exercises their right to join some protest can find their faces suddenly recorded into a secret database that pops up on any encounter with governments.

Orwellian Future: Facial Recognition & Mass Surveillance is Coming to U.S. Schools

ORWELLIAN FUTURE: FACIAL RECOGNITION & MASS SURVEILLANCE IS COMING TO U.S. SCHOOLS

We are staring our Orwellian future right in the face.  Beginning in New York, facial recognition is coming to schools in the United States and it’ll be switched on for testing next week.

The dystopian future George Orwell warned about in his accidental historical predictions book, 1984, has arrived. According to an article by Engadget, the Lockport City School District in New York will start testing a facial and object recognitionsystem called “Aegis” on June 3rd. According to BuzzFeed News, that will make it the first in the U.S. to pilot a facial recognition mass surveillance system on its students and faculty.

The district installed cameras and the software suite back in September, using $1.4 million of the $4.2 million funding it received through the New York Smart Schools Bond Act. Funding provided through the Bond Act is supposed to go towards instructional tech devices, such as iPads and laptops, but the district clearly had other plans. –Engadget

BuzzFeed News got its hands on a copy of a letter distributed to the students’ parents, and it describes Aegis as “an early warning system” that can notify officials of threats.  But that’s the propagandized version of what the system is in reality: it’s a mass surveillance tool being sold to the public as “safety” as with any human rights infringement. The system, created by Canadian company SN Technologies, can apparently keep track of certain individuals in school grounds.

Schools have long been indoctrination centers and it doesn’t look like that trend will be reversed anytime soon, in fact, it’s being amplified. The system can identify students and staff who’ve been suspended, but it’s unclear if Lockport will use it to monitor those who’ve been suspended over non-violent offenses.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UK Cops Fine Pedestrian $115 For Avoiding Facial Recognition Camera

UK Cops Fine Pedestrian $115 For Avoiding Facial Recognition Camera

A UK pedestrian was arrested and fined £90 ($115 US) after attempting to cover his face while passing a controversial facial recognition camera van on a East London street. The notorious London police vans scan the faces of passers-by and compare them to a database of wanted criminals. 

One man wasn’t having any of it, and was seen covering his face with his hat and jacket before London police stopped him and took his picture anyway according to the Daily Mail

If I want to cover me face, I’ll cover me face. Don’t push me over when I’m walking down the street,” said the man after his stop. 

“How would you like it if you walked down the street and someone grabbed your shoulder? You wouldn’t like it, would you?” the man asked an officer, who replied “Calm yourself down or you’re going in handcuffs. It’s up to you. Wind your neck in.” 

“You wind your neck in,” the man replied. 

After being fined, the man told a reporter: ‘The chap told me down the road – he said they’ve got facial recognition. So I walked past like that (covering my face).

‘It’s a cold day as well. As soon as I’ve done that, the police officer’s asked me to come to him. So I’ve got me back up. I said to him ‘f*** off’, basically.  

‘I said ‘I don’t want me face shown on anything. If I want to cover me face, I’ll cover me face, it’s not for them to tell me not to cover me face. 

‘I’ve got a now £90 fine, here you go, look at that. Thanks lads, £90. Well done.’ –Daily Mail

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Amazon Goes Full Orwellian

Amazon Goes Full Orwellian


Bezos poised to become knower of all things, with strategic moves to collect info on individuals inside and out.

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it,” came a warning from George Orwell’s novel, 1984, that is rapidly, wickedly, becoming prophecy with new Amazon eye-in-the- sky technology and a dark and disturbing twist. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is poking that eye with a sharp stick.

And Jeff Bezos is not feeling the love.

In what appears to be Bezos’s latest strategic move in the quest to replace God as knower of all things is a hybrid monster of facial recognition software and a doorbell camera widget manufactured by Ring, a company that Amazon bought earlier this year.

In a gross assault on the right to privacy, a patent filed months ago essentially describes a product that captures information on people who as much as walk past a doorbell, sending real-time information to police databases.  It also will allow customers the ability to upload to law enforcement photos of anyone they deem might be a sketchy individual.

What does a non-sketchy, normal person wear when ringing a doorbell?

Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney for the ACLU, is fired up and fighting:

“It’s rare for patent applications to lay out, in such nightmarish detail, the world a company wants to bring about.  Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future … ”

Or perhaps Bezos dreams of ruling the world.

Biometrics Bastardization

But attaining an unlimited collection of facial snapshots is just the beginning. A deeper dive into the patent application reveals that Amazon is prepping to expand its unlimited munitions stash of photos with other biometrics.  And what it plans to extract from unsuspecting folks will horrify freedom-loving Americans.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Police Use Facial Recognition Doorbells To Create Private Watchlist Networks

Police Use Facial Recognition Doorbells To Create Private Watchlist Networks

Earlier this year, I reported that Amazon’s spying Ring doorbells are being installed everywhere and how everyone’s privacy is at stake.

But a recent CNN article revealed that Amazon wants to turn homeowners’ doorbells into facial recognition devices using their Rekogntion software.

An Amazon patent application which was made public on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, describes how a network of cameras could work together with facial recognition technology to identify people.

Amazon also wants homeowners to create their “own” private database of suspicious people, effectively creating private watchlist networks.

The application describes creating a database of suspicious persons. Unwanted visitors would be added to the list when a homeowner tags them as not authorized. Other people could be added to the database because they are a convicted felon or registered sex offender, according to the application. Residents may also alert neighbors of a suspicious person’s presence.

Because who doesn’t want to create a private watchlist of your friends and neighbors?

Amazon is not the only company that wants you to spy on your neighbors.

Nest Hello is Google’s facial recognition doorbell that can identify anyone and store their images to the cloud. Homeowners are required to sign up for a Nest Aware subscription that ranges anywhere from $5.00 to $30.00 a month.

Arlo Audio Doorbell, August’s Doorbell Cam ProSkybell and Netatmo are also profiting from turning neighbors into government spies.

Earlier this year an article in the Orlando Sentinel revealed that police have created a private neighborhood network of 10,000 spying doorbells.

Orlando Police are hoping further access to the network of about 10,000 Ring users in Orlando will help the department solve burglaries, mail thefts and other crimes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

National facial recognition database to use loyalty rewards to identify American shoppers

National facial recognition database to use loyalty rewards to identify American shoppers

image credit: Zenus Biometrics

For years, I have been warning people about facial recognition in retail stores, but this story might convince you to avoid retail stores altogether.

A recent article in Biometric Update. com (BU) reveals that retail stores have a master plan to convince Americans to accept facial biometrics.

BU interviewed four facial biometric company CEO’s and what they revealed is frightening.

The article starts off innocuously enough by telling us that U.S. retail biometrics is used primarily in loss-prevention but things quickly take a turn for the worse.

BU’s interview with FaceFirst CEO Peter Tripp is especially disconcerting, as he reveals how retailers plan to use a “facial recognition opt-in environment.”

“There is another step though that exists which has more to do with consumer loyalty, and consumer experience, that is not quite as expensive an endeavor, and I think there are lots of folks looking at ways of doing that in a friendly opt-in environment, where privacy is not the cornerstone issue, Tripp said.”

If any of this sounds familiar its because they are doing the exact same thing with digital drivers licenses.

Biometric companies are trying to convince Americans to accept digital drivers license by tying them to loyalty rewards programs.  Last year the Lincoln Motor Company installed “complimentary” TSA PreCheck biometric scanners in all their new vehicles so customers can get through airport and sport stadium check-in lines quicker.

Corporate-run national biometric database 

According to a recent ZDNet article a new partnership between SureID a biometric fingerprinting company and Robbie.AI a facial recognition company “could create a national biometric database.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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