The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced plans for a new pilot program that will test out biometric facial recognition technology as part of an effort to identify fugitives or terror suspects.
The Austin-American Statesman reported on the announcement:
Thanks to quantum leaps in facial recognition technology, especially over the past year, the future is arriving sooner than most Americans realize. As early as this summer, CBP will set up a pilot program to digitally scan the faces of drivers and passengers — while they are in moving vehicles — at the busy Anzalduas Port of Entry outside of McAllen, the agency announced Thursday.
The Texas-Mexico border is being used as the testing grounds for the technology. The results of the pilot program will be used to help roll out a national program along the entire southern and northern borders.( Rollout preparation for HR 4760 ??)
The Department of Energy hired researchers at Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help overcome the difficulties of using facial recognition technology on moving vehicles. The researchers developed a method for combating window tinting and sun glare which can make a vehicle’s windows impenetrable to cameras. The facial recognition technology being developed for the pilot program will be capable of identifying the driver, front passengers, and the passengers riding in the back.
Although the CBP claims implementing facial recognition technology could eventually eliminate the need for passports, boarding passes and other travel documents(A perfect setup for a National ID card,and cashless banking society), the technology is without a doubt an invasion of privacy. The new Texas pilot program is only the latest effort by the federal government to implement a wide range of biometric and surveillance programs around the United States.
These programs are reminiscent of mass surveillance systems established in Russia and China. The truth of the matter is that all three nations are taking different paths towards the same goal: control and monitoring of their population and suppression of critical thought or opposition. The only way to stand against this is to refuse to fund the programs at every turn and sharing the information.
Original story- Activist Post
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass a bill that critics say could open a Pandora’s Box to government tracking of Americans. H.R. 4919, which passed 346 to 66 in the lower chamber, also known as Kevin and Avonte’s Law, mandates the U.S. attorney general award grants to law enforcement officials so that those agencies can create, establish and operate “locative tracking technology programs.”
The programs mission would be to find “individuals with forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, or children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, who have wandered from safe environments.”
Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, said the good intentions of the bill could be broadly interpreted.
While this initiative may have noble intentions, ‘small and temporary’ programs in the name of safety and security often evolve into permanent and enlarged bureaucracies that infringe on the American people’s freedoms. That is exactly what we have here. A safety problem exists for people with Alzheimer’s, autism and other mental health issues, so the fix, we are told, is to have the Department of Justice, start a tracking program so we can use some device or method to track these individuals 24/7,” Gohmert said in his floor speech.
Gohmert explained, “It is absolutely staggering that the Republican majorities in the House and Senate could be so blind to government overreach that they would allow a federal tracking program, not for criminals in the U.S., not for terrorists, not for illegal immigrants or even immigrants who commit crimes, but for people with ‘developmental disabilities’ a term that is subject to wide misinterpretation.
Original Article Here
After several years of consumer complaints, Microsoft Windows 10 has been getting a lot of attention as of late for many upgrades slated for their new version of the popular operating system.However, it appears that one feature being added to supposedly consumer-friendly applications is a suite of biometrics called Windows Hello and Windows Passport.
It’s all a part of the move toward a full-fledged Smart World where YOU become the password in a matrix of online and real-world activity.
Naturally, the fear of identity theft and cyber crime of all stripes has been the sales pitch to accept this new pervasive identity tech. Apple’s Touch ID was introduced in iPhone 5 which employed a fingerprint scanner for phone locking as well as to make purchases in Apple stores.
Hacking risks already have been exposed in smart vehicles, smart cars, and even smart weapons(!!), so this seems to be par for the course. Beyond the hacking risks, though, there is our lovely government, which continues to prove that it will do anything and everything to track our every move.
Online biometrics is a totalitarian dream of removing all anonymity during even the most casual computer interaction. We’ve already seen electronics warnings about keeping personal conversations quiet around smart TVs. What can we expect to happen when all of the items around us are connected to the Internet, and our bodies have become the sole password that connects us to the central database? It raises the spectre of simple monitoring of all health, consumer activity, environmental compliance, and pretty much every movement anywhere.
Via Red Ice Creations
Facial recognition technology has improved by leaps and bounds in terms of speed and accuracy over recent years. The government has poured a great deal of money into deploying facial recognition technology around the country as well.
Government databases have expanded rapidly and local police have begun to use facial recognition technology to arrest suspects.Currently, many facial recognition systems are limited in their ability to identify in the variety of conditions outlined in the statement. In addition, many systems are not at all portable. Apparently, DHS seeks to make both of these limitations a thing of the past.
Most interesting of all, the DHS statement of work reveals that the technology will be utilizing 3-Dimensional facial recognition, something which is far more accurate and requires only a small part of the suspect’s face to be captured.
Original Article Here