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
Britain has been negotiating a plan with the United States which would allow the UK to directly serve wiretap warrants on American communications companies for national security and criminal proceedings.The claim is that everything has gone global and terror is no exception, so this is the only next logical step in combating it.
As reported in USA today:
British and U.S. officials have been negotiating a plan that could allow British authorities to directly serve wiretap orders on U.S. communications companies in criminal and national security inquiries, U.S. officials have confirmed
“Such an agreement would ensure U.S. access to data stored in the United Kingdom in support of law enforcement, terrorism, and other transnational threat investigations and support our partners’ ability to investigate serious crime, as well as terrorism and other transnational threats on a reciprocal basis,”
Considering how many threats they’ve known about and been able to actually thwart, this surely isn’t about further chipping away at everyone’s privacy along with American Constitutional protections as well as national sovereignty at all.
Never mind the fact that “Homeland Security” has not stopped one terrorist plot at all..ever( wouldn’t they have to, in order to justify their existence?) Or that a Majority of the supposedly thwarted plots were actually F.B.I. led contrived situations. You kind of have to ask yourself the question of, “is any of this increased security/spying actually working for or against the American People??”
It’s also no secret that U.S. and U.K. government’s have been sharing intelligence on each others citizens (Er, uh I mean Suspects) for decades. But now they are moving forward with the next phase in the global surveillance/Big brother Superstate.
Via Activist Post
Privacy as we once knew it is dead. We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology—specifically the technology employed by the government against the American citizenry. As a result, warns John W. Whitehead,we are becoming a nation where even the most virtuous citizen risks becoming an outlaw.
Via Activist Post
The debate over the U.S. government’s monitoring of digital communications suggests that Americans are willing to allow it as long as it is genuinely targeted at terrorists. What they fail to realize is that the surveillance systems are best suited for gathering information on law-abiding citizens.
People concerned with online privacy tend to calm down when told that the government can record their calls or read their e-mail only under special circumstances and with proper court orders. The assumption is that they have nothing to worry about unless they are terrorists or correspond with the wrong people.
The infrastructure set up by the National Security Agency, however, may only be good for gathering information on the stupidest, lowest-ranking of terrorists. The Prism surveillance program focuses on access to the servers of America’s largest Internet companies, which support such popular services as Skype, Gmail and iCloud. These are not the services that truly dangerous elements typically use.
The NSA’s Prism, according to a classified PowerPoint presentation published by the Guardian, provides access to the systems of Microsoft Corp. (and therefore Skype), Facebook Inc., Google, Apple Inc. and other U.S. Internet giants. Either these companies have provided “master keys” to decrypt their traffic – – which they deny — or the NSA has somehow found other means.
Similarly, monitoring phone calls is hardly the way to catch terrorists. They’re generally not dumb enough to use Verizon. Granted, Russia’s special services managed to kill Chechen separatist leader Dzhokhar Dudayev with a missile that homed in on his satellite-phone signal. That was in 1996. Modern-day terrorists are generally more aware of the available technology.
Full Article Here
The surveillance regime has been in practice and growing for the past 30 years, Beginning with PROMIS and now fully developed with programs such as PRISM, and THINTHREAD. So thanks for the “News” mainstream media.
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.
he program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US. It also opens the possibility of communications made entirely within the US being collected without warrants.
The participation of the internet companies in PRISM will add to the debate, ignited by the Verizon revelation, about the scale of surveillance by the intelligence services. Unlike the collection of those call records, this surveillance can include the content of communications and not just the metadata.
Original Story: The Guardian