Half of Americans’ Photos Are Now Stored In Facial Recognition Databases

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According to a report by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, half of Americans now have photos of themselves stored in facial recognition databases. The vast majority of these citizens are not suspects in crimes, nor do they have criminal records.
Over 117 million adults are stored in facial recognition databases, and any of their photos can be used at any time in a “virtual lineup,” where they can be picked out by law enforcement as potential suspects.

According to the ACLU, many police departments use photos from Facebook, photos from protests, and even videos of average people walking down the street taken from cameras posted up around urban centers. It was even indicated in the report that drivers license photos are used to populate these databases, meaning that almost anyone could be a potential suspect in one of these lineups.

The report’s findings suggest that the technology may be violating the rights of millions of Americans and is disproportionately affecting communities of color, advocates said.
Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU’s legislative counsel, pointed out that government agencies have free rein to do whatever they want with this technology, and that they offer absolutely no transparency.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent report is the fact that these facial recognition databases have become “overwhelmingly made up of non-criminal entries.” This can get extremely dangerous because this technology is far from perfect and, in fact, mistakes are made all of the time.

Even the FBI admits that one out of every seven searches of its facial recognition database are incorrect, meaning that innocent people are singled out on a regular basis. However, independent investigation revealed that the number was far higher, with close to 90% of those identified by facial recognition technology being innocent people.

Via: Activist post

Original Story Here

Terrifying New Weapons Police Are Using To Crush Protests

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The future of police technology has arrived, and it’s stranger and more terrifying than we could’ve possibly imagined.

Conspiracy theorists’ worst fears were confirmed last month when the New York Post reported that the NYPD now maintains an undisclosed number of unmarked, military-grade vans with X-ray radiation, capable of scanning the public and looking through building and vehicle walls.

This technology, called the “Z Backscatter” van, was used by the military in Afghanistan and costs somewhere between $729,000 and $825,000.
However, there’s no way we can know for sure what these futuristic vans are capable of, including potential health impacts due to radiation exposure, because the NYPD refuses to talk about them. The NYPD’s insistence on complete, blanketing secrecy is part of a growing trend within the surveillance state that civil rights advocates have been fighting for decades.

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The Backscatter vans are only the beginning. Police departments around the nation have deployed a whole host of new devices, from laser light guns to facial recognition scanners. Here’s what’s being used by police right now:

Pain Ray Cannon (Active Denial System)

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What began in the early days of the Bush Administration as a way to quell Iraq war-era uprisings could soon end up at local police departments.
The pain ray cannon, or “Active Denial System,” (ADS) as the police call it, is the latest form of military-grade crowd control. The weapon uses microwave beams to heat up the water and fat molecules in a person’s skin, effectively heating the person up until they run away.

Though “less-than-lethal,” its effects are anything but enjoyable. According to people who have had the pain ray tested on them, “it feels like someone opened an invisible door to a blast furnace in front of them, or that their skin was being scorched all over instantly. During protest situations, an ADS could be swept across large groups of people at a closer range than originally intended. The systems could be used to deter a crowd from a single area or to incapacitate drivers. If left unchecked, the pain ray cannon could allow for some pretty repulsive human rights violations.

LRAD Sound Cannons

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Instead of tear gas and batons, departments have taken to using Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs), to transmit a super-loud high-pitched scream into crowds. The sound is literally too painful to be around and is intended to “shape the behavior of potential threats”
Police Departments from New York City to Toronto to Ferguson, Missouri are using LRADs indiscriminately on protesters, causing excruciating pain to anyone within range.

This is not a precision tool,” said Gideon Oliver, a lawyers who wrote to NYPD Commissioner Bratton. “This is an area-of-effect weapon. When the police use it, it’s not as if they’re just targeting one person. It’s indiscriminate like teargas.”

Facial Recognition Software

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With secrecy and deception clouding any conversation about the militarized surveillance state, we can only assume that we are being recorded almost all the time, at least in urban areas. The market has more than tripled since 2008, with cameras being used more invasively every day.

Just last year the Boston Police Department was caught testing out its facial recognition technology on attendees of Boston Calling music festival without their knowledge. Data on each individual’s build, clothes and skin color was captured on thousands of people.

The ACLU claims police departments are also attempting to gain access to private security cameras in order to expand their surveillance reach without having to install new cameras of their own.

HD Camera Drones

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Even more aggressive than thousands of surveillance cameras on every street corner is police reconnaissance from the sky. Several police departments have deployed aircrafts with high-resolution cameras and software that can identify and track people over long distances. FBI versions of these planes include technology that may be able to capture private data from cellphones as they track someone, according to the Associated Press.

Concerns have been raised regarding use of this technology for police surveillance, including protection from “unreasonable search and seizure.” The U.S. Department of Justice released its own guidelines on the matter in May, barring federal law enforcement agencies from using drones to “monitor activity protected by the First Amendment”, such as peaceful protests.

Original Article: CS Globe

Police Compiling Biometrics Database on Americans Without Consent

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Facial recognition and biometric databases have been a reality in technology for decades, and have been used overseas by the military to assist in occupying potentially hostile populations in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.Populations there not only face the possibility of becoming a statistical civilian casualty, but are processed and tagged like cattle as well.
Now, that paradigm is coming home to roost – as spy agencies like the NSA have long planned.

Biometrics are being designed for use in mass populations here in America and throughout the Western world, not just war-torn locales. According to the NY Times: Facial recognition software, which American military and intelligence agencies used for years in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify potential terrorists, is being eagerly adopted by dozens of police departments around the country to pursue drug dealers, prostitutes and other conventional criminal suspects. But because it is being used with few guidelines and with little oversight or public disclosure, it is raising questions of privacy and concerns about potential misuse.

Already, the database is saddled by millions of people who are not criminals and have not been charged with any crime – which experts claim is reducing its effectiveness. There is about a 20% rate of false-positives which is hardly encouraging, “It is not as if there is the identification of a specific crime problem; they are simply collecting a lot of information that could impact a lot of completely innocent people,” said Michael German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and a former F.B.I. agent.

The New York Times interviewed two people upset about police detaining them on street curbs to take a photo for the biometric database, while also taking such data as cheek-swabbed DNAThey weren’t arrested, but now they are being watched more closely than people realize, as increasing numbers of cameras and computer systems are beginning to utilize law enforcement biometric databases, potentially recognizing and flagging innocent people everywhere they go, and subjecting them to possible undue suspicion.

The future already holds a bleak outlook for privacy, largely promising only greater and greater levels of surveillance and control that would not only make the founding fathers roll in their graves, but would give the average person the sense that they are under watch with preemptive suspicion … even thought they’ve done nothing wrong.
Since the FBI is cutting the ribbon on its own biometric tech center, these policies are all but guaranteed to spread to departments throughout the country.

Original Story Here

Total Control technologies , Here and Now

technocracy

Are you ready for the future? We live at a time when technology is advancing at an exponential pace. Today, scientists are rapidly developing bizarre new technologies that most science fiction writers never even would have dreamed of a couple decades ago.

Would you be willing to get rid of your bank card and start paying for things with only your face? Would you be willing to allow a technology company to put one large computer chip or thousands of really, really small ones (“neural dust”) into your brain? Our world is changing at an absolutely mind blowing rate, and to be honest none of us really knows what our world is going to look like a decade from now.


Facial Recognition Software That Replaces Bank Cards

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Will people soon pay for things by having their faces scanned at the checkout counter? That may sound absurd, but this technology is already in use. as well as other forms of Biometric Purchasing

Google Wants To Put A Chip In Our Brains
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Would you allow a technology company to put a chip in your brain? apparently this is exactly what executives at Google believe will happen someday.
Soon Google hopes to have the ubiquitous presence of a personal assistant that never stops working, capable of conversing naturally in any language. Ultimately, as Page and co-founder Sergey Brin have asserted, the goal is to insert a chip inside your head for the most effortless search engine imaginable.

Ultrasonic Neural Dust

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This is perhaps the most frightening technology on the list. The advances in the field of nanotechnology that we have seen over the past decade have been absolutely mind blowing. Now, some scientists are talking about actually being able to put thousands of tiny little computer chips inside our heads. literal Smart Dust for the brain is being proposed as the next step toward establishing a brain-computer interface.
The system is officially called “neural dust” and works to “monitor the brain from the inside.” Inventors are attempting to overcome the hurdle of how to best implant sensors that can remain over the course of one’s life.
One aspect that is interesting to note, is that once these particles are sent into the brain, it will be ultrasound that activates the system for full monitoring. This is an area of research that also has been looked at by DARPA as one of the future methods of mind control.

While many of these emerging technologies may sound very exciting, the truth is that it is important to remember that any technology is a two-edged sword.A technology can be used for good or it can be used for evil.And we certainly live at a time when the grip of the Big Brother surveillance grid that is being constructed all around us is rapidly getting tighter.

Original Article Here

Chicago police start using facial-recognition software to arrest suspects

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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 that ability to nab suspects who thought they could outsmart surveillance.

According to a recent Chicago Sun-Time article by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Frank Main, police officers in the Windy City recently issued their first arrest stemming from the use of space-age facial-recognition technology coupled with thousands of cameras that collect live video in real-time at all hours of the day.

Pierre Martin, 34, was arrested on May 2 and charged with armed robbery in connection with two incidents from earlier this year.He is the first individual to be picked up by the CPD using the facial-recognition technology, but only one month after a city-wide roll-out he is likely to not be the last.

The Transportation Security Administration has given the CTA a $5.4 million grant to aid with the program, and that money has been used to update an already impressive arsenal of city-licensed surveillance cameras to run in tandem with NeoFace, a high-tech analysis program used by various governments and law enforcement agencies around the globe to grab biometric data off of an image and match it to another.

The F.B.I has announced plans to have a database of 14 million photographs on file by next year when it rolls out its Next Generation Identification system, which will use surveillance camera clips and other footage to match suspects almost instantaneously up with a pool of persons derived from state DMV photo-shoots and other government-owned images.

Via End The Lie

Over 200 Million People Are in the US Facial Recognition Database

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You are probably participating in the facial recognition database whether you want to or not. Most likely, your visage is there to be easily identified, without your consent, even if you’ve never committed a crime.

Using the vague criteria of “law enforcement purposes”, the United States has more than 200 million Americans filed away in various facial recognition databases. If you have a driver’s license or any other government photo ID, your face is probably one of them.

According to the (Propaganda..oops) Washington Post:

Law enforcement use of such facial searches is blurring the traditional boundaries between criminal and non-criminal databases, putting images of people never arrested in what amount to perpetual digital lineups. The most advanced systems allow police to run searches from laptop computers in their patrol cars and offer access to the FBI and other federal authorities.

Facial-recognition technology is part of a new generation of biometric tools that once were the stuff of science fiction but are increasingly used by authorities around the nation and the world. Though not yet as reliable as fingerprints, these technologies can help determine identity through individual variations in irises, skin textures, vein patterns, palm prints and a person’s gait while walking.

The Supreme Court’s approval this month of DNA collection during arrests coincides with rising use of that technology as well, with suspects in some cases submitting to tests that put their genetic details in official data­bases, even if they are never convicted of a crime.

it isn’t only our driver’s licenses that we have to worry about. Another, even larger, database exists. The US State Department has a database with 230 million searchable images. Anyone with a passport or an immigration visa may find themselves an unwilling participant in this database.
This invasion of privacy is just another facet of the surveillance state, and should be no surprise considering the information Edward Snowden just shared about the over-reaching tentacles of the NSA into all of our communications. We are filing our identities with the government and they can identify us at will, without any requirement for probable cause.

Via Red Ice Creations

How Stores Are Spying On You

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High-resolution video cameras monitor all areas in and outside the store. With facial-recognition software, your mug shot can be captured and digitally filed. Ditto for your car’s license plate. Stores don’t provide sufficient disclosure, so you can’t opt out to protect your privacy.

Gaze trackers are hidden in tiny holes in the shelving and detect which brands you’re looking at and how long for each. There are even mannequins whose eyes are cameras that detect age, sex, ethnicity, and facial expression.

Your mobile phone is an excellent device for tracking your shopping route. Retailer tracking systems can identify individual shoppers by monitoring your phone’s International Mobile Subscriber Identity number (constantly transmitted from all cell phones to their service providers) or Media Access Control address (transmitted when the device’s Wi-Fi is enabled, which is the default setting on most devices).

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags placed on the merchandise detect when you pick up an item. They can trigger a nearby digital sign to feed you targeted ads or details about the product. Kiosks and interactive touch screens often do the same thing.

If all of this is news to you, it’s probably because disclosure is poor to nonexistent, say experts familiar with these practices. Also, odds are you’ve never read or decoded what you’ve agreed to in bank, retailer, and app privacy policies. And you probably never imagined that retailers would be so interested in spying on honest shoppers. “While most consumers understand a need for security cameras, few expect that the in-store video advertising monitor they’re watching … is watching them” with a pinhole camera, says Pam Dixon, executive director of World Privacy Forum.

Via Disinfo

Original story here