DHS/IARPA pushing for advancements in Biometrics & Facial Recognition.Public advocacy finally seeing the Dangers of Big Brother Tech??

As I’ve documented here before Biometrics and other assorted forms of global mass surveillance technologies have become a part of our world that we can no longer escape. The seeming inevitability of a Technological- Technocratic Panoptican is a reality we must face going forward into the future.While the Paradigm of Public safety/Security from Terrorism that enshrined the foundations of this system have faded from the Corporate media’s spotlight,with 2020 and the “global pandemic” of Covid-19 we’ve entered into a new paradigm, that of Bio-security and Medical martial law.

And so I rounded up these series of Articles closing out 2020 with the theme of Biometrics and Facial recognition and their continual incremental encroaching upon citizens privacy and civil liberties.

2020 was the year of the Mask. While the effectiveness of such a measure against the Novel coronavirus is somewhat contested and vigorously opposed by some,Face masks became the defining feature and social divisor of 2020. Since the majority of the population was forced to wear masks, that presented a bit of a problem with existing facial recognition technology. While most liberty minded people,and those opposed to Orwellian intrusion saw this a good thing, The US govt obviously did not….But fear not citizens because D.H.S. is working around that problem to protect you (?) from ” security threats” No Terrorist in a face diaper is going to foil D.H.S. No Sir!!!!!

DHS in cooperation with N.I.S.T. (The same people who brought you the 9-11 coverup) have been working to get around the mask problem.

The Homeland Security Department, one of the government’s biggest biometrics systems users, is now steering research to confront the complexities limiting existing technology and help push forward tools to safely verify people’s identities at security checkpoints in a pandemic.   Initial results from one recent effort “are actually quite promising,” Using not Photoshop but a tool like it, NIST created digital masks over faces in DHS operational images. Officials subsequently compared how facial recognition algorithms performed on those photos, as well as images of the same people without synthetic masks edited on to cover their faces.

Conducted at the Maryland Test Facility, the latest rally put those face and/or iris acquisition systems to work, as well as 13 matching algorithms—with support from 582 human volunteers. With the heaps of photos collected, DHS is able to essentially standardize image output and get a strong grip on what all the cameras are capturing. The systems are able to hone in on unique human features such as head shape, and faces’ periocular region—or the areas around individuals’ eyes—that remain uncovered when masks are worn.

DHS selected six systems to test this go-around, which is fewer than usual for such events but made sense to abide by COVID-19 protocols

Phew…what a relief to know that while forging tech to invade on the public’s privacy,no volunteers were exposed to COVID. My virtue signal receptors are pleased to hear that…..

Drones to police the Drones

Within the past 2 years we have seen an exponential rise in the commercial/privatized use of Drones. While the military has popularized their use as flying messengers of death, the use of drones in the private sector has found a new utility- Surveillance of the populace. You can call it Drones watching Drones. In real life scenarios that seem to mirror some of the most dystopian sci fi visions of films like They live,or Captive state, have now come to pass. Drones are now being used to fight the new “invisible enemy” COVID-19. Drone company Draganfly made more than a few headlines,by getting itself involved with projects related to surveillance and tracking of suspected Covid infections. Draganfly partnered with the Australian DOD and got in on the action with the near draconian lockdowns in Australia. And it doesn’t just stop there:

The goal, say organizers, is not to identify sick individuals. Instead, it will collect real-time statistical data about the possible spread of the disease. Drones are just part of this system, which will leverage other cameras around the world, such as CCTV cameras. They will all feed images and video into software developed by healthcare and AI company Vital Intelligence, Inc. – Dronedj.com

So it’s a small Globally surveilled world after all….

And so temperature scanning and facial recognition are just the beginning,IARPA (Intelligence advanced research projects activity) has put forth proposals to improve upon facial recognition and to go beyond that by integrating more Biometrics capability into ranged Drones.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, issued a broad agency announcement solicitation for its latest attempt to improve biometrics at range, the Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range, or BRIAR, program. (Boy they sure do love Acronym’s)

The BRIAR program aims to develop software algorithm-based systems capable of performing whole-body biometric identification at long-range and from elevated platforms,” the call states, outlining a three-phase process to prototype and test novel ways to incorporate multiple biometric signatures—such as face, gait and body type—to improve identification and verification at long ranges and steep angles. The BRIAR program will combine multiple biometric factors, including face, stride and “anthropometric classifications” like height and gender to improve match rates.

And just to appeal to the PC virtue signaling crowd : “The program also hopes to attune for racial diversity by using “robust, demographically diverse, domain-relevant biometric data,” . Whatever that innocuous statement means…. The fact is that this surveillance tech is not only detrimental to all citizens privacy,but that it has also been utilized disproportionately against minorities .

2020 had become the year of Global lockdown’s (setting a precedent for 2021?) Surveillance,Tracking and Political repression have all been justified with the “threat” of COVID-19, As noted before Australia and other Asian nations have had the largest increases in public surveillance due to the COVID pandemic. Not more than 2 years ago it seemed as though worldwide a majority of the world’s population were pissed off for one reason or another and were willing to get out in the streets to push back against governments and their overreach. But then Covid-19 came along and the global lockdowns began,with nary a word of protest in response to the “justified” draconian measures.

Public Consciousness is key in opposing Mass surveillance

While the Surveillance state continues to grow by leaps and bounds, there have been a few roadblocks offered up by the public in response to these intrusions into the public’s privacy. The aforementioned Dragnfly Pandemic temperature scanning drone program that was to be rolled out in Westport CT saw enough citizen response that the police dept was forced to axe the entire “Flatten the curve” pilot program.

Various Public advocacy groups voiced their concerns over,and called for a halt to a proposed Customs and Border protection plan involving Biometric data collection. The U.S. Customs and border protection (USCBP) had proposed an expansion of it’s own biometric data collection capabilities in September of 2020, the proposal sought to add the collection of palm prints, photographs for facial recognition, voice prints, iris images and DNA for tests to determine genetic relationships to its pre-existing biometric practices, which include collecting fingerprints and signatures of immigrants. Where that will ultimately go remains to be seen.

In New York State Facial recognition being used in schools was banned,being the first state to officially stop(for now) the deployment of these technologies in a public education setting. The law didn’t create a permanent ban,but rather a temporary stop on it’s use until 2022.

In June, the ACLU of New York sued the state education department over the installation of a facial recognition system in Lockport City Schools, a district near Niagara Falls. The state’s approval of this technology showed a “dangerous lack of oversight and an alarming misunderstanding of the way it analyzes student data,” the civil liberties group said. The implementation of the system violated students’ rights to privacy, the lawsuit argued, because the district wanted to sync their data to local, state, and federal crime databases.

School officials defended the system, saying it would help identify school shooters as they enter the building, allowing shootings to be prevented.

And so there you go with the old tried and true appeal to “public safety”, or the even sappier “keeping your kids safe from drugs and violence”, while indoctrinating them to accept a system of Mass surveillance and no personal privacy. As these technologies continue to develop,and are increasingly marketed to the public sector it’s up to us The public to stay informed of how,and when these technologies are being used against us. While the global surveillance industry will continually take advantage of the public’s vulnerabilities to “security risks” it’s important to remember that it won’t just stop there,The Covid pandemic and it’s response highlight that we are moving into a post security and Terrorism oriented (indoctrinated?) world,and that now even Bodily autonomy is at risk of being seized all in the name of “Protection”

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

DHS Close To Perfecting Facial Recognition System

dhsretina

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

The New breed of government facial recognition technology

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The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) development of a Biometric Optical Surveillance System (BOSS) has raised concerns among civil rights advocates that the technology is being developed without the necessary safeguards to protect the privacy of citizens.

BOSS is a surveillance system that uses computers and video cameras to scan faces anywhere with the purpose of identifying people through their facial features. The system, officially developed by the DHS for the purpose of identifying fugitives or suspected terrorists, was tested last fall after two years of being developed through government funding.

However, even though BOSS technology is apparently years away from being put to actual use, privacy advocates are already raising concerns over the development of facial recognition technology for use by the government. With expressed fears on the possibility that the system would be used to track everyone’s public movements simply by tapping into the comprehensive database of driver’s license photographs.

The concerns expressed by civil rights advocates are undoubtedly underpinned by the leaks released by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. who revealed details of several top-secret United States and British government mass surveillance programs to the press.

Full 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

Drivers Licenses becoming a resource for Police Facial recognition Databases

facedatabasepolice

Law enforcement agencies are building what critics say is becoming a de facto national, searchable database of ID photos — with pictures of both those with and without a criminal past — that uses state driver’s licence photos as a foundation.

The facial databases have grown rapidly in recent years and generally operate with few legal safeguards beyond the requirement that searches are conducted for “law enforcement purposes.” Amid rising concern about the National Security Agency’s high-tech surveillance aimed at foreigners, it is these state-level facial-recognition programs that more typically involve American citizens.

Such open access has caused a backlash in some of the few states where there has been a public debate. As the databases grow larger and increasingly connected across jurisdictional boundaries, critics warn that authorities are developing what amounts to a national identification system — based on the distinct geography of each human face.

Sources: The Verge
Washington Post

The Terrifying Future of The United States

The development of a Fascist Police State is happening right before our eye’s. Will we ignore it(E.G Nazi Germany 1930’s) or will we use the information at our disposal, to defeat theses plans?

Database Your Face: Drones to Employ Facial Recognition, Ending Anonymity

Facerecogdrone

In a matter of just a few years, we have gone from drones in American skies being a conspiracy theory, to drones being openly debated by Congress for full deployment over the U.S. by 2015. However, you know things have gone to a new level when establishment media begins covering the full range of privacy-ending capabilities employed by drones matched with biometric databases … inside America.

A recent Associated Press article, reposted at major corporate media sites such as Business Insider, surprisingly grasps the near totality of what is being planned in much the same way as we have been covering in the alternative media for some time.

Entitled, “Drones With Facial Recognition Technology Will End Anonymity, Everywhere,” we are presented with this news as a statement, not a question.
The AP is in fact a bit behind the curve to suggest that the capabilities they highlight, are “to be sure … in its infancy” when documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) which reveal that the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is already operating drones in the United States capable of recognizing a person on the ground. Or how about the fact that drones can already see inside your bedroom? Wired’s Danger Room reported back in 2011 that not only were drones with facial recognition in development, but also algorithms that could predict behavior.

Rather, what we are witnessing with this news from AP is the mainstream rollout and conditioning of the public to what is already here and what is about to become even more pervasive. where we once thought our personal information was protected, will be opened and utilized any time necessary.

“From seeing just the image of a face, computers will find its match in a database of millions of driver’s license portraits and photos on social media sites. From there, the computer will link to the person’s name and details such as their Social Security number, preferences, hobbies, family and friends”.

“Adding that capability to drones that can fly into spaces where planes cannot — machines that can track a person moving about and can stay aloft for days — means that people will give up privacy as well as the concept of anonymity”.

Via Red Ice Creations

Original Article Here