Trump Administration to Test Biometric Program to Scan Faces of Drivers and Passengers in Vehicles

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

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

China wants to make Minority Report A Reality

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(Insert U.S. in the place of China while reading this article, and you wont be far off from how this technology/ Data gathering is being used here against the public as well)

China has a new strategy in fighting crime, ripped from science fiction and hastily pasted at the top of the list of paranoia-inducing concepts. It’s called pre-crime. It goes further than sting operations, counterterrorism, or any other government action to preempt criminal activity ever before.

Like the 2002 film Minority Report, China wants to fight crimes before they happen. They want to know they’ll happen before they’re planned—before the criminal even knows he’s going to be part of them. The Chinese Communist Party “has directed one of the country’s largest state-run defense contractors, China Electronics Technology Group, to develop software to collate data on jobs, hobbies, consumption habits, and other behavior of ordinary citizens to predict terrorist acts before they occur.”

The Chinese government wants to know about everything: every text a person sends, every extra stop they make on the way home. It’s designed for dissidents, but it means that they’ll know every time a smoker buys a pack of cigarettes, how much gas a car owner uses, what time the new mom goes to bed, and what’s in the bachelor’s refrigerator.

Science fiction aside, pre-crime is already somewhat of a reality; data gathering is part of intelligence communities’ and police surveillance efforts and has been for years. A lot of that surveillance has helped nab those responsible for things like child pornography. But whereas it’s been largely surgical here in the U.S., China wants total coverage, which makes crime prevention look a lot different.

Crime prevention is a double-edged sword when it comes to individual rights: The logic that promotes deterrents (like better locks, larger police forces) doesn’t target individual criminals, but rather focuses on protecting people and property from any criminals that might do harm. And again, this sort of thing isn’t going to be used to stop break-ins and muggings, but rather anti-government and anti-stability crimes. This activity isn’t getting a lot of pushback from civil liberties groups, and part of that could be because a lot of people aren’t convinced the government doesn’t already have all of this information.

Original Story: The Daily Beast

World’s First Biometric Credit Card

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One step closer to a cashless Society?

The fear of identity theft and cyber-banking crime has been the latest sales pitch to encourage accepting identity tech such as vein scanners, facial recognition, voiceprints, iris scans – even tears – as well as their attendant databases. There is an ongoing cooperative effort between global banks and corporations to ensure that there will be standardized, centralized entry into the consumer/Internet/banking matrix of the future.

MasterCard is now partnering with a Norwegian company called Zwipe to introduce the first fully biometric credit card, which will dispense with a PIN and instead use a fingerprint sensor for verification.

Planet-wide biometric ID is the stated goal of corporations, as well as various globalist foundations.The transition to a cashless society continues while simultaneously incorporating an all-inclusive tracking database from which it will become very difficult to escape if one wishes to interact in any meaningful way with a modern-day economy.

The biometrics agenda goes far beyond financial transactions, but this is the most palatable way to introduce the concept as a logical necessity to solve myriad problems with banking security. This should be kept in mind as we find ourselves in the midst of a perfect storm of health crises where we are already hearing calls of Big Data to be employed for health tracking and BioSurveillance.

Via Activist Post

Drivers Licenses becoming a resource for Police Facial recognition Databases

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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

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

FBI launches facial recognition project

As part of an update to the national fingerprint database, the FBI has begun rolling out facial recognition to identify criminals. It will form part of the bureau’s long-awaited, $1 billion Next Generation Identification (NGI) program, which will also add biometrics such as iris scans, DNA analysis, and voice identification to the toolkit. A handful of states began uploading their photos as part of a pilot program this February and it is expected to be rolled out nationwide by 2014.

Applications include tracking a suspect by picking out their face in a crowd and comparing images of a person of interest. against a national repository of images held by the FBI. An algorithm would perform an automatic search and return a list of potential hits for an officer to sort through and use as possible leads for an investigation.

The FBI’s Jerome Pender told the Senate in July that the searchable photo database used in the pilot studies only includes mugshots of known criminals. But it’s unclear from the NGI’s privacy statement whether that will remain the case once the entire system is up and running or if civilian photos might be added(and they will be, you dont spend 1 Billion dollars on this technology to keep tabs on a small minority of criminals and “suspected terrorists”), says attorney Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Full Article Here