Developing more complex and invasive methods of mass surveillance seems to be a constant goal of governments around the world as they pursue ever-increasing control over their citizens' lives. While much has been revealed about Western governments' communications monitoring programs in recent years, however, new developments in China and India offer insights into the potential … Continue reading Flawed biometric schemes in Asia highlight mass surveillance risks
The U.S. spy world's high tech research agency, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity or IARPA, has launched a new face-recognition challenge, as Atlantic Media's government tech news site NextGov reports this week. Unlike the procession of so-called "artificial intelligence" algorithms that have emerged in recent years for the purpose of identifying faces in photos … Continue reading Govt. wants face recognition for ‘non-cooperative’ subjects ‘in the wild’
During last year's election campaign, President Donald Trump famously promised to build a wall on the United States' southern border, and make Mexico pay for it. Now, however, it appears that U.S. taxpayers may end up paying not only for the border wall, but for a whole biometric surveillance system for the Mexican government. "The … Continue reading U.S. looks into setting up biometric surveillance system for Mexico
Last summer, as he rallied supporters at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump declared himself the "law and order candidate," echoing the (somewhat ironic) claims of Richard Nixon before him. Yet given the rapid development of technology available to law enforcement in the decades since Nixon occupied the Oval Office, President Trump's use of the … Continue reading Carnage, violence, law and order, biometric profiling and predictive policing under Trump
In the wake of the massacre in Orlando earlier this month, some, including journalists and a former deputy director of the FBI, have pointed to an alleged lack of resources as the cause for the bureau's failure to stop Omar Mateen. It is difficult to judge this claim, however, due to the lack of … Continue reading FBI Failures: A Question of Resources or Priorities?
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated," the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states. While we still have the right -at least on paper - to privacy in our homes, however, many Americans appear increasingly willing to trade … Continue reading Tech Giants Promote Dystopian ‘Smart Homes’
A diverse range of organizations including Amnesty International USA, Uber and Lyft, as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union, published a letter this week urging the rejection of a plan to exempt the FBI's biometrics database from provisions of the Privacy Act. The "Next Generation Identification" (NGI) database, as it … Continue reading Groups Urge FBI Biometrics Transparency
Privacy advocates claimed a small victory last week, as a proposed last-minute change to an Illinois face recognition law was withdrawn shortly after being introduced. Illinois has a strong biometrics privacy law, which requires companies to get consent before collecting biometric data such as face, iris, or fingerprint scans. The change, proposed by Illinois Senator … Continue reading Activists See Threat, Investors See Cash Cow