Govt. wants face recognition for ‘non-cooperative’ subjects ‘in the wild’

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’

Former spy chief comments on ‘broken’ clearance system, ‘too much Big Brother’

James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence who resigned at the end of President Obama's administration -- and who once controversially denied that the U.S. intelligence bureaucracy collects data on its own citizens just months before leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed that to be untrue -- is seemingly willing … Continue reading Former spy chief comments on ‘broken’ clearance system, ‘too much Big Brother’

U.S. looks into setting up biometric surveillance system for Mexico

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

Automation suggested as ‘insider threat’ solution

In the wake of high-profile leaks of government secrets in recent years such as those by Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, and most recently the CIA revelations from Wikileaks, the "insider threat" has become a prominent concern in national security circles. It is not surprising, then, that someone has now suggested another popular buzzword -- … Continue reading Automation suggested as ‘insider threat’ solution

Police want Minority Report tech, but problems persist

Last summer, a coalition of American civil rights groups came together to denounce the increasing proliferation of "predictive policing" technologies that they described as "profoundly flawed." Nevertheless, the development of these technologies hurtles forward both in the United States and around the world. In the U.S., President Donald Trump appears enthusiastic about the prospects for … Continue reading Police want Minority Report tech, but problems persist

Plausible deniability surrounding surveillance abuse wears thin

In the wake of Wikileaks' bombshell "Year Zero" disclosures on Tuesday, former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, a frequent defacto spokesman for the intelligence establishment, appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, of all places, to awkwardly attempt to explain the stunning revelations. Hayden cracked a joke or two … Continue reading Plausible deniability surrounding surveillance abuse wears thin

Trump accuses Obama of wiretaps, pushes to renew unaccountable wiretapping authority

  President Donald Trump kicked off yet another news cycle via Twitter this weekend with allegations that former President Barack Obama had his "wires tapped" at Trump Tower in October. Yet Trump's concern about whether he was personally monitored  comes as his administration is reportedly looking to reauthorize two of the National Security Agency's biggest … Continue reading Trump accuses Obama of wiretaps, pushes to renew unaccountable wiretapping authority

‘The science of resistance’ and the Trump administration

Ever since Donald Trump's election win took the national media and much of the country by surprise, much has been written in the press and on social media about "The Resistance" to his presidency. The phrase has been embraced by the likes of comedian Sarah Silverman and former ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann, who has adopted … Continue reading ‘The science of resistance’ and the Trump administration

Local police cell phone snooping highlights lack of surveillance oversight

In December, a congressional oversight committee released a report on the use of cell-site simulators, and claimed federal authorities only use the mobile phone surveillance devices to determine suspects' locations, rather than to intercept content. A new investigation, however, shows that local law enforcement, at least, has often been using the sophisticated surveillance technology under … Continue reading Local police cell phone snooping highlights lack of surveillance oversight

Critics question FBI use of National Security Letters

Every year the Federal Bureau of Investigation issues tens of thousands of "National Security Letters." These demands for information from communications service providers are a key component in the U.S. government's domestic surveillance apparatus, yet the details of how they are used were long kept largely secret from the public. This has begun to change … Continue reading Critics question FBI use of National Security Letters