The coming police state
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will test its crowd-scanning facial recognition system, known as the Biometric Optical Surveillance System, or BOSS, at a junior hockey game this weekend.
With assistance from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, DHS will test its system at a Western Hockey League game in Washington state. The test will determine whether the system can distinguish the faces of 20 volunteers out of a crowd of nearly 6,000 hockey fans, to evaluate how successfully BOSS can locate a person of interest.
BOSS technology consists of two cameras capable of taking stereoscopic images of a face and a back end remote matching system. Stereoscopic images are two images of the same object, taken at slightly different angles that create an illusion of three-dimensional depth from two-dimensional images.
The cameras transfer the pair of images to the remote matching system by way of fiber optic or wireless technology. The system then processes and stores the two images into a 3-D signature, which is the mathematical representation of the stereo-pair images that the system uses for matching.
Using the BOSS facial recognition algorithms, the signature is matched against a locally stored database created from volunteers, using a combination of mathematical and statistical analysis.
BOSS is capable of capturing images of an individual at 50-100 meters in distance. The system can capture images of subjects participating from a specific distance, or be set up in a way that tracks and passively captures frontal face images of an individual as he/she moves in front of the camera.
As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, a $5.2 million contract for BOSS was awarded to Electronic Warfare Associates, a U.S. military contractor.
Recently the system was not deemed ready since it could not achieve 80 to 90 percent identification accuracy at a distance of 100 meters and could not process and identify images in less than 30 seconds against a biometric database.
This weekend’s test will attempt to rectify this deficiency. If the test succeeds, the technology conceivably could be used at international crossings and other ports across the United States patrolled by the department. source- Biometric Update
No liberal is ever responsible
The State Department has cleared four employees who had been suspended for their role in lax security leading up to last year’s terrorist attack in Benghazi, but Republican lawmakers say their investigation will go on.
“We will continue to hold hearings that shed light on the terrorist tragedy that is Benghazi,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is still investigating the attack. “The truth will get out there.”
Secretary of State John Kerry had his staff look at the actions of four employees singled out for rebuke as a result of an Accountability Review Board investigation ordered by Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Kerry’s analysis of their actions, however, found that “There was no breach of duty by these four employees,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Tuesday. “The right answer for these four is reassignment.”
Only a breach of duty would justify disciplinary action or firing, Harf said. The decision was made while considering their mostly-exemplary careers often spent in difficult places around the world, she said.
“Clearly this could have been done better,” Harf said, referring to security preparations in Benghazi. But “These are real people with real lives and real careers and real families, and we can’t take action just to make ourselves feel better.”
The review board identified 29 deficiencies, which Clinton later accepted and said would be addressed, that contributed to the severity of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack. U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other State Department employees died in the premeditated assault, which lasted several hours and involved the firing of light arms, rocket propelled grenades and mortars on two separate U.S. facilities in the birthplace of the uprising that deposed Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
The attack followed two previous ones on the Benghazi Consulate in April and June, and a deteriorating security situation in that city, which prompted American security personnel in Libya to request additional personnel and fortifications for the facility. The requests were denied, Chaffetz said.
At least one of the suspended employees, Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, testified before Congress that she stood behind her decision to deny those requests based on the information she had at the time. News reports based on anonymous sources said she and Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of State for diplomatic security, had stepped down, but then it turned out they’d only been suspended.
“How is it (after) 29 systemic failures and two bombings and no one is held accountable?” Chaffetz said. “That’s ridiculous.”
After the attack, State Department and Obama administration officials blamed it on an anti-Islam film that caused angry demonstrations elsewhere in the Muslim world, but not in Benghazi. The State Department and White House have never explained the misinformation.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the oversight committee, said in a statement that Obama administration officials “repeatedly promised” the families of the victims and the nation that officials responsible would be held accountable.
“Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll,” Issa said in a statement.
The oversight committee plans a series of additional hearings “to dive into the depth of what did and did not happen” at the State Department before and during the attacks, Chaffetz said.
Lawmakers still want to know who made the decision not to beef up security in Benghazi despite repeated warnings of increased threats from radicals in the area. The oversight committee interviewed three of the four suspended employees and some of their supervisors in June and July, and at that time, none had been interviewed by State, Chaffetz said.
“I don’t know how the State Department came to this conclusion without those people ever having been interviewed at least as of July,” he said. source – USA Today
House Republicans passed their stopgap funding bill Friday to keep government open while terminating the new health care law, setting up a final showdown next week with Senate Democrats and President Obama who have firmly rejected that.
The 230-189 vote, which split almost exclusively along party lines, is the precursor to the big action next week, when the Senate is expected to strip out the health care provisions and send the bill back to the House — where Republicans will have to decide whether they can accept it at that point.
All sides are racing a Sept. 30 deadline, which is when current government funding runs out. The new measure would fund the government through Dec. 15, essentially at last year’s levels, and would leave the budget sequesters in place.
But Republicans also attached two amendments — one to direct how government spending is prioritized in the event the Treasury Department bumps up against its debt limit, and another that strips out funding for the health care law, which would effectively stop it.
“The evidence is very clear that Obamacare is actively hurting,” said Rep. Lee Terry, Nebraska Republican. Democrats said the bill was an outrage that exposed Republicans’ true intention of trying to force a government shutdown.
“It is a wolf in wolf’s clothing,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “Either you don’t know what you’re doing or this is one of the most intentional acts of brutality you’ve cooked up.”
Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House spending committee, said limiting government funding now would prevent federal authorities from being able to help out as Colorado recovers from devastating floods.
They urged the GOP to negotiate with Democrats to raise taxes in order to spend more.
Republicans countered that if they’d wanted to shut down government they wouldn’t have brought any bill to the floor. “We are pragmatists. We know we have to pass bills to fund government. Thus this bill,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers. source – Washington Times
The bible has long foretold that in the end of times, all financial transactions will be control by what it calls the mark of the beast. So it is no surprise that we will now begin to see nation after nation getting rid of cash as currency, and replacing it with a worldwide, computer-controlled financial system.
From Israel National News: The government on Tuesday authorized establishment of a committee that will examine ways to eliminate cash from the Israeli economy – the better to prevent citizens from cheating on their taxes. The committee will be chaired by Harel Locker, director of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Cash is easily passed from individual to individual, and transactions using cash can take place without the tax man’s supervision. Not so electronic transactions; with modern computers, banks can keep tabs on how much people deposit into their accounts and how much they withdraw, while credit card companies have an up to the second record of how much people spend.
Members of the panel will include top staff from the Israel Police, the Tax Authority, the chairman of the Government Authority on Money Laundering and Terror, the Bank of Israel’s income and payments director, State Attorney’s office officials, and more.
According to many of these officials, cash is bad – because it allows individuals to get out of their tax payment responsibilities. Today, an enterprising tax collector cannot easily compare income and outflow. While he may suspect that a person living beyond his reported means is cheating on his taxes, there is no way to know for sure, without solid evidence. In a cashless economy, all records will be electronic, and checking who makes what and how much they owe in taxes – and collecting it before it gets to their account – will be a much simpler matter, the theory goes.
Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office declared that “around the world, it is recognized that cash is a key element of the illegal economy and money laundering. It allows a wide gap between reported and actual incomes, with the corresponding effect on tax revenues.” By eliminating cash, the PMO said, “it will be possible to expand the tax base, and prevent money laundering.” The committee will study the issue from all its perspectives and make recommendations, the PMO said.
One issue the committee will be examining, the PMO said, was the imposing of administrative fees on electronic transactions, common in Israel. Whatever solutions the committee comes up with, the office said, it will ensure that individuals who have no choice in the matter will be able to make transactions in a manner that will not tack on extra expenses. Observers said that it was hard to imagine the government succeeding in this effort. “A move like this could really weaken the economy,” said one observer. “The only thing declaring cash obsolete will do is to encourage people to use dollars or other foreign currency for financial transactions. Unless the government plans on making it illegal to hold foreign currency, there is no way to get rid of cash and the problems that go along with it.” source – Israel National News
Somewhere in the Middle East, right now, Putin and Assad are sharing cigars and cognac around a roaring fire, with the melodious sound of laughter rising into the night sky as they high-five each other over an 8×10 glossy of Obama. ‘Red line’ indeed.
WASHINGTON — The ambitious U.S.-Russian deal to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough just days ago, hit its first delay Wednesday with indications that the Syrian government will not submit an inventory of its toxic stockpiles and facilities to international inspectors by this weekend’s deadline.
The State Department signaled that it would not insist that Syrian President Bashar Assad produce the list Saturday, the end of a seven-day period spelled out in the framework deal that Washington and Moscow announced last weekend in Geneva.
Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday that “our goal is to see forward momentum” by Saturday, not the full list. “We’ve never said it was a hard and fast deadline.”
It wasn’t clear whether Syrian officials needed more time to complete a formal declaration of their chemical arms, or whether the disarmament deal itself was in trouble.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry had described the date as the first of several “specific timelines” that would indicate whether Syria is committed to the deal that he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had worked out.
“We agreed that Syria must submit within a week — not in 30 days, but in one week — a comprehensive listing,” Kerry said Saturday. He said the U.S. would allow “no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance.”
Senior Obama administration officials had praised Russia for persuading Assad’s government to relinquish its lethal chemical arsenal, one of the world’s largest, by mid-2014 in a deal to avoid U.S. missile strikes in retaliation for the Aug. 21 poison gas attack that the U.S. says killed more than 1,000 people.
But Moscow’s ability or willingness to push its ally in Damascus to meet the first deadline in the deal now is being questioned.
Kerry and Lavrov sought last weekend to portray the two powers as united. The gap between them, however, has become more apparent and is threatening to snarl efforts to craft a United Nations Security Council resolution that lays out how Syria is to meet its obligations.
The resolution needs to be complete before the first steps can be taken to impound and either remove or destroy Syria’s arsenal. Diplomats said Western countries split with Russia in a meeting Tuesday over Western demands for tough enforcement of the agreement.
Diplomats hope to complete the resolution by Friday, but if they fall short the work may be delayed further next week because of the meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international body based in The Hague, is expected to take several days to complete its analysis of the Syrian “initial declaration,” and then will submit its report to the United Nations. source – LA Times
“And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.” Mark 8:10
Dateline Israel: A town dating back more than 2,000 years has been discovered on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee, in Israel’s Ginosar valley.
The ancient town may be Dalmanutha (also spelled Dalmanoutha), described in the Gospel of Mark as the place Jesus sailed to after miraculously feeding 4,000 people by multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread, said Ken Dark, of the University of Reading in the U.K., whose team discovered the town during a field survey.
The archaeologists also determined that a famous boat, dating to around 2,000 years ago, and uncovered in 1986, was found on the shoreline of the newly discovered town. The boat was reported on two decades ago but the discovery of the town provides new information on what lay close to it.
The evidence the team found suggests the town was prosperous in ancient times. “Vessel glass and amphora hint at wealth,” Dark wrote in an article published in the most recent edition of the journal Palestine Exploration Quarterly, while “weights and stone anchors, along with the access to beaches suitable for landing boats — and, of course, the first-century boat … all imply an involvement with fishing.” [Photos: 4,000-Year-Old Structure Hidden Under Sea of Galilee]
The architectural remains and pottery suggest that Jews and those following a polytheistic religion lived side by side in the community. In addition, the researchers found that the southern side of the newly discovered town lies only about 500 feet (150 meters) away from another ancient town known as Magdala. source – NBC News
RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast and the Implantable RFID Microchip
The book of Revelation says that in the last days, the whole world is controlled by a ‘mark’ that goes inside your body and through it all buying, selling and any type of financial or personal transactions will controlled. The bible goes on to say that this mark will be connected with the worship of a man – the Antichrist. That man has yet to arrive, but say hello to his mark.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13
CBS New York: Passwords, pin numbers, and credit cards could soon be a thing of the past. Soon, your heart and your body might be used to keep track of just about everything if new technology is able to unlock “pulse passwords”.
Your heartbeat reveals more about you than your health, Bionym chief executive officer Karl Martin explained.
“There’s actually unique characteristics that relate to the size of the heart, the position of the heart, and the physiology surrounding the heart,” he said.
Our heartbeats are as unique to us as our fingerprints and now they are being used to replace passwords, key cards, and bank cards, CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson reported. “It’s like your personal pin number is your heartbeat,” Mashable.com’s Lance Ulanoff said.
The technology could allow you to open a door without a key or have tech gadgets like smartphones and tablets unlock the second that you walk into a room. It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but experts say it is the wave of the future.
“It’s going to be a way for us to interact with the world around us without having to constantly identify ourselves,” Ulanoff explained.
Bionym, a Canadian company, developed a wristband to recognize the pattern of an individual pulse. The wristband transmits information that allows the user to do things like withdrawing money without a bank card.
“You don’t have to remember anything. You don’t have to do anything special,” Ulanoff said.
Bionym isn’t the only company developing concepts that use the human body as a form of identification. Motorola is working on a temporary tattoo that contains a computer chip and an antenna.
A pill that dissolves and turns the entire body into a transmitter is also in the works.
Security experts say traditional passwords don’t offer much protection from identity thieves. “If they’re alpha numeric, and usually they are because they have to be easy to remember, they’re also correspondingly easier to break into,” security expert Rohit Sethi explained.
The new technology could pose considerable roadblocks for hackers because heartbeats cannot be replicated.
“You’re not going to have a piece of paper in your pocket with your password. You’re going to have it as part of your body so that is safer,” Ulanoff said. Bionym’s wristband is so in tune with its owner that if somebody did steal it, it would not work. The wristband costs about $100 and is expected to hit stores in 2014. source – CBS News/New York