Posts tagged big brother
Obama has created a monster that will destroy long after he leaves
“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life,” Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday. “That’s going to be very, very powerful,” Waters said.
“That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it.
And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”
Bloomberg’s Vision of a Drone Police State Coming True
RELATED STORY: The 666 Surveillance System and the Mark of the Beast
Envisioning a future where privacy is a thing of the past, Mayor Bloomberg said Friday it will soon be impossible to escape the eye of Big Brother in the city.
“You wait, in five years, the technology is getting better, they’ll be cameras every place,” Bloomberg said during his weekly radio appearance. “Get used to it — whether you like it or not.”
The Police Department already has a network of its own surveillance cameras throughout the city, including in Times Square. And in Lower Manhattan, an initiative developed after 9/11 known as the “Ring of Steel” integrates the NYPD’s cameras with those of banks and other institutions.The security measures have drawn scorn from some civil libertarians — but Bloomberg scoffed at privacy concerns on his Friday morning program on WOR-AM. “The argument against using automation is just this craziness that ‘Oh, it’s Big Brother,’” Bloomberg said. “Get used to it!”
In the future, the cameras won’t just be limited to buildings and red lights. Some of them will be able to fly, the mayor pointed out.
“It’s scary,” he said. “But what’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building? I mean intellectually I have trouble making a distinction. And you know you’re gonna have face recognition software. People are working on that.”
Bloomberg warned that drones would be able to peep into a home’s windows — adding that Peeping Tom legislation could help maintain some privacy.
“It’s just we’re going into a different world, unchartered…,” he said, adding that you “can’t keep the tides from coming in.” source- NY Daily News
RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Futurists have long proclaimed the coming of a cashless society, where dollar bills and plastic cards are replaced by fingerprint and retina scanners smart enough to distinguish a living, breathing account holder from an identity thief.
What they probably didn’t see coming was that one such technology would make its debut not in Silicon Valley or MIT but at a small state college in remote western South Dakota, 25 miles from Mount Rushmore.
Two shops on the School of Mines and Technology campus are performing one of the world’s first experiments in Biocryptology — a mix of biometrics (using physical traits for identification) and cryptology (the study of encoding private information). Students at the Rapid City school can buy a bag of potato chips with a machine that non-intrusively detects their hemoglobin to make sure the transaction is legitimate.
Researchers figure their technology would provide a critical safeguard against a morbid scenario sometimes found in spy movies in which a thief removes someone else’s finger to fool the scanner.
On a recent Friday, mechanical engineering major Bernard Keeler handed a Red Bull to a cashier in the Miner’s Shack campus shop, typed his birthdate into a pay pad and swiped his finger. Within seconds, the machine had identified his print and checked that blood was pulsing beneath it, allowing him to make the buy. Afterward, Keeler proudly showed off the receipt he was sent via email on his smartphone.
Fingerprint technology isn’t new, nor is the general concept of using biometrics as a way to pay for goods. But it’s the extra layer of protection — that deeper check to ensure the finger has a pulse — that researchers say sets this technology apart from already-existing digital fingerprint scans, which are used mostly for criminal background checks.
Al Maas, president of Nexus USA — a subsidiary of Spanish-based Hanscan Indentity Management, which patented the technology — acknowledged South Dakota might seem an unlikely locale to test it, but to him, it was a perfect fit.
“I said, if it flies here in the conservative Midwest, it’s going to go anywhere,” Maas said.
Maas grew up near Madison, S.D., and wanted his home state to be the technology’s guinea pig. He convinced Hanscan owner Klaas Zwart that the 2,400-student Mines campus should be used as the starter location.
The students all major in mechanical engineering or hard sciences, which means they’re naturally technologically inclined, said Joseph Wright, the school’s associate vice president for research-economic development.
“South Dakota is a place where people take risks. We’re very entrepreneurial,” Wright said. After Maas and Zwart introduced the idea to students this winter, about 50 stepped forward to take part in the pilot.
“I really wanted to be part of what’s new and see if I could help improve what they already have,” said Phillip Clemen, 19, a mechanical engineering student.
Robert Siciliano, a security expert with McAfee, Inc., minimized potential privacy concerns. ”We are hell bent on privacy issues here in the U.S. We get all up in arms when someone talks about scanning us or recording our information, but then we’ll throw up everything about us on Facebook and give up all of our personal information for 10 percent off at a shoe store for instant credit,” he said.
Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, said fingerprint technology on its own raises security issues, but he called “liveness detection” a step in the right direction.
“Any security measure can be defeated; it’s a question of making it harder,” he said. The key to keeping biometric identification from becoming Big Brother-like is to make it voluntary and ensure that the information scanned is used exactly as promised, Stanley said.
Brian Wiles, a Miles mechanical engineering major, said it’s exciting to be beta testing technology that could soon be worldwide. ”There was some hesitation, but the fact that it’s the first in the world — that’s the whole point of this school,” said Wiles, 22. “We’re innovators.” source – NY Daily News
Big Brother’s watching
In an alarming extension of the Big Brother state, CCTV and microphones had been installed in all cabs under the control of Southampton City Council – but yesterday the Information Commissioner ordered it to end the policy, claiming that its official snooping had ‘gone too far’.
Southampton began forcing local taxi drivers to record conversations between themselves and passengers in 2009, claiming it would provide greater safety for both parties.
In other parts of the country, including London, it is recommended that cabs either install CCTV systems without audio recording functions due to privacy concerns, or use a system which triggers audio recording only in specific circumstances for a short period, such as if the driver has pressed a panic button.
Southampton’s officials claim they view the footage or download recordings from cabs only if a complaint is made against a driver or when police request it while investigating a crime, and other town halls had been intending to copy the scheme.
Step too far
However, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, responding to a complaint by a passenger, said most people expect privacy in the back of a cab, and that while CCTV can still be used, recording conversations must stop.
He added: ‘By requiring taxi operators to record all conversations and images while the vehicles are in use, Southampton City Council has gone too far.
‘We recognise the council’s desire to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers but this has to be balanced against the degree of privacy that most people would reasonably expect in the back of a taxi.’ Southampton officials said they may challenge the decision. If successful, it would raise the prospect of passengers being snooped upon across the country.
The watchdog also revealed a similar scheme in Oxford would have breached the Data Protection Act, and that the local authority has now suspended the policy.
Nick Pickles, director of the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Recording every minute of every passenger’s conversations in taxis is an unjustified and intrusive measure. ’What is deeply concerning is that two councils have made huge errors of judgment in pursuing audio recording in taxis and that is an issue the commissioner needs to urgently address.
‘Across a whole range of issues councils time and time again fail to respect people’s privacy and this attitude must be tackled.’
Mr Graham said that images should be recorded only where it is ‘clearly justifiable’ while audio recordings should be made only ‘on very rare occasions, for example where there are a high number of serious incidents and where recording is triggered due to a specific threat’.
Jacqui Rayment, Southampton City Council’s deputy leader, said: ‘We are disappointed with this decision, as it is about safety for both the drivers and passengers. ‘Data is encrypted, kept very securely and only downloaded if there is a specific complaint against a driver or if the police request access in order to investigate an alleged offence. We are currently taking legal advice on the next steps to take, including appeal.’ – Source – DailyMail
brave scary new world
RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast
A new generation of computerized ’Big Brother’ cameras are able to spot if you are a terrorist or a criminal – before you even commit a crime. The devices are installed in places like train stations or public buildings where they scan passers by to see if they are acting suspiciously.
Using a range of in-built parameters of what is ‘normal’ the cameras then send a text message to a human guard to issue an alert – or call them. Manufacturers BRS Labs said it has installed the cameras at tourist attractions, government buildings and military bases in the U.S.
But the Texas-based company has offices in London, Sao Paulo, and Barcelona – meaning they could be in dozens of places around the world.
In its latest project BRS Labs is to install its devices on the transport system in San Francisco, which includes buses, trams and subways.
The company says will put them in 12 stations with up to 22 cameras in each, bringing the total number to 288. The cameras will be able to track up to 150 people at a time in real time and will gradually build up a ‘memory’ of suspicious behaviour to work out what is suspicious.
BRS Labs said the cameras effective have ‘the capability to learn from what they observe’. Its advanced features also mean it can compensate for poor light or a shaky image, further reducing the need for human supervision.
Each camera has a series of virtual ‘trip wires’ and if any activated then an alert is sent out to a human supervisor.
The relevant clip of footage is then sent over the Internet to human employees, along with a text message informing them of more details.
Speaking to Fast Company, BRS Labs President John Frazzini said its technology involves 11 patents which deal with helping the machines to learn. He added that in the case of the San Francisco cameras, the footage will actually be turned into code before being analysed.
In the post 9/11 world, Western countries have increasingly looked to behaviour monitoring to stop themselves becoming the victims of a terrorist attack.
In the UK staff at airports have been trained in ‘behavioural detection’ to spot somebody acting suspiciously. It has since been discussed at the UN-backed International Civil Aviation Organisation in Switzerland and could be rolled out across Europe.
U.S. airports such as Boston’s Logan airport also have similar measures in place in addition to the usual metal detectors and pat-downs.
This summer the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Department will release harmless bacteria into its subway system to test biological weapons detectors. source – Daily Mail UK
It’s not a theory, but it sure is a conspiracy
The Obama administration said today that it’s moving ahead with a plan for broad adoption of Internet IDs despite concerns about identity centralization, and hopes to fund pilot projects next year. At an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., administration officials downplayed privacy and civil liberties concerns about their proposal, which they said would be led by the private sector and not be required for Americans who use the Internet.
There’s “no reliable way to verify identity online” at the moment, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said, citing the rising tide of security threats including malware and identity theft that have grown increasingly prevalent over the last few years. “Passwords just won’t cut it here.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama told CNET that “I do not support the Real ID program.” But after being elected, Obama has not called for its repeal and his administration said last month that it’s working “very closely with the states to assist with implementation.”
A 55-page document (PDF) released by the White House today adds a few more details to the proposal, which still remains mostly hazy and inchoate.
It offers examples of what the White House views as an “identity ecosystem,” including obtaining a digital ID from an Internet service provider that could be used to view your personal health information, or obtaining an ID linked to your cell phone that would let you log into IRS.gov to view payments and file taxes. The idea is to have multiple identity providers that are part of the same system.
Administration officials plan to convene a series of workshops between June and September of this year that would bring together companies and advocacy groups and move closer to an actual specification for what’s being called the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, or NSTIC.
Left unsaid was that the series of workshops, which will be open to the public, will give the proposal’s backers a chance to downplay concerns that it could become the virtual equivalent of a national ID card.
During his speech, Locke lashed out at the “conspiracy theory set” who have criticized the proposal. A column in NetworkWorld.com, for instance, called NSTIC a “great example of rampant, over-reaching, ignorant, and ill-conceived political foolishness.” Read more: source – CNET