Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged big brother

Researchers at Cornell University have created an AI system based on the Kinect that can watch everything that is going on in a home.

What they have done is to take a standard Kinect with the open source drivers and the PrimeSense Nite software and created a program that can tell what you are doing. The Kinect mounted on a roaming robot or perhaps one in every room can monitor what you are doing – cleaning your teeth, cooking, writing on a whiteboard (the designer are academics after all) and so on.

At a less ambitious level you could use a Kinect to monitor patients say and make sure that they were drinking or eating etc. A more worrying application might be to make sure that workers were doing just that – working and doing the correct task.

This is not a good use of AI. It is intrusive and not at all helpful to the person it is watching. Human beings do not need to be monitored 24/7. It’s not natural. Yet, this is exactly what this system is designed for despite the effort to inform you otherwise.

Your employer will use it spy on you. He will make sure that you are monitored at all times so that you cannot steal anything, even a paperclip, and make sure you are working 100% of the time. This will only be the beginning. Everyone everywhere will be monitored. Threaten your children in the heat of the moment? You no longer have children because the state has taken them away. If you can think of it, there will be a way to watch you while you do it.

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While you’re enjoying this video of a drunk British man, think about the fact that cameras are so ubiquitous in The United Kingdom that this is an every day occurrence. The cameras can easily watch anyone where ever they go.

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And then´╗┐ they passed the Patriot Act, and this became real. Replace this young, white male with anyone of Middle Eastern descent and watch how many people start to agree with what the librarian and the mystery men. You can also replace library with search engine.


Everyone complains about the tax man. We all know it’s all talk. No one is willing to go up against the tax man. Of course, certain comments made anywhere can get you followed today.


Replace these nice Christian folks with any other religion and suddenly, people find it acceptable to discriminate and force these folks to hide their beliefs. Those that don’t risk a backlash like the ground zero mosque.

These ads were meant to inform Americans to cherish their well fought for ideals and instill nationalism. Instead, Americans willingly fell prey to their own irrational fears and have allowed America to become like those depicted in the ads.

Remember, everyone is a terrorist or a government spy now.

We should, instead, return to the truths in the video below, repeal the Patriot Act and get rid of the general fear mongering spell this country seems to be under.

via reddit.

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Japanese researchers are testing new television set in which the TV will be able to watch you and detect future shows and advertisements that you might want to see.

TAN (user technology assisted navigation) TV viewing interface as it is called, has a camera mounted on the TV which photographs the viewer and estimates the viewer’s degrees of interest, concentration, etc from circumstances such as who is watching the TV with how much interest. The information is processed by a tablet PC and recommended information is shown to the viewer, it is possible to show individual interests as well in case there are multiple viewers.

The viewer’s interest is determined by observing his face, facial expression and motion.

Maybe in the near future television will have a front facing camera and actually identify individual viewers by their faces and serve advertisements and give recommendation accordingly.

Maybe in the near future I won’t have a telescreen at all.

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Many people protested that the TSA should force themselves into soft spots. They are unnecessary, but since the US has killed Osama bin Laden, it’s being used as an excuse to scare people. The claim is that since bin Laden is dead, there will be more attacks on the US in smaller targets. It’s ridiculous, but, if the government hammers this message to the people long enough, they’ll start to believe it.

The media need to stop comparing these types of things to how things are done in Israel. The security procedures in Israel do not scale to a country the size of America. Israel is also under a real, constant threat of attacks. These attacks happen every day in Israel. They do not happen in America. In reality, we should be more afraid of what our government is doing to our country rather than any terrorist. You may not see it, but the next step is going to be an unofficial forcing of carrying your identity papers with you to go buy groceries. After all, you don’t want the police to think you’re a terrorist do you?

Shame on CBS for putting this blatant propaganda piece out onto the airwaves. We do not need Israeli-style checkpoints at our malls, grocery stores, or bus and train stations. We will not report on our neighbors. We will not willingly accept a police state. We will, however, continue fighting to keep the few remaining rights that we have left.

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