Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged surveillance

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Under last month’s White House executive order on cybersecurity, the scans will be driven by classified information provided by U.S. intelligence agencies — including data from the National Security Agency (NSA) — on new or especially serious espionage threats and other hacking attempts. U.S. spy chiefs said on March 12 that cyber attacks have supplanted terrorism as the top threat to the country.

The Department of Homeland Security will gather the secret data and pass it to a small group of telecommunication companies and cyber security providers that have employees holding security clearances, government and industry officials said. Those companies will then offer to process email and other Internet transmissions for critical infrastructure customers that choose to participate in the program.

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In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, Albuquerque public schools has decided to embrace all out surveillance on its students. Instead of looking at the reasons behind why people decide to shoot up schools, New Mexico is throwing money at more surveillance cameras to solve the problem of school violence.

APS uses surveillance cams to monitor schools

The digital cameras are motion activated, grabbing onto people as they move. They’re in hallways, libraries, cafeterias, playgrounds and parking lots.

“Someone watching the camera can see if a person comes on campus who doesn’t belong there, and they can immediately call help if they need to or go to the door and see who the person is,” explained Lt. Rider. “They can address them before they even enter the campus.”

So far they’ve helped solve vandalism and even keep an eye on teachers, but they’re also tracking students.

APS also uses the cameras for other things. Monday they used them to monitor weather conditions especially at their East Mountain campuses.

The public school systems in the United States are becoming more and more indoctrination centers where everyone is monitored and tracked. Once young students are trained to be monitored 24/7, such systems will be moved to the general public where monitoring and tracking will no longer seem out of the ordinary and privacy is a thing of the past.

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Photograph courtesy Isao Echizen of Tokyo's National Institute of Informatics.

Photograph courtesy Isao Echizen of Tokyo’s National Institute of Informatics.

 

Over the past few years, facial recognition has been used in conjunction with more and more technology. It’s been used with CCTV, Facebook, and mannequins in stores. Japanese researchers, Isao Echizen, an associate professor at Tokyo’s National Institute of Informatics, and Seiichi Gohshi, a professor at Kogakuin University, have now invented a visor that can hide its user from any facial recognition technology.

After months of research, the duo invented a pair of high-tech glasses that emit a near infrared light to block face recognition cameras. It was their goal to counter what they call the “invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret.”

The glasses, currently in prototype form, are hardly what you would term stylish. They are essentially a pair of clunky-looking lab goggles. Attached to them are small circular lights that, when turned on, are visible only to cameras. They are connected to a wire and a battery that you have to carry in your pocket. But though the design might require a few tweaks, the concept has been attracting significant attention in Japan, where it has been featured on TV.

Such anti-facial recognition technology has been gaining attention elsewhere as well. Adam Harvey recently had a show displaying his anti-surveillance clothing. Harvey has previously showed people how different facial paint can fool facial recognition technologies.

While the current visor is quite ugly, further developments could make them smaller and less conspicuous to the general public.

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A special hour on privacy – license plate readers, national security letters, surveilling yourself so the government doesn’t have to, and OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman on just how much we misunderstand our privacy online.

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