In this video obtained by the Guardian, Raytheon’s ‘principal investigator’ Brian Urch explains how the Rapid Information Overlay Technology (Riot) software uses photographs on social networks. These images sometimes contain latitude and longitude details – automatically embedded by smartphones within so-called ‘exif header data’. Riot pulls out this information, analysing not only the photographs posted by individuals, but also the location where these images were taken
The ARGUS array is made up of several cameras and other types of imaging systems. The output of the imaging system is used to create extremely large, 1.8GP high-resolution mosaic images and video.
With a claim of one million terrabytes saved per day, it’s a scary view into our future, one that will be saved forever.
With technology advancing so quickly, it is difficult to see common sense and privacy keeping pace. Our society is increasingly moving towards one in which all our movements will be tracked.
This video clip was taken from PBS NOVA: Rise of the Drones.
Women in Saudi Arabia are already forced to have a male relative with them at all times when they are out in public or plan to travel. Now, because, apparently, it’s too hard to keep track of them, women will be electronically tracked and monitored, whenever they want to leave the country via a new and improved tracking system.
Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.
Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.
The husband, who was travelling with his wife, received a text message from the immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.
Though King Abdullah has cautiously set forth some reforms, such as giving women the right to vote, and Sheikh Abdullatif Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh has called for stopping harassment of women, little else has been done to stop women from being treated as fragile things that cannot make decisions for themselves. The tracking, however, doesn’t only include wives.
Reporting on the uproar, AFP described it this way: “women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.” This description is inaccurate. The so-called monitoring system is not just for women. The text messages would be sent when any of your dependents leave or enter the country. In Saudi Arabia that includes not only your underage sons and daughters, but also your wife (and other women under your custody) as well as foreign workers sponsored by you. Dependents are not allowed to leave the country without permission from their guardian or sponsor.
In April 2012, MOI introduced a new system of electronic services named Absher. The goal of the new system, according to a statement published by the state news agency, is to make it easier for citizens and residents to deal with the ministry “without having to visit the passport office.” The system is part of a larger e-Government plan to use technology in order to facilitate access to its services.
One of the services offered by Absher allows you to issue an electronic travel permit to your dependents. The introduction of the new electronic system meant that the infamous “yellow slip” is no longer needed. In the past, if a woman wanted to leave the country, her male guardian must give his consent by signing the yellow slip which is then given to passport control officers at the at the airport or border. The electronic travel permit is stored in the passport control system and therefore the yellow slip is now defunct.
While males can be released from the notification system once they are twenty-one and foreign workers once they leave the country permanently, women remain on this system for life.