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FBI begins installation of $1 billion face recognition system across America

category international | rights and freedoms | feature author Thursday September 13, 2012 01:12author by T Report this post to the editors

Police State technology and implementation makes further advances

featured image
Automatic facial recognition in action

Things on the global Police State front get more frightening and ominous by the day. This latest announcement serves to underline that. The FBI has officially started rolling out a state-of-the-art face recognition project that will assist in their effort to accumulate and archive information about each and every American at a cost of a billion dollars. It is known as the Next Generation Identification (NGI) program. This report comes from Russia Today (rt.com) and quotes an article in New Scientist magazine. The project itself was announced back in 2005 and was part of a project to upgrade the existing Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) that keeps track of citizens with criminal records across America.

But as always with the vast increases in computer processing power, storage and network bandwidth, the temptation to expand and integrate this more widely as usual cannot be resisted. Officially it says: The NGI Program Office mission is to reduce terrorist and criminal activities by improving and expanding biometric identification and criminal history information services through research, evaluation and implementation of advanced technology within the IAFIS environment. Nothing too wrong there you might say. However the report says the agency (FBI) says:

“As a result of the NGI initiatives, the FBI will be able to provide services to enhance interoperability between stakeholders at all levels of government, including local, state, federal, and international partners. The report notes: In doing as such, though, the government is now going ahead with linking a database of images and personally identifiable information of anyone in their records with departments around the world thanks to technology that makes fingerprint tracking seem like kids' stuff. . Did you get that? -other departments around the world!
Please note as an aside about Facebook.
People may not be aware but a number of years ago there was a significant break-through in the algorithms for face recognition. Indeed as anyone with a Facebook account knows, if you tag a picture of someone with their name, Facebook will automatically scan through all other pictures to see if it can identify that same person and automatically tag all other pictures containing that person with their name. Perhaps some users think this is a really handy feature but it has its flip side. Facebook has about 40 billion face prints.
For more related, see Franken takes Facebook to task over photo tagging | Facebook acquires facial recognition startup, may broaden tagging ability
featured image
Presentation of how automated facial recognition finds same person twice and pulls up personal details

Getting back to the report it goes on to say:
According to their 2006 report, the NGI program utilizes “specialized requirements in the Latent Services, Facial Recognition and Multi-modal Biometrics areas” that “will allow the FnewBI to establish a terrorist fingerprint identification system that is compatible with other systems; increase the accessibility and number of the IAFIS terrorist fingerprint records; and provide latent palm print search capabilities.” Is that just all, though? During a 2010 presentation (.pdf) made by the FBI’s Biometric Center of Intelligence, the agency identified why facial recognition technology needs to be embraced. Specifically, the FBI said that the technology could be used for “Identifying subjects in public datasets,” as well as “conducting automated surveillance at lookout locations” and “tracking subject movements,” meaning NGI is more than just a database of mug shots mixed up with fingerprints — the FBI has admitted that this their intent with the technology surpasses just searching for criminals but includes spectacular surveillance capabilities. Together, it’s a system unheard of outside of science fiction
So okay lets read that again: ... Specifically, the FBI said that the technology could be used for “Identifying subjects in public datasets,” as well as “conducting automated surveillance at lookout locations” and “tracking subject movements,” The image below is from a presentation showing how the system can zoom in a pick 3 people from a crowd and then recognise that person again in a later shot. If you are not getting worried at this stage, then you have to be brain dead. To continue with the report it says:
New Scientist reports that a 2010 study found technology used by NGI to be accurate in picking out suspects from a pool of 1.6 million mug shots 92 percent of the time. The system was tested on a trial basis in the state of Michigan earlier this year, and has already been cleared for pilot runs in Washington, Florida and North Carolina. Now according to this week’s New Scientist report, the full rollout of the program has begun and the FBI expects its intelligence infrastructure to be in place across the United States by 2014. .... Jim Harper, director of information policy at the Cato Institute, adds to NextGov that investigators pair facial recognition technology with publically available social networks in order to build bigger profiles. Facial recognition "is more accurate with a Google or a Facebook, because they will have anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen pictures of an individual, whereas I imagine the FBI has one or two mug shots," he says. When these files are then fed to law enforcement agencies on local, federal and international levels, intelligence databases that include everything from close-ups of eyeballs and irises to online interests could be shared among offices.

The FBI expects the NGI system to include as many as 14 million photographs by the time the project is in full swing in only two years, but the pace of technology and the new connections constantly created by law enforcement agencies could allow for a database that dwarfs that estimate. As RT reported earlier this week, the city of Los Angeles now considers photography in public space “suspicious,” and authorizes LAPD officers to file reports if they have reason to believe a suspect is up to no good. Those reports, which may not necessarily involve any arrests, crimes, charges or even interviews with the suspect, can then be filed, analyzed, stored and shared with federal and local agencies connected across the country to massive data fusion centers. Similarly, live video transmissions from thousands of surveillance cameras across the country are believed to be sent to the same fusion centers as part of TrapWire, a global eye-in-the-sky endeavor that RT first exposed earlier this year.

And to prove not all US senators are sold on this sort of thing, the report quotes US Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota):
“Once someone has your faceprint, they can get your name, they can find your social networking account and they can find and track you in the street, in the stores you visit, the government buildings you enter, and the photos your friends post online.”
As of this stage the program is 60% deployed and the map below shows states where facial recognition (FR) is already in pilot operation. Some readers might think well this is just a US story so so what? As already indicated in the article it explicitly says this will link other with other similar departments worldwide and with certainty we can include the UK seeing they are most eager with this kind of technology, but it is very likely to be deployed in most other countries and is actually mostly likely already being piloted. The ease at which this can be done is really quite simple, because even in little old Ireland, there are already 1000's of cameras and all that is required is to simply divert or send a copy of these data streams to the appropriate centers and simply load the software. Given the enormous bandwidth of fiber optic cables and their widespread presence, it is irrelevant where the data and analysis center is. For all we know the US or UK could simply for a fee be already or plan to, offer to run the service for the Irish and give them private web (or whatever) access to the results. Of course they get to extend their own networks and scoop up the data here essentially for free. The full text of the report can be read at the link below

Related Link: http://rt.com/usa/news/fbi-recognition-system-ngi-640/

facial_recognition_pilot_areas.jpg

author by serfpublication date Sun Oct 28, 2012 19:58Report this post to the editors

Anonymous protest 8th dec 2012 about government abuse of this big brother technology:

Spread the word!

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by serfpublication date Thu Nov 01, 2012 22:09Report this post to the editors

In Canada, new legislation means that you can get a draconian 10 years in prison for the simple act of wearing a mask while on a protest.

Wearing a mask can thwart these facial recognition systems and their true intended use of finding out exactly who are the people highlighting issues in society that the elites would prefer to see buried, and monitoring / leaning on those people until they shut their traps.

This might explain this heavy handed approach by imposing disproportionate custodial sentences on people attempting to thwart facial recognition technology.

Rapists frequently get sentences half this length which just goes to show you who the elites consider the bigger threat to society, rapists or democratic protesters!!

http://rt.com/news/canada-mask-bill-riots-759/

author by Tpublication date Thu Feb 14, 2013 23:46Report this post to the editors

A multinational security firm has secretly developed software capable of tracking people's movements and predicting future behaviour by mining data from social networking websites.

A video obtained by the Guardian reveals how an 'extreme-scale analytics' system created by Raytheon, the world's fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

The software is called RIOT -Rapid Information Overlay Technology and the report says using Riot it is possible to gain an entire snapshot of a person's life – their friends, the places they visit charted on a map – in little more than a few clicks of a button.

In the video obtained by the Guardian, it is explained by Raytheon's "principal investigator" Brian Urch that photographs users post on social networks sometimes contain latitude and longitude details – automatically embedded by smartphones within "exif header data."

Riot pulls out this information, showing not only the photographs posted onto social networks by individuals, but also the location at which the photographs were taken.

For the full text of the report see the link below.

The video implies the data is accessed by a program visiting the social media websites, but not asked is the question as to how it does this for large numbers of people because if it just trawled them by visiting the pages it would probably put a large load on the website server. To be able to handle the data for millions of people it is far more likely that the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other sites offer direct interfaces into their databases for speedier access. It will be interesting to see if this is confirmed at some later point. If so this means there would be essentially a direct feed into the data -which from the point of view of the spooks makes the most sense.

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/10/software-tr...fence
author by Annapublication date Thu Feb 21, 2013 06:33Report this post to the editors

Last year, the government extracted $1.1 trillion in taxes from us more or less hardworking individual taxpayers. But now it will pay, along with the states, $429 million of our taxes to the coolest Silicon-Valley beauty queen: Facebook. In net tax refunds! Part of a vast package of juicy corporate welfare programs. Facebook isn’t just hogging our data; it’s gobbling up our money.
Timing was a bit inconvenient, however. The “sequester,” as the automatic spending cuts by the federal government have been elegantly named, is scheduled to kick in on March 1. A national disaster, according to the New York Times. It would threaten everything from national security to preschool programs for low-income kids. It would cause hundreds of thousands of jobs to evaporate, or whatever. Clearly, trying to live within one’s means, or at least a modest step closer to it, is never a healthy idea.http://www.myfbproxy.com/products/
So, as the drama with all its lurid theatrics was playing out in Washington, Facebook filed its first 10-K annual report with the SEC, containing its financial statements for 2012 along with a host of small-print footnotes which presumably no one would ever look at. But the recalcitrant nonpartisan research and advocacy group, Citizens for Tax Justice, combed through it anyway.
Facebook is relying on a single tax break in our glorious corporate tax-dodge code to obtain its negative tax rate: the deductibility of executive and employee stock options. It cut Facebook’s federal and state income taxes by $1.03 billion last year—but that was just part of it. As Facebook said in its footnote under “Share-based Compensation,” on page 68 of the 10-K: “during the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010, we realized tax benefits from share-based award activity of $1.03 billion, $433 million, and $115 million respectively.”http://www.myfbproxy.com/
Another $2.17 billion of this US tax break is carried forward. To rub it in, COO Sheryl Sandberg giddily pointed out during the earnings call that the company “ended the year with a total of $5.8 billion in NOL tax loss carry forwards created by stock compensation”—to be used in future years.
On its financial statements, Facebook claimed that it had a federal tax liability in 2012 of $559 million, that it would somehow pay $559 million in taxes in the coming year. But the number was wiped out by its infamous footnote on page 68 of the 10-K. And suddenly, that “federal tax liability” of $559 million had, like so many things on financial statements, no graspable relationship to reality.http://www.myfbproxy.com/
Facebook isn’t the only one sucking on the big government teat. The tax break is available to all companies where stock-based compensation plays a big role. And innumerable other tax breaks are available as well. In its Corporate Tax Dodgers report of November 2011, the CTJ found that 30 of the 280 most “profitable” companies for the tax years 2008-2010 paid no income taxes but instead collected net tax refunds on their combined pre-tax profits of $160 billion! And 78 of them had at least one year when they didn’t pay taxes. At the same time, other companies in the study were getting whacked by huge tax bills. Hence the inherent unfairness of the corporate tax-dodge code.
Meanwhile, corporate insiders rotate in and out of various government agencies that are supposed to regulate them. Perhaps the most egregious example is the SEC, where Wall Street culture and personalities have come to dominate. Regulation and enforcement have become a joke. A principle so common that it has a name: “Regulatory Capture.”

 
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