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Stratfor Hacked Emails Reveal the TrapWire System run by Private Corporations run by ex-CIA/NSA people
international | rights, freedoms and repression | feature Thursday September 13, 2012 00:59 by T
A series of reports from Russia Today (rt.com) and other sites have explained how activists reading through last year's hack by Anonymous of the Strategic Forecasting Intelligence agency (Stratfor) have revealed a little known system already in place and run by the Abraxas corporation although hints of the system were known years earlier. The email have since been released on WikiLeaks. Global Intelligence Files
Related Feature on TrapWire: FBI begins installation of $1 billion face recognition system across America When you read this other story, it is evident that the capability has rapidly come together in the last few years for computer systems to now store billions of photographs and run continual analysis on them and other related data such as location info (GPS from your phone), phone call history, credit card & bank transactions, vehicle registration recognition and tracking by motorway + street overhead cameras etc
Related Links: Abraxas and Trapwire: the technology and personnel revealed | Trapwire Article on Cryptogon | (Guradian) Trapwire surveillance system exposed in document leak | (ACLU) What to make of the Trapwire Story | Leaked Microsoft intelligence document: Here's what Microsoft will reveal to police about you
What is TrapWire?
TrapWire is described as a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology and is installed across the US under the radar of most Americans. As the RT report says:
Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it's the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities
A number of years ago it was noted that many areas, particularly poor areas and ones with high concentrations of immigrants were large number of surveillance cameras started appearing particularly at points where people would naturally enter and exit areas such as roads, local metro stations, bus stations, shopping areas and so forth. But this phenomenon is actually widespread and thousands of very discrete and not so discrete cameras have appeared on buses, in train/metro stations, along roads and shopping areas and shopping centers. They each have different characteristics like ability to zoom, read vehicle registration plates, monitor people entering/leaving buildings and so on.
The report continues: The ostentatious reason for the system was actually given by the founder of Abraxas, Richard Helms in a 2005 interview with The Entrepreneur Center, said his signature product "can collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition, draw patterns, and do threat assessments of areas that may be under observation from terrorists.” He calls it “a proprietary technology designed to protect critical national infrastructure from a terrorist attack by detecting the pre-attack activities of the terrorist and enabling law enforcement to investigate and engage the terrorist long before an attack is executed,” and that, “The beauty of it is that we can protect an infinite number of facilities just as efficiently as we can one and we push information out to local law authorities automatically."
But it can do more than that and collect all sorts of information and search for all sorts of things and people for any number of reasons. And recall that this is all being run by a private company with zero oversight. They can and do sell the analysis to government agencies and to private (corporate) clients. The report details this:
An internal email from early 2011 included in the Global Intelligence Files has Stratfor’s Burton allegedly saying the program can be used to “[walk] back and track the suspects from the get go w/facial recognition software.”What is meant by walk back here is that, a sequence of events of some unknown person can be recorded by the system but if later say some facial recognition software identifies them, they can then go back through the data and re-analyse with this new information and that can also help fill out relationships with other entities or people in the playback.
In the next extract we can see that even Stratfor's Burton clearly realises this is a very sinister technology for the country even as he profits from it.
In one email from 2010 leaked by Anonymous, Stratfor’s Fred Burton allegedly writes, “God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients.” Files on USASpending.gov reveal that the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense together awarded Abraxas and TrapWire more than one million dollars in only the past eleven months.
Web of Links Between Abraxas and other companies
However it is when the nature of Abraxas is explored and how it has been developing as a company recently is what should worry people. Here are somewhat appear at first sight appear to be separate unrelated facts.
When these links were revealed they were strenuously denied as were denials made by various cities that they don't use TrapWire. However, tax documentation clearly link the companies as do further revealations in the emails.
So (again per RT report)
Through Cubic’s transportation division, customers can use identity-linking credit cards to purchase unique fare tickets that grant them access to the biggest metro systems in the United States. Once walking away from the ticket machine, though, those same passengers are placed under surveillance in certain markets that not just rely on Cubic for their metro fare needs, but use TrapWire to track suspicious activity.The RCMP are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, USSS are US Secret Service and White House and Fusion refers to the Fusion centers which are part of the new data fusion centers taking linking multiple agencies and exist for most US cities.
At this point, people should be in little doubt where all this is heading. What the KGB had in the Soviet Union and the Stasi in East Germany doesn't come remotely close to this capability and they would rightly have been extremely jealous, although I've little doubt that Russia today or China are actually not too far behind and in the case of China they may even be ahead. But it seems this new reality is converging ever more closer and closer to the horror brilliantly outlined in the novel 1984 by George Orwell and it displays his incredible insight into the deep authoritarian tendencies that lurk in humans and how once the process starts it coalesces with greater speed as it progresses into the nightmare that we have already slipped into.
For the full text of the set of reports which the above has been compiled from see:
TrapWire investigation links transit systems and Anonymizer in global surveillance network
Mainstream media whitewashes the facts behind TrapWire scandal
TrapWire tied to White House, Scotland Yard, MI5 and others, claims hacked Stratfor email
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It is possible to defeat facial recognition software with makeup and hairstyles as well as head gear. You only have to cover the points on the face that the algorithym uses as references.
But it's not just facial recognition the cameras use. They track clothing and gait. So is you are wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans that is a reference point. Any combination of clothing is tracked
Most importantly don't forget they track mobile phones. The Security Services have mobile phone antenna in vans. When these are driven to a location all the phones in the locality lock onto it and the operators can see all information on the phones, plot who is close to who and even open phones to use as microphones for evesdropping.
Leave your phone at home.
Just when you thought all those mad reports about governments and other agencies wanting to track people and multiple warnings about the near future where we would all be tracked, so it is already becoming true.
In a report carried today by Russia Today -and it is ironic that a outfit of the former USSR would carry such a report on the 'Land of Freedom', -it reports on a new tracking system in a high-school whereby all the students must carry student cards with RFID chips that allow them to be tracked all day throughout the school. And the program if successful (and I have no doubt it will in the eyes of those setting it up), will be rolled out to 112 other schools. How long then before it goes statewide and before you know it other states adopt it. And by that stage they will be eying up Europe too. It's only a few short steps really.
Here's some snippets from the report with full text at the link below.
A school district in Texas came under fire earlier this year when it announced that it would require students to wear microchip-embedded ID cards at all times. Now, students who refuse to be monitored say they are feeling the repercussions.
Since October 1, students at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, have been asked to attend class with photo ID cards equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips to track every pupil’s location. Educators insist that the endeavor is being rolled out in Texas to stem the rampant truancy devastating the school's funding. If the program is judged successful, the RFID chips could soon come to 112 schools in all and affect nearly 100,000 students.
Students who refuse to walk the school halls with the card in their pocket or around their neck claim they are being tormented by instructors, and are barred from participating in certain school functions. Some also said they were turned away from common areas like cafeterias and libraries.
People should think really hard about what's going on here and the tendencies for this type of stuff to be deployed everywhere. It directly goes against the constitutional rights of people everywhere, where you are supposed to have freedom of movement and privacy and importantly such a system can very easily become just another node or database in systems such as the one described in the main article above.
Anonymous protest 12th dec 2012 about government abuse of this big brother technology.
Spread the word!
Caption: Video Id: A1s9sgDUXcI Type: Youtube Video
Embedded video Youtube Video
An older story perhaps, but just to remind you that your printer rats you out every time you print a page. All those printed notices to "stick it to the man" or organise social resistance may have a dot pattern that links the notice to a unique serial number in the printer. This in turn uniquely identifies you if you purchased the printer using a credit card
If you are printing meeting notices to help bring on the revolution man (or printing fivers or tax discs) , I reckon oki printers may be your best bet! ;-)
Of course it's well known that your digital camera EXIF data rats you out on every single photo you take too. Even your GPS position in many cases. And don't burn that movie for a few friends as your DVD burner plants a unique RID code on every disc it burns.
And we all know now that your "smart" mobile phone is totally a portable spy. See recent article on Irish social welfare recipient phone spying here on indy:
Digital "judas" technology is all pervasive but is never really your friend with regard to privacy.
rewrite your DVD firmware, scrub the exif data from your photos before putting them online etc, and most importantly, buy your digital judas equipment with cash only in a busy store and consider masking your face from instore CCD cameras while doing so, if you truly value your privacy. Crazy that you have to do this to properly protect your privacy but true.
And ideally use Linux, not windows or osx!!
For the record....
This report from Wired magazine: "Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations"
It opens with and it is very sinister consider the Dept of Homeland Security is covering the costs
Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.
The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.
The use of the equipment raises serious questions about eavesdropping without a warrant, particularly since recordings of passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies.
San Francisco transit authorities recently approved a $5.9 million contract to install an audio surveillance system on 357 buses and vintage trolley cars, paid for in full with a grant from DHS. The contract includes the option to expand the equipment to an additional 600 vehicles...
...In Eugene, Oregon, the Daily found, transit officials requested microphones that would be capable of “distilling clear conversations from the background noise of other voices, wind, traffic, windshields wipers and engines” and also wanted at least five audio channels spread across each bus that would be “paired with one or more camera images and recorded synchronously with the video for simultaneous playback.”
Full text at the link below
A report from the Guardian gives detail to the latest draconian detail of the Police State that has put down its deep roots everyone and nowhere more so than in the heart of the empire itself.
This is from the report:
People often ask me, in terms of my argument about "ten steps" that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are. I am sorry to say that with the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here.
In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by […] the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds – meaning that you won't necessarily see them, tracking your meeting with your fellow-activists, with your accountant or your congressman, or filming your cruising the bars or your assignation with your lover, as its video-gathering whirs.
Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them
Full text at the link below