Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes ""After six years and over one billion dollars in development, the FBI has just announced that its new biometric facial recognition software system is finally complete. Meaning that, starting soon, photos of tens of millions of U.S. citizen's faces will be captured by the national system on a daily basis. The Next Generation Identification (NGI) program will logs all of those faces, and will reference them against its growing database in the event of a crime. It's not just faces, though. Thanks to the shared database dubbed the Interstate Photo System (IPS), everything from tattoos to scars to a person's irises could be enough to secure an ID. What's more, the FBI is estimating that NGI will include as many as 52 million individual faces by next year, collecting identified faces from mug shots and some job applications. So if you apply for any type of job that requires fingerprinting, for instance, those prints (which will now also likely be asked for along with a photo) will be sent off to the government for processing."
Here are two recent and related news items.
Boston police used facial recognition software on thousands of people at a music festival (http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/266552/speedreads-boston-police-used-facial-recognition-software-on-thousands-of-people-at-a-music-festival)
"Attendees of last year's Boston Calling music festival were — without their knowledge — test subjects for the Boston Police Department's new facial recognition software. The IBM program — which also analyzes each individual's build, clothes, and skin color — captured video of thousands of people, 50 hours of which is still intact."
General Motors May Be The First To Offer Cars That Detect Distracted Drivers (http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/general-motors-may-be-the-first-to-offer-cars-that-detect-distracted-drivers/2014/09/02/d00b5bc4-32b9-11e4-9f4d-24103cb8b742_story.html)
"According to CNBC, the technology will come from an Australian firm called Seeing Machines. It will take the form of a series of cameras paired with facial recognition software — kind of like the software that Facebook uses to auto-tag your friends in photos, but in this case, it'll take note of things like the rotation of the driver's head and how often he/she blinks. That will help the system determine whether a driver is looking at the road, at a cell phone, or even nodding off. If the situation proves dire enough, the system could theoretically slow the vehicle and force the driver to pull over — not unlike a certain attention-powered car we've seen before."" Link to Original Source top
U.S. threatened massive fine to force Yahoo to release data
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user data that the company believed was unconstitutional, according to court documents unsealed Thursday that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the NSA’s controversial PRISM program. The documents, roughly 1,500 pages worth, outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government’s demands. The company’s loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the National Security Agency extensive access to records of online communications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms." Link to Original Source top
Reports on drivers, training by firm fueled law enforcement aggressiveness
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Operating in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal entities, Black Asphalt members exchanged tens of thousands of reports about American motorists, many of whom had not been charged with any crimes, according to a company official and hundreds of internal documents obtained by The Post. For years, it received no oversight by government, even though its reports contained law enforcement sensitive information about traffic stops and seizures, along with hunches and personal data about drivers, including Social Security numbers and identifying tattoos. Black Asphalt also has served as a social hub for a new brand of highway interdictors, a group that one Desert Snow official has called “a brotherhood.” Among other things, the site hosts an annual competition to honor police who seize the most contraband and cash on the highways. As part of the contest, Desert Snow encouraged state and local patrol officers to post seizure data along with photos of themselves with stacks of currency and drugs. Some of the photos appear in a rousing hard-rock video that the Guthrie, Okla.-based Desert Snow uses to promote its training courses." Link to Original Source top
NSA/GCHQ: The HACIENDA Program for Internet Colonization
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Since the early days of TCP, port scanning has been used by computer saboteurs to locate vulnerable systems. In a new set of top secret documents seen by Heise, it is revealed that in 2009, the British spy agency GCHQ made port scans a "standard tool" to be applied against entire nations. Twenty-seven countries are listed as targets of the HACIENDA program in the presentation, which comes with a promotional offer: readers desiring to do reconnaissance against another country need simply send an e-mail." Link to Original Source top
NSA BIOS Backdoor a.k.a. God Mode Malware Part 1: DEITYBOUNCE
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "This article is the first part of a series on NSA BIOS backdoor internals. Before we begin, I’d like to point out why these malwares are classified as “god mode.” First, most of the malware uses an internal (NSA) codename in the realms of “gods,” such as DEITYBOUNCE, GODSURGE, etc. Second, these malwares have capabilities similar to “god mode” cheats in video games, which make the player using it close to being invincible. This is the case with this type of malware because it is very hard to detect and remove, even with the most sophisticated anti-malware tools, during its possible deployment timeframe." Link to Original Source top
NSA Tried To Delete Court Transcript In Lawsuit Over Deleting Evidence
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The National Security Agency secretly tried to delete part of a public court transcript after believing one of its lawyers may have accidentally revealed classified information in a court case over alleged illegal surveillance. Following a recent hearing in the ongoing Jewel v. NSA case, in which the Electronic Frontier Foundation is challenging NSA’s ability to surveil foreign citizen’s U.S.-based email and social media accounts, the government informed U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White it believed one of its attorneys mistakenly revealed classified information. The government then requested that the select portion of the hearing’s public transcript be secretly deleted without alerting the public to the alteration. According to the EFF, the open courtroom case — which has been steadily picking up media coverage following NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s bulk surveillance revelations — was “widely covered by the press” and “even on the local TV news on two stations.”" Link to Original Source top
Leaked docs show spyware used to snoop on US computers
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Software created by the controversial UK-based Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers that appear to be located in the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia, Iran, and Bahrain, according to a leaked trove of documents analyzed by ProPublica. It's not clear whether the surveillance was conducted by governments or private entities. Customer e-mail addresses in the collection appeared to belong to a German surveillance company, an independent consultant in Dubai, the Bosnian and Hungarian Intelligence services, a Dutch law enforcement officer, and the Qatari government." Link to Original Source top
Barack Obama's Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Nearly half of the people on the U.S. government’s widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group, according to classified government documents obtained by The Intercept. Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database—a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments—more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” That category—280,000 people—dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined." Link to Original Source top
The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users with Malware with Drive-by Downloads
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "For the last two years, the FBI has been quietly experimenting with drive-by hacks as a solution to one of law enforcement’s knottiest Internet problems: how to identify and prosecute users of criminal websites hiding behind the powerful Tor anonymity system. The approach has borne fruit—over a dozen alleged users of Tor-based child porn sites are now headed for trial as a result. But it’s also engendering controversy, with charges that the Justice Department has glossed over the bulk-hacking technique when describing it to judges, while concealing its use from defendants." Link to Original Source top
The NSA's New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans “to provide direct analytic and technical support” to the Saudis on “internal security” matters. The Saudi Ministry of Interior—referred to in the document as MOI— has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that “Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse,” specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly “poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat” of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOI’s use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents." Link to Original Source top
The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept....The heart of the document revolves around the rules for placing individuals on a watchlist. “All executive departments and agencies,” the document says, are responsible for collecting and sharing information on terrorist suspects with the National Counterterrorism Center. It sets a low standard—”reasonable suspicion“—for placing names on the watchlists, and offers a multitude of vague, confusing, or contradictory instructions for gauging it. In the chapter on “Minimum Substantive Derogatory Criteria”—even the title is hard to digest—the key sentence on reasonable suspicion offers little clarity..." Link to Original Source top
Photoshopping of adult porn nets man 10-year child-porn conviction
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "A federal appeals court upheld Thursday the child pornography conviction and accompanying 10-year prison term handed to a Nebraska man who superimposed the image of an underaged girl's face onto a picture of two adults having sex. The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected (PDF) claims from 28-year-old Jeffrey Anderson that his actions were protected by the First Amendment. Anderson sent the doctored image to his 11-year-old half-sister via Facebook, resulting in the charge of distributing child pornography. Anderson had superimposed the half sister's face onto the photo, the court said." Link to Original Source top
Obama administration says the world's servers are ours
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes ""Global governments, the tech sector, and scholars are closely following a legal flap in which the US Justice Department claims that Microsoft must hand over e-mail stored in Dublin, Ireland. In essence, President Barack Obama's administration claims that any company with operations in the United States must comply with valid warrants for data, even if the content is stored overseas. It's a position Microsoft and companies like Apple say is wrong, arguing that the enforcement of US law stops at the border. A magistrate judge has already sided with the government's position, ruling in April that "the basic principle that an entity lawfully obligated to produce information must do so regardless of the location of that information." Microsoft appealed to a federal judge, and the case is set to be heard on July 31."" Link to Original Source top
Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist.” The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call. The tools were created by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive. Previously disclosed documents have detailed JTRIG’s use of “fake victim blog posts,” “false flag operations,” “honey traps” and psychological manipulation to target online activists, monitor visitors to WikiLeaks, and spy on YouTube and Facebook users." Link to Original Source top
Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies." Link to Original Source top
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes ""Thousands of Facebook Inc. users received an unsettling message two years ago: They were being locked out of the social network because Facebook believed they were robots or using fake names. To get back in, the users had to prove they were real. In fact, Facebook knew most of the users were legitimate. The message was a test designed to help improve Facebook's antifraud measures. In the end, no users lost access permanently. The experiment was the work of Facebook's Data Science team, a group of about three dozen researchers with unique access to one of the world's richest data troves: the movements, musings and emotions of Facebook's 1.3 billion users"
and there is more..
"Until recently, the Data Science group operated with few boundaries, according to a former member of the team and outside researchers. At a university, researchers likely would have been required to obtain consent from participants in such a study. But Facebook relied on users' agreement to its Terms of Service, which at the time said data could be used to improve Facebook's products. Those terms now say that user data may be used for research. "There's no review process, per se," said Andrew Ledvina, a Facebook data scientist from February 2012 to July 2013. "Anyone on that team could run a test," Mr. Ledvina said. "They're always trying to alter peoples' behavior." He recalled a minor experiment in which he and a product manager ran a test without telling anyone else at the company. Tests were run so often, he said, that some data scientists worried that the same users, who were anonymous, might be used in more than one experiment, tainting the results."" Link to Original Source top
Core gamers uncomfortable with change, says Peter Moore
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes ""Core" gamers are uncomfortable with change and don't like embracing new business models, according to EA's Peter Moore. The publisher's COO told GamesIndustry that EA is excited about the future health of the industry, but conceded that some traditional gamers will take longer to convince that new innovations will be beneficial." Link to Original Source top
U.S. justices limit police right to search cell phones
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The court said on a 9-0 vote that the right of police to search an arrested suspect at the scene without a warrant does not extend in most circumstances to data held on a cell phone.
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "A well-known conservative pundit and secrecy expert who once worked as an NSA officer has deleted all of his social media accounts after screenshots leaked this weekend that appeared to show him sending sexy messages and a shot of his soft penis to a Twitter follower who was not his wife. John Schindler is a professor at the Naval War College who has written conservative analyses on global security for Politico and Foreign Policy while scrapping with leftists and libertarians online. A former naval officer who worked as a counterterrorism operative at the NSA for more than a decade, Schindler has long defended that agency's secret surveillance efforts while attacking information activists like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Glenn Greenwald." Link to Original Source top
Emails Show Feds Asking Florida Cops to Deceive Judges
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Police in Florida have, at the request of the U.S. Marshals Service, been deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of a controversial surveillance tool to track suspects, according to newly obtained emails. At the request of the Marshals Service, the officers using so-called stingrays have been routinely telling judges, in applications for warrants, that they obtained knowledge of a suspect’s location from a “confidential source” rather than disclosing that the information was gleaned using a stingray." Link to Original Source