10 Ways We Are Being Tracked, Traced, and Databased
Are technological advances infringing on our right to privacy?
All of this is leading to Predictive Behavior Technology -- It is not enough to have logged and charted where we have been; the surveillance state wants to know where we are going through psychological profiling. It's been marketed for such uses as blocking hackers. Things seem to have advanced to a point where a truly scientific Orwellian world is at hand. It is estimated that computers know to a 93% accuracy where you will be, before you make your first move. Nanotech is slated to play a big role in going even further as scientists are using nanoparticles to directly influence behavior and decision making.
Many of us are asking: What would someone do with all of this information to keep us tracked, traced, and databased? It seems the designers have no regard for the right to privacy and desire to become the Controllers of us all.
Biometric entry planned for California skate park
Things are definitely getting out of hand when you start reading articles like this – the City of Poway in California is going to introduce biometric scans of skaters thumbs to allow or disallow entry into the skate park. One thing is making sure vandalism, bullying and disregard of certain rules don’t take place, but making a skate park look like you are trying to travel overseas and you are getting on a plane? Read Entire Article
A U.S. Biometrics Agency
As of last week, there is now a U.S. Government national security agency called the Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA). It supersedes a Biometrics Task Force that was established in 2000.
Though nominally a component of the Army, the biometrics agency has Defense Department-wide responsibilities.
“The Biometrics Identity Management Agency leads Department of Defense activities to prioritize, integrate, and synchronize biometrics technologies and capabilities and to manage the Department of Defense’s authoritative biometrics database to support the National Security Strategy,” according to a March 23 Order (pdf) issued by Army Secretary John M. McHugh that redesignated the previous Biometrics Task Force as the BIMA.
Biometrics is generally defined as “a measurable biological (anatomical and physiological) [or] behavioral characteristic that can be used for automated recognition.”
“Biometric data [are] normally unclassified,” according to a 2008 DoD directive (pdf). “However, elements of the contextual data, information associated with biometric collection, and/or associated intelligence analysis may be classified.” Read Entire Article
Homeland Security Unveils Mobile Mind Screening Checkpoints
Homeland Security explains its partnership with an array of firms for a new screening checkpoint system.
Parents Angry Over CCTV In School Toilets
Youngsters at Grace Academy in Chelmsley Wood claim they returned from half-term to find staff had installed the cameras without notifying them or their parents.
Some parents are furious at what they say is a “total invasion of privacy” and claim some pupils are so anxious about being watched they are refusing to use the facilities.
One mother whose teenage daughter attends the school is concerned the footage could fall into the wrong hands.
She told the Sunday Mercury: “She came home from school and told me security cameras had been installed in the girl’s toilets but we didn’t know anything about it. Read entire article
Councils Use Bugs in Lampposts to Eavesdrop on You
High-powered spy microphones on street lampposts are being used by snooping council officials to listen in on private conversations.
A network of new “intelligent” listening devices which can monitor discussions has been deployed on Britain’s streets for the first time.
The so-called Sigard system has been tested in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Coventry. The microphones, connected to CCTV cameras, can recognise aggressive “trigger” words and sounds, then automatically direct cameras to zoom in on the speakers.
Manufacturers denied the system is used to record conversations.
It analyses sound patterns to pick out angry or distressed voices. Read entire article
UC Berkeley Asking Incoming Students For DNA
BERKELEY, Calif. — UC Berkeley is adding something a little different this year in its welcome package — cotton swabs for a DNA sample.
In the past, incoming freshman and transfer students have received a rather typical welcome book from the College of Letters and Science’s “On the Same Page” program, but this year the students will be asked for more.
The students will be asked to voluntarily submit a DNA sample. The cotton swabs will come with two bar code labels. One label will be put on the DNA sample and the other is kept for the students own records.
The confidential process is being overseen by Jasper Rine, a campus professor of Genetics and Development Biology, who says the test results will help students make decisions about their diet and lifestyle. READ FULL ARTICLE
Teaching Kids to Mistrust Government Makes Couple ‘Unsuitable’ Parents
Stepehn C. Webster
Texans, beware: If you teach your kids that the “government is out to harm them,” police in Williamson County might just deem you an “unsuitable” parent.
That startling claim, leveled by officers in Child Protective Services documents detailing an investigation into an Austin-area activist couple, should be enough to give reason for pause to any staunch conservative in the state.
The allegation was made against drug reform activist filmmakers Barry and Candi Cooper, whose home was recently raided and searched after the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department claimed Barry’s voice was heard in the background audio of an allegedly false police report. Read entire article
Sen. Shelby: Financial Reform Violates Privacy
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said that provisions in the new financial regulatory bill violate privacy rights by allowing the government to collect any financial information it wants from any financial institution it wants.
Shelby, speaking at a press conference outlining Republican concerns about the financial regulatory overhaul, said that the bill violated Americans’ privacy rights by allowing the government to collect any financial information from any financial firm.
“I’m sure the ACLU – because we’ve heard from them – and others are looking at this very closely. I believe that it violates a lot of people’s privacy,” Shelby said.
Shelby added that Republicans would offer amendments that would attempt to “surgically strike” such objectionable provisions. Read entire article
Americans Are Ratting Out Their Neighbors to the IRS at a Record Pace to Reap Cash Whistleblower Rewards
Ryan J. Donmoyer
Americans seeking reward money are turning in neighbors, clients and employers they suspect of cheating on taxes to the IRS at a rate of nearly eight per day, the director of the agency’s whistleblower program said.
Steve Whitlock, the director, told an audience of about 200 lawyers, investigators and government officials at a Miami Beach conference on offshore banking that his office receives 40 to 50 tips per month alleging tax liability in excess of $2 million. Americans submit another 200 per month alleging smaller violations, he said.
Whitlock said submissions have surged since the enactment in 2006 of a law that requires the Internal Revenue Service to pay awards of between 15 percent and 30 percent in cases where more than $2 million is collected. Prior to the law, both the decision on whether to make an award and the amount of payment were discretionary. Read entire article
Spy tech that ‘monitors conversations’ being launched in Europe
Privacy rights advocates and civil liberties campaigners in Europe are raising the alarm about a new surveillance system that monitors conversations in public.
The surveillance system, dubbed Sigard, has been installed in Dutch city centers, government offices and prisons, and a recent test-run of the technology in Coventry, England, has British civil rights experts worried that the right to privacy will disappear in efforts to fight street crime.
The system’s manufacturer, Sound Intelligence, says it works by detecting aggression in speech patterns.
“Ninety percent of all incidents involving physical aggression are preceded by verbal aggression,” the Sound Intelligence Web site says. “The ability to spot verbal aggression before it turns into a violent outbreak delivers valuable time to security personnel and enables speedy intervention.” Read entire article
SpyCams Proposed For South Miami Beach
The Miami Beach area, especially the region known as South Beach, is famous for the tanned and trim tourists who frequent the area, as well as the locals who enjoy the cosmopolitan metropolis by the sea.
By the end of the day Thursday, it could be known for something else: surveillance cameras.
The Miami Beach Budget Advisory Committee said that elected officials should consider putting surveillance cameras in the city’s entertainment district.
The recommendation comes after a city contractor had already begun the work of installing red-light cameras at high-traffic intersections.
Eventually, the city could have 30 of these cameras in place. They would have one significant difference from the usual red-light cameras. These would also provide streaming video. Read entire article
Precrime in Florida: IBM Predictive Analytics
SPSS, an IBM (NYSE: IBM) Company, today announced that the Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice selected IBM predictive analytics software to better understand, predict behaviors and properly assign rehabilitation programs for the state’s juvenile justice system.
More than 85,000 youth enter the juvenile justice system in Florida each year for varying degrees of offenses – from drug abuse to robbery or property crimes. As each youth enters the system for a different reason and with varying backgrounds, the best program for positive rehabilitation is very specific – what may work for one juvenile may not work for another. The goal of the collaboration with IBM is to apply analysis to predict the best programs and rehabilitation for each juvenile offender based on their crime and background. Read Entire Article
Big Brother Is Watching You — And He Has Ice Cream!
If you happen to be going to Cannes this summer (and, really, if you aren’t, you should be) mega-conglomerate Unilever is ready to tempt you with a treat straight out of Minority Report. The company has set up a vending machine that lets anyone who walks by score some free ice cream. The price? Just smile for the machine’s facial recognition software, which will determine your age, gender and emotion. Only the most happy will get ice cream. The rest? We don’t really know, but we seem to remember something having to do with stolen eyeballs that can be used to trick such systems.
Police use iPhone app that can identify a suspect by taking a photo of their face
Police in the US are using an iPhone app to take photos of suspects and instantly compares them with a criminal database.
The app employs biometric information such as facial recognition software to help police identify suspects within seconds.
Known as MORIS (Mobile Offender Recognition and Identification System), the system lets police officers take a photo of a suspect, upload it into a secure network where it is then analysed.
Police test out the MORIS system which will be used to identify suspects using the iPhone Read entire article
New South Wales Government recording features for facial recognition
The New South Wales Government is quietly compiling a mathematical map of almost every adult’s face, sharing information that allows law enforcement to track people by CCTV.
Experts said yesterday few people realised their facial features were being recorded in an RTA database of drivers licence photos that the Government has allowed both state and federal police to access, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The federal body CrimTrac has asked NSW for its database so it can be mined nationally by police using the facial recognition information contained in it.
University experts in facial recognition said the correct match rate was as low as 90 per cent, meaning the names of people with faces sharing a similar structure to criminals could be returned in searches. Read entire article
20 Signs That The United States Is Rapidly Becoming A Totalitarian Big Brother Police State
The End Of The World
Once upon a time, the United States was a land of unparalleled freedom. The rest of the world envied the freedom that ordinary Americans had to think, say and do what they wanted. But all of that has changed. Now Americans have to fear that they will be tackled by a squad of security goons and dragged off to a detention facility somewhere if they spill a Pepsi on a flight attendant or take a few too many pictures of a public building. The United States used to be the polar opposite of totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but now America is rapidly becoming very much like them. Due to the fear of a boogeyman living in a cave somewhere or some guy with explosive powder in his underwear we are all being forced to give up our freedoms and learn to live in a Big Brother police state.
But have things really changed so much that we have to give up all of the cherished freedoms that our fathers and grandfathers fought and died for? Haven’t there always been fanatics and crazies and criminals out there? Why do we suddenly have to become so afraid of them?
In the past, Americans would not let anyone make them live in fear. If some unbalanced individual did something bad, it wasn’t the end of the world, was it? No, in the past Americans dusted themselves off and continued to live as free men and women. You see, when we live in fear and radically alter our way of life just to feel a little more secure, we lose. We have let someone else steal our freedom and our dignity.
But now in the name of “security” all kinds of bizarre proposals have been implemented on the local, state and national levels. Somehow we think that if everything that we do is watched, monitored and analyzed we will all be safer somehow.
Maybe we are safer and maybe we aren’t, but we are certainly a whole lot less free.
The following are 20 signs that the United States is rapidly becoming a totalitarian ”Big Brother” police state….
#1) A new bill being pushed by Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman would allow the U.S. military to round up large numbers of Americans and detain them indefinitely without a trial if they “pose a threat” or if they have “potential intelligence value” or for any other reason the President of the United States “considers appropriate”.
#2) Lawmakers in Washington D.C. working to create a new immigration bill have decided on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would be required to obtain.
#3) Barack Obama is backing a plan to create a national database to store the DNA of people who have been arrested but not necessarily convicted of a crime.
#4) Just to get on an airplane, Americans will now have to go through new full-body scanners that reveal every detail of our exposed bodies to airport security officials.
#5) If that wasn’t bad enough, the Transportation Security Administration has announced that airport screeners will begin roving through airports randomly taking chemical swabs from passengers and their bags to check for explosives.
#6) Starting this upcoming December, some passengers on Canadian airlines flying to, from or even over the United States without ever landing there, will only be allowed to board their flights once the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has determined they are not terrorists.
#7) Organic milk is such a threat that the FDA has been conducting military style raids on Amish farmers in Pennsylvania.
#8) An NYPD officer has broken his silence and has confessed that innocent citizens are being set up and falsely arrested and ticketed in order to meet quotas.
#9) A growing number of police departments across the U.S. are turning to mobile camera systems in order to fight motor vehicle theft and identify unregistered cars.
#10) For decades, Arizona has been known as “the sunset state”, but lately many frustrated residents have started calling it “the surveillance state”.
#11) Judges and police in Florida have been caught using “secret codes” on tickets in the state of Florida.
#12) An extensive investigation has revealed that between 2003 and 2007, that state of Texas quietly gave hundreds of newborn baby blood samples to a U.S. Armed Forces laboratory for use in a forensics database.
#13) A 6-year-old girl was recently handcuffed and sent to a mental facility after throwing temper tantrums at her elementary school.
#14) One 12-year-old girl in New York was recently arrested and marched out of her school in handcuffs just because she doodled on her desk.
#15) In Florida, students have been arrested by police for things as simple as bringing a plastic butter knife to school, throwing an eraser, and drawing a picture of a gun.
#16) When a mother on a flight to Denver spanked both of her children and cussed out a flight attendant who tried to intervene, she suddenly found herself handcuffed and headed for prison. Why? She was charged with being a domestic terrorist under the Patriot Act.
#17) A new global treaty may force U.S. Internet service providers to spy on what you do online.
#18) A leaked Obama administration memo has revealed plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres of land from Montana to New Mexico.
#19) 56 percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said that the U.S. government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.
#20) But one other recent poll found that 51 percent of Americans agree with this statement: ”It is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.”