Today's Must Read comes to us via Steve Melendez, reporting for Fast Company, with an outstanding piece on Robotic Surveillance accompanied by an equally tremendous report and posting via the ACLU on the same topic. Read both posts, and the report from the ACLU and try not to weep for our society's future (or not).
via Slate author April Glaser, comes word of the coming vote by the Commisionsers of the City and County of San Francisco targeting the curtailment and prohibition of human facial computational recognition systems and surveillance (including many other forms of computational image analysis, eg. automated license plate readers - and other types of surveillance by automated and non-automatedmeans) in the City and County of San Francisco, California. Now, if they can only figure out how to teach folks not to defecate on the sidewalks and to safely dispose of the accumulated detritus of intravenous drugs, it might be a great city to live in...
"Beyond prohibiting face surveillance, the bill also requires all other types of surveillance technologies—like automatic license plate readers, predictive policing software, and cell phone surveillance towers—to only be adopted by city agencies following a public notice and vote by the Board of Supervisors. The bill also requires clear policies for how surveillance technologies will be used by the city government. via April Glaser writing at Slate
via Reuters and the South China Morning Post comes reports of what could be the largest data breach in the People's Republic of China on record. Pointing to what is being described as a 'vast surveillance operation'. Surprised? Don't be fooled as there is nothing new under the sun, given the country's predeliction for human micro-manipulation that can be traced back in relatively recent times (1958-1961) to Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution (and of course, to the previous five millenia of Chinese history)...H/T
Whilst two wrongs do not make the third right, Glenn Greenwald's superb screed at The Intercept - details the latest outrage perpetrated by the National Enquirer, my go-to-choice for picking up droppings, as it were. In this case the recepient of same is none-other-than Jeffrey Preston Bezos, of which,in a similar vein (so to speak) also happens to bring to public scrutiny the enormous surviellance apparatus Amazon Web Services is building.
Something of a Evil Equation, when both sides of same are nearly equal (hence the term equation...) in their cumulative evilness (arguably a surveillance state is logarithmically to the power of 2 on the evil power gradient a greater threat than a single individuals' privacy breach). Bottom Line: No one should be subject to the invasion of her/his privacy, nor should anyone be forced to live in a surveillance state managed by any governement, NGO or commercial entity such as Amazon Web Services.
"On Thursday, Bezos published emails in which the Enquirer’s parent company explicitly threatened to publish intimate photographs of Bezos and his mistress, which were apparently exchanged between the two through their iPhones, unless Bezos agreed to a series of demands involving silence about the company’s conduct." - via the inimitable Glenn Greenwald from his superlative piece at The Intercept
"Aaron Peskin, a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors, proposed the ban Tuesday as part of a suite of rules to enhance surveillance oversight. In addition to the ban on facial recognition technology, the ordinance would require city agencies to gain the board’s approval before buying new surveillance technology, putting the burden on city agencies to publicly explain why they want the tools as well as the potential harms." - via Gregory Barber, writing at Wired regarding the proposed *ban
Suspended by Facebook Inc. (NasdaqGS: FB), Crimson Hexagon is apparently the latest data surveillance organization to have it's virtual wrist slapped by Zuckerberg et Cie due to bad data behavior. - via The Guardian's Olivia Solon and Julia Carrie Wong.
"...the company had its access to the Facebook and Instagram APIs shut off Friday after the Wall Street Journal queried Facebook about Crimson Hexagon’s contracts with the US government, a Russian not-for-profit with ties to the Kremlin, and the Turkish government." - via The Guardian's Olivia Solon and Julia Carrie Wong
Both Cyrus Favrivar of Ars Technica and Kate Martin, writing for The Tacoma News Tribune, have reported (Ars, Tribune) that Judge G. Helen Whitener has rebuked the Tacoma Police Department's for their apparent decision to not produce the surveillance output from a series of StingRay operations conducted by the Department in the City of Tacoma. Regardless, Judge Whitener has handed down the decision.
"Superior Court Judge G. Helen Whitener ruled earlier this year that the city improperly withheld 11 documents from the American Civil Liberties Union. On Monday, Whitener issued a ruling tallying the cost: ▪ $182,340 for violations of the Public Records Act. ▪ $115,530 for attorney fees and other costs." via The News Tribune reporter Kate Martin
As an FYI, The TPD is an excellent organization, and highly respected, both here in the State of Washington and throughout the country. - mh
Allison Marsh, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of History in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina), succintly writes - via the IEEE's Spectrum Magazine - on a tradecraft tool from the United States Central Intelligence Agency - behold, the Insectothopter. Certainly, a stepping stone to more robust, capable devices that facilitates competent intelligence gathering. Todays' Hardware Must Read!
'“We have to be really careful as we have more devices capturing more information in living rooms and bedrooms and on the street and in other people’s homes that the public is not blindsided and surprised by things,” said Dave Morgan, the founder and chief executive of Simulmedia, which works with advertisers on targeted TV ads. “It’s not what’s legal. It is what’s not creepy.”' - via Sapna Maheshwari, writing at the New York Times
Congratulations on the outstanding work on ADINT are in order for the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington's Tadayoshi Kohno, Franziska Roesner and Paul Vines. Truly Astonishing.