Tag Archives: Closed-circuit television

The New Totalitarianism Of Surveillance Technology

poorrichards blog | August 18 2012 | The Guardian

If you think that 24/7 tracking of citizens by biometric recognition systems is paranoid fantasy, just read the industry newsletter.

Tom Cruise as John Anderton in the futuristic film Minority Report, where the advertisements use recognition technology to call out to the shoppers. Photograph: Allstar/20th Century Fox

software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.

Yes, I know: it sounds like a paranoid rant. Except that it turned out to be trueNews21, supported by the Carnegie and Knight foundations, reports that Disney sites are indeed controlled by face-recognition technology, that the military is interested in the technology, and that the face-recognition contractor, Identix, has contracts with the US government – for technology that identifies individuals in a crowd.

Fast forward: after the Occupy crackdowns, I noted that odd-looking CCTVs had started to appear, attached to lampposts, in public venues in Manhattan where the small but unbowed remnants of Occupy congregated: there was one in Union Square, right in front of their encampment. I reported here on my experience of witnessing a white van marked “Indiana Energy” that was lifting workers up to the lampposts all around Union Square, and installing a type of camera. When I asked the workers what was happening – and why an Indiana company was dealing with New York City civic infrastructure, which would certainly raise questions – I was told: “I’m a contractor. Talk to ConEd.”

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Paul Joseph Watson ~ Lawsuit: TSA Claims It Can Lie To The Public

InfoWars | June 8 2012

“TSA Directives” supersede Freedom of Information Act

The engineer who garnered global press attention by proving the TSA’s fleet of body scanners were completely useless is causing the federal agency more embarrassment – by highlighting the fact that the TSA argues that it can lie to the public for “security” reasons.

The claim appears in a lawsuit brought by Jon Corbett over his unlawful detention by TSA officers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Corbett was detained for an hour at a TSA checkpoint after he refused to allow security screeners to perform an advanced pat down, which as we have documented often includes TSA agents literally touching people’s genitals.

After filing a Freedom of Information Act request in an attempt to obtain video footage of the incident, Corbett was told by Broward County authorities that “there are no documents, photographs, audio, or video that exist for this request,” despite the fact that the airport was littered with signs saying “Checkpoint under video surveillance,” in addition to Corbett personally seeing “more than a dozen visible camera domes.”

When Corbett included the charge that Broward County and the TSA had lied about the non-existence of the video footage as part of the lawsuit, Broward County attempted to have the judge dismiss the claim because of their belief that lying to the public is acceptable for “security reasons,” in turn tacitly admitting that the footage does exist, which represents a clear violation of the FOIA.

“The County was required by the TSA to withhold that information because it (the existence of video from any particular CCTV camera) constituted SSI (Sensitive Security Information). Any disclosure of the existence of the videotape would have violated both TSA directives and federal regulations pertaining to the disclosure of SSI,” states the lawsuit.

In other words, “TSA directives” apparently allow for the federal; agency to lie to the American public and also supersede the sanctity of the Freedom of Information Act.

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