If the founders of a new face recognition app get their way, anonymity in public could soon be a thing of the past. FindFace, launched two months ago and currently taking Russia by storm, allows users to photograph people in a crowd and work out their identities, with 70% reliability.
It works by comparing photographs to profile pictures on Vkontakte, a social network popular in Russia and the former Soviet Union, with more than 200 million accounts. — the Guardian
"In future, the designers imagine a world where people walking past you on the street could find your social network profile by sneaking a photograph of you, and shops, advertisers and the police could pick your face out of crowds and track you down via social networks."For related content:France...
The police had allowed me to fly with them so that I could see the world from their perspective. Through its aerial patrols, the division has uniquely unfettered access to a fundamentally different experience of Los Angeles, one in which the city must constantly be reinterpreted from above, in real time, with the intention of locating, tracking and interrupting criminal activity. This also means that the police are not only thinking about Los Angeles as it currently exists. — New York Times
"Their job is to anticipate things that have yet to occur — not just where criminals are, but where and when they might arrive next. They patrol time as well as space. In this sense, although it has been in continual operation for the past 60 years, the division has much to tell us about...
The NYPD has used cell-site simulators, commonly known as Stingrays, more than 1,000 times since 2008, according to documents turned over to the [NYCLU]. The documents represent the first time the department has acknowledged using the devices.
The NYPD also disclosed that it does not get a warrant before using a Stingray, which sweeps up massive amounts of data. Instead, the police obtain a “pen register order” from a court... [which] do not require the police to establish probable cause... — theintercept.com
Stingrays operate by imitating cell phone towers, sweeping up massive amounts of user data without their knowledge or permission. They force cell phones to connect to them and then track the user's location. Originally a military technology, they have been increasingly bought and used by local...
According to leaked documents France's Ministry of Interior is considering two new proposals: a ban on free and shared Wi-Fi connections during a state of emergency, and measures to block Tor being used inside France.
The documents were seen by the French newspaper Le Monde. According to the paper, new bills could be presented to parliament as soon as January 2016. These proposals are presumably in response to the attacks in Paris last month where 130 people were murdered. — Ars Technica
According to the report published by Le Monde, the French Ministry of Interior has developed two frightening new security proposals that may be presented to parliament early next years.The first, as reported by Ars Technica, would block free, public WiFi during a state of emergency. On November...
Thanks to Big Data, it is now next to impossible to reside anonymously in a modern city.
Because data anonymization itself is almost impossible without using advanced cryptography. Our every transaction leaves a digital marker that can be mined by anyone with the right tools or enough determination. — Cities of the Future
That’s not to say that all circular buildings represent some emergent 21st-century order. It is interesting, though, that past precedents have usually been buildings designed for spectatorship: sports stadiums or, more resonantly, panopticon prisons, where inmates’ cells are arranged in a ring so they’re visible to guards in a central observation tower. Take away that tower and you have the Apple campus. — The Guardian
Circles are an emerging form of office buildings (e.g. Apple HQ, Zappos, Government Communications HQ) and organizing people (Holacracy), as they convey positive qualities like transparency and open collaboration. But, as one New Zealand artist warns in his work, what sinister undertones linger...
Visitors to the garden bridge in London will be tracked by their mobile phone signals and supervised by staff with powers to take people’s names and addresses and confiscate and destroy banned items, including kites and musical instruments, according to a planning document. [...]
Caroline Pidgeon [...] said she feared the bridge was following “a worrying trend of the privatisation of public places, where the rights of private owners trump those of ordinary people”. — theguardian.com
We were invited to Qatar by the prime minister's office to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers in early May - but while gathering additional material for our report, we ended up being thrown into prison for doing our jobs.
Our arrest was dramatic. — bbc.com
It’s a Thursday morning in Beijing, and the world’s most famous living artist, Ai Weiwei, is sitting with one of the world’s most controversial technologists, Jacob Appelbaum, in the second-floor lobby of the East Hotel. [...]
On a whim, Ai suggests that they call Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living for the last two years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. [...]
Ai and Assange talk for several minutes about the mundanities of the dissident life. — fusion.net
The idea behind CV dazzle is simple. Facial recognition algorithms look for certain patterns when they analyze images: patterns of light and dark in the cheekbones, or the way color is distributed on the nose bridge—a baseline amount of symmetry. These hallmarks all betray the uniqueness of a human visage. If you obstruct them, the algorithm can’t separate a face from any other swath of pixels. — theatlantic.com
Looking at the diagram of a restricted image reminded me of the ubiquitous stock photograph of the NSA, the one reminiscent of the Kaaba and among the few used by news outlets. The photograph’s ubiquity, along with its subject’s resemblance to another opaque monument, serves as shorthand for an institution that seeks to be perceived as beyond human comprehension or accountability.
I made my pilgrimage not to the NSA, however, but to adjacent temples of lesser gods. — creativetimereports.org
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