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InvisibleLanaM
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The UK has 1.5 million of them..The US is NEXT!!!
    #371829 - 08/14/01 04:50 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Hi,
I found this article and thought ...well... I thought "Here it goes again, yet another way for Big Brother to watch our every move". Many people think I'm paranoid for a variety of reasons, but with public displays of government observance.. I don't think I want to live here any more. Here's a pic from the article, I think its the perfect "We're watching you" picture.



OH...the UK has approximately 1.5 million publicly open camera on a nation wide CCTV system. Whats that mean? Well, the UK has been analyzed as the most "watched" country in the world. It amazes me that you folks in the UK put up with this. Then again, us here in the US will be facing the same thing soon:(

Here's the article and a link to it....

Matching Faces With Mug Shots
Software for Police, Others Stirs Privacy Concerns

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12629-2001Jul31.html

By Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 1, 2001; Page A01



A company that touts its facial identification system as a powerful new tool for security and crime fighting has received millions of dollars in federal funding to improve its surveillance technology for military and intelligence uses, according to documents and interviews.

Visionics Corp. of Jersey City, N.J., specializes in systems that use cameras linked to computers to scan faces and automatically compare them with electronic photographs stored in databases.

The company gained widespread attention after its FaceIt system was installed by Tampa police to match images caught by dozens of cameras in an entertainment district against digital mug shots of known criminals.

But FaceIt is also being employed by a host of other government agencies -- including the National Security Agency, the Defense Department, the Justice Department and the Israeli Defense Ministry, documents and interviews show.

Privacy advocates and civil libertarians who criticized Tampa's program as intrusive said Visionics' ties to military and intelligence agencies add fuel to the debate about the proper use of technologies that key to facial features, fingerprints, retinal patterns in the eye and other immutable traits.

"America now faces a choice about how far we want to go down the road to being a surveillance society," said Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University and author of a book on privacy.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the government's role in developing commercially available surveillance tools is alarming.

"Behind the scenes is a multimillion-dollar research effort by the Defense Department to "put in place technologies that would have the ability to routinely monitor citizens across the nation," said Rotenberg.

FaceIt and similar systems have broad applications. Casinos are finding them useful for scanning their properties for known cheats. One airport is using FaceIt to search for terrorists. Banks are using facial recognition to help identify ATM users, eliminating the need for passwords or PINs. In the District, motor vehicle officials are even installing FaceIt software this summer to verify the identities of driver's license applicants by matching individuals' current and past photographs. Similar software developed by a competitor was used during the Super Bowl this year to scan the crowds for known criminals.

The potential did not escape the notice of several U.S. government agencies. In November, as part of an anti-terrorism initiative, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency granted the company a $2 million contract to help in creating a system that will identify "humans, alone or in groups, from great distances" and in the dark, according to documents describing the Human ID at a Distance program.

The "Human ID program will provide the technologies that will significantly enhance the protection of U.S. Forces, at home and abroad," such as outside embassies or military facilities, the agency documents said.

Over the past three years, Visionics received about $800,000 as part of a project managed by the Justice Department to develop a way to automatically search Internet pornography sites for images of missing and exploited children.

West Virginia officials are now using the software to search for children "24 hours a day, seven days a week," so far without success, according to an official involved in the project.

Meanwhile, the project has expanded to involve real-world surveillance by police and drug-enforcement agencies in South Florida. Broward County authorities can match faces against a database of 230,000 digital mug shots, according to an official involved in the project. The U.S. Marshals Service has contributed 20,000 photos, the program manager said.

Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), who secured funding for the initiative, said in a statement that "the potential is tremendous -- and one measure is the growing interest in applying this technology to achieve other law-enforcement missions."

Visionics also does business with governments abroad. Israeli officials have used FaceIt software to "manage the flow of individuals entering and exiting the Gaza Strip," according to the company's promotional material. Mexico recently licensed FaceIt software to scan its databases for duplicate voter registrations.

In Britain, police in the London Borough of Newham linked FaceIt software and some 300 cameras two years ago to search for known criminals. Authorities there credit the system with a 34 percent drop in crime. Birmingham City Centre began a similar initiative earlier this year.

The FaceIt system creates a digital map of an individual's face, translating the contours into mathematical formulas that are nearly as distinguishing as a fingerprint. FaceIt software can scan a stream of images from a crowd for individual faces and, using the mathematical formula, match them against images in a database.

Under optimal conditions, the company said, the error rate for matches is less than 1 percent. The company said its software is able to account for changes in lighting, facial hair and aging. The accuracy, however, depends on the clarity of both the photos in a database and the images being captured and searched, so that gloomy conditions could lower the accuracy. Match rates also could fall if the face is recorded at an odd angle.

Visionics promotes its products as a technological leap beyond passwords and personal identification numbers for security and authentication. The company said its FaceIt software can help fight terrorism, identity theft and other kinds of crimes.

Keflavik International Airport in Iceland announced in June that it is adding FaceIt surveillance to its close-circuit television system as a security measure. Motor vehicle officials in West Virginia, working with Polaroid Corp., use facial recognition software from Visionics to scan databases of driver photos for duplicates and frauds.

The company said FaceIt also can also improve service for special customers, such as frequent fliers who want to board a plane early.

"FaceIt recognizes faces at a distance, in a crowd and at a glance," the company's literature said. "These could be shoplifters, known terrorists or criminals, VIP guests or customers, expected visitors or any individuals generally classified as friends or foes."

Visionics, a publicly traded company, is part of an emerging biometric industry, with a hundred or more companies developing technology that relies on such human identifiers as patterns on the retina, hand prints or voice patterns, according to an industry analyst.

Visionics competitors Viisage Technology Inc. and its partner, Lau Technologies Inc., also receives "several million a year" from defense and other agencies, according to Viisage President Thomas J. Colatosti. That includes work with the NSA. "We have worked with them, but only on projects and pilots," he said.

To expand its services, Visionics in February merged with Digital Biometrics Inc., a Minnesota company that specializes in digital fingerprint scanning systems used by law enforcement and government agencies, such as the armed forces and INS, a Visionics official said.

Privacy advocates and civil libertarians worry that FaceIt and a growing number of similar systems will be used by government agencies to track and catalogue the activity of innocent citizens, possibly for political reasons.

House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.), said the "public deserves to know to what extent their government is responsible for deploying this technology." He has called for a General Accounting Office report on federal surveillance spending.

"The most serious threats to our freedom often advance in small steps. Face recognition systems may one day provide significant benefits in military applications," Armey said. "We are taking a step in the wrong direction if we allow this powerful technology to be turned against citizens who have done no wrong."

Visionics does not hide the fact that it has ties to government agencies. In November, for example, the company put out a press release announcing its contract for the Defense Department's Human ID project.

Visionics President Joseph Atick said his company is sensitive to privacy concerns and would support legislation to prevent the misuse of his products. Because of privacy concerns, images gathered by the system in Tampa are erased if there is no match.

"In keeping with our belief that our leadership must extend beyond technology," Atick said in a prepared statement, "Visionics has always taken an active role in articulating the most appropriate and ethical ways for society to gain benefits from our technology and to ensure that the technology cannot be misused."



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Edited by Lana on 08/14/01 06:43 PM.



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OfflineEllis Dee
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Registered: 06/30/01
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Re: The UK has 1.5 million of them..The US is NEXT!!! [Re: Lana]
    #371847 - 08/14/01 04:50 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

The physical area of the UK is a small fraction of the land in the United States. And the UK has about 25% of the US population in that much smaller area. That makes for more people living closer. England is mainly cities of some size, the US has some considerable cities but that doesn't make up most of our country.

It would be a much larger, and much more expensive scale to attempt somthing like this in America. To put up a camera every few hundread yards on every rural isolated road simply wouldn't be feasable. It may occur in some large cities and some wealthier suburbs, but I can't envision it beyond that. And way out here in the stix where the big city Mt Vernon has a miniscule population copared to other big cities like toledo or new york city it just isn't going to happen.

I believe a bigger threat would be implants that are required to be in all people. They will be required in the right hand or the forehead and no man may buy or sell without this mark of the beast. And the technology to implement it already exists. When it becomes available DO NOT GET THE MARK OF THE BEAST. Even if you are forced to have your head chopped off or recieve the implant/mark do not get it, have your head chopped off. There can be no repentance for recieving the mark of the beast and you will be 100% certain to go to hell if you take it. Remember what I've said, it'll be your coice when the time comes.

Edited by Rail_Gun on 08/14/01 07:06 PM.



--------------------
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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InvisibleLanaM
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Registered: 10/28/99
Posts: 3,078
Loc: www.MycoSupply.com
Re: The UK has 1.5 million of them..The US is NEXT!!! [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #371869 - 08/14/01 04:50 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Good point, the UK has less people but in turn, its a double ended sword.

The UK doesn't have as many people. But the US has more, meaning that more people can be taxed. From everything like tax of clothes, some food, and all sales goods. It would be tougher to put a camera everywhere, but when you also have a larger budget to spend....it may be comparable.

As for the mark of the beast.... you already have it.

look in the top, left hand corner of your screen. See the " WWW " before the acutal url? Connect those all together, and you'll see the roman numerals for the number 666 reflecting onto your forehead!

I had a friend who was all into Y2k and the end of the world. I'm not big on Y2k....but The Mayan Calander...now thats holds an interesting story. :)

Lana

Distributors of Mycological Products

http://www.MycoSupply.com




--------------------
Myco Supply - Distributors of Mycological Products
http://www.MycoSupply.com

The Premiere Source for Mushroom Growing Supplies.
Visit us online or call us toll free


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OfflineChonger
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Re: The UK has 1.5 million of them..The US is NEXT!!! [Re: Lana]
    #372304 - 08/15/01 01:44 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Actually i live in the UK, and its not as bad as you may think.
Contrary to popular belief, there is not some guy sitting in a little room with stacks of surveilance monitors, except for in shops and special buildings ie private properties.

You can clearly commit certain crimes in front of these public cameras and not be approached. Victimless crimes at least, ie drug use.
However, if a murder or robery is reported to have taken place in the vicinity, then the tapes will be looked at for evidence. That is all they are there for, and thats a really good thing if you think about it. I know plenty of people that have been beaten up, and have then prosecuted the people solely on the evidence of the video tape.



and i couldn't awake from the nightmare that sucked me in and pulled me under
pulled me under
oh... that was so real


--------------------
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OfflinePhyl
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Registered: 01/18/00
Posts: 597
Loc: United Kingdom
Last seen: 7 years, 2 months
Re: The UK has 1.5 million of them..The US is NEXT!!! [Re: Chonger]
    #372895 - 08/16/01 09:30 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

I live here too, and Chonger is right. The cameras are used mainly for evidence after a crime has been reported. The only time they are used to actually monitor people in real time is in areas with large violent crime problems at peak hours, and this is only to increase energency service response time.

I agree that there is a risk of invasion of privacy with these cameras, but at the moment this does not seem to be an issue, and they definately have positive value.





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InvisibleNDK
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Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 186
Re: The UK has 1.5 million of them..The US is NEXT!!! [Re: Phyl]
    #372900 - 08/16/01 09:46 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

I think us Brits have a much less developed sense of personal freedom that the US. We tend to believe our leaders and allow ourselves to be monitored etc. I'm not sure this is entirely a bad thing - it depends on how much it bothers you and if you know what is happening. I don't see the point in being fanatical about personal rights unless there is a benefit.

I certainly don't feel like I'm being watched but I don't like the idea of it. Funnily enough most people seem to want many more police on foot patrol which isn't all that different is it? I think some of the worry comes from the fear of what use technology might be put to.

Some of our town centres have become so crime ridden and dangerous that such systems are necessary. My concern is that they tend to get used by the police & government as a cheaper alternative to real policing or actually trying to sort out the root of the problems in the first place. Like letting councils build 500 acre concrete shitholes with no character or play areas in the first place.

Not too keen on face recognition though. Are they going to flag up some guy jsut cos he did some shoplifting when he was 18?



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OfflinePhyl
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Registered: 01/18/00
Posts: 597
Loc: United Kingdom
Last seen: 7 years, 2 months
Re: The UK has 1.5 million of them..The US is NEXT!!! [Re: NDK]
    #372905 - 08/16/01 10:21 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

I think us Brits have a much less developed sense of personal freedom that the US. We tend to believe our leaders and allow ourselves to be monitored etc.
Whilst I am in public, I have no problem with people monitoring me as I have nothing to hide. I only have a problem if this monitoring starts to move into my private life. If this ever started to happen, then I think it would cause public outrage, and people opinions of CCTV cameras would very quickly change and our 1.5 million cameras would quickly turn into 1.5million pilies of broken, twisted metal and circuit boards.


My concern is that they tend to get used by the police & government as a cheaper alternative to real policing or actually trying to sort out the root of the problems in the first place
With the current shortage of police and general lack of faith in the criminal justice system, I don't see they really have much option. I think this country needs a serious re-think of the laws and entire policing system before we will see a marked improvement in this situation. The police are just making the best of a bad situation.

I think some of the worry comes from the fear of what use technology might be put to.
This is a very valid concern. All we can do is keep an eye on the situation.

Like letting councils build 500 acre concrete shitholes with no character or play areas in the first place.
I'm hopeful this is a lesson that has now been learned and won't be repeated. Only time will tell though.

Not too keen on face recognition though.
I'm not convinced about this. Too many people look too similar, and people appearance changes quite quickly.

Edited by Phyl on 08/16/01 09:24 AM.



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