Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Yard Dart, Apr 16, 2014.
Massive FBI facial recognition database poses threat to privacy, group says | Fox News
With all the investigations and backgrounds I have had run to work on government equipment/locations like airports, dams, power companies, etc.... my fingerprints would show up every time, lol.
Same here.... I have seen my file, a couple of times.... Once when I was investigated for a Security Clearance, as a Navy Contractor, and again, when I LOST that Clearance, by the Security Officer, and then had it reinstated, by the Admiral. Again, when I was given a Security Clearance, as a Federal Agent. It is about an inch thick, at the last viewing. My fingerprints have been in the "System" since I was Licensed, as a Blaster, @age 18, and again in College. Again when I got my first CCW, and again when I got my first FFL. My Face is in that Database, from my FED Agent Credentials. They know ME, and if they want Me... they can fly all the way out here, and try and Get Me..... I am NOT holding my Breath, for them, or anyone else..... ......
I have a feeling that most folks would be in this database, just by the FBI importing all states drivers license files/pics....... simple.
Let alone all of us that they have everything from fingerprints/DNA and so on in their files from mil service or other "gov" activities as contractors.....
I can not even recall how many times I have been cleared by various agencies. Like many here, I have no illusions of remaining anonymous in the bigger scheme of things.... guess the only bet some of... most of us have, is to stay as low on the radar as possible to whatever degree we can.
I wouldn't fear the "Government" entities possessing this information as much as I would the multitude of private interests who would no doubt utilize such information to track, trace and market to me any variety of their worthless products and services. Added to this, we have a technological boom with smart phones, using fingerprint analysis and facial recognition, to storing sensitive personal data and even the XBox with its voice recognition sets off warning bells. With the persistent influx of illegal immigrants and identity theft alone, one might consider keeping a low key and straying away from these products. Even convenience store "membership" tags, which track your purchases can be a recipe for disaster. Regardless, all of this is nothing compared to the mysterious, privately run Fusion Centers and the surveillance grid police state.
That's why I never look up at the sky. That's how the Umbrella Corporation finds you out in the desert. You look up, the satellites get your face on camera and next thing you know you're back in Raccoon City.
I've been fingerprinted and photographed for so many jobs, not to mention DL, CHL, college ID cards, key cards for various jobs, that my stuff is already easily available. Then there's my mom, who, if she ever scores a photo of me, immediately uploads it to Facebook and tags me on it. But only if it's rilly rilly unflattering.
My main concern is the accuracy of the system. It's nearly impossible to not have your image in the databases. It's funny though looking at some old expired ID's that have my picture on them, just how much my appearance has changed. My last DoD ID was taken when I was 20 something. It's only been 20 years, but I have shown that ID to several people while covering my name, and not one could ever tell it was me.
You can bet that your face is in the system if you've ever been in the military, gotten a drivers license, passport, CCW, Sams Club card, picture uploaded to Facebook or LinkedIn, or been arrested. In fact, they probably have on average a dozen photo's of each individual in the database. The last thing I want is to be going about my business and some camera misidentify and flag me as someone who is wanted, or on some watch list. And I'm not going to even get into the inevitable misuse of the database.
N.S.A. Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images
By JAMES RISEN and LAURA POITRAS MAY 31, 2014
The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents.
The spy agency’s reliance on facial recognition technology has grown significantly over the last four years as the agency has turned to new software to exploit the flood of images included in emails, text messages, social media, video conferences and other communications, the N.S.A. documents reveal. Agency officials believe that technological advances could revolutionize the way that the N.S.A. finds intelligence targets around the world, the documents show. The agency’s ambitions for this highly sensitive ability and the scale of its effort have not previously been disclosed.
The agency intercepts “millions of images per day” — including about 55,000 “facial recognition quality images” — which translate into “tremendous untapped potential,” according to 2011 documents obtained from the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. While once focused on written and oral communications, the N.S.A. now considers facial images, fingerprints and other identifiers just as important to its mission of tracking suspected terrorists and other intelligence targets, the documents show.
It is not clear how many people around the world, and how many Americans, might have been caught up in the effort. Neither federal privacy laws nor the nation’s surveillance laws provide specific protections for facial images. Given the N.S.A.’s foreign intelligence mission, much of the imagery would involve people overseas whose data was scooped up through cable taps, Internet hubs and satellite transmissions.
Because the agency considers images a form of communications content, the N.S.A. would be required to get court approval for imagery of Americans collected through its surveillance programs, just as it must to read their emails or eavesdrop on their phone conversations, according to an N.S.A. spokeswoman. Cross-border communications in which an American might be emailing or texting an image to someone targeted by the agency overseas could be excepted.
State and local law enforcement agencies are relying on a wide range of databases of facial imagery, including driver’s licenses and Facebook, to identify suspects. The F.B.I. is developing what it calls its “next generation identification” project to combine its automated fingerprint identification system with facial imagery and other biometric data.
The State Department has what several outside experts say could be the largest facial imagery database in the federal government, storing hundreds of millions of photographs of American passport holders and foreign visa applicants. And the Department of Homeland Security is funding pilot projects at police departments around the country to match suspects against faces in a crowd.
The N.S.A., though, is unique in its ability to match images with huge troves of private communications.
“We would not be doing our job if we didn’t seek ways to continuously improve the precision of signals intelligence activities — aiming to counteract the efforts of valid foreign intelligence targets to disguise themselves or conceal plans to harm the United States and its allies,” said Vanee M. Vines, the agency spokeswoman.
She added that the N.S.A. did not have access to photographs in state databases of driver’s licenses or to passport photos of Americans, while declining to say whether the agency had access to the State Department database of photos of foreign visa applicants. She also declined to say whether the N.S.A. collected facial imagery of Americans from Facebook and other social media through means other than communications intercepts.
It is not clear how many images the agency has acquired. The N.S.A. does not collect facial imagery through its bulk metadata collection programs, including that involving Americans’ domestic phone records, authorized under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, according to Ms. Vines.
The N.S.A. has accelerated its use of facial recognition technology under the Obama administration, the documents show, intensifying its efforts after two intended attacks on Americans that jarred the White House. The first was the case of the so-called underwear bomber, in which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian, tried to trigger a bomb hidden in his underwear while flying to Detroit on Christmas in 2009. Just a few months later, in May 2010, Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, attempted a car bombing in Times Square.
The agency’s use of facial recognition technology goes far beyond one program previously reported by The Guardian, which disclosed that the N.S.A. and its British counterpart, General Communications Headquarters, have jointly intercepted webcam images, including sexually explicit material, from Yahoo users.
The N.S.A. achieved a technical breakthrough in 2010 when analysts first matched images collected separately in two databases — one in a huge N.S.A. database code-named Pinwale, and another in the government’s main terrorist watch list database, known as Tide — according to N.S.A. documents. That ability to cross-reference images has led to an explosion of analytical uses inside the agency. The agency has created teams of “identity intelligence” analysts who work to combine the facial images with other records about individuals to develop comprehensive portraits of intelligence targets.
The agency has developed sophisticated ways to integrate facial recognition programs with a wide range of other databases. It intercepts video teleconferences to obtain facial imagery, gathers airline passenger data and collects photographs from national identity card databases created by foreign countries, the documents show. They also note that the N.S.A. was attempting to gain access to such databases in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The documents suggest that the agency has considered getting access to iris scans through its phone and email surveillance programs. But asked whether the agency is now doing so, officials declined to comment. The documents also indicate that the N.S.A. collects iris scans of foreigners through other means.
In addition, the agency was working with the C.I.A. and the State Department on a program called Pisces, collecting biometric data on border crossings from a wide range of countries.
One of the N.S.A.’s broadest efforts to obtain facial images is a program called Wellspring, which strips out images from emails and other communications, and displays those that might contain passport images. In addition to in-house programs, the N.S.A. relies in part on commercially available facial recognition technology, including from PittPatt, a small company owned by Google, the documents show.
The N.S.A. can now compare spy satellite photographs with intercepted personal photographs taken outdoors to determine the location. One document shows what appear to be vacation photographs of several men standing near a small waterfront dock in 2011. It matches their surroundings to a spy satellite image of the same dock taken about the same time, located at what the document describes as a militant training facility in Pakistan.
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