Archive for August, 2016

F.B.I. Has Covertly Collected Iris Scans of US Citizens

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2016 by realizethelies

FBIirisscan

In an article published by the Verge,it was revealed the FBI has been quietly collecting hundreds of thousands of iris scans as part an experimental program referred to as the “FBI Iris Pilot.” Working together with local police departments, U.S. Border Patrol, and the Pentagon, the FBI has discreetly amassed 434,000 iris scans.

The surveillance technology, used primarily by airports and private security companies, was pitched in 2013 as a way to help police departments catch criminals in a safer and more efficient manner. At that point, the FBI already had 30,000 scans and was looking to coordinate with local and national agencies to develop a searchable database of scans taken by police departments across the nation. The iris scan, which can be taken from a distance and requires no physical contact, was to be taken upon arrest and submitted whether charges were pressed or not.

California was the first to get on board with the program, according to a memo signed by representatives from the FBI and California Department of Justice. Departments in Texas and Missouri also participate, but records show the bulk of scans in the database come from California.
All agencies are required by law to conduct Privacy Impact Assessments on programs collecting personal information, but no such assessment was made on the pilot program prior to its operation. According to the Verge, an FBI representative claimed they were exempt in this case “because the pilot was conducted with limited participation for a limited period of time.”

The potential ramifications of a surveillance program that can collect an average of 189 iris scans per day—from one department alone—could be severe and warrant heavy scrutiny before being implemented nationwide.Just last month, the FBI was found to have been collecting hundreds of millions of facial scans in a separate program much like the iris pilot. A report from the Government Accountability Office showed not only that the program was being operated with an out-of-date privacy assessment, but also that tens of millions of facial scans came from “driver’s license photos that were not linked to any crime.”

The most alarming discovery is that both programs operate under the FBI’s Next Generation database, a project the Bureau is working to keep outside the reach of the Privacy Act. This has (rightfully) drawn the attention of critics who believe the FBI should not be permitted to operate in complete darkness.

It’s absurd for anyone to deny the fact the United States government is using every tool at its disposal to obtain personal information from its citizens, violating the most basic of human rights. When the government is permitted to know everything about its citizens while it is simultaneously allowed to protect its own privacy, there’s a very serious problem.

Via: Activist Post

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Terrifying New Weapons Police Are Using To Crush Protests

Posted in News, Police State, Surveillance, Technology with tags , , , , , , , on August 16, 2016 by realizethelies

taser_dees

The future of police technology has arrived, and it’s stranger and more terrifying than we could’ve possibly imagined.

Conspiracy theorists’ worst fears were confirmed last month when the New York Post reported that the NYPD now maintains an undisclosed number of unmarked, military-grade vans with X-ray radiation, capable of scanning the public and looking through building and vehicle walls.

This technology, called the “Z Backscatter” van, was used by the military in Afghanistan and costs somewhere between $729,000 and $825,000.
However, there’s no way we can know for sure what these futuristic vans are capable of, including potential health impacts due to radiation exposure, because the NYPD refuses to talk about them. The NYPD’s insistence on complete, blanketing secrecy is part of a growing trend within the surveillance state that civil rights advocates have been fighting for decades.

xrayvan

The Backscatter vans are only the beginning. Police departments around the nation have deployed a whole host of new devices, from laser light guns to facial recognition scanners. Here’s what’s being used by police right now:

Pain Ray Cannon (Active Denial System)

ADS

What began in the early days of the Bush Administration as a way to quell Iraq war-era uprisings could soon end up at local police departments.
The pain ray cannon, or “Active Denial System,” (ADS) as the police call it, is the latest form of military-grade crowd control. The weapon uses microwave beams to heat up the water and fat molecules in a person’s skin, effectively heating the person up until they run away.

Though “less-than-lethal,” its effects are anything but enjoyable. According to people who have had the pain ray tested on them, “it feels like someone opened an invisible door to a blast furnace in front of them, or that their skin was being scorched all over instantly. During protest situations, an ADS could be swept across large groups of people at a closer range than originally intended. The systems could be used to deter a crowd from a single area or to incapacitate drivers. If left unchecked, the pain ray cannon could allow for some pretty repulsive human rights violations.

LRAD Sound Cannons

LRAD

Instead of tear gas and batons, departments have taken to using Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs), to transmit a super-loud high-pitched scream into crowds. The sound is literally too painful to be around and is intended to “shape the behavior of potential threats”
Police Departments from New York City to Toronto to Ferguson, Missouri are using LRADs indiscriminately on protesters, causing excruciating pain to anyone within range.

This is not a precision tool,” said Gideon Oliver, a lawyers who wrote to NYPD Commissioner Bratton. “This is an area-of-effect weapon. When the police use it, it’s not as if they’re just targeting one person. It’s indiscriminate like teargas.”

Facial Recognition Software

FRtablet

With secrecy and deception clouding any conversation about the militarized surveillance state, we can only assume that we are being recorded almost all the time, at least in urban areas. The market has more than tripled since 2008, with cameras being used more invasively every day.

Just last year the Boston Police Department was caught testing out its facial recognition technology on attendees of Boston Calling music festival without their knowledge. Data on each individual’s build, clothes and skin color was captured on thousands of people.

The ACLU claims police departments are also attempting to gain access to private security cameras in order to expand their surveillance reach without having to install new cameras of their own.

HD Camera Drones

cameradrone

Even more aggressive than thousands of surveillance cameras on every street corner is police reconnaissance from the sky. Several police departments have deployed aircrafts with high-resolution cameras and software that can identify and track people over long distances. FBI versions of these planes include technology that may be able to capture private data from cellphones as they track someone, according to the Associated Press.

Concerns have been raised regarding use of this technology for police surveillance, including protection from “unreasonable search and seizure.” The U.S. Department of Justice released its own guidelines on the matter in May, barring federal law enforcement agencies from using drones to “monitor activity protected by the First Amendment”, such as peaceful protests.

Original Article: CS Globe

Police State Trend: Law enforcement preparing for rioting on a national scale

Posted in Martial Law, News, Police State with tags , , on August 16, 2016 by realizethelies

riot_police

A new report from analysts with industry research group, Sandler Research, forecasts the Global Riot Control System Market for the next four years — but beyond a burgeoning market to parallel the expanding global police state, it appears world governments are also keenly aware of civilian discontent.
Sandler predicts the market will have an annual growth of 3.5 percent, and makes a telling juxtaposition, emphases added, involving the United States:
Law enforcement agencies around the world are the biggest market for riot control systems. This market is expected to generate revenues of over 3.5 billion USD by the end of 2020. Countries such as the U.S., Iran, Egypt, Russia, China, and Thailand have started procuring riot control equipment and are investing heavily in non-lethal weapons.

Specifically, the analysts continue:

“In North America, the prominent markets are Canada and the U.S. and law enforcement agencies in these nations are best equipped with the upgraded weapons. The militarization of the police department and other law enforcement agencies in the Americas has encouraged the use of advanced riot control equipment.”

Militarized police forces have become de rigueur, even in the nation’s smallest towns — but arming law enforcement with the weapons of war, rather than protecting civilians, has birthed a chasm of distrust and animosity on both sides. It isn’t as if this equipment is being produced by a marketplace intent on keeping civilians safe from an ostensible outside threat.

As if released in conjunction with one another, a report by Lloyd’s intones the necessity of preparedness as mass civil unrest can not only spark without prior warning, but flare outward, unpredictably — what the insurer calls “Political Violence Contagion.” According to the report, instances of political violence “contagion (pandemics) have become more frequent, and the contagion effect ever more rapid and impactful.”

Considering massive worldwide demonstrations in the U.S. and elsewhere — as people finally grasp how corrupt governments actually are — it becomes apparent in these reports the politicians and their enforcement agencies comprehend the greatest threat to their power.Together, the reports paint a dire prediction — not as much for its illustration of a world in chaos, but for its intimation authoritarian actors may act aggressively to quash even positive and peaceful change by the rest of us.

Via: IntelliHub