Privacy, encryption vs. Surveillance state

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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pushing hard for mandatory facial recognition scans at airports. The government wants to “remove a loophole” that is currently allowing Americans to opt-out of it right now.
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Proposed in a recent filing, the DHS requested a change to the current rules in order to “provide that all travelers, including US citizens, may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure” from the US, citing the need to identify criminals or “suspected terrorists.” While not yet implemented, the rule change is in the “final stages of clearance,” a DHS official told CNN Business, according to a report by RT.
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https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-n...atory-facial-recognition-at-airports_12032019
 

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China is leading the pack. Vice President of the USA criticizes their work while US agencies continue laying groundwork for the same system. smh...

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Vice President Mike Pence called out the program in a recent speech, warning that China’s surveillance state is “growing more expansive and intrusive — often with the help of U.S. technology.”

“By 2020, China’s rulers aim to implement an Orwellian system premised on controlling virtually every facet of human life — the so-called social credit score,” Mr. Pence said. “In the words of that program’s official blueprint, it will ‘allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven, while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.’”

Facial recognition tools are widely used now in China bolstered by cameras deployed along streets, on buildings, in train stations, in classrooms and subway lines. With the emergence of next-generation 5G telecommunications technology, the reach of the surveillance networks is only expected to increase.

As part of the stepped-up surveillance, the Chinese government announced this month that all who purchase SIM cards for mobile phones must first produce a facial recognition print.
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Beijing euphemistically calls the program part of “social management” — a key element of communist ideology to shape and control society.

In reality, critics say, the system is designed to preserve the power of the Communist Party of China, blacklisting and punishing anyone who is spotted by the system engaging in any unapproved activities. It’s marks a high-tech upgrade of traditional measures of control.

In the past, the party relied on a system called “dongan” or personal file — millions of dossiers on citizens filled with personal information ranging from comments made in high school to remarks made to coworkers.

The SCS is expected to take the dongan system to new levels of surveillance by the use of use of advanced technology.

“At its core, the system is a tool to control individuals,’ companies’ and other entities’ behavior to conform with the policies, directions and will of the [Communist Party of China],” said Samantha Hoffman, a China specialist with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra. “It combines big-data analytic techniques with pervasive data collection to achieve that purpose.”
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https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/dec/9/social-credit-system-china-mass-surveillance-tool-/
 

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The mobile phone industry has explored the creation of a global data-sharing system that could track individuals around the world, as part of an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Guardian has learned that a senior official at GSMA, an international standard-setting body for the mobile phone industry, held discussions with at least one company that is capable of tracking individuals globally through their mobile devices, and discussed the possible creation of a global data-sharing system.
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...lores-worldwide-tracking-of-users-coronavirus


Edward Snowden on Monday warned that high-tech surveillance measures governments use to fight the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly identified coronavirus, could have a long-lasting impact.
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https://www.cnet.com/news/snowden-warns-government-surveillance-amid-covid-19-could-be-long-lasting/


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Of the funding allocated to the CDC, the bill sets aside at least $500 million for public health data surveillance and modernizing the analytics infrastructure. The CDC must report on the development of a "surveillance and data collection system" within the next 30 days. While it's not clear what form that surveillance system will take, the federal government has reportedly expressed interest in aggregating data that can be gleaned from tech platforms and smartphone use to monitor movement patterns.
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https://www.businessinsider.com/cdc...e-and-data-collection-stimulus-package-2020-3
 

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Not related to government, just another self inflicted wound society embraces without any real cost analysis...
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Maryland-based Rekor Systems Inc. has started offering home video surveillance software through a service called Watchman, starting at $5 a month. In addition to reading a license plate, the system can record a vehicle’s make, color, and body type. In October, Rekor will launch what it says is a “first of its kind” mobile app, which will let users scan license plates with their phone camera. The app could come in handy for schools, to “securely identify valid visitors for student pickup lines” or to manage cars in parking lots, among other uses, the company says.

The rise of more casual and cheap surveillance is putting tools once primarily used by law enforcement into the hands of virtually anyone. Privacy advocates worry about how personal information will be stored, shared, and used in the absence of clear legal protections.
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Concerns about government using mass surveillance to track movements will be deflected the same way phone and internet surveillance was - by outsourcing to private companies.
 

rblong2us

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Privately run car parks in the UK seem to have been using this for a while.
Could just be regular video footage and someone entering the registration numbers into a database but probably recognition software ?
Sometimes for the entry barrier to lift, you have to be in the vehicle that you prepaid for.
 

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So today I fired up the Bugsite, clicked onto news and scrolled through the articles available.
I wondered if there was any commentary regarding the Tucker Carlson interview with Bobulinski .....
hmmm no.
Ok so I select another hedge article, read it, click on ( hedge) home and at the top ie the most viewed / trending article is this one -
So I read it, then come back here and refresh the news page and a new article shows up about blowing up deliveries of missiles to Iran but still no link to the Carlson - Bobulinski interview. Back to the Hedge and refresh and yes there is the Iran article at no2.

So the question is -

Who is blocking the Zero Hedge article from sites like this one and other alt sites that link Zero Hedge ?
 

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I'll have to investigate (not convenient from my phone), but my guess is ZH doesn't publish everything in their RSS feed. I'm guessing the page in question was authored by a 3rd party (not one of the Tylers).
 

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Oh... Pmbug is supposed to cache the RSS feed so it's not constantly pinging ZH (et al) all the time. I'm pretty sure I set the cache refresh period to an hour.
 

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Thanks Bug
still curious though as it was certainly more than an hour. Can the time of first posting ( or even first comment ) be compared with my observations ?
 

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ZH might also have a cache interval affecting how often it updates their RSS feed. For example, if their feed updates every 15 or 30 minutes, you can add that to the Bug cache interval to get a max possible cache delay.
 

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Back on topic...

Almost two years ago, I ran across this news story (but failed to post it here) about Palantir Technologies building a supercomputer for the IRS to analyze/track financial transactions:
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is building a $99-million supercomputer that will give the agency the “unprecedented ability to track the lives and transactions of tens of millions of American citizens,” tax expert Daniel Pilla reports.

The IRS is already dangerous enough, notes Pilla. “The IRS lays claim to your data without court authority more so than any other government agency. And to make matters worse, they share the data with any other federal, state or local government agency claiming an interest, including foreign governments.”
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... the agency is investing $99 million in a contract with Palantir Technologies of Palo Alto, California, to provide hardware, software, and training to “capture, curate, store, search, share, transfer, perform deconfliction, analyze and visualize large amounts of disparate structured and unstructured data.”

Specifically, Palantir is tasked with building and training IRS employees to use a supercomputer to “search, analyze, visualize, and interact with a wide variety of disparate data sets so users will be able to leverage the platform to perform advanced analytics, such as link, pattern, statistical, behavioral, and geospatial analysis on an investigative platform that is scalable and interoperable with existing IRS equipment and systems.”
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Some background on Palantir Technologies from that time:
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Everything about Palantir is unique. Founded in 2004 by a group of ex-Stanford students including Karp, Joe Lonsdale and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, it's the most valuable venture-backed start-up focused on selling to enterprises.

Palantir is notorious for its secrecy, and for good reason. Its software allows customers to make sense of massive amounts of sensitive data to enable fraud detection, data security, rapid health care delivery and catastrophe response.

Government agencies are big buyers of the technology. The FBI, CIA, Department of Defense and IRS have all been customers. Between 30 and 50 percent of Palantir's business is tied to the public sector, according to people familiar with its finances. In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture arm, was an early investor.

Annual revenue topped $1.5 billion in 2015, sources say, meaning Palantir is bigger than top publicly traded cloud software companies like Workday and ServiceNow. It has about 1,800 employees and is growing headcount 30 percent annually, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the numbers are private.
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This morning, I saw this report with a rather chilling quote in it:
Palantir Technologies Inc.’s business is increasing steadily, helped by more government and corporate contracts in part because of the coronavirus pandemic, it said as it reported earnings Thursday for the first time since going public.

The data-analytics company posted a quarterly loss of nearly $900 million that was mostly because of stock-based compensation. The tone of its first earnings call was upbeat and the company raised its full-year revenue outlook to a range of $1.07 billion to $1.072 billion, up 44% year over year.

The pandemic has “created enormous opportunities for us,” said Shyam Sankar, Palantir’s chief operating officer, on the company’s earnings call. The company is helping the government track clinical data and has been tapped to help with vaccine distribution, too. Besides the coronavirus, though, Sankar said he foresees a “large, systemic transformation in health care” that could benefit Palantir PLTR, 4.25%.
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Sounds like they are building out surveillance tech for contact tracing / medical profiling or similar.
 
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