Big Brother


Minority Report’ Artificial Intelligence machine can identify 2 BILLION people in seconds

12 Dec 2017

Yitu Technology has made an AI algorithm that can connect to millions of surveillance cameras and instantly recognise people.The company – based in Shanghai, China – developed Dragonfly Eye to scan through millions of photographs that have been logged in the country’s national database.

This means it has a collection of 1.8 billion photos on file, including visitors to the country and those taken at ports and airports.

It may also have access to the photos of every one of Hong Kong’s identity card holders, although Yitu has refused to confirm this.

The cutting-edge technology is now being used track down criminals, with the early stages of use showing it has been a hugely successful.

 

 

source: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/666375/minority-report-artificial-intelligence-machine-dragonfly-yitu-technology

Future wars may depend as much on algorithms as on ammunition

4th Dec 2017

The Pentagon is increasingly focused on the notion that the might of U.S. forces will be measured as much by the advancement of their algorithms as by the ammunition in their arsenals. And so as it seeks to develop the technologies of the next war amid a technological arms race with China, the Defense Department has steadily increased spending in three key areas: artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, according to a recent report.

Investment in those areas increased to $7.4 billion last year, up from $5.6 billion five years ago, according to Govini, a data science and analytics firm, and it appears likely to grow as the armed services look to transform how they train, plan and fight.

“Rapid advances in artificial intelligence — and the vastly improved autonomous systems and operations they will enable — are pointing toward new and more novel warfighting applications involving human-machine collaboration and combat teaming,” Robert Work, the former deputy secretary of defense, wrote in an introduction to the report. “These new applications will be the primary drivers of an emerging military-technical revolution.”

The United States “can either lead the coming revolution, or fall victim to it,” he added.

In an interview, Work, who serves on Govini’s board, said the advancements in technology are transforming war just as the advent of the rifle, telegraph and railroad did generations ago. Much of the current work is being driven by companies with large presences in the Washington area, including Leidos, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, CACI and SAIC, according to the report.

Service members are using virtual reality to simulate battle conditions in training. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been investing in better computing power designed to handle vast amounts of data, including quantum computing and what’s known as neuromorphic engineering, helping develop incredibly complex computing systems designed to mimic biological systems.

There are signs that AI and human-machine collaboration are already making their way into American weaponry and its intelligence apparatus. The Pentagon is working toward using drones as the wingmen of fighter jets and ships, which can probe into enemy territory on their own. The Marine Corps has been testing cargo helicopters that can fly autonomously and that would allow Marines, using a tablet, to “easily request supplies even to austere or dangerous environments,” according to the Office of Naval Research.

The stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with 8 million lines of code, is called a “flying computer” that is as much a sensor in the skies as it is a fighter jet, officials say. As an example, officials point to how F-35s communicate with one another on their own. If one jet in a sortie detects an enemy fighter on its radar that is out of the range of the other F-35s along with it, that information is automatically relayed to the other jets.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/future-wars-may-depend-as-much-on-algorithms-as-on-ammunition-report-says/2017/12/03/4fa51f38-d6b7-11e7-b62d-d9345ced896d_story.html

Group sues agencies for info on tattoo recognition technology

2nd Dec 2017

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights advocacy group, is suing government agencies for information on tattoo recognition technology being developed to assist law enforcement.

The EFF filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Thursday against the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which are collaborating on the new technology.

The group is concerned that tattoo recognition programs raise concerns about privacy violations and could infringe on First Amendment rights to free expression.

“Tattoos have served as an expression of the self for thousands of years, and can represent our innermost thoughts, closely held beliefs, and significant moments,” EFF fellow Camille Fischer said in a statement. “If law enforcement is creating a detailed database of tattoos, we have to make sure that everyone’s rights to freedom of expression are protected.”

According to the lawsuit, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an office within the Department of Commerce, began studying how to improve tattoo recognition programs in 2014 to use for the identification and linking individuals to others with similar tattoos. With the help of the FBI, it created a database of 15,000 images and allowed access to researchers from public and private institutions.

DHS also participated in the program to research and map gang markings in tattoos and graffiti.

A DHS spokesman said it does not comment on pending litigation. The Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, did not respond when asked for comment.

“The NIST Tattoo Recognition Technology program seeks to measure the effectiveness of algorithms for accurately matching digital images,” said Jennifer Huergo, a NIST spokeswoman. “Its goal is to help ensure tattoo matching technologies are evaluated using sound science to improve accuracy and minimize mismatches.”

The lawsuit alleges that the database used images of tattoos from prisoners without their consent and that “officials handed over these images to third-parties with little restriction on how they could be used or shared.”

 

 

source/ read more; http://thehill.com/policy/technology/362636-group-sues-agencies-for-info-on-tattoo-recognition-technology

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

12th nov 2017

In real life, in the natural course of conversation, it is not uncommon to talk about a person you may know. You meet someone and say, “I’m from Sarasota,” and they say, “Oh, I have a grandparent in Sarasota,” and they tell you where they live and their name, and you may or may not recognise them.

You might assume Facebook’s friend recommendations would work the same way: You tell the social network who you are, and it tells you who you might know in the online world. But Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions. And the results of its People You May Know algorithm are anything but obvious. In the months I’ve been writing about PYMK, as Facebook calls it, I’ve heard more than a hundred bewildering anecdotes:

A man who years ago donated sperm to a couple, secretly, so they could have a child – only to have Facebook recommend the child as a person he should know. He still knows the couple but is not friends with them on Facebook.
A social worker whose client called her by her nickname on their second visit, because she’d shown up in his People You May Know, despite their not having exchanged contact information.
A woman whose father left her family when she was six years old – and who then saw his then-mistress suggested to her as a Facebook friend 40 years later.
An attorney who wrote: “I deleted Facebook after it recommended as PYMK a man who was defence counsel on one of my cases. We had only communicated through my work email, which is not connected to my Facebook, which convinced me Facebook was scanning my work email.”

Investigating the secret algorithm that knows who you know

Connections like these seem inexplicable if you assume Facebook only knows what you’ve told it about yourself. They’re less mysterious if you know about the other file Facebook keeps on you – one that you can’t see or control.

Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.
Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users.

Shadow contact information has been a known feature of Facebook for a few years now. But most users remain unaware of its reach and power. Because shadow-profile connections happen inside Facebook’s algorithmic black box, people can’t see how deep the data-mining of their lives truly is, until an uncanny recommendation pops up.

Facebook isn’t scanning the work email of the attorney above. But it likely has her work email address on file, even if she never gave it to Facebook herself. If anyone who has the lawyer’s address in their contacts has chosen to share it with Facebook, the company can link her to anyone else who has it, such as the defence counsel in one of her cases.

Facebook will not confirm how it makes specific People You May Know connections, and a Facebook spokesperson suggested that there could be other plausible explanations for most of those examples – “mutual friendships”, or people being “in the same city/network”. The spokesperson did say that of the stories on the list, the lawyer was the likeliest case for a shadow-profile connection.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/11/how-facebook-figures-out-everyone-youve-ever-met/

To Fight Revenge Porn, Facebook Is Asking to See Your Nudes

 

8th Nov 2017

The social network is testing a new tool in Australia aimed at stopping non-consensual images from spreading ahead of time.

Facebook has a new strategy for combating revenge porn: It wants to see your nudes first, before an abuser has the chance to spread them.

As part of a new feature the social network is testing in Australia, users are being asked to upload explicit photos of themselves before they send them to anyone else, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

This is how the new feature works. First, you upload an explicit image of yourself to Facebook Messenger (you can do so by starting a conversation with yourself). Then, you flag it as a “non-consensual intimate image” for Facebook.

The social network then builds what is referred to as a “hash” of the image, meaning it creates a unique fingerprint for the file. Facebook says it is not storing the photos, just the hashes of the photos. If another user tries to upload the same image on Facebook or Instagram, Facebook will test it against its stored hashes, and stop those labeled as revenge porn from being distributed.

One information security researcher I spoke to said using the new feature requires putting an enormous amount of trust in Facebook. “Yes, they’re not storing a copy, but the image is still being transmitted and processed. Leaving forensic evidence in memory and potentially on disk,” digital forensics expert Lesley Carhart told me in a Twitter DM. “My speciality is digital forensics and I literally recover deleted images from computer systems all day—off disk and out of system memory. It’s not trivial to destroy all trace of files, including metadata and thumbnails.”

Facebook’s new anti-revenge porn feature follows a similar one it instituted in April. If you report an image as revenge porn when you come across it on Facebook or Instagram, the social network’s moderators will tag the image using photo-matching technology in an attempt to keep it from spreading. Facebook says it disables the account of whoever shared the image in the first place, “in most cases.”

Non-consensual porn became a major scandal for Facebook earlier this year when the secret group Marines United became public. Over 30,000 current and former US servicemen distributed private and often nude images of women, including their female colleagues, without their consent in the secret group.

 

 

 

source/read more; https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/7x478b/facebook-revenge-porn-nudes

Sexually active students must be reported to law enforcement or state officials

4th Nov 2017

Teachers and staff in the Salem-Keizer school district — which includes more than 40,000 students — were recently told that if they learn or merely suspect a student is sexually active, they must report it to law enforcement or state officials.

According to Oregon law, anyone under 18 years old cannot legally give consent, meaning all sexual activity between minors is considered sexual abuse. This policy, district officials say, stems from Oregon’s mandatory reporting and child abuse laws. But that seems to be a singular interpretation of the law. The Statesman Journal reached out to school districts around the state and found that not one of them had the same mandate.

The subject came up at a training session for teachers and staff in the school district because “we felt like we hadn’t made it clear enough,” as Superintendent Christy Perry told the Statesman Journal.

During the presentation, the district offered several specific examples of when an employee needs to contact law enforcement. These include a 15-year-old telling a teacher that she is having sex with her boyfriend and wants to learn about birth control, or a 17-year-old confiding in a teacher that his 16-year-old girlfriend is pregnant.

Another example: “A 14-year-old boy confides in you that he was kicked out of the house after his parents discovered that he was in a same-sex relationship. During the conversation, the student shares that he has engaged in sexual acts with his partner.”

The district claimed the policy is for the teenagers’ safety.

“Simply reporting to the state doesn’t mean police are going to be knocking on the door of students,” district spokeswoman Lillian Govus told KOIN. “What it does allow for is an abundance of caution in ensuring that our children are safe.”

Many disagree. An online petition calling for an end to the mandate has garnered more than 1,100 signatures. Some gathered on the state capitol steps to protest the policy.

Some pointed out that this leaves high school students without anyone to speak with about sex.

“You can’t have a conversation about safe sex without talking about sex,” Deborah Carnaghi, a program coordinator for Child Protective Services in Oregon’s Department of Human Services, told the Statesman Journal.

Others pointed out that sexual activity among high school students is common.

“We understand that the law for age of consent is at least 18,” Angel Hudson, an 11th-grader at McNary High School in Salem, Ore., wrote in support of the petition. “But we also understand that jaywalking is illegal, and everyone still does that. It’s a matter that occurs far too often to arrest every single jaywalker.”

More than 40 percent of high school students surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported having sex in 2015, which if applied to this particular district, would account for almost 12,000 students. The average age Americans have sex for the first time is 17.3 years old.

“I lose the ability to have a private conversation with a trusted adult who works for the district, about something personal to me,” Hudson added. “Talking about sexual activity between teachers and students should be confidential.”

Some teachers said they would simply ignore the mandate.

“To me, I feel like I’m being told to tell the students to shut up,” a teacher who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Keizertimes. “Teachers are also being told to establish appropriate adult-student connections so that when students come to school they feel safe and cared for. If students have a trusted adult at school that they need to talk with about sex, I see no problem with teachers being that.”

Govus said the district is merely trying to comply with the law.

 

 

 

 

 

source/read more;https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/11/03/sexually-active-students-must-be-reported-to-law-enforcement-or-state-officials-ore-school-district-says/

Email Facebook denies spying on conversations to better target advertisements

29th oct 2017

Facebook’s vice-president of advertising, Rob Goldman, has denied claims the social media network uses microphones on users’ devices to eavesdrop on conversations so it can better target advertisements.

“I run ads product at Facebook. We don’t — and have never — used your microphone for ads,” Mr Goldman said.

“Just not true.”

He was responding to a tweet by internet podcast Reply All’s host PJ Vogt asking for people’s stories if they “believe that Facebook [or Instagram] uses your mic to spy on you for ad reasons”.

The post attracted hundreds of responses, with people claiming it had happened to them.

But others rejected the idea that people’s in-person conversations were to blame for related ads showing up.

“Couldn’t it also be that you are in the demographic who would be interested?” Twitter user George Peterson posted.

Facebook corporate communications director Adam Isserlis also posted in the thread, linking to a 2016 statement.

“Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed,” it said.

 

 

 

 

source/read more:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-29/facebook-denies-listening-through-phone-microphone-for-ads/9097024?smid=Page:%20ABC%20News-Facebook_Organic&WT.tsrc=Facebook_Organic&sf127555151=1

Smartphone Apps to Track ‘Loyalty’ to Communism (China)

8th Oct 2017

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is boasting of over 100 smartphone applications designed to allow senior party members to more accurately track their underlings’ loyalty, based in part on how much communist propaganda the individual consumes on the app.

The Chinese state newspaper Global Times notes that these apps “place additional pressure on members to properly and timely show their loyalty and enthusiasm for the Party.” Party members can be reprimanded if their superior notices they have not been interacting with other party members, reading speeches by president Xi Jinping, or taking online communism classes often enough through the app. The article notes that those who excel and indoctrinate themselves with the apps may be eligible for prizes such as pens and notebooks.

The apps offer a variety of indoctrination media aside from Xi’s speeches, according to the Global Times—among these quizzes to hone knowledge of Maoist thought and broader classes on communist philosophy with required homework.

“The apps not only provide online classes to learn Party doctrines, but also enable users to pay their CPC membership fees or socialize with each other,” the Times adds. “More importantly, the apps will help the CPC evaluate the performance of their nearly 90 million members in a visible, traceable and interactive manner.”

The article provides a number of reasons for there being so many apps, including the use of separate apps for different regional Communist Party structures, different features—like paying Communist Party dues—and different developers. They are all being organized under an umbrella project called “China’s Good Party Member.”

The Chinese government has taken significant technological liberties in the quest to promote communism. Last year, Beijing banned anonymous use of the internet, as well as the publication of any statements that offend “national honor” or suggest an overthrow of the “socialist system.” That law built upon a ban on the publication of blogs or internet comments anonymously passed in 2015.

The CPC regulation apps are part of a greater party organization overhaul in anticipation of the CPC National Congress, beginning October 18. The event, which typically occurs every five years, will give the party an opportunity to elect, re-elect, and promote leaders within the CPC. Local officials told the Global Times in a separate article that they have already been using technology to communicate regarding recommendations for appointments and recruitment of candidates.

“We solicited the opinions of 130 Party members outside the area via telephone and WeChat, an instant messaging service. We visited the homes of elderly members, taking recommendation forms and explaining the policy face to face,” local official Yan Weiping said. Without meeting personally with officials, getting on a CPC ballot is nearly impossible.

In July, communist officials told the Global Times they had organized historical indoctrination tours to generate enthusiasm for the Party Congress. That month, “more than 760 Party members from the State-owned China Construction First Building Corporation Limited took a tour to trace the Party’s footprints from its birth to today.” The tour reportedly took 50 days and included “Chairman Mao’s hometown of Shaoshan, Hunan Province and even Moscow.”

The Chinese state outlet Xinhua states in a report published Friday that the CPC Congress will seek to promote China as “champion of the open world economy” against “protectionism and isolation,” as well as promote a climate change agenda and combat a “Cold War mentality.” Delegates are also expected to vote on amendments to the CPC constitution which would “promote the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics and Party building,” according to Xinhua.

 

source/read more;http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/10/06/china-unveils-100-smartphone-apps-track-loyalty-communism/

Lawyers condemn ‘draconian’ move to hold 10-year-old terror suspects without charge

7th Oct 2017

Lawyers have sounded the alarm bells over an agreement allowing children as young as 10 to be held without charge for up to two weeks on suspicion of terrorism offences.

The Turnbull government and the states and territories agreed to the new pre-charge detention regime at a meeting in Canberra this week at which Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews derided civil liberties concerns as a “luxury”.

But Fiona McLeod, president of the Law Council of Australia, said such concerns should not be so lightly dismissed, and condemned the decision to lock up children without charge as “draconian”.

“It’s the combined shock of having a combination of a pre-charge detention of up to 14 days and the revelation they’re going to seek to have this extended to the age of 10,” Ms McLeod told Fairfax Media.

“We’re talking about draconian steps there and we believe that’s crossed the line of intruding on civil liberties too much.”

The federal Labor opposition also hit out at the agreement. “It’s a shocking and drastic step to propose, without charge, the detention of
a child of 10 years old,” shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan on Saturday made the case for extending the regime to include 10-year-olds, arguing it was regrettable but necessary because Islamic State deliberately recruited children.

 

 

source/read more :http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/lawyers-condemn-draconian-move-to-hold-10yearold-terror-suspects-without-charge-20171007-gywaul

The Future the US Military is Constructing: a Giant, Armed Nervous System

28th Sept 2017

Service chiefs are converging on a single strategy for military dominance: connect everything to everything.

Leaders of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are converging on a vision of the future military: connecting every asset on the global battlefield.

That means everything from F-35 jets overhead to the destroyers on the sea to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the multiplying devices in every troops’ pockets. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network. The effect: an unimaginably large cephapoloidal nervous system armed with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry.

In recent months, the Joint Chiefs of Staff put together the newest version of their National Military Strategy. Unlike previous ones, it is classified. But executing a strategy requiring buy-in and collaboration across the services. In recent months, at least two of the service chiefs talked openly about the strikingly similar direction that they are taking their forces. Standing before a sea of dark- blue uniforms at a September Air Force Association event in Maryland, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said he had “refined” his plans for the Air Force after discussions with the Joint Chiefs “as part of the creation of the classified military strategy.”

The future for the Air Force? The service needed to be more like a certain electric-car manufacturer.

“Every Tesla car is connected to every other Tesla car,” said Goldfein, referring to a presentation by Elon Musk about the ways his firm’s vehicles learn from their collective experience. “If a Tesla is headed down the road and hits a pothole, every Tesla that’s behind it that’s self-driving, it will avoid the pothole, immediately. If you’re driving the car, it automatically adjusts your shocks in case you hit it, too.”
What would the world look like… If we looked at the world through a lens of a network as opposed to individual platforms?
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein

Goldfein waxed enthusiastically about how Tesla was able to remotely increase the battery capacity of cars in the U.S. Southeast to facilitate evacuation before the recent hurricanes.

“What would the world look like if we connected what we have in that way? If we looked at the world through a lens of a network as opposed to individual platforms, electronic jamming shared immediately, avoided automatically? Every three minutes, a mobility aircraft takes off somewhere on the planet. Platforms are nodes in a network,” the Air Force chief said.

The idea borrows from the  “network centric warfare” concept that seized the military imagination more than a decade ago. But what leaders are today describing is larger by orders of magnitude. It’s less a strategy for integrating multiple networks into operations more efficiently than a plan to stitch everything, networks within networks, into a single web. The purpose: better coordinated, faster, and more lethal operations in air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace.

So the Air Force is making broad investments in data sharing. Maj. Gen. Kimberly A. Crider, the service’s first data officer, is setting up a series of experimental tests in the Nevada desert at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, seeking to better understand “what happens when we actually connect into this resilient and agile network” said Goldfein. The Air Force’s current experimentation with next-generation light tactical attack aircraft are as much about hardware as networks, he said. “Not only what can I buy and what can they do, but more importantly, can they connect? Can they actually share? And can we tie it to a new network that’s based on sharable information that gets me beyond the challenges I have right now in terms of security?”
The Air Force is also fielding new connected devices. The handheld “Android Tactical Assault kit” or ATAK, designed with special operations forces, provides a common operational picture of everything going on — basically, doing what a huge command-and-control station used to do a few years ago. “What we determined was that there were so many devices on the battlefield that had information that we weren’t collecting. Rather than build a system to pull that in, we actually went to a commercial entity and they created an algorithm. It’s user-defined and it pulls in whatever data you need and puts it on Google Maps,” said Goldfein.

The Air Force used the device during this year’s hurricane relief efforts, sending rescue teams to people reaching out for help on social media, Goldfein said.

The Air Force Science Board is also launching a study into how to control a constellation of objects, some in the air, some in the sea, some on land, some piloted by humans and others more autonomous. James Chow, the board’s new head, said the study would also consider how to connect to other services.

Importantly, although the study would come out of the Air Force, it wouldn’t stop at just Air Force equipment but would extend to other weapons and vehicles in the battlespace, like Navy destroyers, said Chow.

“Our scope would be in helping the Air Force to think about operations they would be conducting that would incorporate joint sensors and platforms, like destroyers, I think that has to be part of it. And that is within the charter of the study,” Chow  said, adding that the study has “the highest priority level for Air Force leadership.”

 

 

 

source/READ more:http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2017/09/future-us-military-constructing-giant-armed-nervous-system/141303/