My thanks to the SHR Media Network for allowing me to broadcast in their studio and over their air twice weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as appear on the Sack Heads Radio Show™ each Wednesday evening. My thanks are even more heartfelt due to the nature of the show I presented Thursday night which included examining, in-depth, the destructive, uncontrollable, unrepentant, irresponsible and authoritative nature of our federal government.
Thursday night we discussed:
Canada’s House of Commons passes anti-Islamophobia motion; will this religious motion apply equally to protestants and Jews?
Muslim Somali males in Minneapolis threaten to kidnap and rape women;
Tommy Robinson states the obvious to a Muslim advocate in London;
Rockville, MD superintendent in control of the school system where a 14-year-old girl was raped by an illegal alien believes parents are racist and xenophobic;
What is The Hammer?
House Intelligence Committee hearings with Comey, Gowdy, Nunes, FISA;
Rep Elise Stefanik reveals Director James Comey’s true nature;
Jason Chaffetz proves: the FBI doesn’t obey the law;
American privacy, LPR technology;
Government crisis of legitimacy; who watches the watchers?
Please join me, the Bloviating Zeppelin(on Twitter @BZep and on Gab.ai @BZep), every Tuesday and Thursday night on the SHR Media Network from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern and 8 PM to 10 PM Pacific, at the Berserk Bobcat Saloon — where the speech is free but the drinks are not.
As ever, thank you so kindly for listening, commenting, and interacting in the chat room or listening via podcast. Thanks also to Mary Brockman’s Biker Mafia in chat.
Want to listen to the Berserk Bobcat Saloon archives in podcast? Go here.
House seeks clarity on FBI facial recognition database
by Matt Leonard
The FBI has expanded its access to photo databases and facial recognition technology to support its investigations. Lawmakers, however, have voiced a deep mistrust in the bureau’s ability to protect those images of millions of American citizens and properly follow regulations relating to transparency.
Kimberly Del Greco, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, faced tough questioning from both sides of the aisle at a March 22 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Stop. This is the same privacy issue I have with the utilization of LPR (License Plate Recognition) technology by law enforcement agencies locally and nationally. LPR systems, mounted on the roofs of enforcement vehicles, rapidly collect and analyze visual information, the license plates of vehicles, in order to determine their status, either stolen or wanted due to criminal activity. In essence, there is yet no limitation on what can or must be done with this information. It can and is shared with abandon between agencies — not just law enforcement — and the technology has the ability to track vehicles and place them at certain locations at precise times. Though you, the driver, have committed no crime.
With more LPR systems installed on law enforcement vehicles, the issue of privacy becomes even more impacted. At present there is policy, not law, regarding LPR collection.
The FBI’s use of facial recognition technology was called into question last year after the Government Accountability Office issued a report saying the bureau had not updated its privacy impact assessment when the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System “underwent significant changes.”
Now that you have an idea of the issue at hand, please watch the video in which Jason Chaffetz attempts to acquire some sort of cooperation or sense from Del Greco.
“So here’s the problem,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee chairman. “You’re required by law to put out a privacy statement and you didn’t and now we’re supposed to trust you with hundreds of millions of people’s faces.”
The FBI’s NGI-IPS allows law enforcement agencies to search a database of over 30 million photos to support criminal investigations. The bureau can also access an internal unit called Facial Analysis, Comparison and Evaluation, which can tap other federal photo repositories and databases in 16 states that can include driver’s license photos. Through these databases, the FBI has access to more than 411 million photos of Americans, many of whom have never been convicted of a crime.
Fingerprints, DNA, photographs, license plates. All ways that law enforcement can identify, follow and track you. All of them impacting your privacy.
Jason Chaffetz also revealed a vitally-important aspect of technological programs that collect massive amounts of information: social media. Will it collect from that?
More importantly, who answers when the information becomes corrupted, is erroneous, provides incorrect analysis or becomes hacked, compromised or distributed itself?
The GAO report said the FBI was not testing the accuracy of its system on a regular basis and has not done testing to ensure that the system provides accurate results for “all allowable candidate list sizes.”
Multiple witnesses, including Jennifer Lynch, the senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Alvaro Bedoya, executive director at the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, said that facial recognition technologies have provided false positives more regularly for women, younger individuals and people of color.
“That is due to the training data that is used in facial recognition systems,” Lynch said. “Most facial recognition systems are developed using pretty homogeneous images of people’s faces, so that means mostly whites and men.”
Perfect. A racist system that violates your privacy as well.
The point of displaying the video here on the blog is so that you formulate an idea of how difficult it is to acquire anything even remotely resembling the truth from government agencies and, in this case, the FBI, which is an arm of the Department of Justice. Remember what Jason Chaffetz said:
The FBI’s failure to update the privacy impact assessment, Chaffetz added, was yet another reason not to trust the agency with ordinary Americans’ personal information.
The federal government continually says that its citizens must trust it or there will be a gap of confidence. It implores America to have faith and belief. Yet it does nothing whatsoever to discourage citizens from thinking this way or disabuse us from questioning most everything it does.
What do you truly have as a country when the FBI proves it does not obey the law and, by dint of that, the Department of Justice? The FBI and the rest of the alphabet agencies continue to prove they cannot be trusted as they serially dissemble, dodge, evade, withhold, distract, lie and, moreover, politicize every aspect of their activities.
Then deny it all.
We are coming to a tipping point, ladies and gentlemen, not just here in America but throughout the rest of the world, with regard to big government. We have a trust crisis, a budget crisis and even a crisis of legitimacy.
Google Glass Snoopers Can Steal Your Passcode With a Glance
by Andy Greenberg
The odds are you can’t make out the PIN of that guy with the sun glaring obliquely off his iPad’s screen across the coffee shop. But if he’s wearing Google Glass or a smartwatch, he probably can see yours.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell found they could use video from wearables like Google Glass and the Samsung smartwatch to surreptitiously pick up four-digit PIN codes typed onto an iPad from almost 10 feet away—and from nearly 150 feet with a high-def camcorder. Their software, which used a custom-coded video recognition algorithm that tracks the shadows from finger taps, could spot the codes even when the video didn’t capture any images on the target devices’ displays.
“I think of this as a kind of alert about Google Glass, smartwatches, all these devices,” says Xinwen Fu, a computer science professor at UMass Lowell who plans to present the findings with his students at the Black Hat security conference in August. “If someone can take a video of you typing on the screen, you lose everything.”
Read the rest of the article carefully; there is good information regarding situational awareness of your surroundings.
Be aware of your passcodes, as you enter them into your phone or your tablet or your iPad or your ATM or any device requiring such a code. It’s not just people watching; it’s people with devices able to divulge your keystrokes, the placement of your eyes, your fingers, accomplished with apps designed for just such a thing.
IRS Among Agencies Using License Plate-Tracking Vendor
by Kathleen Miller
The Internal Revenue Service and other U.S. agencies awarded about $415,000 in contracts to a license plate-tracking company before Homeland Security leaders dropped a plan for similar work amid privacy complaints.
Federal offices such as the Forest Service and the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command chose Livermore, California-based Vigilant Solutions to provide access to license plate databases or tools used to collect plate information, according to government procurement records compiled by Bloomberg.
Vigilant, a closely held company, has received such work since 2009. In February, Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, ordered the cancelation of an immigration agency plan to buy access to national license plate data. While the technology can help solve crimes, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have said the mass collection of data infringes the privacy of innocent people.
“Especially with the IRS, I don’t know why these agencies are getting access to this kind of information,” said Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based privacy-rights group. “These systems treat every single person in an area as if they’re under investigation for a crime — that is not the way our criminal justice system was set up or the way things work in a democratic society.”
WHY, I ask, would the IRS require access to LPR information? Why would the USAF Air Combat Command? For what purpose, to what end?
Because, as I am about to reveal, LPR technology is everywhere and becoming a standard in law enforcement — my agency included.
Those unfamiliar with LPR technology should realize that these systems are already in place with many local and state law enforcement agencies nationwide. Readers, attached to the roofs of LE vehicles (see above), collect license plate information from motor vehicles parked in lots and elsewhere.
Enhance your officers’ safety and productivity while maximizing your department’s revenue. Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) delivers the ability to read vehicle license plates and check them against an installed database for rapid identity verification. The license plate recognition system has been used to locate stolen or wanted vehicles and identify parking-ticket scofflaws.
This rapidly deployable, scalable solution uses rugged infrared cameras that connect to leading-edge optical character recognition (OCR) technology software, allowing you to conduct surveillance under varied lighting and weather conditions. Captured information is immediately processed, and you are alerted only when a “hit” occurs.
Back Office System Server (BOSS) Software
Database formatting including ability to customize PAGIS screens and alarms based on system “hits”
Import of national and regional databases:
Ability to map all locations related to a single license plate to track movements
Ability to cross-reference perpetrator ID number (driver’s license, social security, etc.) with license plate database
Law enforcement, therefore, has the potential to become another smaller but still intrusive NSA. The “take” from LPR technology is sent to various LE local points and can readily be kept on local servers. Depending upon various orders and policies, this information is dumped or stored. I would tend to place my money on the latter.
And here comes the If/Then equation:if the information is stored and retrievable, then it can be sifted and filtered for times, dates, locations — tracking purposes. Note the information above. These systems can be melded and made compatible with other systems for informational sharing purposes.
That said, should not what I call the Logical Extension be implemented now? That is, various and sundry federal LE systems demanding to tap into virtually unlimited information gathered by local and state law enforcement entities? To be further kept on larger federal servers and systems?
Big Brother anyone? Again?
When and where does it end? And why the resounding silence on behalf of most of the media and the populace?
Might I suggest to the NSA and to the rest of the federal government that seems to have no problem intruding into every nook and cranny of my life and the lives of other Americans: do what I had to do when I was a Detective and wanted to advance my cases.
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A man said he had his Google Glass snatched of his face and smashed to the ground in San Francisco’s Mission District Friday evening.
20-year-old journalist Kyle Russell, a reporter for Business Insider, said the attack happened as he was walking on the sidewalk with a colleague. A woman came up to him and yelled, “Glass!” and grabbed the device off his face and sprinted away, he said.
Russell said he chased the woman through traffic for a block before she stopped and flung the $1,500 device onto the ground, breaking it – then running away again.
Let me make a statement, and let there be no mistake: good for her. Good for the unknown woman who smashed this “man”s” privacy-invading device into the ground.
Because there has to be, there must be, consequences for the invasion of privacy of individuals in our society.
If not lawfully, then societally.
As a cop, I fully realize that anyone and everyone has a complete and full right to record whatever my actions may be in public as a result of my response to various calls. And that I have no lawful ability to stop said persons from recording my reactions and my events. That much is certain.
On the other hand, cops are now wearing body and eye cams, as well as implementing LPR technologies.
Fine. Monitor me as I take a dump at work. You want to see that, you are welcome to it.
But my off duty time is my off duty time. And the first person that I see in a bar or in a restaurant or in line awaiting service for something/anything or recording “casually” my life on Google Glass will be rewarded with an unfortunate result.
My private life does not exist as an entertainment value for someone else, to be immured for infinity on a hard drive or the internet. I do not exist for your “amusement” or for your pleasure or for your diversion.
Meaning: if I see you recording me in a private venue via Google Glass, things won’t go well. For you, I mean.