February 16, 2014

Tracking your DNA via a Bio-signature

As if we are not being tracked enough.....on the heels of a recent article documenting how law enforcement is trying to use street lights to track you down, we get this article documenting attempts to track us via DNA.  The article is vague and details lack, so it appears to be more fear mongering by the WND staff, which published this article.  Nevertheless, biotechnology tracking systems are being developed, particularly of interest is the likes of an implantable device like 'veri-chip.'


Seek 'biosignature' spying ability to 'identify, locate specific individuals'

The federal government doesn’t just want the ability to track down your car; it wants to be able to track down your body as well.
Just as details are emerging about a controversial, nationwide vehicle-surveillance database, WND has learned the federal government is planning an even more invasive spy program using “physiological signatures” to track down individuals.  The goal of this research is to detect – as well as analyze and categorize – unique traits the government can exploit to “identify, locate and track specific individuals or groups of people.”
According to the program’s statement of objectives, “The scope of human-centered [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR] research spans the complete range of human performance starting at the individual molecular, cellular, genomic level.”
Documents WND located through routine database research reveal the ability to follow people by detecting “certain characteristics of operational interest” is designed for U.S. military and intelligence-gathering superiority.
It remains unknown when such capabilities might transition to the realm of domestic counterterrorism or law enforcement operations; however, the feds – through the Air Force Research Lab, or AFRL – are recruiting private-sector assistance in order to make this “biosignature” spying a reality.
Existing ISR systems are “ideal for identifying and tracking entities such as aircraft and vehicles, but are less capable of identifying and tracking the human,” the lab says in a planning document known as a Broad Agency Announcement, or BAA.
The Human-Centered ISR Leveraged Science & Technology Program will seek to develop, with outside help, technologies that the government can use “to identify, locate and track humans of interest within the operational environment,” according to solicitation No. BAA-HPW-RHX-2014-0001.
Research specific to fusing and analyzing sensor data has undergone consistent growth, but such efforts have been “system-centric” and fail to “adequately address the human element.”
This new research scheme seeks to strengthen the ability of intelligence analysts by placing the human component at the forefront of their efforts.
AFRL’s research could have implications for a variety of domains, such as air, space and cyberspace, it says. The program’s outcome also will broadly apply to other U.S. Department of Defense organizations and the intelligence community.
A second component of the AFRL initiative is the Human Trust and Interaction Program, which will conduct research into human-to-human and human-to-machine interactions.
This program segment entails several sub-areas, including Trust and Suspicion, which will focus on “the recognition of suspicious activities in the cyberspace realm.”
This segment will examine open-source data such as social media. It also will continue to leverage “more traditional intelligence sources.”
AFRL says it anticipates awarding three or four initial contracts for the overall initiative, which has an estimated program value of about $50 million.
The goal of this and other AFLR programs typically start out as largely theoretical, similar to the approach taken by the more widely known Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which created ARPANET, the defense-system predecessor to the Internet.
The Department of Homeland Security, on the other hand, merely has to solicit bids from industry for a National License Plate Recognition, or NLPR, database system.
While DHS is soliciting this service specifically for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, functions, the breadth of this NLPR service encompasses the gathering of transportation-movement data from major metropolitan areas nationwide.
This database, which would be fed with information gleaned from multiple sources, would “track vehicle license plate numbers that pass through cameras or are voluntarily entered into the system,” according to the program solicitation.
The vehicle tracking-data then would be “uploaded to share with law enforcement.”
The database will be compatible with smart phone technology, enabling law enforcement offices to download thousands of listings – as well as close-up photos – of vehicle license plates.
Once DHS secures this service, the contractor must retain and make available data from previous months, as well as update the system with “new and unique” data monthly.
DHS anticipates awarding a one-year contract with four one-year options by May 14. It did not disclose the estimated cost.


February 15, 2014

Police State: La Americana style

The DHS also recently awarded the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority $7 million dollars to outfit its buses with high tech 360 degree surveillance cameras. The federal agency is simultaneously supporting the rollout of ‘Intellistreets’ lighting systems that double as surveillance hubs which can record conversations.
The large leaks by NSA contractor Edward Snowden shook the world and gave the public a glimpse into just what enormous amount of surveillance is being performed on the unsuspecting public.  There has always been a trade off between liberty and security; however, in today's digital age, the line has been blurred to the point of in-distinction.  There's so much data and surveillance everywhere , one practically doesn't even know where it starts and stops.  

The Department of Homeland Security has been building a national database of information for some time, of course under the notion to track terrorists around the globe.  The ability to use this database in real time though takes on a new dimension if a police officer can simply use their smart phone, take a picture of a car's plates, and then immediately know who you are.  The newest technology in google glasses apparently can do the same thing.  Additionally, as this article points out, cameras and listening devices are also now being incorporated into street lights!

Forget about anonymity!

Homeland Security to Activate ‘National 

License Plate Recognition Database’

The Department of Homeland Security is set to activate a national license plate tracking system that will be shared with law enforcement, allowing DHS officers to take photos of any license plate using their smartphone and upload it to a database which will include a “hot list” of “target vehicles”.

Image: License Plate Scanning Camera (Wikimedia Commons). 
The details are included in a PDF attachment uploaded yesterday to the Federal Business Opportunities website under a solicitation entitled “National License Plate Recognition Database.” 
The system will “track vehicle license plate numbers that pass through cameras or are voluntarily entered into the system from a variety of sources (access control systems, asset recovery specialists, etc.) and uploaded to share with law enforcement” in order to help locate “criminal aliens and absconders.” 
In other countries that have activated license plate tracking networks, such as the United Kingdom, political activists have been targeted by having their vehicles added to a “hotlist” after attending protests. One example led to a man being questioned under anti-terror laws after he traveled to take part in an anti-war demonstration. 
As the image above illustrates, the cameras are also used by local governments in Australia to keep records of people who violate parking restrictions. Critics of the system in Australia have condemned it as “a Pandora’s box for abuse of power, mistakes and illegal disclosure,” stressing that the technology allows authorities to record “your number plate at a certain time and location,” allowing police to “compile an extraordinary amount of data about you. This includes your name, address, contact details, driving history and licence status.” 
“Innocent people are increasingly being treated with suspicion due to the tiny chance that some offence may be committed,” writes David Jancik. 
The DHS’ database will allow authorities “to determine where and when the vehicle has traveled,” using data compiled “from a variety of sources nationwide,” including “metropolitan areas” within the United States, suggesting the system may be linked in with regular surveillance cameras as it is in the UK. 
The system will also allow DHS officials to take a picture of any license plate via their smartphone, upload it to the database and immediately receive an alert if the plate is on the watchlist.
“The NLPR data service should provide details on clarity of photos provided. The Government would prefer a close-up of the plate and a zoomed out image of the vehicle,” states the solicitation. 
The system must also have the capability to “flag license plates and conduct searches anonymously so that other law enforcement agencies may not have access.”
Given rampant concerns that the Department of Homeland Security, which is ostensibly introducing this system in the name of catching illegal aliens, is in fact an increasingly bloated federal bureaucracy designed to target the American people, the notion of the DHS enjoying access to a fully integrated nationwide license plate tracking grid is chilling, especially given the fact that the agency has funded reports which characterize “liberty lovers” as potential terrorists. 
The DHS also recently awarded the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority $7 million dollars to outfit its buses with high tech 360 degree surveillance cameras. The federal agency is simultaneously supporting the rollout of ‘Intellistreets’ lighting systems that double as surveillance hubs which can record conversations. 
“Do not kid yourself. This is tracking of an individual that can be accessed at a whim,” writes James Smith. “Yearly, officers are terminated for accessing the LEDS/NCIC database for looking into the histories of ex-lovers, future spouses, and potential sons/daughters-in-law. And with license plate tracking toy (not a tool), they will know where you are, as long as you have driven into the cross hairs of this new weapon for tyranny.”