Federal Agencies Mostly Use Facial Recognition Tech for Digital Access

source: infosecurity-magazine.com |  image: unsplash.com

 

 

The most popular uses for facial recognition technology (FRT) by federal agencies are cybersecurity and digital access, according to a new report by the United States Government Accountability Office.

The GAO surveyed 24 agencies about their FRT activities in the fiscal year 2020 and found 75% (18) use an FRT system for one or more purposes.

Sixteen agencies reported deploying the technology for digital access or cybersecurity purposes, with two of these agencies (General Services Administration and Social Security Administration) saying that they were testing FRT to verify the identities of people who were accessing government websites.

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Identity Matching:

What You Need to Know About It

source: cyberdefensemagazine.com

image: pexels.com

When asked how they can improve a bank’s security from financial crime, many bankers are at a loss for words. Granted, the question is a broad one and difficult to answer right away—financial crime has always been multifaceted, and its nature has only evolved further over time. Still, if banking institutions truly want to steer clear of connections to money launderers or terrorist financiers, they must identify which aspect of their operations is worth strengthening.

Industry experts for anti-money laundering (AML) have recently reached a consensus: there’s a lot of potential in using the customer screening stage to prevent suspicious transactions. The most sensible paradigm to adopt is one that’s called identity matching, which involves assessing customer risk based on the full context of their account enrollment data. This, along with upgrading the bank’s customer due diligence (CDD) technologies, will prove much more effective than the default rules-based name matching approach.

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‘AI’ is being used to profile people from their head vibrations – but is there enough evidence to support it?

source: theconversation.com

Digital video surveillance systems can’t just identify who someone is. They can also work out how someone is feeling and what kind of personality they have. They can even tell how they might behave in the future. And the key to unlocking this information about a person is the movement of their head.

That is the claim made by the company behind the VibraImage artificial intelligence (AI) system. (The term “AI” is used here in a broad sense to refer to digital systems that use algorithms and tools such as automated biometrics and computer vision). You may never have heard of it, but digital tools based on VibraImage are being used across a broad range of applications in Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.

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image - china tech

 

China’s AI Deployment in Africa Poses Risks to Security and Sovereignty

source: aspistrategist.com

The competition to dominate Africa’s artificial intelligence and critical infrastructure markets is geopolitical and Beijing is racing for the lead. During the past 20 years, China has been rapidly building its communications infrastructure and advancing data-surveillance capabilities globally, and has taken a strong interest in spearheading development of Africa’s technology markets. President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative has been the primary conduit for China’s expansion on the continent.

When the BRI was first introduced in 2013, many African leaders shared Xi’s view that inadequate infrastructure was the greatest barrier to economic development. So far, 40 out of 54 African countries have signed BRI agreements.

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China’s Paper Tiger Surveillance State

source: thediplomat.com

The CCP’s pervasive surveillance apparatus is a sign not of strength, but of fragility.

China is the quintessential surveillance state: cameras perch on every street corner and bots monitor every corner of the internet. Chinese officials believe these measures will enable them to anticipate and preempt threats to the regime. But might Beijing’s growing reliance on surveillance actually weaken the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s hold on power?

China’s surveillance network is expansive and pervasive. Chongqing, for example, holds the dubious distinction of being the “most surveilled city in the world,” with roughly one camera for every six of its 30 million residents. Facial recognition systems identify those captured on camera, instantly recording their ethnicity and party membership. The state wastes no opportunity to gather biometric data, weaponizing it against Uyghurs and others suspected of disloyalty. And on WeChat – the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Apple Pay combined – government monitors are ever-present. At the cutting edge, Chinese officials are testing artificial intelligence-powered analytics, which purport to predict unrest before it occurs.

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Powerful Video and Radar Surveillance Helps Protect United States’ Northern Border

source: ifsecglobal.com

An increasing number of remote video surveillance towers using AI and radar are being deployed to help counter illegal activity on the US-Canada border, as Ron Alalouff reports.

There’s been a great deal of publicity and controversy around the United States’ southern border with Mexico over the past few years – wall or no wall – but far less attention has been paid to its northern border with Canada. Yet an increase in illegal cross-border activities has led to the installation of a series of remote surveillance towers, bristling with powerful cameras and associated hardware.

An example of these remote video surveillance systems (RVSS) is along a 360-mile stretch of border surrounded by vast expanses of water – from Buffalo in New York to Detroit and Port Huron in Michigan – an area awash with thousands of pleasure craft, numerous marinas and hidden canals and channels.

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There Are Spying Eyes Everywhere—and Now They Share a Brain

source: wired.com

Security cameras. License plate readers. Smartphone trackers. Drones. We’re being watched 24/7. What happens when all those data streams fuse into one?

ONE AFTERNOON IN the fall of 2019, in a grand old office building near the Arc de Triomphe, I was buzzed through an unmarked door into a showroom for the future of surveillance. The space on the other side was dark and sleek, with a look somewhere between an Apple Store and a doomsday bunker. Along one wall, a grid of electronic devices glinted in the moody downlighting—automated license plate readers, Wi-Fi-enabled locks, boxy data processing units. I was here to meet Giovanni Gaccione, who runs the public safety division of a security technology company called Genetec. Headquartered in Montreal, the firm operates four of these “Experience Centers” around the world, where it peddles intelligence products to government officials. Genetec’s main sell here was software, and Gaccione had agreed to show me how it worked.

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In a Topsy-Turvy Pandemic World, China Offers Its Version of Freedom

source:  nytimes.com

Surveillance and censorship bolster Beijing’s uncompromising grip on power. But in the country’s cities and streets, people have resumed normal lives.

 

Duncan Clark’s flight was rolling down the runway in Paris in late October when President Emmanuel Macron announced a second national lockdown in France. The country had nearly 50,000 new Covid-19 infections that day. The United States had almost 100,000.

He sighed with relief. He was headed to China. That day, it had reported 25 new infections, all but one originating abroad.

Mr. Clark, a businessman and an author, returned to China after spending nine months in the United States and France, his longest time away from the country since he moved to Beijing in 1994. He had been spending more time outside China over the past few years to get away from air pollution, censored internet and an increasingly depressing political environment.

But when he returned in October, he felt something new: safe, energized and free.

“The ability to just live a normal life is pretty amazing,” he said.

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US State Department issues guidance on implementing UN Guiding Principles for transactions linked to foreign government end-users for surveillance technology

source: business-humanrights.org

 

 

“U.S. Department of State Guidance on Implementing the ‘UN Guiding Principles’ for Transactions Linked to Foreign Government End-Users for Products or Services with Surveillance Capabilities”, 30 September 2020

The U.S. Department of State is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. In that spirit, U.S. businesses should carefully review this voluntary guidance and consider whether to participate in, or continue to participate in, transactions if they identify a risk that the end-user will likely misuse the product or service to carry out human rights violations or abuses. The responsibility of U.S. businesses to respect human rights does not depend on the size, sector, operational context, ownership, or structure of the business…

U.S. businesses are encouraged to integrate human rights due diligence into compliance programs, including export compliance programs…

Review the capabilities of the product or service in question to determine potential for misuse to commit human rights violations or abuses by foreign government end-users or private end-users that have close relationships with a foreign government…

Review the human rights record of the foreign government agency end-user of the country intended to receive the product or service…

Review, including through in-house or outside counsel, whether the foreign government end-user’s laws, regulations, and policies that implicate products and services with surveillance capabilities are consistent with the UDHR…

Facial Recognition And Beyond: Journalist Ventures Inside China’s ‘Surveillance State’

source:  NPR.org

Security cameras and facial recognition technology are on the rise in China. In 2018, People’s Daily, the media mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party, claimed on English-language Twitter that the country’s facial recognition system was capable of scanning the faces of China’s 1.4 billion citizens in just one second.

German journalist Kai Strittmatter speaks fluent Mandarin and has studied China for more than 30 years. He says it’s not clear whether or not the Chinese government is capable of using facial recognition software in the way it claims. But he adds, on a certain level, the veracity of the claim isn’t important.

“It doesn’t even matter whether it’s true or not, as long as people believe it,” he says. “What the Communist Party is doing with all this high-tech surveillance technology now is they’re trying to internalize control. … Once you believe it’s true, it’s like you don’t even need the policemen at the corner anymore, because you’re becoming your own policeman.”

Strittmatter’s new book, We Have Been Harmonized: Life in China’s Surveillance State, examines the role of surveillance in China’s authoritarian state. He warns that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who came to power in 2012, has embraced an ideological rigidity unknown since the days of Mao Zedong.

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