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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/21/13

New Facial Scanning Surveillance System Revealed

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From http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Big_Brother_Is_Watching_You.jpg: Big Brother Is Watching You
Big Brother Is Watching You by Wikipedia




Dark sunglasses anyone or maybe some radical plastic surgery is more in order.

Your government, better known as the United States of Surveillance, is fast making progress "on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to screen crowds and automatically identify people by their faces", this according to a freedom of information request by the "Electronic Privacy Information Center" to the Department of Homeland Security and passed on to the New York Times Charlie savage whose piece, "Facial Scanning Is Making Gains in Surveillance" was the lead story in this morning's Times.

According to the documents, the system named BOSS (Biometric Optical Surveillance System) "consists of two towers bearing robotic camera structures with infrared and distance sensors. They take pictures of the same subject from slightly different angles. A computer then processes the images into a 3-D signature built from the data like the ratios between points on someone's face to be compared against data about faces stored in a watch-list database".

Interestingly, the $5.2 million contract to develop the BOSS system was made to "Electronic Warfare Associates" a Washington area military contractor with a branch office conveniently located in Kentucky and steered to the company by an "earmark" request in 2010 by none other than Senator Mitch McConnell (R. KY), the Senates Minority Leader, (never one to miss tapping a potential financial contributor to feather his nest, ah, contribute to his re-election campaign).  

Initially "BOSS" came under the jurisdiction of the Defense Department but was transferred to Homeland Security in 2010 to be developed as a tool for use by police departments in the U.S. (another example of the close cooperation and connection with DOD and DHS indicating the further militarization of state and local police departments in the U.S.).

But don't be too alarmed though, according to Anil Jain, a Michigan State University specialist in computer vision and not associated with the BOSS project, the system's accuracy is some five years away.

This was confirmed by Homeland Security after tests of the system at an arena in Kennewick, Washington determined the accuracy was not ready for DHS police department customers and told they shouldn't buy it" yet, (oh what a "relief"). Please.

Now unless you've slept Rip Van Winkle like these past 12 years you should be   automatically aware of the increased surveillance and means for domestic spying that has come about (thank you Edward Snowden) as a close adjunct to the global war on terror initiated after 9/11, that great bugaboo meant to put fear in the hearts and minds of Americans to justify their loss of privacy and civil liberty in favor of complete "security", (something that can never be achieved but with the government's constant fear propaganda foisted on them, apparently bought into and believed by most Americans).

Of course fear of "terrorism" and surveillance are all interconnected and of one piece orchestrated by a U.S. government that makes a mockery of the Constitution's 4 th Amendment against the governments unreasonable searches and seizures clause alluding to the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects from unlawful intrusions, now to include the unlawful clandestine surveillance of innocent people by their government. Such infringements by the government on the people's rights are more in line with the tactics of authoritarian "Stasi" like regimes.

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