The UK is probably the only place that surpasses New York’s “Ring of Steel” for bringing a full-spectrum Big Brother surveillance state to reality. As far back as 2006, even the BBC reported that fears of a “surveillance society” already had taken effect as, at the time, there was 1 CCTV camera for every 14 people. It’s now 1 for every 11, which is 5.9 million total cameras.
As the pace of facial recognition technology increases, as well as advances in artificial intelligence algorithms, the two are merging to provide police with easier and quicker access to matching all of the images from those millions of cameras, which are now stored in databases.
British police are ready to roll-out the latest technology called NeoFace which claims the ability to positively identify criminals in a matter of seconds. And it’s not just Britain that is putting such systems into effect.
Access to the overwhelming amount of data that has been collected has been hampered by the limitations of sifting through the mountain of information. This problem has become known as Big Data, and is at the heart of many government initiatives to provide faster ways to autonomously access and analyze the meaning attached to all that is being collected.
The UK’s NeoFace is described as follows, emphasis mine:
The most important thing is that you need a big database of images to begin with — which, fortunately, the police is in possession of. The software goes through each of these images (potentially millions of them) and encodes them into specially tagged and formatted files. These files don’t store image data, but rather biometric data — the distance between the eyes, the length of the nose, etc. Many of these images will already be associated with a criminal’s police record, but that’s not a requirement. Later, to find a match, the investigator simply feeds a new image into the system — a photo, a still from a crime scene video — and the same encoding/tagging process occurs. It is then a very quick process to compare the biometric markers from the new image against the entire database.
There is even a smartphone and tablet app available:
In the case of NeoFace, there are also a couple of companion apps. NeoFace Watch watches surveillance footage, constantly picking faces out of a crowd — and then storing those faces in a database, or matching them against a predefined watch list.
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NeoFace Smart ID is a smartphone and tablet app that allows for the real-time collection and identification of fingerprints, faces, voices, and other identifiable data at crime scenes. (Source for this quote and above)
Here is a video from system designer NEC that looks like something out of the most terrifying sci-fi hell imaginable for anyone desiring to simply be left alone.
The video and literature about this system would lead one to believe that this is only being used to find known criminals, or provide a potential match to evidence in new crimes. However, there is a disturbing trend toward using biometric identification in predictive behavior technology (aka pre-crime). We are just now reaching a day where the ability for autonomous systems to flag people as potential criminals, or even for mental health imbalances is coming to fruition.
And, as I’ve previously written, the biometrics systems currently being used to identify everyone in Afghanistan are trickling down to U.S. cities. This is about to be made even worse by the FBI’s own program called Next Generation Identification, due to arrive in 2015, for which the propaganda states that it will be used to track criminal immigrants as part of Secure Communities (pause for laughter). In reality, the FBI already has been sued for access to the full scope of what is being planned.
Meanwhile, the databases in the U.S. are already filling up – thought to number as high as 200 million people. All criminals? Obviously not. Potential criminals? In the world of the surveillance state everyone is a potential criminal.
Finally, to make matters even more dystopian, there are plans afoot to give drones facial recognition, which even mainstream publication Business Insider had to admit “will end anonymity everywhere.”
This is a crucial issue that we must speak out about immediately.
Contact your local police department and educate them about what is
coming. Remind them that they and their families, too, will be put under
this digital nightmare surveillance state. Urge them not to cooperate
with federal directives to make this become a reality.
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