Tag Archives: NLETS

Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS): Homeland Security, NLETS and the IACP Target Your Biometric Driver’s License Photo

target dl 1

Kaye Beach

Dec. 29, 2012

In the modern surveillance state it’s all about the biometrics, especially facial recognition which allows for at-a-distance identification and investigation of individuals without their knowledge or consent-no warrant required!

Very few realize that upon issuance of a state driver’s license, a state identification card, or any other form of government issued photo ID, we are having our facial biometrics captured by high resolution photography.  The analog cameras in every state have been replaced with high resolution digital cameras that capture, map, digitize, and database our facial features for use with facial recognition technology.

The federal REAL ID Act was passed in 2005.  The first (and most important!) benchmark of REAL ID is capture and retention of the driver’s license applicant’s facial image.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The following is from an article published in Nov. of this year by the Police Chief, the official magazine of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP);

(“Image” means biometric image which is quite different than a simple photograph)

“In 2006, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate gave the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets) funds to implement driver’s license image sharing between the states. Nlets is a nonprofit organization owned by the 50 states that has connections to every federal, state, local, and military law enforcement agency in the United States. If an agency’s technical capabilities allow, officers can query state driver’s license databases from a mobile or a desktop device and obtain an image in a manner of seconds.”

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words, From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. , November 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA

Your state department of public safety or DMV driver’s license database provides your biometric data which tethers your body to other unique biographical data such as your social security number, age, address and more.  As a tool for surveillance and control, your faceprint is invaluable.

 “Today, more than 25 states have implemented this technology and are providing law enforcement images. In the next year, at least 12 more states will implement this technology.” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Now,  law enforcement can, simply by taking your picture, identify and investigate you as you go about your business in public without you even being aware that this is happening.

“For some time now, officers have been able to retrieve images through a mobile device while on the street to help identify individuals.” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The truth is that they cannot do this everywhere, yet.  While the technology is in place there is still the issue of access to be dealt with.  This is a legal and not a technical matter.  As we know, if the government has the technical ability to do something, they believe that they should be able to do it.  In other words, the law must conform to the capability of the technology and not the other way around.  Policy, once (somewhat) grounded in principle is now rooted in practice so now if they can do it, they will do it and they are doing it.

Undercover cops secretly use smartphones, face recognition to spy on crowds

This kind of surveillance is damaging.   Psychologically, pervasive surveillance, or even the possibility of it, is universally understood to change the behavior of those subjected to it.  It induces conformity of behavior and of thought as well.  As the range of surveillance grows, our ability to simply be, to exercise our free will, shrinks.

“Nlets will not consider photo sharing a success until it is implemented in all 50 states” link

Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS)

“Nlets and DHS S&T have been working to expand the use of images in public safety. A new DHS/Nlets project called Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS)” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

NLETS formerly the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Service is now THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE & PUBLIC SAFETY NETWORK

NLETS

“links together every state, local, and federal and International law enforcement (INTERPOL), justice and public safety agency for the purpose of exchanging critical information.”  http://www.nlets.org/

As this law enforcement writer notes,

“when we engage in innovative law enforcement technology solutions, we need to take extra care to adequately address the security and privacy of personally identifiable information.”  

And who does the writer fear, is not adequately addressing the security and privacy of our personally identifiable information?  Good old NLETS.

Read; When the Cops are Worried About Your Privacy-You Should Worry Too!

NLETS role has always been to serve the state’s law enforcement needs, but that role, as noted by NLETS, is changing.

From Hot Trends and Innovations at Nlets 2012 Slide # 42

While Nlets is 45 years old this year, we have always taken the “child” role, with the States being the “parent”

–In recent years, the child is becoming the parent in many aspects.

Why? For one thing NLETS is now being funded and thus, directed by the federal government.

nlets grant funders Hot trends innovations ppt 2012Slide # 47

Slide # 17

From Hot Trends and Innovations at Nlets 2012

PROJECT SPONSOR

Department of Homeland Security

When lines of authority are blurred, power naturally defaults to the highest level.  The states are not ‘partners’ with the federal government in matters that require state authority over their jurisdiction.

From the Legal Information Institute;

Jurisdiction-The term jurisdiction is really synonymous with the word “power”

Jurisdiction is the territory within which a court or government agency may properly exercise its power

State and local policing is a jurisdictional matter and the states and local governments have conceded their authority in this.  Informational jurisdiction is no exception and in fact leads physical control.

What is revealed in this IACP Nov. 2012 article is that the Department of Homeland Security has funded an international non-governmental organization, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), to manage the operational issues of the endeavor; Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS).

“The DHS S&T has funded the IACP Technology Center to provide a practitioner group to advise Nlets on operational issues. These experienced practitioners will provide input on how this technology can be used in the field.”

What that means is that we are in trouble. 

The IACP is an international, non-governmental organization accredited by the United Nations and has been instrumental in bringing about profound changes to our nation politically, technologically and culturally.  There has been a great paradigm shift in our nation since 9-11 that spans all agencies of government.  This shift affects every aspect of our lives and has practically decimated the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.  US citizens, regardless of their political persuasion, are united in astonishment as they witness the slash and burn abrogation of one cherished right after another.

There is no sector of our society left untouched by the new paradigm and each has its own specialists attending to the transformation in their particular realm.  In the realm of policing, it is the IACP who is in charge of nurturing and tending this transformation.

Here is just one example;

Intelligence Led Policing and Fusion Centers: How the IACP Helped the USA to Cross the Rubicon

I hate to share information like this without providing you with any solutions.  I have been working diligently for years to find a way for us to protect our biometric data which is the key to our government’s efforts to create the most effective and efficient surveillance society ever experienced on this earth.

Although I have found no solution in legislation, no real willingness by enough of our elected representatives to do what they took an oath to do; to protect our liberty I do still recommend that you contact your state representative and tell them if you have concerns about open access to your data contained in the state Dept. of Public Safety database.  Tell them that you expect them to protect your personal information from being freely shared and used on a whim to track and spy on you.  They need to hear concerns from their constituents.

It is clear that we cannot stop the government from sharing this information in ways that will hurt our ability to control our own lives.   If we want to protect ourselves we must remove our biometrics from the system by either not giving it to them in the first place or taking legal action to remove it.

That is what I am trying to do, remove my biometric data from the system.  There is just no good reason for it being collected in the first place and no one ever informed me or you of what was being taken from us when we applied for our state driver’s license and they certainly never warned us about the repercussions of trusting them with our most personal information.

Read more about my lawsuit

My Real ID Reckoning

Latest update and request for support

Stop Biometric ID!  Kaye Beach needs your support for lawsuit

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When the Cops are Worried About Your Privacy-You Should Worry Too!

Kaye Beach

Dec 5. 2011

I imagine somebody is making a mountain of money off of this deal.  It will be ordinary travelers along with the cops on the beat that will end up paying the interest on this foolish plan.

In today’s world, your information is VALUABLE and your rights are CHEAP.

GATSO USA Forms Unique, Strategic Partnership with Nlets

Earlier this month, GATSO USA was approved as a strategic partner by the Board of Directors of the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets).  Nlets is the nation’s premier interstate network for the exchange of critical law enforcement, criminal justice, and public safety-related information. Supporting every agency at the state, local and federal level. . .

The approval of GATSO is an exciting first for the photo-enforcement industry.

Nlets will be hosting GATSO’s back office and server operations within the Nlets infrastructure. GATSO will have access to registered owner information for all 50 states plus additional provinces in Canada. The strategic relationship has been described as a “win-win” for both organizations.

. . .From GATSO’s perspective, hosting the system with Nlets will provide a ruggedized, robust connection to comprehensive registered owner information.

. . .Nlets was created over 40 years ago by the principal law enforcement agencies of the States. Today, it serves law enforcement agencies in all of the United States and territories, all Federal agencies with a justice component, selected international agencies, as well as a variety of strategic partners — all cooperatively exchanging data. (Emphasis mine) The types of data exchanged vary from motor vehicle and drivers’ data, to Canadian and Interpol databases, state criminal history records, and driver license and corrections images.

Read More

Here are some of NLETS’ “strategic partners”

REDFLEX (Red Light (S)camera company)

OnStar (your on board eavesdropping and tracking device)

BioKey (biometric company)

and an old Oklahoma favorite,  InsureNet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is from the ‘Nowhere to Hide’ Blog (A site that says it is ‘ for cops by cops’)The writer reviews a few basic facts of the situation and asks some obvious questions that really illuminate this liberty and privacy travesty that is happening right under our noses.

“Should we be worried” he asks.  Worried?!  Worried is an understatement.

As the author notes, this endeavor involves;

. . . innovative use of technolgy for law enforcement, a psuedo-government agency (Nlets), two foreign-owned private companies, and LOTS of PII sharing.- some might even say it had all the makings of a Will Smith movie “

Security, Privacy, and Innovative Law Enforcement Information Sharing: Covering the bases

Excepts from NowheretoHide.org, published Feb 6, 2011;

The main points I took away from this press release were:

  1. Nlets is going to host the back-end server technology that GATSO needs to look up vehicle registration information of red-light runners;
  2. Gatso is going to have access to vehicle registration information for all vehicles/owners in ALL 50 states in the U.S. and (some) provinces in Canada; and
  3. And, because it’s behind Nlets firewalls, security is not an issue.

. . .After I read the press release, I thought that it would be a good case-study for the topic of this blog – it involved innovative use of technolgy for law enforcement, a psuedo-government agency (Nlets), two foreign-owned private companies, and LOTS of PII sharing – some might even say it had all the makings of a Will Smith movie.

To help set the stage, here are a few facts I found online:

  • Gatso-USA is a foreign company, registered in New York State, operating out of Delaware; its parent company is a Dutch company, GATSOmeter BVGatso.
  • Gatso does not appear to vet all of the red-light/speed violations itself; it uses another company – Redflex Traffic Systems to help with that (Redflex is not mentioned in the press release).
  • Redflex seems to be a U.S. company, but it has a (foreign) parent company based in South Melbourne, Australia.
  • Finally, there are no-sworn officers involved in violation processing. Red-light/speed enforcement cameras are not operated by law enforcement agencies; they outsource that to Gatso, who installs and operates the systems for local jurisdictions (with Redflex) for free, (Gatso/Redflex is given a piece of the fine for each violation).

BUT what is new here is that a sort-of-government agency (Nlets), has now provided two civilian companies (with foreign connections) access to Personally Identifiable Information (PII) (vehicle registrations) for the entire U.S. and parts of Canada…should we be worried?

Here are nine questions I would ask:

  1. Personnel Security: Will Nlets have a documented process to vet the U.S. and overseas Gatso and Redflex staff who will have access to this information through direct or VPN access to Nlets systems?
  2. Data Security: Will Gatso or Redflex maintain working/test copies of any of the registration information outside of the Nlets firewall? If so, are there documented ways to make sure this information is protected outside the firewall?
  3. Data Access: Will Gatso/Redflex have access to the entire registration record? or, will access be limited to certain fields?
  4. Code Security: Will any of the code development or code maintenance be done overseas in the Netherlands or Australia? If so, will all developers be vetted?
  5. Network Security: Will overseas developers/site suport staff have access to the data behind Nlets firewalls? What extra precautions will be taken to protect Nltes systems/networks from abuse/attack?
  6. Code Security: Will Nlets conduct any security testing on code loaded on the servers behind their firewalls?
  7. Stakeholder Support: Have all 50 U.S. states, and provinces in Canada, been made aware of this new information sharing relationship? Do they understand all of the nuances of the relationship? And, are they satisfied that their constituents personal information will be protected?
  8. Audit/Logging: Will all queries to vehicle registration information logged? Is someone checking the logs? How will Nlets know if abuses of authorized access are taking place?
  9. Public Acceptance: How do states inform their constituents that their personal vehicle registration information is being made available to foreign owned company? Will they care?

How these questions are answered will determine whether or not we should worry…

Read more

FBI to launch nationwide facial recognition service

Kaye Beach

Oct 9, 2011

This is just the tip of the iceberg….

From NextGov.com

By Aliya Sternstein 10/07/2011

The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov.

The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI’s existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings.

Often law enforcement authorities will “have a photo of a person and for whatever reason they just don’t know who it is [but they know] this is clearly the missing link to our case,” said Nick Megna, a unit chief at the FBI’s criminal justice information services division. The new facial recognition service can help provide that missing link by retrieving a list of mug shots ranked in order of similarity to the features of the subject in the photo.

Read more

Looking Back-A Refresher

A compulsory global biometric identification system for law abiding people is not, will never be justifiable.

Our government seems to have backed off on their denials that Real ID and similar legislation is in fact, a national ID.  But what you should know is that any national ID system is also international.  It’s all about sharing these days and that means with our “international Partners’ too

The following is just a mere sampling of news articles, government documents and sources of information that clearly show the absolute intention to use our state driver’s licenses and the biometric data collected for them, as a an instrument of global identification,  tracking and control.

2003

Viisage receives $12 million award from Oklahoma

FEBRUARY 19, 2003–Viisage Technology Inc. (Littleton, MA; http://www.viisage.com) has been chosen to fulfill the new digital driver’s license contract by the state of Oklahoma’s Department of Public Safety. The contract will include the design, development, and implementation of the statewide secure license production program. The total value of this new multiyear contract is approximately $12 million. Oklahoma is the 19th state to utilize Viisage in the production of identity verification documents and the third state in recent months to give Viisage a major driver’s license contract. The three latest contracts total approximately $35 million. The solution will integrate multiple, advanced identification security features, including FaceEXPLORER facial-recognition software and SAGEM Morpho finger imaging technology

http://tinyurl.com/ViisageOKla

Oklahoma has collected Face, Fingerprint scans and signature biometrics since 2004

Biometric Drivers Licenses Make Debut in Oklahoma

April 20, 2004

SAGEM Morpho, Inc. a proven provider of mission-critical biometric systems and services, announced the successful deployment of biometric technology solutions for the Oklahoma Department Public Safety (DPS) in conjunction with Viisage, a provider of advanced technology identity solutions. SAGEM Morpho will combine its finger imaging recognition technology with Viisage’s facial recognition technology to create accurate biometric records of the state’s approximately four million licensed drivers.  http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2004/apr/1033349.htm

NLETS the International Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing Network, links together every state, local, and federal and International law enforcement (INTERPOL), justice and public safety agency for the purpose of exchanging critical information http://www.nlets.org


2004

The NLETS Candle Project In a related NIJ-funded project, NLETS is working with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to standardize critical information from departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) around the country.

The project, entitled Collaboration between AAMVA and NLETS for Driver’s License Exchange (Candle), seeks to develop and deploy standards and solutions to exchange standardized driver and motor vehicle records over the NLETS network.

Candle builds upon the existing NLETS infrastructure, as well as the Web services advancements made in the Aisle project, and seeks to deploy an international capability for driver and motor vehicle exchanges based upon XML standards, greatly increasing the efficiency. . .

The Candle project provides a first step in transitioning AAMVA to a new generation of technology. This effort will result in consolidating interstate DMV transactions into a single standardized service for both the DMV and law enforcement communities.

From The Police Chief, vol. 71, no. 6, June 2004. 
Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police,
 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

AAMVA was directly involved in the crafting of the Real ID Act 2005. In the DHS-published final rules document for the Real ID Act, the AAMVA was referred to as its “hub” and “backbone.”’ UPDATE: Real ID

2006

Source-THE NEW PARADIGM—MERGING LAW ENFORCEMENT AND COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGIES Secure Cities 2006 http://www.scribd.com/doc/21970726/IACP-Intelligence-Led-Policing-2006-New-Paradigm

2007

SB 474-Oklahoma prohibited participation in the REAL ID in 2007. (So far, 25 states either by law or resolution have done the same) Although Oklahoma lags behind other states in full implementation of Real ID, there is no reason to believe Oklahoma will not eventually come into full compliance with the act.

2007

FBI Seeks to Build Massive Identification System

 The Federal Bureau of Investigation awarded a $1B, 10-year contract to design, develop, document, integrate, test, and deploy the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System to Lockheed Martin. This new database will expand on the current fingerprint-based system; the FBI will increase its collection and storage not only fingerprints but also iris scans, palm prints and facial images.

The FBI is also in talks with the U.K. police to establish a unified database for the tracking of this biometric information.

The UK has said that the new NGI System could easily be integrated with the U.K.’s current Ident1 database

http://epic.org/privacy/biometrics/

2007 News article;

–The Homeland Security Department’s plans for sharing biometric information internationally designed to counter the threat of terrorism — face resistance from domestic privacy advocates and European governments that follow stricter privacy laws that protect personal data.

Senior DHS officials speaking at a recent conference on biometrics and privacy policy outlined the ethical imperative for technical standards that would foster unrestricted biometric data sharing.

Robert Mocny, acting program manager for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program, sketched the outline of a Global Security Envelope of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with their personal data held by governments and corporations.

“information sharing is appropriate around the world,” and DHS plans to create a “Global Security Envelope of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with biometric ID, personal information held by governments and corporations”

—-Robert Mocny

Read more… http://www.gcn.com/print/26_03/43061-1.html

2007 The National Information Sharing Initiative ;

The Bush Administration’s 2007 National Information Sharing Strategy established state and local fusion centers as the federal government’s primary mechanism for collecting and disseminating domestic intelligence. 

The federal government has fueled the growth of these state and local intelligence centers, and has organized them into a national network that feeds information gathered at the local level into the Director of National Intelligence’s Information Sharing Environment (ISE), where it becomes accessible to all participating law enforcement agencies as well as the larger intelligence community. Link

The Biometric Interoperability Program promotes biometric-based information sharing between the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and other federal and international biometric systems.

http://www.biometriccoe.gov/_doc/FBI_CJIS_0808_One%20Pager_8%205x11_BIOMETRICS_v3.pdf

2008 -Fusion Centers Tap Into Personal Databases

Many fusion centers have not shared with the public what databases they use. This was demonstrated in an April 2, 2008 article in The Washington Post titled “Centers Tap into Personal Databases.” It revealed that several fusion centers in the northeast have access to millions of people’s information including unlisted cell phone numbers, insurance claims, driver’s license photographs

–Rebecca Andino, PMP, CIPP/G, president and founder of Highlight Technologies

______________________________

Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D. (Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario) and Alex Stoianov, Ph.D. point out that in the not too distant future a person’s unique biometric template could be used as an identifying key to link together all the different databases that contain entries for that person. It would enable someone to build up a complete picture of that individual without their knowledge or consent.

“When the use of biometrics grows, an ordinary person will be enrolled in various biometrically controlled databases, such as travel documents, driver licenses, health care, access control, banking, shopping, etc. Current biometric systems can use the same biometric template for all of them. The template becomes the ultimate unique identifier of the person. This is where biometric data mining comes into effect: the different databases, even if some of them are anonymous, may be linked together to create comprehensive personal profiles for all the users. To do this, no fresh biometric sample is even required. The linking of the databases can be done offline using template-to-template matching, in a very efficient one-to-many mode. The privacy implications explode at this point.”

 

2008

DHS Human Factors Division:  Social-Behavioral Threat Analysis

Mission:

To apply the social, behavioral and physical sciences to improve identification, analysis, and understanding of the threats posed by individuals, groups, and radical movements; to support community preparedness, response, and recovery to catastrophic events; and to advance national security by integrating the human element into homeland security science & technology. http://www.scribd.com/doc/27037194/Behave-Fast-Tsadhs

MONITORING EVERYDAY BEHAVIOR

In April 2008, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times both reported on a new Los Angeles Police Department order that compels LAPD officers to begin reporting “suspicious behaviors” in addition to their other duties—creating a stream of “intelligence” about a host of everyday activities that, according to documents, will be fed to the local fusion center.


LAPD Special Order #11, dated March 5, 2008, states that it is the policy of the LAPD to “gather, record, and analyze information of a criminal or non-criminal nature, that could indicate activity or intentions related to either foreign or domestic terrorism,” and includes a list of 65 behaviors LAPD officers “shall” report. The list includes such innocuous, clearly subjective, and First Amendment protected activities as:

– taking measurements

– using binoculars

– taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value”

– abandoning vehicle

– drawing diagrams

– taking notes

– espousing extremist views

LAPD’s Program is now the Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI)

Nationwide SAR Initiative Vision: By 2014, every Federal, State, local, tribal and law enforcement entity operating domestically will participate in a standardized integrated approach to gather, document, process, analyze, and share terrorism-related suspicious activity

28 C.F.R. part 23

28 CRF Part 23 is a US Federal Code that basically says you cannot be entered into a criminal data system unless you are a legitimate suspect.  Not so anymore.

The April 2003 GIWG meeting minutes record approval for the weakening of 28 CFR 23 and note that GIWG member Daniel J. Oates indicated he was excited about the proposed changes to 28 CFR Part 23, specifically the area dealing with changing the reasonable suspicion collection criteria to reasonable indication. If the rule is passed, officers on the street can gather small bits of information that can be entered into an intelligence database. Under the old standard, this could not be done. Read more

28 C.F.R. Part 23 was promulgated pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3789(g)(c) which requires state and local law enforcement agencies receiving federal funding  to

“…collect, maintain, and disseminate criminal intelligence  information in conformance with policy standards which are  prescribed by the Office of Justice Programs and which are written to  assure that the funding and operation of these systems further the purpose of this chapter and to assure that some systems are not  utilized in violation of the privacy and constitutional rights of individuals.

 

Why did we need 28 CFR 23?dep

The Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in 1993 explained;

“Because criminal intelligence information is both conjectural and subjective in nature, may be widely disseminated through the interagency exchange of information and cannot be accessed by criminal suspects to verify that the information is accurate and complete, the protections and limitations set forth in the regulation are necessary to protect the privacy interests of the subjects and potential suspects of a criminal intelligence system.”

They have decided that now-we are no longer due these legal protections.

It actually took them until 2008 before the desired weakening of federal code was officially achieved

In July  2008, the Department of Justice proposed a rule to amend the primary federal regulation governing criminal intelligence databases (28 CFR Part 23) to expand both what information can be collected by law enforcement agencies, and with whom it may be shared.  (see 73 Fed. Reg. 44673) read more

. . .the Department of Justice has relaxed restrictions on when the Federal Bureau of Investigation can begin investigations, and worked to increase intelligence-sharing among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies as well as with federal (intelligence) agencies in ways that will compromise civil liberties (through a change in federal regulation 28 C.F.R. part 23).

Read more FBI Guidelines 28 C.F.R. part 23

2008

Comments on proposed amendments to 28 Code of Federal

Regulations Part 23 –

. . .intelligence fusion centers universally claimed  compliance with 28 CFR Part 23 as the appropriate regulation governing the conduct of  their intelligence collection efforts.

The Congressional Research Service reported that “many state and local law enforcement and fusion center staff” expressed concerns regarding sharing law enforcement sensitive information with non-law enforcement personnel including analysts working under contract to the Department of Homeland Security.10

In January 2008 the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) published “functional standards” for suspicious activity reports (SAR) produced by state and local law enforcement.

The DNI standards actually encourage state and local law enforcement to report non-criminal suspicious activities to the intelligence community by defining the scope of suspicious activity as “observed behavior that may be indicative of intelligence gathering or pre-operational planning related to terrorism, criminal, or other illicit intention.”

READ MORE

Oklahoma Information Fusion Center Privacy Policy;

The OIFC may retain information that is based on mere suspicion, such as tips and leads. Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) information will be retained in the future once the SAR project is finalized and guidelines are issued to Fusion Centers.  http://www.scribd.com/doc/24732421/Oklahoma-Information-Fusion-center-Privacy-Policy

**Please Note-This is NOT a genuine OIFC Notice. If the OIFC files a suspicious activity report on you-You would never know it.

Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative IJIS (Fusion Centers)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/41496999/Nationwide-Suspicious-Activity-Reporting-Initiative-IJIS-Fusion-Centers

NSI

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21970535/Nationwide-SAR-suspicious-activity-reports-Initiative

SAR and Amtrak

http://www.scribd.com/doc/44933611/Nationwide-SAR-Initiative-Partnership-With-Amtrak

Oct. 20, 2008

International Police Organization Proposes Worldwide Facial Recognition System.

An Interpol face-recognition database would permit Interpol member nations to search records containing travelers’ personal biometric information, and could be used in conjunction with travel watch lists.

“There will be such a large role in the future for fingerprints and facial recognition”

— Mark Branchflower, head of Interpol’s fingerprint unit

2009

BIOMETRICS TASK FORCE

http://www.scribd.com/doc/26083198/Army-War-College-Bio-Metrics-Task-Force-April-15-2009

Across All Government Biometric Information Coordination

Collaboration Data Sharing Biometrics Mission Sets Population Census Targeting / Tracking Base & Checkpoint Security Police, Military, & Govt. Official Vetting Border Control / Ports of Entry (POEs) Detainee Operations

2008-2009

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24, signed in 2008 and revalidated in 2009 by the current administration, mandates that interoperability with respect to biometrics spans the military, civil, and criminal arenas.

http://www.biometrics.dod.mil/Newsletter/issues/2009/Sep/V5issue3.html

FBI delves into DMV photos in search for fugitives

October 12, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. — In its search for fugitives, the FBI has begun using facial-recognition technology on millions of motorists, comparing driver’s license photos with pictures of convicts in a high-tech analysis of chin widths and nose sizes.

The project in North Carolina has already helped nab at least one suspect. Agents are eager to look for more criminals and possibly to expand the effort nationwide. But privacy advocates worry that the method allows authorities to track people who have done nothing wrong.

http://www.publicintelligence.info/fbi-delves-into-dmv-photos-in-search-for-fugitives/

October 13, 2009

According to the AP’s report, the FBI has assembled a panel of experts tasked with standardizing drivers license photos and push use of biometric-mining nationwide. But the value of mining DMV records with the biometric software is limited for one simple reason, expressed perfectly by Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “We don’t have good photos of terrorists,” he explains.

 “Most of the facial-recognition systems today are built on state DMV records because that’s where the good photos are

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/fbi-mining-dmv-photos-for-fugitives

Fusion Centers “fuse” information shared between Military and Civilian forces, Public and Private Institutions, State Federal and International Governments.

September 15, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that it was giving state and local fusion centers access to the classified military intelligence in Department of Defense (DOD) databases. The federal government has facilitated the growth of a network of fusion centers since 9/11 to expand information collection and sharing practices among law enforcement agencies, the private sector and the intelligence community.

http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/fusion-centers-obtain-access-classified-military-intelligen

2009 Biometric Consortium Conference

Biometric Enabled Intelligence has been a powerful tool in the law enforcement community, linking individuals to events, evidence and ultimately to solved crimes. That same concept can make biometrics a so what enabler of military operations, physical security, logical security, and forensic analysis by linking people, places, activities and events.

As we learn to link biometrics to biographic, geospatial, social networks and other forms of data, we can develop patterns of activities for both individuals and organizations

Mrs. Del Greco initiated two high profile, multi-million dollar  development efforts: “Next Generation Identification” (NGI), which will expand biometric and criminal history capabilities; and “Biometric Interoperability”, which will ensure information sharing between the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and other key biometric-based systems within the Federal Government and international partners

http://biometrics.org/bc2009/bios/delgreco_k.pdf

 

 Tag!  You’re It!

“Face recognition already exists through photo IDs, which can be used of individuals that are not enrolled”

http://www.scribd.com/doc/44675297/Sensor-Nets-the-Business-of-Surveillance

2010

Stripping Away Anonymity-The Secretary of Defense Funding Doc

“Biometrics technologies can be used to both verify an individual’s claimed identity and, when combined with additional intelligence and/or forensic information, biometrics technologies can establish an unknown individual’s identity, thus stripping away his anonymity. “

“This program will develop the technology that will improve the quality of biometrics derived information provided to the operational forces for the purpose of identifying and classifying anonymous individuals. It will enable execution of a DoD and interagency coordinated biometrics science and technology plan that supports technology transition to acquisition programs in FY10 and the out-years.”

See the document; www.dtic.mil/descriptivesum/Y2010/OSD/0603665D8Z.pdf

 

2010

Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA)

Warfighter, Business, Intelligence, and Security & Law Enforcement

The Department of the Army General Order (DAGO) 2010-06, signed by the Secretary of the Army (SecArmy), redesignated BTF (biometrics task force) as the Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA) on 23 March 2010.

Sept 1, 2010

Get REAL . . .

But open rebellion against REAL ID, which was so heated two or three years ago, has calmed considerably. States are no longer lining up to add themselves to the list of those refusing to fund of implement the federal law’s requirements.

Instead, many state motor vehicle departments are quietly doing the work to meet the law’s initial 18 benchmarks. According to DHS, all but the 14 holdout states say they’ll be able to meet the law’s operational requirements by the end of this year.

Read more

June 22, 2011

Making REAL ID a Reality: Next Steps for Congress

At least 32 states are close to REAL ID material compliance, while a total of 44 states and territories have indicated that they fully intend to meet REAL ID compliance

State unveils new, secure driver’s license

Starting Monday, Alabama residents will be able to obtain a new, more secure form of identification.In compliance with REAL ID Act of 2005, the Alabama De­partment of Public Safety has developed a driver’s license and identification program called STAR I.D. Congress passed the REAL ID Act in re­sponse to acts of terrorism against the United States.

Connecticut to begin controversial Real ID program

Connecticut launched a campaign today to publicize how to obtain a drivers license that meets the stricter verification standards of a federal “Real ID” law passed in 2005, but never implemented in face of objections from two dozen states

And Many. Many more!

Driver’s License Image Sharing

Technology Summary: When driver’s license images and information are shared between police jurisdictions, law enforcement officers may have a much better chance of apprehending suspects during routine operations. Several government initiatives have focused on building the technology to share this important information.

NISP: Nlets Interstate Sharing of Photos

Summary
Nlets received initial support from the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to demonstrate the viability of exchanging interstate driver license photos among law enforcement and safety officials using Nlets. The project involves a pilot with NC, VA, and SC. The results will be used to expand DL photo exchange nationwide. The original grant was supplemented by the NISP II and III grants from NIJ.

In the spring of 2007, Nlets successfully conducted a live demonstration with these three states at an IACP meeting. These states are working with Nlets to move the results of the pilot into production. The project is also addressing policy issues, such as privacy and archiving of photos.

The 2008 goals of the new grants are to increase the number of states exchanging photos to ten: six new states will be added by late summer, with at least four to be added in the first quarter of 2009. In partnership with ARJIS, we will combine funds and expand our purchasing power in order to expand photo exchange capabilities.

http://www.nlets.org/grants.aspx

About NLETS

About Nlets

Nlets is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization

Nlets provides two basic capabilities to its users. First, it is an international, computer-based message switching system that links together state, local, and federal law enforcement and justice agencies for the purpose of information exchange. Second, it provides information services support for a growing number of justice related applications.

http://www.nlets.org/whoWeAre.aspx

InsurNet Bills Traffic cameras as answer to Chicago’s budget deficit

Traffic cameras billed as answer to Chicago’s budget deficit

Red-light cameras have been combined with short yellow lights to catch drivers and raise city revenues across the country. Now an insurance-checking camera company has presented Chicago with a new twist on the idea—instead of speeders, go after the uninsured.

By Joel Hruska | Last updated March 17, 2009 11:30 PM

The Windy City, like a lot of other metropolitan areas of late, is facing major budget deficits in the face of the recession’s strong bite. State and local governments alike have been hunting for additional sources of revenue, so it’s not surprising that a Chicago alderman would entertain the possibility of installing red light cameras along the city’s major thoroughfares and intersections. This time around, though, the company trumpeting the addition of these digital watchdogs isn’t portraying them as useful tools for catching speeders—instead, camera provider InsureNet claims to have developed “a simple yet complete answer that delivers totally accurate, instant insurance status verification. An additional unique advantage is that this system is also non-invasive, ensuring protection for every insurer and policyholder.”

The Chicago Sun-Times
quotes InsureNet president Dr. Jonathan Miller on what the city might expect to earn with the system in 2009. “Certainly, it will be well in excess of $100 million,” Dr. Miller said. “We think at least $200 million. And the upward projections are far higher.” InsureNet would charge a collection fee of “just” 30 percent in exchange for its services. Clearly, this type of system—installed at no small cost—is all about making money.

InsureNet’s website and supporting documents (PDF) are so thickly slathered with PR frosting  that it’s hard to ascertain how the company’s system actually works. Sweeping statements are a way of life; the InsureNet system “addresses all problems…stream(lines) the entire vehicle insurance process…provides dramatic benefits…saves and provides the average State Government with hundreds of millions of dollars annually and saves the Insurance Industry even more.” But wait, there’s MORE:

InsureNet is provided free of charge to law enforcement agencies, private residents, and vehicle insurers, 24/7/365. The National Law Enforcement Communication System (NLETS) it uses has never been compromised, the company assures us, and the entire InsureNet system actually lets insurance companies do less than they do now. Finally, if you haven’t had enough by now, InsureNet is safer, “totally accurate,” and provides all parties “with reliable, automatic, and totally safe data which is completely free of all personal details.” Got all that?

Even if we assume that InsureNet’s database and citation system works well and accept the company’s allegation that nearly one-in-four drivers on the road is uninsured (the Insurance Research Council, or IRC, estimates the rate may hit one-in-six by 2010), there are serious questions to consider when evaluating who, exactly, is going to pay the city of Chicago the several hundred million that Dr. Miller is dangling in front of the cash-strapped aldermen.

In a recent report (PDF), the IRC wrote that it “found a strong correlation between the percent of uninsured motorists and the unemployment rate: An increase in the unemployment rate of one percentage point is associated with an increase in the uninsured motorist rate of more than three-quarters of a percentage point.”

It’s not hard to connect the dots on this one. If unemployed workers are the most likely to cancel their insurance, and InsureNet’s system targets the uninsured, than the city of Chicago would, in effect, be balancing the books on the shoulders of those least able to afford it. Indeed, the city could find itself confronting a virtual mob of angry citizens who are funding social services and unemployment benefits out of their own unemployment checks. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/03/traffic-cameras-billed-as-answer-to-chicagos-budget-deficit.ars

Related posts;

Oklahoma

Lawmaker Opposes Plan to Use Cameras to Ticket Uninsured Drivers

Your Mug-not just for Criminals anymore!

By Chelsea S. Keefer, Document Specialist, Nlets, Phoenix, Arizona

. . . .The International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets) has undertaken a project called Nlets Interstate Sharing of Photos (NISP) to facilitate sharing of images among law enforcement communities in participating states.

Project Overview

Nlets received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), with support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to demonstrate the viability of exchanging interstate driver’s license (DL) photos. ARJIS (Automated Regional Justice Information System) . .  .

. . .


DL Photos

Since April, 12 states have gone live with DL photo sharing: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Virginia. Eight additional states are scheduled to go live this year: Delaware, New Jersey, Indiana, South Carolina, Vermont, Mississippi, Montana, and Wyoming.


Corrections Photos

Nlets and SRFERS also implemented a pilot program for sharing corrections images and inmate information over the Nlets network. North Carolina and Oregon are involved in the pilot project. The project team has completed several critical steps, including a privacy study, technical specifications, and policy. The policy is governed by Nlets, and all interstate transactions use the Nlets network.

Currently, both North Carolina and Oregon are live with sharing corrections information. Officers can query these databases using any of the following information: name, date of birth, and one or more of sex, race, and eye color information; U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) number; state identification (SID) number; DL number; Social Security number; or department of corrections (DOC) number. The system then returns the following information, if available:

* Image (anyone who is in the system or has ever been in the system)

* FBI, SID, DOC, DL, and Social Security numbers

* Home address

* Scars, marks, and tattoos

* Date of birth

* Sex, eye color, and hair color

* If released, probation status, place of release, and probation agency

* Caveat on any special warnings or information

Public Dissemination of Information

Personally identifying information made accessible over the Nlets network by DOCs is not to be disseminated to the public, with the following exceptions:

* Limited release of information: The release of corrections information from Nlets must be limited to information that could reasonably protect the public from harm.

* Public safety: Where the head law enforcement official or the elected prosecutor of a jurisdiction reasonably determines that an individual poses a threat of substantial harm to the public, corrections information about the subject contributed to the Nlets network may be released to the public. The official or prosecutor must document the determination.

* Photo lineups: Corrections information, including corrections photographs, may be used in a photo lineup to further a law enforcement investigation.  (but not our DL photo that is also transmitted by NLETS?  Nah. . .)

* Warrants: Where a warrant has been issued for a known suspect, and where the suspect’s corrections photo has been verified by a third party, the suspect’s corrections photo can be publicly disclosed for the purposes of locating the suspect or protecting the public.

* Missing persons: Upon its verification by a third party, the corrections photograph of an individual reported missing can be publicly disclosed to help authorities locate the missing person.

Benefits

As a result of the NISP project, officers will be able to receive real-time images and information about offenders. The ability to share corrections and DL images within and outside of jurisdictions will lead to immediate, positive identification and detection of fraudulent use of DLs. This means agencies can more effectively serve their communities and protect the public. As Bob Brinson, chief information officer of the North Carolina Department of Correction, put it,

Even though this photo sharing effort is still new, we are already finding ways to leverage the message for new purposes.

(like identifying domestic extremists that vote 3rd party or oppose nationalized health care?)

North Carolina will add a “spin-off” query to Corrections when an officer makes a warrant or driver license check. We will use this message structure to respond, essentially saying, “Corrections knows something about the individual you stopped.” Corrections agencies around the country are a rich source of photographs of an offender population that moves in and out of our communities. This group works hard not to be identified. These photos will help law enforcement identify these people faster and more surely, and this makes all of us safer.

Nlets is also working with both the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and DHS for nationwide deployment of NISP and corrections photo sharing. To ensure that the program is truly successful and broadly beneficial, NISP will have to be deployed throughout the United States.

so. . .

To get states to adopt the XML format, tell them they would get certain information, such as mug shots or booking sheets, that they currently cannot obtain, he added.

“If you want these images — hazardous-material information and passenger car schematics — you have to move to this next level of XML to get that,” he said. He added that many stakeholders have endorsed Global JXDM.

Correll said the organization also wants to develop a search capability similar to Google, in which users seeking information about a specific individual can type in that person’s name and get back the person’s criminal history, motor vehicle information and other data. Right now, users have to go to each state database through the network to get that data, he said.

Globally, he said NLETS has connectivity into Mexico for commercial driver’s license information, but technical differences preclude any immediate solution for connecting to other databases. NLETS is also working with Interpol, an international police organization, to connect to a database of wanted individuals possibly by the end of the year, Correll added.

Sept 30, 05 pg 2

Law enforcement net goes IP

http://fcw.com/Articles/2005/09/30/Law-enforcement-net-goes-IP.aspx?sc_lang=en&Page=2

InsureNet False Claims, Access NLETS, Police Systems Hacked

https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/insurenet-false-claims-and-bolo-sb-483-stealth/

InsureNet- Fines can Fix Deficit in Chicago

 Highly relevant-Model legislation provided by InsureNet ALRP

 also;insnet2005NAICwhite paper

March 16, 2009

Chicago could rake in “at least $200 million” a year — and wipe out the entire projected deficit for 2009 — by using its vast network of redlight and surveillance cameras to hunt down uninsured motorists, aldermen were told today.

The system pitched to the City Council’s Transportation Committee by Michigan-based InsureNet would work only if insurance companies were somehow compelled to report the names and license plates of insured motorists. That’s already happening daily in 13 states, but not here.

 

InsureNet Lobby Nevada

Sun editorial:

Insurance verification

Proposed bill would prevent the DMV from attempting to do its job

 

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/apr/30/insurance-verification/

Apr 30, 2009

Nevada motorists are required to carry automobile insurance, but verifying that information has proven to be a headache for the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Because it can take the department up to 45 days to confirm a lapse in insurance, chances increase that motorists who cause accidents aren’t properly insured.

Now along comes influential lobbyist Richard Perkins, a former speaker of the Assembly, who is pushing legislation that would allow a company he represents to be awarded an exclusive, potentially lucrative state contract to verify motorists’ insurance for the DMV.

As David McGrath Schwartz wrote in a Las Vegas Sun story published Wednesday, the state’s Interim Finance Committee has given the DMV $377,000 to try to develop the technology necessary to verify that drivers are insured.

The legislation pushed by Perkins, Assembly Bill 504, would flush that money down the drain by forcing the DMV to scuttle its ongoing effort to improve verification. Perkins said InsureNet, the Michigan-based business he represents, is the only company with access to a multistate insurance information network that is used by law enforcement agencies to check whether out-of-state drivers have insurance.

But AB504, now before the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, should be killed by the Nevada Legislature.

Nevada Taxpayers Association President Carole Vilardo was right when she told the Sun: “You want legislation written broadly, for the maximum number of bids, so you can evaluate not only the pricing, but the specifications of what you want.”

If just one company is allowed to bid on a project, there is no incentive for that company to come in with a competitively priced bid, and that would end up hurting all taxpayers.

The proper way to proceed is to give the DMV a chance to complete its work and test its technology. If the agency succeeds, there is no need to contract with an outside business. If the DMV fails, then the state should consider hiring a private contractor — but only if there is competitive bidding.

Related Posts;

Story on NV Bill;

https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/insurenet-to-net-percentage-of-fines-caught-by-cctv/InsureNet and other related docs;

https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/insurenet-ocivs-online-insurance-verification-related-doc-s/

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/feb/01/localities-will-pay-they-say-flying-solo-carson-ci/

InsureNet in Oklahoma;

Wooly Boogers in the Oklahoma State House

https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/768/

https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/768/https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/ready-oklahoma-electronic-insurance-verification-to-begin/

Oklahoma working on Facial Recognition with DMV Photos

Posted May 12, 2009
Despite assurances from OK County Sheriff, John Whetsel in response to concerns by citizens about the planned use of digitized DMV photos (see SB 483), that the DMV photos are NOT biometric and that the concerns about remote surveillance of citizens is baseless, here is one bit of info that indicates the contrary.  There is much more…
Enough for me to conclude that our armed lobbyists at the Capitol are either lying or completely deluded somehow.
Will be posting more on this.
May 30, 2007
Better Face Recognition Software

http://www.itl.nist.gov/iad/News/FaceRecog2.html

For scientists and engineers involved with face-recognition technology, the recently released results of the Face Recognition Grand Challenge—more fully, the Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) 2006 and the Iris Challenge Evaluation (ICE) 2006have been a quiet triumph. (maybe a “hidden” triumph would be more accurate) Sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the match up of face-recognition algorithms showed that machine recognition of human individuals has improved tenfold since 2002 and a hundredfold since 1995. Indeed, the best face-recognition algorithms now perform more accurately than most humans can manage. Overall, facial-recognition technology is advancing rapidly.

Jonathon Phillips, program manager for the NIST tests and lead author of the agency’s report, says that the intended goal of the Face Recognition Grand Challenge was always an order-of-magnitude improvement in recognition performance over the results from 2002. Phillips believes that the necessary decrease in error rate to achieve that goal was due in large measure to the development of high-resolution still-images (courtesy of your local Department of Motor Vehicles) and 3-D face-recognition algorithms.

“For the FRVT 2006 and the ICE 2006, sets of high-resolution face images, 3-D face scans, and iris images were collected of the same people,” Phillips says. “The FRVT 2006 for the first time measured the performance of six 3-D algorithms on a set of 3-D face scans. The ICE 2006 measured the performance of ten algorithms on a set of iris images. 3-D face recognition has come into its own in the last few years because 3-D sensors for face recognition have become available only recently. What 3-D face recognition contributes is that it directly captures information about the shapes of faces.”

Among other advantages, 3-D facial recognition identifies individuals by exploiting distinctive features of a human face’s surface—for instance, the curves of the eye sockets, nose, and chin, which are where tissue and bone are most apparent and which don’t change over time. Furthermore, Phillips says, “changes in illumination have adversely affected face-recognition performance from still images. But the shape of a face isn’t affected by changes in illumination.” Hence, 3-D face recognition might even be used in near-dark conditions.

According to Ralph Gross, a researcher at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, in Pittsburgh, 3-D facial recognition can also recognize subjects at different view angles up to 90 degrees—in other words, faces in profile. “Face recognition has been getting pretty good at full frontal faces and 20 degrees off, but as soon as you go towards profile, there’ve been problems.” Gross says that the explanation for face-recognition software’s difficulties with profiles may be no more complicated than the fact that no one was focusing on the problem. The main applications of face recognition have been in contexts like ID cards and face scanners, for which the aim has been recognition of the full frontal faces of cooperative subjects under controlled lighting.

High-resolution still images have been another factor in the improvement of face-recognition technology, in part because highly detailed skin-texture analysis has also become possible. With such analysis, any patch of skin–called a skin print–can be captured as an image, then broken up into smaller blocks that algorithms turn into mathematical, measurable spaces in which lines, pores, and the actual skin texture are recorded. “It can identify differences between identical twins, which isn’t yet possible using facial-recognition software alone,” Gross explains. “By combining facial recognition with surface-texture analysis, accurate identification can increase by 20 to 25 percent.”

What about the FRVT report’s claim that some face-recognition algorithms equal or exceed humans’ recognition capabilities? Phillips explains: “Humans are very good at recognizing faces of familiar people. However, they aren’t so good at recognizing unfamiliar people.” Since many proposed face-recognition systems would complement or replace humans, the FRVT’s comparative tests of the face-recognition capabilities of humans and software–the first such testing–were important for measuring the potential effectiveness of applications. Phillips says that at low false accept rates (a false accept rate is the measure of the likelihood that a biometric security system will incorrectly accept an access attempt by an unauthorized individual), six out of seven automatic face-recognition algorithms were comparable to or better than human recognition. These were algorithms from Neven Vision, Viisage, Cognitec, Identix, Samsung Advanced Institute for Technology, and Tsinghua University. Unfortunately, Phillips adds, “because the majority of FRVT 2006 participants haven’t disclosed the details of their methods, it’s not possible yet to assess what’s distinctive about these algorithms.”

How does the commercial payoff for face recognition look? Quite promising, (and here lies the bottom line-I think the real balance needs to be between profit and privacy NOT privacy and security) because dozens of companies aim to cash in on face recognition’s potential as a biometric for credentialing and verification purposes. For the FRVT, venerable corporations like Toshiba and Samsung competed alongside companies like Neven Vision—just acquired by Google—and Viisage and Identix (which have just merged into L1 Identity Solutions)(these are the guys that have no moral qualms with sharing their technology with the Chinese government to identify dissidents so that they can cork them good), as well as alongside researchers from universities as diverse as Beijing, Cambridge, and Carnegie Mellon. What applications does a company like Google foresee for the technology developed by its recent acquisition, Neven Vision? According to a Google PR person, “We believe it offers promising integration possibilities with Google’s services, such as Picasa and Picasa Web Albums, particularly in terms of helping users organize and search their own photos.”

At Carnegie Mellon, Ralph Gross says that among other efforts, he and his colleagues have been “involved with local DMVs in order to scan images for driver’s licenses. I’ve gotten reports from the state level to say that, using face-recognition technology, they caught quite a number of people who applied for licenses in either different states or in the same state under a different name because their previous license got suspended.” (really?  I sure would like to see those reports because we can’t seem to locate such eveidence.  In fact, OK reports that it has interecepted exactly ZERO such cases by using this technology)

It’s a growing trend. States using such technology include Massachusetts, Illinois, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, North and Southern Carolina, Oklahoma,(quick!  somebody let Sheriff Whetsel know!) North Dakota, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Nevertheless, Gross stresses, applying face-recognition technology to ID photos is a long way from having the capability that would let law enforcement search a city’s webcam networks for specific individuals.

“With driver’s license photos, you have a controlled background, an operator telling you exactly how to position your face; the images are collected under comparable conditions. It’s much more restricted than the random-face-in-the-crowd problem, where you’re sticking a camera on a building,” Gross says.

Still, Gross says, “you can already see the path building.” (No Kidding!  I thought you had to be a “tinfoil” type to recognize the obvious here)Until recently, the video-surveillance industry still mostly relied on analog cameras, requiring cable to be set up for long distances to connect those cameras to monitoring equipment. Now, “the industry is switching to IP-based cameras, with which you can pretty easily tap into already existing Ethernet networks,” Gross says. “So you have wireless cameras and cameras using POE [Power over Ethernet technology allows IP telephones, wireless LAN Access Points, and other appliances to receive power as well as data over existing LAN cabling] where you don’t need a separate power plug. You can buy commercial solutions that are essentially a TiVo for these cameras, with motion sensors built in so they only record when there’s motion happening. With digital storage, you can keep the data indefinitely and enhance it in ways that you can’t with analog images. So all these things are coming together.” (you should talk to our law enforcement officials because they seem to know nothing about this amazing technology)

In principle, therefore, as face-recognition software continues its rapid advance, it will likely be possible to search for specific faces across a network of webcams. Accordingly, Gross’s recent work at Carnegie Mellon, in conjunction with colleagues at the Data Privacy Lab there, has been the development of algorithms to protect individuals’ privacy while under video surveillance. (whew! what a relief.  I feel much better now)The usual methods that thwart human recognition of an individual’s features on video–for example, those pixelated fields sometimes covering faces and body parts on reality-TV shows—already won’t fool much face-recognition software. Completely blacking out each face in a video clip would do the job, but this would be of limited use if law-enforcement agencies wanted to follow up evidence of suspicious behavior once they had a court warrant. The function of the privacy-preserving algorithms that Gross is helping to create, he explains, is to automatically take the average values of individuals’ faces and, from those, synthesize new facial images, then superimpose those new images over the originals. “It may seem like the opposite technology,” Gross says, “but actually, it’s just the other side of face recognition