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Amazon Review :
George Orwell envisioned Big Brother as an outgrowth of a looming totalitarian state, but in this timely survey Robert O'Harrow Jr. portrays a surveillance society that's less centralized and more a joint public/private venture.
Indeed, the most frightening aspect of the Washington Post reporter's thoroughly researched and naggingly disquieting chronicle lies in the matter-of-fact nature of information hunters and gatherers and the insatiable systems they've concocted.
Here is a world where data is gathered by relatively unheralded organizations that smooth the way for commercial entities to find the good customers and avoid dicey ones.
Government of course too has an interest in the data that's been mined.
Information is power, especially when trying to find the bad guys.
The mutually compatible skills and needs shared by private and public snoopers were fusing prior to the attacks of 9/11, but the process has since gone into hyperdrive.
O'Harrow weaves together vignettes to record the development of the "security-industrial complex," taking pains to personalize his chronicle of a movement that's remained (perhaps purposefully) faceless.
Recognizing the appeal of state-of-the-art systems that can track down a murderer/rapist with heretofore unimaginable speed, the author recognizes, too, that the same devices can mistakenly destroy reputations and cast a pall over a free society.
In a post-9/11 world where homeland security often trumps personal liberty, this work is an eye-opener for those who take their privacy for granted.
Quote from : Wikipedia : Biometrics
Biometrics comprises methods for uniquely recognizing humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral traits.
In information technology, in particular, biometrics is used as a form of identity access management and access control.
It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance.
Biometric characteristics can be divided in two main classes:
• Physiological are related to the shape of the body.
Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, face recognition, DNA, hand and palm geometry, iris recognition, which has largely replaced retina, and odor/scent.
• Behavioral are related to the behavior of a person.
Examples include, but are not limited to typing rhythm, gait, and voice.
Some researchers have coined the term behaviometrics for this class of biometrics.
Strictly speaking, voice is also a physiological trait because every person has a different vocal tract, but voice recognition is mainly based on the study of the way a person speaks, commonly classified as behavioral.
Quote from : Wikipedia : ChoicePoint
ChoicePoint, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reed Elsevier (previous NYSE ticker symbol NYSE: CPS), is a data aggregation company based in Alpharetta, near Atlanta, Georgia, United States, that acts as a private intelligence service to government and industry.
It was purchased in February 2008 by Reed Elsevier in a cash deal for $3.6 billion USD.
ChoicePoint combines personal data sourced from multiple public and private databases for sale to the government and the private sector.
The firm maintains more than 17 billion records of individuals and businesses, which it sells to an estimated 100,000 clients, including 7,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies (30 March 2005 estimates).
However, this data has not been secured sufficiently to prevent theft of data on at least one occasion (see below).
The company has also been the subject of lawsuits for maintaining inaccurate data, inquiries whether it allowed political bias to influence its performance of government contracts and accused of illegally selling the data of overseas citizens to the U.S. government.
ChoicePoint is used to perform consumer and criminal background checks on prospective employees of the Obama administration.
Quote from : Wikipedia : Data Mining
Data mining is the process of extracting patterns from data.
As more data is gathered, with the amount of data doubling every three years, data mining is becoming an increasingly important tool to transform these data into information.
It is commonly used in a wide range of profiling practices, such as marketing, surveillance, fraud detection and scientific discovery.
While data mining can be used to uncover patterns in data samples, it is important to be aware that the use of non-representative samples of data may produce results that are not indicative of the domain.
Similarly, data mining will not find patterns that may be present in the domain, if those patterns are not present in the sample being "mined".
There is a tendency for insufficiently knowledgeable "consumers" of the results to attribute "magical abilities" to data mining, treating the technique as a sort of all-seeing crystal ball.
Like any other tool, it only functions in conjunction with the appropriate raw material: in this case, indicative and representative data that the user must first collect.
Further, the discovery of a particular pattern in a particular set of data does not necessarily mean that pattern is representative of the whole population from which that data was drawn.
Hence, an important part of the process is the verification and validation of patterns on other samples of data.
The term data mining has also been used in a related but negative sense, to mean the deliberate searching for apparent but not necessarily representative patterns in large numbers of data.
To avoid confusion with the other sense, the terms data dredging and data snooping are often used.
Note, however, that dredging and snooping can be (and sometimes are) used as exploratory tools when developing and clarifying hypotheses.
Quote from : Wikipedia : MATRIX
The Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange Program, also known by the acronym "MATRIX", was a federally funded data mining system originally developed for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement described as a tool to identify terrorist subjects.
The system was reported to analyze government and commercial databases to find associations between suspects or to discover locations of or completely new "suspects".
The database and technologies used in the system were housed by Seisint, a Florida-based company since acquired by Lexis Nexis.
The Matrix program was shut down in June 2005 after federal funding was cut in the wake of public concerns over privacy and state surveillance.
Quote from : Wikipedia : Non-Obvious Recognition Awareness (Technology)
NORA is an acronym for Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness, a technology that mines data resources to determine the relationships between people.
Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness was created by Systems Research and Development (SRD).
SRD developed this technology for the Las Vegas gaming industry to help the casinos detect relationships between customers and parties named by the Nevada Gaming Control Board as excluded persons.
SRD was acquired by IBM on January 7, 2005.
Quote from : Wikipedia : Fingerprint Recognition
Fingerprint recognition or fingerprint authentication refers to the automated method of verifying a match between two human fingerprints.
Fingerprints are one of many forms of biometrics used to identify an individual and verify their identity.
This article touches on two major classes of algorithms (minutia and pattern) and four sensor designs (optical, ultrasonic, passive capacitance, and active capacitance).
Quote from : Wikipedia : I.B.M. and the Holocaust
IBM and the Holocaust, by Edwin Black, is a book documenting the relationship between IBM and the Third Reich. Crown Publishing and a consortium of other leading publishers worldwide published it in 2001 in more than forty countries in fourteen languages.
Amazon Review :
Was IBM, "The Solutions Company," partly responsible for the Final Solution?
That's the question raised by Edwin Black's IBM and the Holocaust, the most controversial book on the subject since Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners.
Black, a son of Holocaust survivors, is less tendentiously simplistic than Goldhagen, but his thesis is no less provocative: he argues that IBM founder Thomas Watson deserved the Merit Cross (Germany's second-highest honor) awarded him by Hitler, his second-biggest customer on earth.
"IBM, primarily through its German subsidiary, made Hitler's program of Jewish destruction a technologic mission the company pursued with chilling success," writes Black.
"IBM had almost single-handedly brought modern warfare into the information age [and] virtually put the 'blitz' in the krieg."
The crucial technology was a precursor to the computer, the IBM Hollerith punch card machine, which Black glimpsed on exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, inspiring his five-year, top-secret book project. The Hollerith was used to tabulate and alphabetize census data.
Black says the Hollerith and its punch card data ("hole 3 signified homosexual ... hole 8 designated a Jew") was indispensable in rounding up prisoners, keeping the trains fully packed and on time, tallying the deaths, and organizing the entire war effort.
Hitler's regime was fantastically, suicidally chaotic; could IBM have been the cause of its sole competence: mass-murdering civilians?
Better scholars than I must sift through and appraise Black's mountainous evidence, but clearly the assessment is overdue.
The moral argument turns on one question: How much did IBM New York know about IBM Germany's work, and when?
Black documents a scary game of brinksmanship orchestrated by IBM chief Watson, who walked a fine line between enraging U.S. officials and infuriating Hitler.
He shamefully delayed returning the Nazi medal until forced to--and when he did return it, the Nazis almost kicked IBM and its crucial machines out of Germany.
(Hitler was prone to self-defeating decisions, as demonstrated in How Hitler Could Have Won World War II.)
Quote from : Wikipedia : Information Awareness Office
The Information Awareness Office (IAO) was established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in January 2002 to bring together several DARPA projects focused on applying information technology to counter asymmetric threats to national security.
The IAO mission was to "imagine,,, , develop, apply, integrate, demonstrate and transition information technologies, components and prototype, closed-loop, information systems that will counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness."
Following public criticism that the development and deployment of these technologies could potentially lead to a mass surveillance system, the IAO was defunded by Congress in 2003, although several of the projects run under IAO have continued under different funding.
Originally posted by 2000 Yards
Well, since I'm not up to any monkey business, I don't mind. I personally like to have people know who and where I am, just in case I end up injured or incapacitated in some way.
What kind of petty crime or other shenanigans are you up to that you are so afraid of people knowing who and where you are?
Originally posted by patmac
Heres some extra info from the "In-case you missed it" file on Google.
This featured video shows a WORKING model of LIVE CCTV video being overlayed over Google Earth. And if THAT doesn't scare the crap out of you, the following links will. I'd request that you 'Enjoy' these links - but realistically - you'd have to be a Rockafeller to do that....
Implanting Chips into people is a big racket, and they won't live down the hype that it's "YOUR FUTURE"
This "Hungry Beast" video showcases the multiple heads of Google hyrda - AKA "The Googleplex" - Are you familiar with how big the beast is? You will, after two and a half minutes.
You might say that google is good, thanks to it's motto of "Don't be evil".
Ok, well, what exactly is the NSA and CIA's motto?