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Original author: 
Megan Geuss

The Guardian

The Guardian released an interview today with the man who has been the paper's source for a few now-infamous leaked documents that revealed a vast dragnet maintained by the NSA for gathering information on communications in America. That source is Edward Snowden, 29, an employee of American defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and a former technical assistant for the CIA.

When The Guardian published a leaked document on Wednesday of last week that showed a FISA court granting the NSA power to collect the metadata pertaining to phone calls from all of Verizon's customers over a period of three months, it became one of the biggest exposures of privacy invading actions taken by the government without the public's knowledge.

That is, until the next day, when The Guardian and The Washington Post revealed slides pertaining to another NSA project called PRISM, which apparently gathered vast swaths of information on users of Google services, Facebook, Apple, and more. While the companies named in the PRISM slides have all denied participation in such a program, President Obama and a number of senators confirmed the collection of phone call metadata on Friday.

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Original author: 
boesing

sha

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these surveillance activities are.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/04/telephone-calls-reco...

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Today in the department of bad ideas, we have a pair of San Antonio high schools that’s decided to tag its students with RFID chips so that they can track their every move on campus. Starting this fall, the Northside Independent School District will be issuing RFID-equipped identification cards that the kids have to wear on lanyards any time they’re on campus. And then, in some corner of the principal’s office, the students show up as moving dots on a map of the screen like some real life game of Pac Man. This is the same way they keep track of cattle in Texas, by the way.

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Stranger Visions

With websites, corporations, and governments peeking at our activities both on and offline, many of us have become more mindful of the electronic footprints our online activities leave behind. But there aren't any privacy settings to deter the kind of surveillance that information artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg is modeling with her new project: a genetic intelligence database of computer-generated 3D profiles constructed from found hair samples.

Premiering last weekend at an open studio showcase for residents of New York City's Eyebeam art and technology lab, the project, Stranger Visions, began with a simple but profound realization: we are leaving physical traces of ourselves everywhere, and tools to unlock the secrets behind those...

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An of-course anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the always-fun Infowars.com: "A new camera technology from Hitachi Hokusai Electric can scan days of camera footage instantly, and find any face which has EVER walked past it. Its makers boast that it can scan 36 million faces per second. The technology raises the spectre of governments – or other organisations – being able to 'find' anyone instantly simply using a passport photo or a Facebook profile. The 'trick' is that the camera 'processes' faces as it records, so that all faces which pass in front of it are recorded and stored instantly. Faces are stored as a searchable 'biometric' record, placing the unique mathematical 'faceprint' of anyone who has ever walked past the camera in a database."


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Street patrols could be handled by security firms under the government's police privatisation plans

Private companies could take responsibility for investigating crimes, patrolling neighbourhoods and even detaining suspects under a radical privatisation plan being put forward by two of the largest police forces in the country. West Midlands and Surrey have invited bids from G4S and other major security companies on behalf of all forces across England and Wales to take over the delivery of a wide range of services previously carried out by the police. The contract is the largest on police privatisation so far, with a potential value of £1.5bn over seven years, rising to a possible £3.5bn depending on how many other forces get involved.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/02/police-privatisation-security-f...

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Desire of Codes - Art Installation by Seiko Mikami

Audio / Visual installation using robotics to capture video of visitors, projecting the captures onto a hexagon ‘eye’:

The “individual” visitor in a double role as a subject of expression and observation

This interactive installation consisting of three parts is set up in YCAM’s Studio A, a space that is normally used for theatre performances.

A large number of devices resembling tentacles with built-in small cameras are placed across a huge wall (Part 1), while six robotic “search arms” equipped with cameras and projectors are suspended from the ceiling (Part 2). Each device senses with insect-like wriggling movements the positions and movements of visitors, and turns toward detected persons in order to observe their actions. In addition, a giant round-shaped screen that looks like an insect’s compound eye is installed in the back of the exhibition space (Part 3). Visual data transmitted from each camera, along with footage recorded by surveillance cameras installed at various places around the world, are stored in a central database, and ultimately projected in complex images mixing elements of past and present, the venue itself and points around the globe, onto the screen. The compound eye visualizes a new reality in which fragmentary aspects of space and time are recombined, while the visitor’s position as a subject of expression and surveillance at once indicates the new appearances of human corporeality and desire.

More from the artist’s website here

(via prostheticknowledge:)

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