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Thread: Orwell, digital prisons and the double-edged sword of surveillance

  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Orwell, digital prisons and the double-edged sword of surveillance

    Might as well start a thread on this before someone in the west gets the bright idea to add this to their Patriot Act toolkit.

    China is adding facial recognition to its overarching surveillance systems in Xinjiang, a Muslim-dominated region in the country's far west that critics claim is under abusive security controls. The geo-fencing tools alert authorities when targets venture beyond a designated 300-meter safe zone, according to an anonymous source who spoke to Bloomberg.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-use...144700817.html

    Trust me, there'll be more to follow.

    Last edited by AdamG; 01-19-2018 at 09:16 PM.
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    Default Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the globe

    Appeal court judges have ruled the government’s mass digital surveillance regime unlawful in a case brought by the Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson.
    Liberty, the human rights campaign group which represented Watson in the case, said the ruling meant significant parts of theInvestigatory Powers Act 2016 – known as the snooper’s charter – are effectively unlawful and must be urgently changed.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...oopers-charter
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default

    See also -

    How do you spot a terrorist in a crowd? A Chinese answer
    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=21043
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Considering that the Wall is now down for longer than it was up...

    Historical footnote.

    East German Snitching Went Far Beyond the Stasi
    Everyone knows about the Stasi and the extent to which it spied on the East German populace. But that was only a small part of the informing that went on. New research shows that snitching was vastly more common than previously thought.
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...a-1042883.html
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default NOPD Pre-Crime Division

    Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology
    Palantir deployed a predictive policing system in New Orleans that even city council members don’t know about
    According to Ronal Serpas, the department’s chief at the time, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir. The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim. As part of the discovery process in Lewis’ trial, the government turned over more than 60,000 pages of documents detailing evidence gathered against him from confidential informants, ballistics, and other sources — but they made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir, according to a source familiar with the 39ers trial.
    https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/27/1...w-orleans-nopd



    As the human wave attack begat the Maxim gun, as the tank begat the anti-tank rifle, so shall it ever be.
    Reading/Thinking Music

    If you want to avoid getting detected, don’t wear makeup that enhances facial features, like eye shadow around the eyes. Your aim is to create an “anti-face” or inverse. Harvey says, “In the animal kingdom, this inverse effect is known as countershading. A similar effect can be achieved by creating a partial inverse that targets key areas of the face. For example, darkening or obscuring areas that normally appear light, such as the nosebridge area or the upper cheek.”
    https://creators.vice.com/en_us/arti...l-the-machines
    Last edited by AdamG; 02-28-2018 at 02:56 PM.
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator's pointers

    There is a parallel thread on Predictive Policing, which IIRC has a USA focus:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=12757

    The Chinese use of combined surveillance and more to enable pre-emption has been covered in recent posts in this thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...p?t=246&page=8
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Xi is building the most powerful and intrusive surveillance regime in history

    An article by Australia's Lowy Institute that starts looking at Presient Xi's likely longer term of office and then what is emerging in China:
    Moreover, under Xi, the government has established online ‘social credit’ databases, which suggests that it could eventually roll out a single score for all Chinese citizens, comprising credit ratings, online behaviour, health records, expressions of party loyalty and other information.
    The beauty of a big-data dictatorship is that it could sustain itself less through direct threats and punishment as a public spectacle, and more through ‘nudges’ to manipulate people’s perspectives and behaviour. And the more time Chinese citizens spend online, the more the government will be able to control what they see and do there.
    Digital technologies will also allow the government to respond more quickly to public discontent, or to head it off altogether if it can discern or predict changes in public opinion. Given that many dictatorships collapse as a result of poor information, digital technologies could become an even more powerful prophylactic against bad decision-making than term limits.
    If there is one thing that political scientists, economists and technologists can all agree on, it is that Xi is building the most powerful and intrusive surveillance regime in history.
    Link:https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/ch...a-big-brother/
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    China bans Orwell's ANIMAL FARM and the letter 'N'.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a8235071.html

    I had to double-check that someone wasn't channeling a Monty Python kit.

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    A Chinese man who was wanted by police for “economic crimes” was arrested at a music concert in China after facial recognition technology spotted him inside the venue, as reported by Abacus.

    The man was attending a concert by Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung in the Nanchang, Jiangxi province when security cameras recognized him. According to the South China Morning Post, the man, only identified by family name Ao, was shocked when police approached him. Ao had driven 56 miles with his wife to attend the concert, telling authorities he felt safe in the crowd, estimated to be over 50,000, and that he would have never gone if he thought there was a chance he would be identified. “Ao was suspected to be involved in an economic crime and was listed on a national online system,” police officer Li Jin said. “He was very shocked and had a blank face when we caught him.”
    https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/12/1...music-festival
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    By 2020, the country plans to give all its 1.4. billion citizens a personal score, based on how they behave, according to CBS News. The government started working on its so-called social credit system back in 2014, which ranks citizens on their trustworthiness, including whether they jaywalk, buy Chinese-made products, what they post online, and whether they smoke in nonsmoking areas. Those deemed trustworthy can get discounts on energy bills and better interest rates at banks, while those considered untrustworthy can reportedly be stopped from buying property and even high-speed internet.
    https://www.fastcompany.com/40563225...m-is-expanding
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  11. #11
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Ask critics of police face recognition why they're so skeptical and they'll likely cite unreliability as one factor. What if the technology flags an innocent person? Unfortunately, that caution appears to have been warranted to some degree. South Wales Police are facing a backlash after they released data showing that their face recognition trial at the 2017 Champions League final misidentified thousands as potential criminals. Out out of 2,470 initial matches, 2,297 were false positives -- about 92 percent.
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/polic...203500811.html

    Added by Moderator, a longer article:http://www.wired.co.uk/article/face-...-hill-carnival
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-07-2018 at 08:50 AM. Reason: add 2nd lnk
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    SAN FRANCISCO -- You probably know where your Social Security card, birth certificate and other sensitive information is being stored, but what about your genetic material? If you or your child was born in California after 1983, your DNA is likely being stored by the government, may be available to law enforcement and may even be in the hands of outside researchers, CBS San Francisco's Julie Watts reports.
    KPIX has learned that most parents are not getting the required notification. We've also discovered the DNA may be used for more than just research.
    In light of the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal and the use of unidentified DNA to catch the Golden State Killer suspect, there are new concerns about law enforcement access, and what private researchers could do with access to the DNA from every child born in the state.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/califor...CNM-00-10aac3a
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    This just in from our friends and allies/enemies in EurAsia.

    A Chinese school has equipped several classrooms with cameras that can recognize the emotions of students, introducing a potent new form of artificial intelligence into education, while also raising alarms about a novel method of monitoring children for classroom compliance.

    The cameras, installed at Hangzhou No. 11 High School, are designed to automatically take attendance and track what students are doing at any moment, including reading, writing or listening.

    But they also promise to provide real-time data on students’ outward expressions, tracking whether they look scared, happy, disgusted, sad, surprised, angry or neutral. The system has been touted as a way to ensure students are attentive and happy, learning quickly and, ultimately, scoring well on tests.
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/worl...otion-stoking/
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    Amazon drew the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday over a facial-recognition system offered to law-enforcement agencies that the advocacy group says can be used to violate civil rights.
    In marketing materials obtained by the group, Amazon Web Services says its Rekognition system uses artificial intelligence to quickly identify people in photos and videos, enabling law enforcement to track people.
    http://adage.com/article/digital/amazon/313613/

    See also https://www.wired.com/story/crime-fi...tech-advances/
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Vietnam’s plans to vigorously police the internet took a step forward Tuesday when it adopted a cybersecurity law that requires internet companies such as Facebook and Google to store their Vietnam-based users’ data on servers in the country.

    Critics say the new law could make it easier for authorities in the one-party communist state to track down critics online. Legislation passed by the National Assembly also requires internet companies to open offices in the country, which they have been hesitant to do, in addition to removing content within 24 hours at the government’s request.

    Last year, China enacted a law requiring that cloud data from China-based consumers be stored in the country, sparking worries about privacy. And Vietnam has steadily increased scrutiny of what is posted online as Facebook’s reach has grown.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/vietnam...law-1528799753
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    A couple of months stale but too good to gloss over.

    China's governing Communist Party has proposed removing a clause in the constitution which limits presidencies to two five-year terms - which means President Xi Jinping could remain as leader after the end of his second term in 2023.

    The controversial move has ignited discussion on Chinese social media and pushed online government censors into overdrive.

    Several key terms have suddenly been subjected to heavy censorship on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblog since Sunday.

    According to censorship-monitoring websites China Digital Times and Free Weibo, censored phrases include:

    I don't agree
    migration
    emigration
    re-election
    election term
    constitution amendment
    constitution rules
    proclaiming oneself an emperor
    Winnie the Pooh

    So what's going on?
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-43198404
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