Wi-Fi security threats to air travelers identified

In January, a CBC news report revealed that Canada’s electronic spy agency utilized data from a free Internet Wi-Fi service at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of ordinary air travelers “for days after they left the airport”. Now a recent news report in Canada’s Globe & Mail (Researcher connects dots on spy agency’s monitoring of Wifi), projects that the airport was Toronto Pearson, the nation’s busiest port of entry. (If you are outside the

Boston spied, used facial recognition on concertgoers

Recent news reports claim that the City of Boston tested an IBM video mass surveillance system at the Boston Calling Music Festival last year. According to a local blog, Dig Boston, a new, sophisticated event monitoring platform was deployed and evaluated which gave authorities “a live and detailed birdseye view of concertgoers, pedestrians and vehicles in the vicinity” of the event. Using IBM’s Smarter Cities solution, the City of Boston leveraged its existing camera infrastructure to monitor everyone who attended

Biometrics Essential to Protecting Unaccompanied Minors Illegally Crossing US Southern Border

This is a guest post by Janice Kephart, founder of the Secure Identity & Biometrics Association (SIBA). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has referred over 50,000 children to the Department of Health and Human Services in the past ten months, tasked with caring for the surge of unaccompanied minor children in the past ten months. Over 85 percent of these children – so far over 43,000 – have already been released from federal custody, with 96 percent of these

“Human Factors” and Biometrics at DHS

This is a guest post by Chuck Brooks, Vice President/Client Executive for DHS at Xerox. Inside the Science & Technology Directorate (DHS S & T) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a little known group called The Human Factors and Behavioral Sciences Division (HFD). Their purpose is to applied social and behavioral sciences “to improve detection, analysis and understanding of homeland security threats.” Biometrics plays a significant role in HDF’s research. Key areas of their research activities include,

Biometric Technology In The UK: The Emerging Trends

This is a guest post by Paul Coombes, Head of Commercial (EMEA) for Argus Global In the UK, we see the use of Biometric Identification systems being deployed by more and more public and private institutions in more expanded applications. In particular, the UK Border Agency is advancing the use of biometric identification, and so too are British primary and secondary schools. Businesses are following suit, as the benefits of biometric technology become apparent. Biometrics in UK Schools In May

$500 billion spent on intelligence, according to U.S. “black budget”

The United States has spent more than US$500 billion on intelligence since 9/11, an outlay that U.S. officials say has succeeded in its main objective, preventing another catastrophic terrorist attack. This fiscal information, published in intelligent estimates colloquially known as the “black budget”, was revealed for the first time nearly a year ago, through whistle-blower disclosures made by Edward Snowden, which were published by the Washington Post. According to the “black budget”, the United States spent US$80 billion on spy

Biometric Passports and Borders Essential to Saving Lives, Preventing Terrorist Activity

Australian Jahidi’s ISIS Participation Provides More Evidence that 9/11 Commission Recommendations on Biometric Passports and Borders Essential to Saving Lives, Preventing Terrorist Activity “Since the early 1970s numerous terrorist organizations have provided their operatives with a wide variety of spurious documents. After showing their spurious passports and papers at border control, these terrorist operatives have proceeded to hijack airplanes, plant bombs, and carry out assassination. These terrorist acts, however, can be stopped… If we all screen travelers and check their

Biometric exit system spawns U.S. immigration debate

Many Americans think the U.S. immigration system is urgently in need of reform. A Gallup poll conducted in January 2013 found that only 36 percent of Americans were satisfied with the current immigration situation in the United States. The political response has focused on securing the border through heavy enforcement.  As a result, more than 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents operate along the borders, which is the highest number deployed in U.S. history and twice the level of a decade

Why scapegoating face recognition technology as privacy wormhole doesn’t solve anything

Facial recognition technology is facing a blitz of negative media with wormhole-like theories that this technology results in mass surveillance, destroys anonymity, and will forever change the way people behave in public. Advocates of this theory are calling for federal privacy regulation that will give a face a right of privacy it has never had in law to date. While using facial recognition in numerous commercial and internet applications definitely requires transparency and consent, the assumptions about what the technology

Canadian academics, privacy groups issue statement against mass spying

In Canada this week, a number of academics have become signatories to a statement calling upon governments to reign in mass surveillance in Canada. Known as the Ottawa Statement, the document acknowledges that Canada is now “entering an age of Big Data and ubiquitous surveillance” and that “governments and private corporations routinely collect and sort massive amounts of personal data for multiple reasons from national security to marketing”. Over 35 leading scholars and 19 organizations have signed on in support.The