Much like fingerprints, our faces are unique – no two exactly alike.
As human beings, we see the differences, but what can a computer see?
In the movie “Minority Report,” cameras in a shopping mall recognize Tom Cruise’s character and ads speak directly to him.
While that’s fiction, new technology at Carnegie Mellon University is not.
Inside the CyLab Biometrics Center at CMU, is a drone that’s programmed to seek out faces.
It wants to take your picture.
……And in the next room, is something they’re working on for the Department of Defense.
The camera the drone uses can see someone’s eye from a distance and then the system checks to see if that person has been entered into its database – or is a possible security risk.
Cylab Biometrics director Mario Savvides says:
“That’s huge,” he said. “It could be a game changer for law enforcement.”
The game for civil liberties and the Bill of Rights has already changed.
The U.S. intelligence community is pushing a leap forward in facial recognition software that will enable it to determine better the identity of people through a variety of photographs, video and other images.
Called Janus, the program run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), “seeks to improve face recognition performance using representations developed from real-world video and images instead of from calibrated and constrained collections. During daily activities, people laugh, smile, frown, yawn and morph their faces into a broad variety of expressions. For each face, these expressions are formed from unique skeletal and musculature features that are similar through one’s lifetime. Janus representations will exploit the full morphological dynamics of the face to enable better matching and faster retrieval.”
Documents released by IARPA over the weekend show that the Janus program will start in April 2014 and run for four years. During that time, the agency hopes to “radically expand the range of conditions under which automated face recognition can establish identity.”
The ominous possibility: An omnipotent government which has the capability to randomly scan the faces of citizens on surveillance video and determine the identities of people frequenting certain public places without any kind of oversight.
If any of the national security agencies in this country have bona fide intelligence on terrorist threats in this country, and believe me there are plenty, then by all means, I want them to use every resource they have to get so far up their ass, they’ll feel like they’re getting a colonoscopy.
The problem is, any power created for clandestine use can be abused. There needs to be strict, common sense oversight based on verified indications and warnings.
The erosion of America’s civil and personal liberties has taken on evil proportions. Obama’s abuse of power in particular, is unprecedented.
If you value your freedoms, defend them. Take this country back.
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