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How NOT to Document Your Illegal Work

S.F. cops say they caught prolific tagger 'Cryst’ admiring his own work

By Kurtis Alexander
Published 6:24 pm, Friday, March 13, 2015

An 18-year-old San Francisco man was arrested Thursday for allegedly painting his “Cryst” signature in many parts of the city.

One of San Francisco’s most prolific graffiti vandals was arrested Thursday while taking admiring photos of his work in Dolores Park, authorities said.

For months, police have been trying to track down the tagger, now alleged to be San Francisco resident xxxx, 18, who has painted his hallmark “Cryst” signature and other etchings from the Mission District to Treasure Island.

“This guy has tagged businesses, people’s homes, public property, Muni stuff, a lot of city property,” said police Capt. Dan Perea. “There are thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage done by this one person … We’re very happy that we grabbed this guy.”

Police caught up with xxxx after someone phoned police to report tagging along upper Market Street at about 11 a.m Thursday, Perea said. Officers didn’t find anyone matching the suspect’s description, so they went to nearby areas that had been hit with graffiti recently.

Near the tennis courts at Dolores Park, where vandalism has occurred at a city-run improvement project, officers spotted xxxx taking pictures of a wall with his cell phone, Perea said. He was positively identified by the caller on Market Street as being the same person tagging earlier, according to Perea.

Police detained xxxxx and found that a bag he was carrying was filled with “multiple containers of different kinds of paint,” Perea said. Authorities say their follow-up investigation linked xxxx to several other taggings.

The rise of the anti-facial recognition movement

The rise of the anti-facial recognition movement
By Joseph Cox on September 14th, 2014 for kernelmag.com


With Facebook automatically tagging your photos, Google Glass apps being able to pinpoint faces, and police using high-end technology to match digital and physical identities, big brother’s watchful eye is all around us.

While the technology behind facial recognition continues to develop as its presence increases, some artists are trying to give citizens their privacy back the best way they know how—by designing contraptions that help ordinary citizens avoid detection.

You might not know Leo Selvaggio, but there’s a chance you’ve seen him—or someone strikingly identical to him. He’s white, male, and young. To be frank, there is nothing remarkable about his appearance, but that’s precisely the point.

Gonna tag a BART station? Eyes may be watching.

Some BART riders may be reluctant to report crimes because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. That’s why on Thursday, officials from the transit agency unveiled BART Watch, a free app that lets users discreetly report crimes on trains.

“It’s an app that is sort of like texting police,” said BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost.

The app lets users take a picture or send a text to BART police rather than call 911 or rush over to an intercom at the end of a train, something that BART officials said riders often won’t do out of fear for their safety.

The app is available for iOS and Android devices and works in English, Spanish and Chinese, Trost said.

Boston PD Experimented With Facial Recognition Tech

“It's going to get better and better. As it does, it's not just the FBI, CIA, and government agencies, but also every shopping mall you go into, potentially sports arenas,” Crockford says. “It's going to look a lot like dystopian scenes in the mall in the film Minority Report.”

http://noisey.vice.com/blog/beantowns-big-brother

BEANTOWN'S BIG BROTHER: HOW BOSTON POLICE USED FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY TO SPY ON THOUSANDS OF MUSIC FESTIVAL ATTENDEES

By Luke O'Neil

Although we look back on it now through a mournful or angry lens, it's easy to forget just how downright disorienting the days and weeks following the Boston Marathon bombing in April of 2013 were. Adding to the surrealism of the drama for me was a night spent on lockdown in my Watertown home while the gun fight between authorities and the alleged bomber raged on blocks away, and the intrusion of heavily armed law enforcement trampling through my front yard during the next morning's manhunt. For weeks after in the city, riding the subway or at any sort of big event, a sense of unease would sneak up on me from time to time when I realized just how easy it would be for something like the bombing to happen again. You might forgive someone attending the Boston Calling music festival at Government Center about a month later, a now twice-yearly, extremely successful event, for feeling somewhat apprehensive. It was, after all, the first large gathering of thousands of spectators since the bombing. But, as a recent investigation published in the alt-weekly Dig Boston has uncovered, perhaps concertgoers like myself needn't have worried so much; after all, the city was watching our every movement.

Scramble Face Recognition Tech with CV Dazzle Camouflage

Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face
In a world of increasingly sophisticated facial-recognition technology, a drastic technique can throw the machines off your trail.
Robinson Meyer
Original Link (with great photos)
JULY 24, 2014


The NSA made me slather my face in make-up.

Or, it didn’t make me, exactly. But last spring, I found myself wandering around D.C., wearing dazzle camouflage for the first time. It was a sunny Saturday, the capital swamp neither frigid nor muggy-oppressive—perfect for walking. It took me 45 minutes to get all the makeup on, to get the pencil right and the hair dangled just so.

I spent the day hanging out with some friends around Adams Morgan, a neighborhood seemingly developed by former hippies who had gone into non-profit C-suites or opened boutique restaurant-bars. I told my friends why my face had splotches of dark makeup on it but didn’t say much to anyone else, and that’s when the looks began.

Urban sensing - light poles have eyes, ears, etc. (Chicago)

Big Brother? Chicago to measure pedestrians' movements
by Jolie Lee

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/06/24/chicago-big-dat...

By year's end, Chicago could have as many as 50 sensors attached to downtown light poles collecting data on everything from the humidity to air quality to the noise level.

The project, called "Array of Things," has the potential for far-reaching applications. For example, air quality data could help you navigate a route through the city that avoids pollution and allergens. Or traffic data could inform the city where best to install bike lines.

wtf?! Robocop tech rolls through SF like a Dalek.

http://knightscope.com/

Sci-Fi movies have a remarkable way of freeing the mind to think through future possibilities. It is for that reason that I treated my team to opening day at the movies to see the remake of Robocop. The movie paints a vivid, albeit extremely dramatized, picture of how robotics might influence and redefine what lies ahead in public safety.

Knightscope is definitely a hot topic! Most recently, Gartner named Knightscope in its annual "Cool Vendors" report (Gartner Cool Vendors in Automotive, Thilo Koslowski, 9 April 2014). Plug and Play Tech Center selected Knightscope from over 350 start-ups as its Hottest Company for March 2014. And Knightscope’s previous awards include the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce 2013 Award for Startup Company of the Year and Best of Show at the Plug and Play Winter Expo in December 2013. Knightscope was also featured at the LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco for a fireside chat with Jason Calacanis.

Excessive Police Raid Due to Protest Graffiti (Vancouver)

http://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/police-raid-house-in...

At around 9AM on June 3, 2014, approximately 16 cops from the Vancouver Police Department raided a house in East Vancouver under the pretext of investigating six mischief charges related to graffiti tags dating from June, July, and October of 2013. The four residents of the house, and one guest, were removed one by one by police aiming pistols at them. One person inside the house looked out their bedroom window and saw a cop pointing his pistol at him.

The house targeted by the raid is comprised of radicals involved in Indigenous resistance as well as anarchist projects in the city (including myself, the editor of the Warrior Publications wordpress site).

Once removed from the house, the five people were placed in a prisoner transport van parked out front while a K9 team entered the house to search for any remaining people. After the K9 team searched the house, a forensic identification unit with a video camera appeared. They first filmed the exterior of the house and the yard, then entered the house itself. After filming the interior, they then used a camera to take photos.

SF Graffiti taggers could face a much bigger price tag

 

Graffiti taggers could face a much bigger price tag

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Graffiti-taggers-could-face...

Graffiti in San Francisco is a mess - literally and figuratively. That's not a scoop, it is merely a discouraging reality.

It begins with the city being a mecca for spray paint vandals from across the country. (Check YouTube.) It continues to the criminal courts, where, when taggers are finally caught red- (or yellow- or green-) handed, they are generally treated as misguided youths and given community service instead of meaningful punishment.

And then there's the final insult. Property owners who have their buildings tagged - sometimes daily - are ordered by the city to clean up the mess themselves or face a fine or even a lien on their property.

"It cost me $15,000 to clean up my building last year," says Laurance Mathews, who owns the building at 245 Van Ness, which, ironically, houses a paint store. The Department of Public Works had a mural painted on his building to try to stop the tagging, "but since they did the tagging increased from a few times a week to several times a day. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it."

A new strategy
Well, maybe there is. It's just a start, and Mathews is skeptical, but Supervisor London Breed has announced a citywide graffiti plan that might begin to turn the tide.

SF Takes Aim at Graffiti Vandals

SF takes aim at graffiti vandals, tries to lessen burden on victims
Posted by Joshua Sabatini on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Supervisor London Breed has introduced legislation targeting graffiti vandals; police made 203 graffiti-related arrests in 2013, most of them adults.

San Francisco’s $20-million-a-year graffiti problem has seemingly caused more problems for victimized property owners and public agencies than for the vandals.

But now the City Attorney’s Office could be allowed to go after graffiti vandals in civil proceedings that would force them to pay for the damage and perform community service.

Supervisor London Breed and other city officials say the current process does not work and penalizes the victims, since property owners must remove graffiti within 30 days or face fines.

“We estimate that over 90 percent of the graffiti offenses are committed by the same people,” Breed said Tuesday, when she also introduced legislation to address the issue. “The criminal courts have proven an inappropriate medium for prosecuting such offenses.”

Additionally, Breed’s proposal has come with an agreement from city departments to provide more resources for the effort and collaborate. The Police Department, Breed said, “will have an additional crime analyst and a police officer on an as-needed basis so that they can develop these particular cases.”

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