Legal Information

The rise of the anti-facial recognition movement

Submitted by russell on Tue, 09/16/2014 - 08:11

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

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…

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Gonna tag a BART station? Eyes may be watching.

Submitted by russell on Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:19

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.

Text alerts can be sent anonymously, and if users are out of cell phone range, their text will be stored and sent whenever service…

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Boston PD Experimented With Facial Recognition Tech

Submitted by russell on Sun, 08/17/2014 - 10:53

“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.”


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…

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Scramble Face Recognition Tech with CV Dazzle Camouflage

Submitted by russell on Thu, 07/24/2014 - 19:27

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…

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

Submitted by russell on Thu, 06/26/2014 - 18:26

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

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.

"The whole project is, how can you get the city to be more helpful to people by telling us about itself?" said Charlie Catlett, director of the Center for Computation and Data at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, in an interview…

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

Submitted by russell on Tue, 06/10/2014 - 23:04

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…

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Excessive Police Raid Due to Protest Graffiti (Vancouver)

Submitted by russell on Fri, 06/06/2014 - 14:16…

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…

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SF Graffiti taggers could face a much bigger price tag

Submitted by russell on Sat, 03/22/2014 - 08:35


Graffiti taggers could face a much bigger price tag…

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…

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SF Takes Aim at Graffiti Vandals

Submitted by russell on Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:55

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…

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Stencil graffiti practically legal in NYC - if you're white and wearing a suit

Submitted by russell on Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:57


I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System

By Bobby Constantino
Left to right: A snapshot of the author's graffiti; a "selfie" of the author, dressed in his suit and tie and ready to vandalize; a surveillance video still of the work in progress (Bobby Constantino)


This article available online at:…

Ten years ago, when I started my career as an assistant district attorney in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, I viewed the American criminal justice system as a vital institution that protected…

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