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Meet "BOSS": The Department Of Homeland Security's Facial Scanning Program

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Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Ever heard of BOSS? Didn’t think so.

BOSS stands for Biometric Optical Surveillance System, and it is a crowd-scanning program that has been in development by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for almost three years now.

Did you catch that? This is the DHS, the ridiculously dangerous, cancerous, gargantuan waste of money our “leaders” foolishly created after 9/11 to prevent “terrorism.” Whereas in the beginning most people actually believed the DHS was there to stop cave dwellers with terroristic tendencies, it is now completely clear that its primary mission is to protect the oligarchs and political criminals from domestic dissent. For example, the New York Times notes that:

In a sign of how the use of such technologies can be developed for one use but then expanded to another, the BOSS research began as an effort to help the military detect potential suicide bombers and other terrorists overseas at “outdoor polling places in Afghanistan and Iraq,” among other sites, the documents show. But in 2010, the effort was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security to be developed for use instead by the police in the United States.

It now should be abundantly clear to anyone paying the slight bit of attention that the DHS has one mission and one mission only. Bring the degenerate activities we consistently engage in abroad back home for use on “we the people.” You know, to protect us. From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with researchers working on the project.

 

The Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System — or BOSS — last fall after two years of government-financed development. Although the system is not ready for use, researchers say they are making significant advances. That alarms privacy advocates, who say that now is the time for the government to establish oversight rules and limits on how it will someday be used.

I’m sure the secret FISA court is all over it.

The automated matching of close-up photographs has improved greatly in recent years, and companies like Facebook have experimented with it using still pictures.

 

In a sign of how the use of such technologies can be developed for one use but then expanded to another, the BOSS research began as an effort to help the military detect potential suicide bombers and other terrorists overseas at “outdoor polling places in Afghanistan and Iraq,” among other sites, the documents show. But in 2010, the effort was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security to be developed for use instead by the police in the United States.

 

Significant progress is already being made in automated face recognition using photographs taken under ideal conditions, like passport pictures and mug shots. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is spending $1 billion to roll out a Next Generation Identification system that will provide a national mug shot database to help local police departments verify identities.

 

Ginger McCall, a privacy advocate who obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information Act and provided them to The New York Times, said the time was now — while such technology is still maturing and not yet deployed — to build in rules for how it may be used. (Ms. McCall was at the Electronic Privacy Information Center at the time of her information act request.)

 

“This technology is always billed as antiterrorism, but then it drifts into other applications,” Ms. McCall said. “We need a real conversation about whether and how we want this technology to be used, and now is the time for that debate.”

Imagine if instead of having the FBI spend $1 billion on a national mug shot database, we actually spent the money trying to advance humanity. Nah, that’d be giving in to al-Qaeda.

Full article here.

 


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