Police launch eye-in-the-sky technology above Los Angeles "Police launched the future of law enforcement into the smoggy Los Angeles sky in the form of a drone aircraft, bringing technology most commonly associated with combat zones to urban policing. The unmanned aerial vehicle, which looks like a child's remote control toy and weighs about five pounds (2.3 kilograms), is a prototype being tested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Police say the drone, called the SkySeer, will be able to accomplish tasks too dangerous for officers and free up helicopters for other missions." (more)
Imagine a sky filled with hundreds of SkySeers. Query: can they hover outside a window of yr house?
LA's spy-in-the-sky drone sparks privacy concerns "Police say the concerns are unwarranted because everybody is already under surveillance.
'You shouldn't be worried about being spied on by your government,' said Commander Heal. 'These days you can't go anywhere without a camera watching you, whether you're in a grocery store or walking down the street.'" (more)
UPDATE: The Ugly Bastards Lose!! "The Federal Aviation Administration has temporarily shot down Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's plans to launch unmanned surveillance drones to monitor crime." (more)
NSA to Harvest MySpace, Social Networks For Data "A project funded by the National Security Agency aims to profile millions of web users for the purpose of the US' security.
According to New Scientist, the Advanced Research Development Activity carried out research into how to mine data from social websites such as MySpace and Digg. The ARDA, now renamed into the Disruptive Technology Agency, is funded by the NSA and according to Congress, tasked with using NSA cash to "Solve some of the most critical problems facing the US intelligence community".
According to the magazine, 'By adding online social networking data to its phone analyses, the NSA could connect people at deeper levels, through shared activities, such as taking flying lessons. Typically, online social networking sites ask members to enter details of their immediate and extended circles of friends, whose blogs they might follow...'" (more)
Access card could link to surveillance "The proposed health and welfare smartcard could be used to identify faces picked out of a crowd by security cameras, the Victorian Privacy Commissioner has warned.
The warning from commissioner Paul Chadwick came after Government bureaucrats failed to rule out the possibility that smartcard information could be used for surveillance." (more)
Well, no fucking shit, Sherlock. Imagine that - the Gubment using technology to control our movements; who'd have thunk it? Oh well, let's watch TV, drink more beer, and forget about it.
Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? "In George Orwell's 1984, all of the people living in Oceania are watched by giant two-way TV screens wherever they go. Whether they're at work, at home or out on the streets, they are watched by Big Brother through the ever-present screens. But the surveillance technology of the not-so-distant future may be much more surreptitious than that. We might not know when Big Brother is watching. Instead of the omni-present Big Brother who makes his presence felt, privacy advocates fear that we might be watched by those who wish to hide the fact that they are keeping close tabs on who is doing what, where. We might be scanned from afar as we make our way to a ball game, enter a mall or visit a public monument. Everywhere we go, our movements might be tracked, unbeknownst to us, and all of that information may be pooled together. Biometric technology may play a big part in such a society."
Buckle up, people; it's gonna be one hell of a ride (seatbelts mandatory by law). (more)
Not-So-Smart Card To Control Poor Australians "Private companies, including retailers like Coles and Woolworths, may be given broad access to government's health and welfare smart card to help deliver emergency payments and other welfare benefits.
Minister Joe Hockey's Human Services department also said the smart card could be used in future to allow welfare payments to carry restrictions, such as allowing the purchase of groceries, but not cigarettes or alcohol."
Way to go, Joe. Maybe you can also control the number of condoms, food rations, and water alloted to each recipient. And when yr done with that, maybe you can subject yrself to the same degrading process and conditions, you giant pile of filth. Hopefully, the entire thing will fail. (more)
ID Cards Have No Place in Australia Today "...if this really is going to be The Last Card You'll Ever Need, the technology for reading these cards is going to be commercial and widely used. And you can be sure that when the Most Secure Card Ever arrives, there'll be a very small, very smart group of people who'll make it their sole aim in life to hack that card. It can't NOT be hacked because the incentive to exploit the uber-card will be absolutely hug. You could be one of maybe a dozen people carrying an un-fakeable fake ID. You could slip through the cracks, rent a truck and..." (more)
AT&T Introduces Managed RFID Service "AT&T is the latest technology giant to enter the RFID industry. Through a partnership with Symbol, BEA, and Intel, the company last week announced a managed RFID service that it hopes will "accelerate mass adoption" of the technology. As with other global technology firms like IBM and Sun Microsystems that have staked out territory in RFID, AT&T is taking the long-term view that RFID is just another sensor and represents only the first step toward the eventuality of universal sensor networks (USNs)." (more)