Date: December 06, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: Automated passport checks to be extended in Germany

The interior ministry of Germany announced that automated passport checks are to be extended to more airports

  • The system to be used is the EasyPass Gates system.
  • Travelers are automatically checked for height and a picture of their face is taken.
  • The picture then is checked against the electronic record stored in the passport, comparing the biometric features.
  • On biometric match, the passenger may pass without further contact with the border agents.
  • The core technologies used are biometric facial recognition and RFID of the passport.
  • No previous individual enrollment of the passenger is required.
  • After the system has been used in Frankfurt am Main, the airports of Hamburg, Berlin and Duesseldorf are to be added to the program.
  • The EasyPass system was developed by L1 Identity Solutions which is now part of Morpho, a subsidiary of the Safran S.A, a french multinational defense and aircraft technology provider.

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Date: November 24, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: Salt Lake City police about to adopt head cameras

The police chief in Salt Lake City, Utah, wants to make head cameras mandatory at his police department:

  • This US police force wants to clip cameras on the side of all their officers’ heads via glasses, helmets or hats.
  • The head cameras can record a crime scene or any interaction with the public, in addition to the footage already produced by dashboard cameras in their cars.
  • Supporters of the technology claim that the head cameras are made in such a way that officers cannot edit the footage, helping to ensure transparency.
  • The AXON Flex devices considered in Utah are manufactured by US firm TASER (they are an upgrade of the earlier AXON Pro system).
  • Currently, there are 274 US law enforcement agencies using one or both version (some for all officers, others are just testing a few).
  • UK police forces are also testing similar technology.
  • For example, Grampian Police officers in Aberdeen have been using body cameras which attach to their helmets and vests since 2010.

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Date: November 24, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: Bill to authorizes warrantless access to Americans's email

A vote on a bill which authorizes warrantless access to American’s email is scheduled for next week:

  • A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ email privacy has been rewritten to give government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.
  • It would allow more than 22 agencies (including the SEC and the FCC) to access Americans’ email, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a warrant.
  • In some circumstances the FBI and DHS could get full access to Internet accounts without notifying the owner or a judge.
  • This is a setback for Internet companies, which want to convince Congress to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to protect documents stored in the cloud.
  • Currently Internet users enjoy more privacy rights for data stored on hard drives than for data stored in the cloud.

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Date: November 20, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: UK plans to block online porn for minors

UK government is moving forward with its plans to block online porn for minors:

  • Anyone buying a new computer or signing up with a new Internet service provider (ISP) will be asked whether they have children on first login.
  • On ‘yes‘ further questions will be asked to determine the stringency of the anti-pornography filters which will be installed.
  • ISPs have to impose appropriate measures to ensure that those setting the parental controls are over 18.
  • ISPs also have to prompt existing customers to install the filters.
  • This plan differs from earlier opt-out plans which would have blocked online porn automatically.
  • The Open Rights Group consider this ‘active choice’ proposal to be better than the earlier opt-out plans.

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Date: November 14, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: NEC offers face recognition analysis for retailers

  • Technology only requires off-the-shelf personal computer and video camera.
    • It can estimate gender and age based only on video footage.
    • Furthermore, repeat customers even across stores can be automatically recognized.
    • The underlying face recognition product, NeoFace, is also used in services like intruder recognition and surviellance.
    • NeoFace is a cloud service provided by NEC.
    • NEC claims that the face templates generated cannot be reconstructed into images of faces.

ShadowLife comment:

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Date: November 14, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: Google compliance to reveal user data and remove content

Report covers the 6 months between January and June 2012. Requests for user data increased by 30% compared to July-December 2011. Google received more than 20,938 requests to reveal user data of 34,614 accounts. Google complied in more than 13,900 cases. Majority of user data requests were made by the USA. Google complied in above 90% of US requests. During the same timespan Google received 1791 court orders and requests by executive branch (police etc.

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Date: November 11, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: Chrome adds Do Not Track header

Chrome has added the Do Not Track (DNT) header: DNT was added to the Chrome 23 release. Mozilla’s Firefox browser implemented the feature in June 2011. The upcoming release of Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) will enable DNT by default. The Apache webserver was recently updated to ignore DNT in IE10. Yahoo recently said it will also ignore DNT in IE10. Source: Ars Technica
Date: November 08, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: DHS will scan payment cards at borders

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will scan payment cards at borders: Travelers leaving or entering the U.S. have to declare aggregated cash and other monetary instruments exceeding $10,000. Under a proposed amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act, FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) will also add the value of prepaid cards to this. The DHS develops advanced handheld card readers to differentiate between a credit card, a debit card, and a prepaid card.

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