Archive for category News

Date: December 6th, 2012
Cate: 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.


Date: November 24th, 2012
Cate: 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.


Date: November 24th, 2012
Cate: Frontpage, News

News: Bill to authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ 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.


Date: November 20th, 2012
Cate: 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.


Date: November 14th, 2012
Cate: 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:

Date: November 14th, 2012
Cate: 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.) to remove 17765 items from his search results or other services.

Source: Google Transparency Report

Date: November 11th, 2012
Cate: 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 8th, 2012
Cate: 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.
  • Credit cards and debit cards need not to be declared.
  • Intangible Bitcoin brain wallets remain safe.

Source: Forbes