Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Fly The Biometric Skies
"The nation’s first privately sponsored Registered Traveler program sanctioned by the Homeland Security Department began operating this week at Orlando International Airport in Florida.

Since June 21, when the program began accepting enrollments, about 4,000 people have paid an annual fee of $79.95 each to sign up and submit to background checks.

'A lot of people, as demonstrated by our enrollment, would gladly give up their information to regain some of the simplicity of using air travel,' Carlson said."

Still more would gladly give up their
Fourth Amendment rights in exchange for "a little temporary safety".

Cameras In The Halls
"RESTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 26, 2005--IPIX Corporation, a premier supplier of 360-degree, immersive imaging technologies for visual intelligence applications, today announced that IPIX cameras are being installed in Meade High School in Ft. George G. Meade, Md., through the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance. GTSI Corp., a leading government technology solutions aggregator, acted as the full service provider for the installation. LenSec, LLC, a provider of enterprise-wide video surveillance solutions for federal, state, local and education clients, served as the integrator."

Lesson #1: It's all about the money, kids. Your right to privacy be damned!

Introducing... BioTrack!
"The company's offerings include Bio-Track(tm) scan systems and services for biometric data capture; mobile systems for on-the-spot ID; and backend standards-based modules and software components for biometric matching and data mining. In addition, the company provides biometric identification hardware, which can be utilized for various security-related markets to conduct background checks; travel and commerce via identification documents; check identity fraud in government and civil ID programs; and check access to secure areas and networks. The company's products enable government, banking, law enforcement agencies, travel, transportation, corporate enterprise, and the healthcare sectors to implement secure identification procedures and safeguard sensitive data archives."
Pressure Is Building
"NEW YORK (AP) - Pressure is building for greater use of video cameras to keep watch over the nation's cities - particularly in transportation systems and other spots vulnerable to terrorism - after the bombings in London.

The calls have come over the last few weeks as British investigators released surveillance footage of the bombers in the deadly July 7 attacks and then put out frames of suspects in Thursday's failed attacks.

'I do not think that cameras are the big mortal threat to civil liberties that people are painting them to be,' Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams said Friday"


The Ears Are The Best Part
"EAR-shape analysis could be better than face recognition at automatically identifying people.
Mark Nixon, a biometrics expert at the University of Southampton, UK, has developed a technique to capture the shape of an ear and represent it in code. Unlike faces, ears do not change shape over time."

Oh great. Soon, we'll all be given government-issued haircuts to prevent identity fraud.

On The School Bus
"By January, a student's digitized fingerprint will be their boarding pass. As many as 75-thousand students will scan their index finger and the bus drivers will immediately know if that child is registered to ride that bus. The tracking system called Biometrics will let the district know when and where the students get on and off the school buses."

A classic strategy: indoctrinate them at an early age (when they have no rights) and turn their minds to gel for adulthood.

Once More For The Record: ID Cards Don't Work!
"Britain hasn't had an ID card since it scrapped its wartime card in 1952. Now the Government is introducing a scheme that will be voluntary at first but, by about 2012, almost certainly compulsory for everyone over the age of 16.

Each card will recognise a person's fingerprint, face and iris, while holding 'much other data, all stored on a huge central database', says Patrick Dunleavy, a politics professor at the London School of Economics. 'No scheme on this scale has been undertaken anywhere in the world.'"

Forget scraping off your fingerprints or burning out your iris's - - the latest thing in biometrics is
vein scans... A new helicopter-based system in the UK can scan drivers’ license plates from 2,000 feet up and issue tickets. It’s another case of function creep — the nosy bird was intended to find stolen vehicles, but is now being used to ticket drivers for not wearing seatbelts or using a cell phone while driving... Turns out a nightclub in Glasgow has come up with a microchip to embed in its clients' arms (on demand only) that will allow them to scan their arm, pick up a drink, and deal with the tab later... Forgers will crack e-passports within a decade... Smart Cards are evil... England has a national Childrens Register planned... Iris scans don't always work... Terror is good for business... Pretty soon, your cellphone might be reading your ear... Ever wonder what happens if your biometric data is compromised? You lose your identity...

Oh wait... there were cameras everywhere. So what the fuck happened? About all they can do now is
figure out who did it. That, and monitor the rest of the populace every single moment of every single day. Maybe a few more pat-downs. Nevermind that the bombs weighed less than ten lbs and weren't suicide bombs, but timing devices. They were simply left on the tube. Or maybe the tracks? They can't watch everything. Or can they?

No matter how tragic the events overseas, nothing will match the attendant clamp-down the entire world will soon feel. Witness:

Clarke set to rush through emergency arrest powers

Extra security after London bombs

Meanwhile, back in the U.S: "cursory visual inspections"
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
OnStar Creep
"The hottest topic at the moment is identity cards. Tony Blair says these are vital to fight terrorism, organised crime, and benefit and identity fraud.

The Prime Minister and Home Secretary Charles Clarke say they will be voluntary, with a vote by both Houses of Parliament at Westminster needed to make them compulsory. Few doubt that if Labour stays in power the necessary votes will take place and be won.

Antisocial behaviour orders - constantly being tinkered with to make them more Draconian in both Scotland and England - are another sign of the Government's authoritarian tendencies.

And if Edinburgh MP and Transport and Scottish Secretary Alistair Darling gets his way, every car will have to have an electronic tracking device to allow road charging.

This will mean that every driver will be tracked by a satellite everywhere they go."


Speed Spies
"It is the ultimate back seat driver. Motorists face having their cars fitted with a 'spy' device that stops speeding.

The satellite-based system will monitor the speed limit and apply the brakes or cut out the accelerator if the driver tries to exceed it. A government-funded trial has concluded that the scheme promotes safer driving.

Drivers in London could be among the first to have the 'speed spy' devices fitted. They would be offered a discount on the congestion charge if they use the system."

And what do we get if we submit to daily drug and alcohol tests? Cheaper gas?
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Biometrics = $
"Biometrics companies are poised to gain if the (British) government goes ahead with plans to roll out a national identity card scheme.

The cards, which would include details such as a scan of an iris, face or fingerprint, would be the biggest deployment of biometric technology to date."


Libraries to Require Fingerprint for Web Use
"One Chicago suburb will soon require patrons who want to surf the Internet from public libraries to prove their identity with a fingerprint. Naperville library officials say it's an extra security measure to ensure people using library computers are who they say they are. But privacy advocates say fingerprinting is too extreme; they prefer other, less intrusive measures."

Laptops From Hell
"Having computers with biometric capabilities built-in could prompt more Web sites to adopt two-factor authentication schemes requiring a second ID check beyond the simple password. Such security measures are common in many European countries, though the second verification is still generally provided as another form of password rather than a biometric ID."

ID cards 'will reveal details of daily life'
"(England's) information commissioner, Richard Thomas, yesterday issued his most detailed and hard-hitting attack so far on the government's plans for identity cards.

Mr Thomas, appointed by the government to report to parliament on privacy issues, described the scheme as part of Britain's growing 'surveillance society'.

He focused on the unprecedented recording of information about individuals on an unnecessarily intrusive government-controlled central register. He accused the government of planning to retain information on the register that went beyond the needs set out in the ID card legislation itself."


Biometric Fraud: Best Case/Worse Case
"Best case: No new ID fraud. Worst case: Some new, high tech ID fraud develops, with greater costs for those citizens affected. Successful identity theft of a person's biometric data would mean that their fingerprints or iris scans are permanently in the hands of criminals, with little hope of revoking them."

Oh Joy! No More Secondary Pat-downs!
"To get a Clear card, customers must pay an $80 annual fee and provide positive identification and a fingerprint or eye scan. Pre-registration can be done online. Having your eye scanned or fingerprint taken at a kiosk and providing identification only takes about 20 minutes.

With the Clear card, customers with clean backgrounds can use a special security lane at Orlando International Airport to avoid long lines and secondary security checkpoints.

'The pat-down, the hand-wanding, that sort of thing. So, it will exempt them from a secondary screening,' said OIA Security Director Brigitte Goersch."

Pretty soon, we'll have these "express lanes" in our theaters, our grocery stores, and our banks. Welcome to the future, slaves. Unless you've got spotless credit and a completely blemish-less life record - - it's the long line for you, fool!