The FBI is Trying Amazon’s Facial-Recognition Software

The FBI is piloting Amazon’s facial matching software—Amazon Rekognition—as a means to sift through mountains of video surveillance footage the agency routinely collects during investigations.

The pilot kicked off in early 2018 following a string of high-profile counterterrorism investigations that tested the limits of the FBI’s technological capabilities, according to FBI officials.

For example, in the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas carried out by Stephen Paddock, the law enforcement agency collected a petabyte worth of data, much of it video from cellphones and surveillance cameras.

“We had agents and analysts, eight per shift, working 24/7 for three weeks going through the video footage of everywhere Stephen Paddock was the month leading up to him coming and doing the shooting,” said FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Christine Halvorsen.

Halvorsen made those remarks in November at the Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, where she described how the FBI is using Amazon’s cloud platforms to carry out counterterrorism investigations. She said Amazon Rekognition could have gone through the same trove of data from the Las Vegas shooting “in 24 hours”—or three weeks faster than it took human FBI agents to find every instance of Paddock’s face in the mountain of video.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2019/01/fbi-trying-amazons-facial-recognition-software/153888/

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Facebook ‘Portal’ gadget will put microphones and cameras in homes | Metro News

The device will feature a 15inch screen, a wide-angle camera with facial recognition and microphones to allow voice control. It’s expected to use facial recognition to allow people to log into their accounts without having to type in passwords and will be dedicated to video chat. The gadget has been designed by a shadowy Facebook department called Building 8 that’s also working on mind-reading technology.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/11/facebook-portal-gadget-will-put-microphones-cameras-ordinary-peoples-homes-7221722/?ito=cbshare

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/11/facebook-portal-gadget-will-put-microphones-cameras-ordinary-peoples-homes-7221722/

DHS Wants Tech to Scan Your Face as You Drive 


The Homeland Security Department wants technology that can passively scan the faces of foreign nationals crossing the U.S. border by car, ensuring that the individuals who enter the country are the same ones who leave it.

DHS’ Silicon Valley outpost is hosting an industry day Nov. 14 to solicit solutions that would let Customs and Border Protection scan people’s faces, even if they’re wearing sunglasses, hats or are looking away from the camera, without requiring them to slow down or exit the car.

DHS has been dinged on its biometric exit program before. Its overstay reports, which records who has overstayed their visa, are often incomplete, according to the Government Accountability Office, potentially causing “significant homeland security risks.”

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The department’s Science and Technology Directorate is using Other Transaction Solicitations, a category of contracts designed to be awarded within weeks of the solicitation, and often for smaller contracts worth a few hundred thousand dollars.

The solicitation specifically seeks technology that can improve the infrastructure at land-based ports of entry, though DHS has various other programs dedicated to improving biometric exit-tracking at air and seaports. Those border checkpoints often experience snow or intense heat, which creates additional infrastructural challenges, according to the solicitation.

DHS also wants a solution that would anonymize the data if it happens to scan the face of a citizen exiting the country; the biometric exit-tracking is designed specifically to track the movement of foreign nationals.

The directorate anticipates making awards for $50,000 to $200,000 for up to four phases, ranging from proof of concept, prototype, a complex test and a full-fledged pilot.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://m.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2017/11/dhs-wants-tech-scan-your-face-you-drive-mexico/142218/?oref=ng-HPriver

For this company, online surveillance leads to profit in Washington’s suburbs – The Washington Post

In a small office in Ashburn, Va., ensconced among the government contractors that make up the Dulles Technology Corridor, a start-up called Babel Street is bringing government-style surveillance to an entirely new market.

The company’s Web crawlers, offered under a subscription called Babel X, trawl some 40 online sources, scooping up data from popular sites such as Instagram and a Korean social media platform as well as inside “dark Web” forums where cybercriminals lurk.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/for-this-company-online-surveillance-leads-to-profit-in-washingtons-suburbs/2017/09/08/6067c924-9409-11e7-89fa-bb822a46da5b_story.html?utm_term=.c5c64b0f777e