Thursday technology link round-up (late)

Yesterday was a real doozy around here, so please pardon our tardy tech update. Enjoy!

  • In an article describing DHS budget cuts to state and local grant programs, the Huffington Post reports that the Tucson, AZ police have a "real-time aircraft-to-land video link." Huh? Sounds like a drone. Maybe it was one of these?
  • DHS is about to roll out its Einstein 3 web trawling system, which allows the government to intercept internet traffic through technology similar to deep packet inspection, a surveillance practice notorious for its deployment to target dissidents worldwide. The US Army and Air Force already use the technology; the latest congressional funding will enable DHS to roll it out to civilian agencies nationwide. Privacy groups have criticized the software because it enables wide-scale internet monitoring. The president of TIBCO, the firm that makes the program, told Federal News Radio about

plans in the near future to protect the networks in the Defense Industrial Base. And in the long-term, there are other industries outside the federal government, such as the finance industry and the energy grid, that need cybersecurity help. There are no contracts for the Defense industrial base or for any of the other outside industries yet, but the future forward is clearly going in that direction."

  • In a related development, a new Brookings Institution report alerts us to the fact that in the very near future, Big Brother will be able to spy on us not only in real-time, but also retroactively. As the price of data storage declines and the amount of data the government collects increases, we are heading towards a future in which your past, all of it, will be easily called up on a computer screen. Shudder to think what the government will do with all of that information.
  • And much of that surveillance is legal! Even when it isn't, if the past is any indication of what the future will bring, we can expect that companies and governments that conduct illegal surveillance will never be held to account for their crimes.
  • What's that maxim about breaking the law or doing things you aren't supposed to do? Don't get caught? Well...Israel has been shipping deep packet inspection internet snooping technology to its supposed mortal enemy Iran for a while now, via Denmark, where the packages were reportedly stripped of their Israeli tags. Oops.
  • And in our neighbor to the north, the government is considering requiring internet service providers to use deep packet inspection technology to spy on their users, and to enable the government to do the same. 
  • Los Angeles police will soon deploy computer systems in each cruiser which enable the police to track down items people throw from their cars before they are pulled over. The system also allows for the capture of electronic fingerprints from the field.
  • And finally, I know what you're thinking: you want the latest on mind reading technology. Well there you go.
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