- In the face recognition and mass movements department, today we have a reminder that truth is stranger than fiction. Or maybe it's that life imitates art? From IEEE's Spectrum, an article about face recognition software and its use to identify people in the streets during the London riots. You are reading this correctly. The man's name is Orwell.
Researchers working with Orwell and his colleague Sergio Velastin have developed software that allows for the automatic detection of objects or events in video footage, creating continuity between cameras that lets the police track someone's movements. The technology also makes it possible to search video for specific actions, such as people running or cars pulling over to a curb. "It can search content-based metadata such as 'guy in the red tracksuit,' to see if there is a better shot that lets his face be compared with those in online databases," explains Orwell.
- A tipster sent Gawker some photos of what they allege is cell phone monitoring or disrupting equipment near the Occupy Chicago encampment. Not to be outdone by London police? The surveillance state arms race continues.
- More from Chicago: the police are getting surveillance drones, and reportedly are also in the process of procuring those creepy, listening streetlights we told you about a few weeks ago.
- The new Number Two at the FBI, second to Director Mueller, is a Massachusetts native named Sean Joyce who can beat you in a pull-up contest. Joyce was formerly the head of the National Security division at the Bureau. Does that mean that Mr. Joyce is responsible for the FBI solving so many of its own terrorist plots over the past few years? If so, we can be sure to expect more of that success rate at solving crimes the FBI engineers in the years to come.
- ManTech, a company that has made lots of money from US wars, is shifting its business to the domestic front. With "uncertainty in the markets" in Iraq and Afghanistan (after all, those wars will surely end someday), the biometrics, logistics and surveillance technology firm is planting its seeds in the domestic realm, looking to "beef up" its work in "intelligence and cybersecurity" here at home. DHS just awarded the firm a nearly $6 million contract to help run backend operations supporting the "SAFETY Act", a law that provides liability protection to private companies working with DHS. Read more about how US military technologies and practices are increasingly migrating to the "homefront". Take a look at some of the military crowd control technologies being deployed at home to police Occupy movements.
- The US military is conducting exercises in North America this week.