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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Friday, December 29, 2017

POLICE STATE: DHS Announces Program to ILLEGALLY Scan Our Faces—And They’re Forcing Us to Pay For It

POLICE STATE: DHS Announces Program to ILLEGALLY Scan Our Faces—And They’re Forcing Us to Pay For It
RACHEL BLEVINS

As TSA agents continue to prove their incompetence in the “War on Terror,” the Department of Homeland Security is now allocating $1 billion in taxpayer funding to create a facial recognition program that will illegally scan Americans’ faces.



A study conducted by Georgetown Law’s Center for Privacy and Technology looked at the biometric scanners that are creating an inventory of the faces of individuals leaving the country at airports across the United States. While they are only at certain major airports right now, the full implementation of these scanners could cost Americans up to $1 billion.
The study noted that while the “9/11 Response and Biometric Exit Account” created by Congress has the funds for the program, neither Congress nor DHS has ever justified the need for the program.”
In addition to the fact that Congress has never provided a reason why the system is needed in the U.S., the study claimed that DHS has “repeatedly questioned ‘the additional value biometric air exit would provide’ compared with the status quo and the ‘overall value and cost of a biometric air exit capability,’ even as it has worked to build it.”
Not only is a government agency pouring $1 billion into a program to increase the country’s security measures even though it lacks full confidence, and has no evidence that the program it is implementing will do so, there is also the fact that the program requires Americans to give up their civil liberties, and it has never been explicitly authorized by the government. As the researchers from Georgetown Law noted:
“DHS’ biometric exit program also stands on shaky legal ground. Congress has repeatedly ordered the collection of biometrics from foreign nationals at the border, but has never clearly authorized the border collection of biometrics from American citizens using face recognition technology. Without explicit authorization, DHS should not be scanning the faces of Americans as they depart on international flights—but DHS is doing it anyway. DHS also is failing to comply with a federal law requiring it to conduct a rulemaking process to implement the airport face scanning program—a process that DHS has not even started.”
The study also found that the biometric scanners used by DHS are not reliable, and often make mistakes. In fact, according to DHS’ own data, DHS’ face recognition systems erroneously reject as many as 1 in 25 travelers using valid credentials.” This means that at the country’s busiest airports, more than 1,500 travelers could be wrongfully denied boarding in a single day.
As The Free Thought Project has reported, while the biometric scanners are currently located at the major airports in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, New York City and the District of Columbia, DHS has made it clear that they plan to roll this program out nationwide by January 2018.
Sens. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, criticized the privacy implications, and called for Homeland Security to halt the facial recognition scanning program in a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson:
“We request that DHS stop the expansion of this program, and provide Congress with its explicit statutory authority to use and expand a biometric exit program on U.S. citizens. If there is no specific authorization, then we request an explanation for why DHS believes it has the authority to proceed without congressional approval. Additionally, we ask that you address a number of our privacy concerns with the program.”
Markey told The Hill that DHS should never have started testing and implementing the biometric scanners without first receiving congressional approval, and the United States Congress should take the time to weigh the implications of the program before handing the department a blank check.
When American citizens travel by air internationally, they should not have to choose between privacy and security, Markey said. “The implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s facial recognition scanning program for passengers leaving the country raises a number of concerns around accuracy, transparency and basic necessity.”

Bye Bye Paper: What You Need to Know About WeChat's New Digital ID Cards

WeChat, a messaging app, developed by Tencent has announced its brand-new project that will turn China’s most popular social network into an official electronic personal identification system.
Government officials from Guangzhou, the capital of the southern province of Guangdong, have launched a pilot program that creates a virtual ID card through WeChat, which serves as a digital w of the traditional state-issued paper ID, Xinhua reported.
How Does It Work?
The project is slated to provide access to a raft of online and offline government services as well as other services requiring authentication such as ticketing and hotel bookings. At the core of the application lies facial recognition technology.

The trial of the app began on December 25, and so far more than 30,000 citizens have registered to receive their WeChat ID cards a day after the launch, Xinhua added. According to the Chinese media outlet, there are two versions of the ID card: a “lightweight edition” for citizens who just need to prove their identity, and an “upgraded version” for when stricter authentication is required such as registering a business.
Why Now?
China’s Ministry of Public Security has already announced a mass crackdown on online platforms stealing and selling personal information such as state personal ID numbers, which has become a pressing issue in the country. Tencent Holdings Ltd. ranks well below its international peers like Alphabet Inc., Twitter Inc., and Facebook Inc. in its efforts to protect user data. Having realized the gravity of the problem, the company is introducing this update in an attempt to prevent online identity theft. If the project proves successful in Guangzhou, it will be expanded to other regions starting from January 2018.
China's "App For Everything"
WeChat, officially launched in 2011, has evolved into China’s biggest social network with 980 million monthly active users as of late September. While many may believe that it is an ordinary messaging app like Facebook or WhatsApp, it has a wide range of functions and platforms besides texting, video games or searching for friends.
WeChat Pay
The app includes online payment services, called WeChat Pay, which a couple years ago introduced a feature for distributing virtual red envelopes to match the Chinese New Year tradition of exchanging money among relatives and friends. It even allows money to be distributed equally when sent to groups.
City Services And Heat Map
WeChat has introduced another feature “City Services,” that lets users pay electricity bills, traffic fines, make a doctor’s appointment or book transportation. Another feature, the heat map, is an indispensable tool in such an overpopulated country as China as it shows crowd density.
Enterprise WeChat
One feature introduced for work purposes, companies and business communications, is supposed to help employees draw a line between their work and private life. The app can ask your colleagues to clock in for you to show that you were at work or to ask for time off.

WeChat is constantly under development, adding new features to meet the growing demand for China’s digital hungry population.

Intelligence Community Says US Had Better Reauthorize Surveillance… Or Else

Source: Caitlin Johnstone | Medium

The editorial board of the Washington Post, whose sole owner is a CIA contractor, has published a predictably fact-challenged op-ed arguing that congress must reauthorize the Orwellian surveillance program known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is deliberately used to collect communications of US citizens.
WaPo, which to this day continues to violate universal journalistic protocol by refusing to disclose its $600 million conflict of interest when reporting on the US intelligence community, just so happens to once again find itself in full agreement with that same US intelligence community. In a new joint statement by the Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, FBI Director Christopher Wray, NSA Director Michael Rogers, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the US intelligence community warns that should congress fail to reauthorize Section 702, something very, very bad may happen to America.
“There is no substitute for Section 702,” the statement claims. “If Congress fails to reauthorize this authority, the Intelligence Community will lose valuable foreign intelligence information, and the resulting intelligence gaps will make it easier for terrorists, weapons proliferators, malicious cyber actors, and other foreign adversaries to plan attacks against our citizens and allies without detection.”
Am I the only one who’s creeped out by this kind of language? This is after all the same US intelligence community that was seen in CIA documents casually discussing the option of the “real or simulated” sinking of a boatload of Cuban civilians as though they were discussing whether to buy two percent or whole milk at the supermarket. The same US intelligence community which lied about the Gulf of Tonkin incident to manufacture support for the Vietnam War, resulting in the needless deaths of millions of people including 58,220 Americans. The same US intelligence community which posed as a black civil rights advocate and tried to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr into committing suicide. The same US intelligence community which infiltrated American civil rights movements and dissident groups in order to disrupt and discredit them and frame them for acts of violence. The same US intelligence community which compiled a list of American dissidents to be thrown in concentration camps in the event of a “national emergency”.
“But Caitlin,” you may be saying. “Despite all the countless unfathomably evil things that the US intelligence community is known to have done in the past, there’s no reason to believe they’re still that vicious and depraved. Just because the language of the joint statement makes it abundantly clear that they really, really want their 702 surveillance reauthorization doesn’t mean they’d do something unspeakable to get it!”
Well that’s an interesting theory, convenient hypothetical objection person, but one of the statement’s signatories, Mike Pompeo, recently said he’s actually helping the lying, torturing, drug-running, warmongering, government-toppling CIA to “become a much more vicious agency”. There is every reason to believe that the US intelligence community is at least as psychopathic as it has ever been.

 Cheryl Chumley "Police State USA: Orwell's Nightmare" 

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