Australian federal police officers and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade now have access to citizenship images held by the country's border force watchdogs. It's the first phase of our country's biometric Face Verification Service, which will grow over time and eventually become a digital panopticon with access to visa, passport and drivers licence photographs.
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Video: If you need the weather forecast, sports scores or just want to hear your favourite playlist, the Alexa virtual assistant on Amazon's Echo can help you out. Where Alexa doesn't have your back, however, is when someone is breaking into your home and you need to call the police for help, as Steve Hogarty discovered.
Look to your left. Look to your right. Do you see two people? Congrats on being social today. One of those two people is probably included in the FBI's massive facial recognition database. A new Georgetown report says there are 117 million Americans in the database. That's about 50 per cent of the US population.
Twitter just announced that it's revoking a surveillance service's access to Twitter data. In September, the Daily Dot reported that the Denver Police Department was paying $US30,000 ($39,435) to use a tool made by Geofeedia that aggregates information from tweets and other social media. Today, the American Civil Liberties Union has even more information on how the tool was being used, prompting Twitter's action.
Dallas police used a "bomb robot" to a kill the suspected gunman involved in the murder of five police officers and the wounding of seven others. The decision to kill the suspect using a robot armed with an explosive, was made after an hours-long standoff. Dallas police chief David Brown said, after negotiations "broke down," the suspect and police officers exchanged gunfire.
In a raid this morning on a Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang member house in the west of Melbourne, police have seized 3D printers and other equipment allegedly used to manufacture firearms. Along with drugs and ammunition, the police raid on the group has found consumer-grade desktop 3D printers, which have the potential to be used to produce single-use firearms or to manufacture components to convert semi-automatic weapons to fully automatic.
A large-scale analysis of body-camera usage among police officers in the US and the UK has produced some rather unexpected and counter-intuitive results, showing that body-worn cameras have a tendency to increase assaults on police. At the same time, discretionary use of cameras increases an officer's tendency to use force.
Stingray is a controversial mobile phone tracking tool that sucks up information from all nearby mobile phone users. It's often sold as a vital tool for finding serious criminals and terrorists, an argument that is weakened somewhat when it emerges that Annapolis police used it to try and find the perp in a $US50 ($67) chicken robbery.
While Apple has been waging a very public battle, it turns out that Canadian police have been decrypting the messages of millions of Blackberry users. Rather than apologising for the breach, Blackberry CEO John Chen defended his company's approach.
If you've visited Disneyland, you may have seen a small plane fly overhead at one point. The OC is full of rich-arse people, might be a Newport Beach golfer, no big deal, right? Except, as it turns out, the Anaheim police department had access to military-grade dragnet phone spying equipment, the kind that can suck up your phone's information from an aeroplane along with thousands of others.
Soon, police stations could have a lot more dirt on you than just your fingerprints. Cops could soon be taking 3D mugshots that will give them unprecedented details of your face, and they will store it in a creepy nanny state database to help nail crooks.