Amazing technologies are discussed here, from facial recognition technologies (I advise everyone to put a small piece of black electrical tape over their webcams, which can easily be removed when you wish to include video with your VoIP calls and replaced, when afterwards), to the new lie detector tests, fake cellphone towers, to the “Z Backscatter Vans”, which can be deployed in your neighborhood, to capture images similar to those captured by the TSA at the airport – except instead, capturing images of what’s going on inside of your house – to the truly amazing “visual microphone”, which can measure micro-movements in a room and pick up the sound waves, based on those movements. Truly incredible technology but surely begging for nefarious applications by snoopy freaks who are paid to deploy such things.
People may recall the flurry of unmarked Cessna planes hired by the FBI to fly circles over large cities last summer. They were found to be doing communications sweeps of the Internet pages browsed and cellphone calls being made by the hapless citizens, minding their own business, below.
I’m sorry to report that this project moved onto smaller towns by early December 2015, when I videoed a Cessna with my cellphone, as it suspiciously flew in circles over my neighborhood for three nights in a row, looking for Heaven knows whom. (It actually did stop, after I videoed it with my cellphone).
So, what happens when the facial recognition software gets it wrong? Sadly, this is not the 1998 (pre-9/11!) dystopian thriller, ‘Enemy of the State’. This is now and we’re living it.
Just ask Steve Talley, a financial trader, with phone records and other evidence of being in his office at the time he was accused of two bank robberies. He was arrested and re-arrested, using faulty facial recognition technology – and was ultimately exonerated – but not before his life was completely destroyed. He lost his job, he was abandoned by his wife and children and when we last checked, he was homeless – but gamely managing to have a sense of humor about it all, somehow.
Or ask Santae Tribble, who served 30 years of jail time, due to a single hair, which allegedly matched his, at a crime scene. 30 years later, DNA analysis revealed it to be the hair of a dog – not even that of a human being!