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Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category

Nov 10, 2019

At age 17, he built Nigeria’s first locally-made drone and on a mission to build an aircraft

Posted by in categories: drones, security, surveillance

David Opateyibo was 17 years old when he built Nigeria’s first locally-made drone in Lagos.

Opateyibo led a team of Lagos State Polytechnic students to produce the country’s first prototype of a drone, which authorities in Lagos hope to deploy for security surveillance.

Continue reading “At age 17, he built Nigeria’s first locally-made drone and on a mission to build an aircraft” »

Nov 9, 2019

The rise of microchipping: are we ready for technology to get under the skin?

Posted by in category: surveillance

Three Square Market was a test case, the first company in the US to offer implants to employees on a public stage. But the highly charged reaction, which linked the devices not only to pernicious surveillance but to a vision of tech-apocalypse, raised a question that Österlund is still grappling with: is the world ready for technology to get under the skin?


As implants grow more common, experts fear surveillance and exploitation of workers. Advocates say the concerns are irrational.

Nov 2, 2019

Smaller Is Better: Lightweight Face Detection For Smartphones

Posted by in categories: internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI, security, surveillance

Although mobile devices were not designed to run compute-heavy AI models, in recent years AI-powered features like face detection, eye tracking, and voice recognition have all been added to smartphones. Much of the compute for such services is done on the cloud, but ideally these applications would be light enough to run directly on devices without an Internet connection.

In this spirit of “smaller is better,” Shanghai-based developer “Linzai” (GitHub user name @Linzaer) recently shared a new lightweight model that enables real-time face detection for smartphones. The “Ultra-Light-Fast-Generic-Face-Detector-1MB” is designed for general-purpose face detection applications in low-power computing devices and is applicable to both Android and iOS phones as well as PCs (CPU and GPU). The project has garnered a whopping 3.3k Stars and over 600 forks on GitHub.

Facial recognition technology is widely applied in security monitoring, surveillance, human-computer interaction, entertainment, etc. Detecting human faces in digital images is the first step in facial recognition, and an ideal face detection model can be evaluated by how quickly and accurately it performs.

Oct 22, 2019

Without encryption we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, government, security, surveillance

And yet, in the midst of the greatest computer security crisis in history, the US government, along with the governments of the UK and Australia, is attempting to undermine the only method that currently exists for reliably protecting the world’s information: encryption. Should they succeed in their quest to undermine encryption, our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe.


The US, UK and Australia are taking on Facebook in a bid to undermine the only method that protects our personal information.

• Edward Snowden is a US surveillance whistleblower.

Continue reading “Without encryption we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground” »

Oct 16, 2019

Skydio has a motorized charging box to make its self-flying drone truly autonomous

Posted by in categories: drones, mapping, robotics/AI, surveillance

With the Skydio 2 Dock, a drone-in-a-box solution, the California startup wants to let companies rely on its obstacle-dodging, self-flying drone for automated mapping and surveillance — no humans needed.

Oct 14, 2019

Brilliant Midnight Fireball Lights Up Sky Over Northeast China

Posted by in category: surveillance

What appears to be a dazzling meteor lit up the sky over northeast China on Friday (Oct. 11), appearing as a brilliant fireball in surveillance videos of the event.

The meteor occurred at about 12:16 a.m. Beijing Time, turning night into day and casting dark shadows as it streaked through the sky, according to the state-run CCTV. Videos of the fireball were captured by surveillance cameras in the city of Songyuan in the province of Jilin, as well as by many residents across northeast China, CCTV reported.

The meteor also visible from Heilongjiang Province, the news agency reported.

Oct 1, 2019

Researchers’ new method enables identifying a person through walls from candidate video footage, using only WiFi

Posted by in categories: habitats, internet, law enforcement, security, surveillance

Researchers in the lab of UC Santa Barbara professor Yasamin Mostofi have enabled, for the first time, determining whether the person behind a wall is the same individual who appears in given video footage, using only a pair of WiFi transceivers outside.

This novel video-WiFi cross-modal gait-based person identification system, which they refer to as XModal-ID (pronounced Cross-Modal-ID), could have a variety of applications, from surveillance and security to smart homes. For instance, consider a scenario in which law enforcement has a of a robbery. They suspect that the robber is hiding inside a house. Can a pair of WiFi transceivers outside the house determine if the person inside the house is the same as the one in the robbery video? Questions such as this have motivated this new technology.

Continue reading “Researchers’ new method enables identifying a person through walls from candidate video footage, using only WiFi” »

Sep 18, 2019

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Stats News: AI Is Actively Watching You In 75 Countries

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI, surveillance

Recent surveys, studies, forecasts and other quantitative assessments of the impact and progress of AI highlighted the strong state of AI surveillance worldwide, the lack of adherence to common privacy principles in companies’ data privacy statement, the growing adoption of AI by global businesses, and the perception of AI as a major risk by institutional investors.

Sep 11, 2019

This AI Uses Echolocation to Follow Your Every Move

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, security, surveillance

Would you consent to a surveillance system that watches without video and listens without sound?

If your knee-jerk reaction is “no!”, then “huh?” I’m with you. In a new paper in Applied Physics Letters, a Chinese team is wading into the complicated balance between privacy and safety with computers that can echolocate. By training AI to sift through signals from arrays of acoustic sensors, the system can gradually learn to parse your movements—standing, sitting, falling—using only ultrasonic sound.

To study author Dr. Xinhua Guo at the Wuhan University of Technology, the system may be more palatable to privacy advocates than security cameras. Because it relies on ultrasonic waves—the type that bats use to navigate dark spaces—it doesn’t capture video or audio. It’ll track your body position, but not you per se.

Sep 3, 2019

China Is Quickly Becoming a Space Superpower

Posted by in categories: satellites, surveillance

One firm looking to capitalize is Beijing-based startup i-Space, which is preparing for its third launch in coming weeks. Like most of the $500 million-valued firm’s employees, CEO Jingqi Cai came from China’s state space industry. She sees no limit to what the Chinese commercial space industry can achieve. “I don’t know any country in the world which can do things as fast as in China,” says Cai.

Still, the ability of China’s commercial space firms to compete is curtailed by strict International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) rules, which prohibit satellites containing American components from being launched by China. In response, China is offering holistic “turnkey” solutions: building U.S. component-free satellites for clients, handling the launch and offering ground station support. Although China’s share of the commercial market remains small at around 5–10%, say analysts, it is growing with launch of communications and surveillance satellites for nations like Brazil, Venezuela, Laos, Nigeria and Algeria. In addition, European satellite manufacturers have begun designing devices labeled as “ITAR-free” for this reason.

The likelihood is that China’s space exploration and commercial programs will advance in tandem. For i-Space chief engineer Yi Wei, launching satellites is simple compared to his previous job designing escape pods for China’s state-run human space program. “In comparison, I feel no pressure here at all,” he says.

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