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Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category: Page 6

Apr 12, 2020

The Virus Gives AI a Chance to Prove It Can Be a Force for Good

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, privacy, robotics/AI, surveillance

Governments set aside privacy concerns as they use surveillance software to fight Covid-19.

Apr 10, 2020

Fever detection and facial recognition systems launched to help prevent virus spread

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, privacy, robotics/AI, surveillance

From surveillance to access control to restaurant payments, companies continue to develop biometric and temperature-detection technologies to assist global disease-containment efforts.

A new line of fever-detection cameras has been developed by Silent Sentinel, and is recommended for integration with facial biometrics when deployed as part of a standalone system or part of a network feeding back to centralized command and control.

The Fixed Modum consists of a thermal camera accurate to within 0.3 degrees Celsius and an HD visible-spectrum camera for fast identification and recording of a subject with a fever detected, according to the announcement. SDK support, a high-resolution 640×512 imager, and IP65 durability.

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Apr 8, 2020

Tech’s Biggest Leaps From the Last 10 Years, and Why They Matter

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, drones, genetics, robotics/AI, surveillance, virtual reality

As we enter our third decade in the 21st century, it seems appropriate to reflect on the ways technology developed and note the breakthroughs that were achieved in the last 10 years.

The 2010s saw IBM’s Watson win a game of Jeopardy, ushering in mainstream awareness of machine learning, along with DeepMind’s AlphaGO becoming the world’s Go champion. It was the decade that industrial tools like drones, 3D printers, genetic sequencing, and virtual reality (VR) all became consumer products. And it was a decade in which some alarming trends related to surveillance, targeted misinformation, and deepfakes came online.

For better or worse, the past decade was a breathtaking era in human history in which the idea of exponential growth in information technologies powered by computation became a mainstream concept.

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Apr 2, 2020

Homo Deus author has pandemic lessons from past and warnings for future

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, governance, privacy, surveillance

Historian Yuval Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, answers questions from the South China Morning Post on how the coronavirus pandemic poses unprecedented challenges in biometric surveillance, governance and global cooperation.


Yuval Harari says that unlike our ancestors battling plagues, we have science, wisdom and community on our side.

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Mar 27, 2020

Passive Antibody as Defense Against Biological Weapons

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, military, surveillance, terrorism

The potential threat of biological warfare with a specific agent is proportional to the susceptibility of the population to that agent. Preventing disease after exposure to a biological agent is partially a function of the immunity of the exposed individual. The only available countermeasure that can provide immediate immunity against a biological agent is passive antibody. Unlike vaccines, which require time to induce protective immunity and depend on the host’s ability to mount an immune response, passive antibody can theoretically confer protection regardless of the immune status of the host. Passive antibody therapy has substantial advantages over antimicrobial agents and other measures for postexposure prophylaxis, including low toxicity and high specific activity. Specific antibodies are active against the major agents of bioterrorism, including anthrax, smallpox, botulinum toxin, tularemia, and plague. This article proposes a biological defense initiative based on developing, producing, and stockpiling specific antibody reagents that can be used to protect the population against biological warfare threats.

Defense strategies against biological weapons include such measures as enhanced epidemiologic surveillance, vaccination, and use of antimicrobial agents, with the important caveat that the final line of defense is the immune system of the exposed individual. The potential threat of biological warfare and bioterrorism is inversely proportional to the number of immune persons in the targeted population. Thus, biological agents are potential weapons only against populations with a substantial proportion of susceptible persons. For example, smallpox virus would not be considered a useful biological weapon against a population universally immunized with vaccinia.

Vaccination can reduce the susceptibility of a population against specific threats provided that a safe vaccine exists that can induce a protective response. Unfortunately, inducing a protective response by vaccination may take longer than the time between exposure and onset of disease. Moreover, many vaccines require multiple doses to achieve a protective immune response, which would limit their usefulness in an emergency vaccination program to provide rapid prophylaxis after an attack. In fact, not all vaccine recipients mount a protective response, even after receiving the recommended immunization schedule. Persons with impaired immunity are often unable to generate effective response to vaccination, and certain vaccines may be contraindicated for them.

Mar 26, 2020

Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, surveillance

The initial cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. We analyzed data on the first 425 confirmed cases in Wuhan to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of NCIP.


Since December 2019, an increasing number of cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) have been identified in Wuhan, a large city of 11 million people in central China.1–3 On December 29, 2019, the first 4 cases reported, all linked to the Huanan (Southern China) Seafood Wholesale Market, were identified by local hospitals using a surveillance mechanism for “pneumonia of unknown etiology” that was established in the wake of the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak with the aim of allowing timely identification of novel pathogens such as 2019-nCoV.4 In recent days, infections have been identified in other Chinese cities and in more than a dozen countries around the world.5 Here, we provide an analysis of data on the first 425 laboratory-confirmed cases in Wuhan to describe the epidemiologic characteristics and transmission dynamics of NCIP.

Mar 24, 2020

The U.S. wants smartphone location data to fight coronavirus. Privacy advocates are worried

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, mobile phones, surveillance

The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are asking Facebook, Google and other tech giants to give them greater access to Americans’ smartphone location data in order to help them combat the spread of the coronavirus, according to four people at companies involved in the discussions who are not authorized to speak about them publicly.

Federal health officials say they could use anonymous, aggregated user data collected by the tech companies to map the spread of the virus — a practice known as “syndromic surveillance” — and prevent further infections. They could also use the data to see whether people were practicing “social distancing.”

Some sources stressed that the effort would be anonymized and that government would not have access to specific individuals’ locations. They noted that users would be required to opt-in to the effort.

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Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus Reality Check: Yes, U.S. And EU Will Track Our Smartphone Location Data—Get Used To It

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mobile phones, surveillance

Here’s the surveillance reality in a time of real crisis—ultimately, you do whatever it takes.

Mar 17, 2020

This Library In Minecraft Was Built By 24 People To Fight Censorship Across The World

Posted by in categories: computing, government, surveillance

Love this convergence of metaverse and fighting censorship with style. Wonder when Microsoft will start getting pressure about this or other kinds of content.


Most of us live in countries where freedom of speech is considered a fundamental human right and it would be hard to imagine living in a different state than that. However, not all of us are blessed with this sometimes overlooked right as there are a number of countries in this world where governments actively censor their citizens, especially those whose profession is to report facts. Journalists.

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Mar 16, 2020

These space surveillance satellites just got an upgrade

Posted by in categories: satellites, surveillance

According to SOPS, this was one of the most significant upgrades to the system since it became operational in 2015. The ground system upgrade will also be important as the Space Force expands the constellation later this year, said 1st SOPS engineer Capt. Zachary Funke.

The first two satellites in the constellation launched in 2014, with two more satellites joining them on orbit in 2016. The Space Force is slated to launch the fifth and sixth GSSAP satellites in the fourth quarter of 2020 aboard an Atlas V rocket.

Operating near the geosynchronous belt, the four GSSAP satellites can provide data on other man-made objects in space without being interrupted by the weather or atmospheric conditions that impact ground-based space situational awareness systems. GSSAP satellites can also perform rendezvous and proximity operations, approaching other space vehicles to provide attribution or enhanced surveillance on objects of interest to United States Space Command.

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