Federal safety regulators want all new cars installed with so-called “black boxes,” similar to those on airplanes, to help the government and auto manufacturers learn valuable lessons from accidents on the road. But the idea has stirred concerns among consumer groups and civil libertarians who fear the data in the black boxes might be used inappropriately unless legal safeguards are established.
Under a new rule (pdf) proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), carmakers would be required to equip all new vehicles with “event data recorders” (EDRs) starting in September 2014. Some new automobiles already have a black box, although their owners may not be aware of it. Automakers began installing them in the early 1990s, but they weren’t required to disclose their existence in the car owner’s manual.
SEC. 31406. VEHICLE EVENT DATA RECORDERS.
(a) Mandatory Event Data Recorders-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part…
(d) Revised Requirements for Event Data Recorders- Based on the findings of the Read more…
ALICANTE–The cyborg facial recognition of Robocop becomes a reality as Spain’s Ex-Sight technology equips police officers with the ability to scan 100,000 faces per second. They can then cross these images with whose in a database and, in moments, identify suspects.
The first widespread implementation of this technology is with the Brazilian police getting ready for the next World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. ”The military police have a database of suspicious people they connect with our software, and our software runs inside the control center in every stadium,” says Elazar Lozano Vidal, of Ex-Sight Spain. There are cameras at each entrance of the sports stadiums. “The police have also cameras in the glasses, one of the lens is a screen and (the other) has a camera in the glass.”
Lozano says these Ex-Eye facial recognition glasses are used to scan every person that goes in front of these cameras, up to 100,000 faces a second, and that one well-situated police officer is enough to detect a crowd on a street.
The officer “moves his face and with the glasses detects a lot of people, and Read more…
An onrush of condemnation and criticism kept the SOPA and PIPA acts from passing earlier this year, but US lawmakers have already authored another authoritarian bill that could give them free reign to creep the Web in the name of cybersecurity.
As congressmen in Washington consider how to handle the ongoing issue of cyberattacks, some legislators have lent their support to a new act that, if passed, would let the government pry into the personal correspondence of anyone of their choosing.
H.R. 3523, a piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in Read more…
East Orange, New Jersey to beam suspects of future criminal activity with flashy, hi-tech police surveillance equipment
In a glowing review of the rising prevalence of high-tech big brother surveillance gadgets in police force use, the Associated Press reports that East Orange, New Jersey plans to cut crime by highlighting suspects with a red-beamed spotlight– before any crime is committed– a “pre-crime” deterrent to be mounted on nearby street lights or other fixtures.
According to the report, police officers monitor hundreds of video feeds from across the city and opt to Read more…
Big Brother is joining the battle of the bulge.
A group of Long Island students will soon be wearing controversial electronic monitors that allow school officials to track their physical activity around the clock.
The athletics chair for the Bay Shore schools ordered 10 Polar Active monitors, at $90 a pop, for use starting this spring. The wristwatchlike devices count heartbeats, detect motion and even track students’ sleeping habits in a bid to combat obesity.
The information is displayed on a color-coded screen and gets transmitted to a password-protected Web site that students and educators can access.
The devices are already in use in school districts in St. Louis and South Orange, NJ — and have raised privacy concerns among some parents and observers.
But Ted Nagengast, the Bay Shore athletics chair, said, “It’s a great reinforcement in fighting the obesity epidemic. It tells kids, in real time, ‘Am I active? Am I not active?’ We want to give kids the opportunity to become active.”
The monitors are distributed by Polar Electro, of Lake Success, LI, the US division of a Finland firm.
In the South Orange-Maplewood School District, where earlier versions of the devices have been used for two years, upper-grade students’ marks in Read more…
Is it cutting-edge, or just downright creepy? Surveillance technology is increasingly being implemented in municipalities across the country. But while such gadgets aim to curtail crime and decrease traffic accidents, some people are wondering about the costs to both town budgets and privacy.
“Overall, we wonder if the costs will outweigh the benefits,” said Jay Stanley, a Washington, D.C.-based senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Policy and Technology Project.
Such technology, which includes everything from neighborhood video cameras, red-light cameras and, most recently, parking-space sensors, is popping up faster than mushrooms in a shady forest.
“Over the last several years, traffic-centric surveillance applications Read more…
A Missouri federal judge ruled the FBI did not need a warrant to secretly attach a GPS monitoring device to a suspect’s car to track his public movements for two months.
The ruling, upholding federal theft and other charges, is one in a string of decisions nationwide supporting warrantless GPS surveillance. Last week’s decision comes as the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue within months in an unrelated case.
The ruling from Magistrate David Noce mirrored the Obama administration position before the Supreme Court during oral arguments on the topic in November. In short, defendant Fred Robinson, who was suspected of fudging his time sheets for his treasurer’s office job for the city of St. Louis, had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his public movements, Magistrate Noce said.
Noce ruled: (.pdf)
Here, installation of the GPS tracker device onto defendant Robinson’s Cavalier was not a Read more…
Did you ever get the feeling someone is watching you? If you walk down one of Atlanta’s busy streets, you’re probably right. The police department will keep an even closer eye on the city with a new surveillance camera system they say will help them fight crime.
Monitors stretch from the floor to the ceiling. Police scan every movement on the street in what looks like a scene from a futuristic movie.
It’s the Atlanta Police Department’s new operation shield video integration center, the place where police coordinate and watch more than 100 cameras, mostly downtown, as they keep an eye out for crime.
“When you have an Read more…