Thursday, May 24, 2018

Amazon is giving facial recognition technology to police

From WSWS:

The technology giant Amazon is providing police agencies and private intelligence contractors in the United States with facial recognition and video tracking algorithms to conduct mass surveillance on the population.

Amazon’s artificial intelligence software, named Rekognition, transforms CCTV, police body camera and other government video sources into an omnipresent eye, constantly collecting data and analyzing it in real-time using databases of tens of millions of images of the population. It provides police agencies with the power to track the movements and activities of targeted individuals and identify individuals in public places such as at demonstrations.

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The publicly-listed users of the Rekognition software also include ARMED Data Fusion Systems, a private intelligence contractor dedicated to “the development and integration of cutting-edge technology to combat acts of political violence, terrorism, organized criminal activities, and insider threats.” The contractor’s website lists a number of services, including responding to “mass public demonstrations and civil unrest,” and identifying “radicalized individuals who pose an imminent threat.”

It is not hard to imagine to what uses this technology will be put as mass opposition continues to grow in the working class in the US and internationally to the policies of austerity and war offered by the financial elite. Individuals participating in anti-war demonstrations are to be automatically identified and targeted. Immigration agents are to be empowered with the ability to immediately identify immigrants targeted for deportation.

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The publication of this week’s open letter by leading technology academics protesting Google’s role in drone murder exposes the partnership between the major technology giants and the US military/intelligence complex.
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