Mass Surveillance: A Compendium of Terrible News

2021.04.22 The Postal Service is running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts

The law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News. [source]

2021.04.05 Russia now requires all smartphones and devices in the country to have Russian software preinstalled

Russia now requires all smart devices — including phones, computers, and TVs — in the country to have Russian software preinstalled. [source]

2019.03.18 EU citizens being tracked on sensitive government sites

EU governments are allowing more than 100 advertising companies, including Google and Facebook, to surreptitiously track citizens across sensitive public sector websites [source]

2019.03.18 These Are the Worst Corporate Hacks of All Time

A Bloomberg News analysis gathered data on major breaches involving almost 200 corporate, government and non-profit organizations over the course of more than a decade, taking into account breaches of 1 million accounts or more. [source]

2019.02.14 India Proposes Chinese-Style Internet Censorship

India’s government has proposed giving itself vast new powers to suppress internet content, igniting a heated battle with global technology giants and prompting comparisons to censorship in China. [source]

2019.02.14 61% of apps we tested automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment a user opens the app

This happens whether people have a Facebook account or not, or whether they are logged into Facebook or not. [source]

2018.02.13 This Person Does Not Exist Is the Best One-Off Website of 2019

Every time the site is refreshed, a shockingly realistic — but totally fake —picture of a person’s face appears. Uber software engineer Phillip Wang created the page to demonstrate what GANs are capable of and then posted it to the public Facebook group “Artificial Intelligence & Deep Learning” on Tuesday. [source]

2018.01.23 Microsoft warns of danger posed by mass surveillance unless facial recognition is regulated

Microsoft is at the vanguard of facial recognition. The company’s president, Brad Smith, says the technology has the potential to solve many of society’s problems but also has dangerous limitations. [source]

2018.12.22 India’s Biometric Feat: A new system of iris scans and fingerprint IDs aims to lift Indians out of poverty

India has put nearly all of its citizens into the world’s biggest biometric database just as privacy concerns about big data rise elsewhere. [source]

2018.12.12 Taylor Swift tracked stalkers with facial recognition tech at her concert

This was made possible by the early stages of China’s own “Xue Liang,” or “Sharp Eyes,” monitoring system, which will be tasked with monitoring the movements of its citizens. [source]

2018.10.31 DARPA Seeks FAA Approval For Military Drones Over American Cities

The FAA is now figuring out how to change guidelines to allow unmanned planes and helicopters to fly over big cities. “We are working with the FAA on that. Our stated goal is 2030. It very much depends on rule making. We are certainly hoping for sooner, for the mid-2020s, to field it,” [source]

2018.07.15 Ticketmaster wants to replace tickets with facial recognition

Someday in the not-so-distant future, you might be able to walk into a concert venue without waiting in line for your ticket to be scanned — because instead, the venue will automatically scan and identify your face. [source]

2018.02.07 Chinese Police Add Facial-Recognition Glasses to Surveillance Arsenal

China has turned the northwestern region of Xinjiang into a vast experiment in domestic surveillance. WSJ investigated what life is like in a place where one’s every move can be monitored with cutting-edge technology. [source]