Friday, 22 July 2011 19:03

Looptroop - Fort Europa

"After the first and the second world wars
You'd think us Europeans couldn't take it no more
But we built up and tore down the Berlin wall
Only to build up a new and improved around our crumblin' Fort (Europa)
This one was a bit tricky, not visible to the naked eye"

Published in Music

This week Big Brother suffered a well deserved defeat in the Dutch city of Groningen: an experiment with 'listening cameras' in the Groningen inner city has turned out to be a complete failure. The aim of the experiment was to be able to detect ‘deviant behavior’. However, this happens to be technically infeasible: the microphones mounted onto the cameras cannot even distinguish a fight from a scooter passing by. Mayor Peter Rehwinkel has therefore decided to get rid of the microphones.

The decision by the mayor fits into a current European trend: on behest of the European Parliament the flow of money to the European Big Brother-project INDECT has recently been called to a halt. This project too was intended for detecting ‘deviant behavior’. With it the police expected to be able to predict and prevent crimes, much like in the Hollywood film Minority Report.

We will now need to wait for the development of new software to detect deviant Big Brother behavior of policy makers. Privacy First will keep you posted...! ;)

Sources: Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, July 20Webwereld 8 June 2011.

Published in CCTV

A broad international alliance of NGOs demands that there will be a European investigation into biometric data storage. Governments increasingly lay claim to people's biometric data (such as fingerprints), which are then stored on radio-frequency identification (RFID)-chips in passports and ID-cards. Some countries, such as the Netherlands, France and Lithuania go even further and store this information in databases which can be used for criminal investigation and prosecution.

The alliance of more than 60 organisations (including Privacy First) has urgently requested the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, to request the countries concerned for an explanation about whether or not their legislation on these matters complies with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as speedily as possible. The alliance is of the opinion that a thorough investigation is to be conducted on whether the guarantees and criteria of human rights with respect to the necessity, proportionality, subsidiarity and security guarantees that the ECHR demands for the use of biometrics, are in actual fact being adhered to. This is very much put in doubt by a recent report of the Council of Europe.

It is actually worth pointing out that the idea for the current European enrolment and storage of biometric data has partly come into existence in the Council of Europe itself, that is to say, at the behest of a few working groups that devoted themselves to combating terrorism around 2004. One of these working groups was the Group of Specialists on Identity and Terrorism (CJ-S-IT) which operated under Dutch chairmanship. In April 2004, this working group made the following recommendation:

 "The creation or development of systems which allow identity checks with reference
to civil status records and  registers and population registers to be carried out rapidly
(in particular by means of a centralised system) and in a reliable manner. (…)

Give consideration to and promote research and ongoing cooperation between police
scientists and institutions (…) in order to make greater use of scientific identification
of individuals, especially through the use of biometrics and DNA analysis,
most notably in their use in identity documentation.
" (Source, pp. 17-18. Other
documentation from 2003 to the present day can be found online HERE.)

Meanwhile, it is up to that very Council of Europe to map European national laws that since that time have lost their balance in this area. Where national laws do not respect human rights, the Member States in question are to be called to order. Privacy First looks forward with confidence to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe carrying out these duties.

Logo of the alliance

Published in Biometrics
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 14:51

Building the Big Brother networks

The meters, grids and networks for a Big Brother society are not developed or placed by one organisation.

It is the economic impetus that inadvertently builds all the ingredients needed for a centrally controlled electronic society.

Here is an example of the way the thought processes run. When found, more will be added.

It is good practice to know the way the winds blow and heed them.

As soon as someone says you should give up your right to self-determination ‘‘for your own good’’, all alarm bells should set off.

‘‘We are here for your own good’’, ‘‘we work for your security’’ and all that jazz, and then they immediately entirely wipe out YOUR privacy. Now that’s the primary distinguishing mark of Big Brother.

Within the European Union there’s a research program called the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) which receives € 51 billion of funding.

It’s a beautiful research program of which pro-privacy programs such as PrimeLife are a part.

However, the EU is just as well working on Big Brother-like grids such as INDECT, a surveillance system for all online traffic. Now even the European Parliament has noted that something is going on.

In November 2010 it was found out, through insufficiently censored documents that the Dutch Ministry of the Interior had released, that apart from telephone data Dutch judicial authorities now also want to cluster and examine all bank details of citizens, on the same principle that was already used for telephone data tapping. Click HERE for more information about this.    

The essence of the objections against Big Brother-like practices is that citizens are forced to completely adapt to certain standards that are being imposed on them by strangers – who don’t impose those standards on themselves! These standards are then evaluated on the basis of vague criteria in order for everyone to no longer be able to be him or herself. Instead, everyone has to fit into a mould determined by the authorities. Take, for example, Mao’s reign of terror with his Little Red Book, the Cultural Revolution and the Mao uniform. Or think of the film Das Leben der Anderen. In that way rulers are instantly able to see who’s trying to escape their rulership. There are other people who outline this in more politically correct terms. See this article in The Telegraph of 19 September 2009: ‘‘EU funding ‘Orwellian’ artificial intelligence plan to monitor public for "abnormal behaviour’’. Download a pdf-version of the article pdfhere.
Trilliant’s area networks from houses to energy producer, download the pdfWhite Paper here. Trilliant is a big player in the smart grid business in the USA.

Published in Profiling
Page 5 of 5

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