Archive | May 7, 2017

Man Spends 36 Years Carving Into Mountainside To Bring Water To His Village*

Man Spends 36 Years Carving Into Mountainside To Bring Water To His Village*

How much of your life would you give to carve into not one, but three sheer, rocky, mountainside cliffs to provide water to your drought-stricken village? A tenacious man named Huang Dafa spent 36 years carving a 10-kilometre water channel. He kept going after several failed attempts, and people called him a fool. He is now a celebrated figure in his community at the ripe age of 82.

Huang Dafa was once scorned, but he’s now a local hero.

 

Dafa was sneered at when he first suggested cutting into a mountainside cliff in Caowangba within China’s Guizhou Province with hand tools. Locals called him a foolish man. They thought he might be crazy. He is now compared to the legendary figure, Yu Gong, whose determination was so profound, it caused the Gods to move mountains for him.

Dafa’s first attempt to create a mountainside irrigation channel failed, but it did create a tunnel through the mountains making it easier for people to travel.

This 10-kilometre tunnel was carved to bring water to 3 different villages.

 

He realized that he needed more knowledge to complete the project successfully, so part-way through he abandoned his efforts temporarily after finally having compelled some fellow villagers to help him chip into the mountainside. He left to study engineering.

Workers had to lower themselves from the highest cliffs to chisel away at rock.

When he returned, he had a more meticulous plan. Workers often slept in mountain caves to finish the carving, high above and away from their families.

Workers had to lower themselves from the highest cliffs to chisel away at rock

Huang Dafa is now called a living Yu Gong, after the mythical figure who convinced the Gods to move mountains.

Huang and the villagers started from higher elevations and rappelled down the mountain this time. Ropes were tied to their waists like a special-forces team- albeit they were simply farmers armed with only rudimentary tools. Some reported that their legs, “melted” from the hard work.

Dafa couldn’t even get to his own daughter and grandson’s funerals who died while he was working on the project, but the plan worked.

Dafa’s irrigation channel cut into a mountain-face now supplies 1200 people in his own small village with water, and three others that just happened to be along the 10-kilometer channel. His village can now grow more than 400,000 kilograms of rice every year, too. And to sweeten his success, the town now has electricity and a new road which came due to his efforts.

His ambitious project began in 1959 and required 36 years of hard labour to complete, but his village is now thriving, and he is a local hero, worthy of the mythical status of Yu Gong.

Source*

Related Topics:

One Boy Harvested the Wind to Help his Village*

One Man’s Quest to Save the Forests of Tanzania*

One Man Turned a Dying River Into A Region Teeming With Life*

One Man Helped to Rescue 6,000 Sex Trafficking Victims*

How one Man Cooks for 170,000 Flood Victims*

 

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Maduro Condemns Opposition-Led Violence as Venezuela Death Toll Nears 40

Maduro Condemns Opposition-Led Violence as Venezuela Death Toll Nears 40

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

Speaking at the Tiuna Military Fort in Caracas, Maduro called for an end to “violence and guarimbas”. (AVN)

 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro spoke out Thursday against the wave of political violence gripping his country, as the death toll continued to rise.

Speaking at the Tiuna Military Fort in Caracas, Maduro called for an end to “violence and guarimbas”. Guarimba is a term used to refer to violent demonstrations that use street barricades to shut down neighbourhoods across the country.

“Enough killings, you murderers! I extend my condolences to the family of the police, the National Guard and the young man who was murdered yesterday by these violent people … I send my solidarity to all of Venezuela,” he said.

Among the latest deaths is 18 year old Amando Canizales, who died Wednesday during a protest in Caracas. According to an autopsy report released late Thursday, Canizales may have been killed by fellow protesters. The report concluded he died after being hit by a ball bearing. Interior minister Nestor Reverol explained opposition protesters were seen using ball bearings as ammunition during a running gunfight with the National Guard (GNB).

Canizales’ death sparked renewed international media attention, though at least two other people have died since then. A police officer in the state of Carabobo, Gerardo Barrera, also died Thursday from injuries sustained during a battle with armed anti-government groups the day before. Meanwhile in the state of Anzoategui, Chavista student organiser Juan Lopez was gunned down Thursday during a public event. The assailants remain unidentified, though authorities say they are investigating the case.

The latest deaths bring the total death toll of more than a month of violence to 39, including 13 killed as a result of the actions of opposition supporters and five confirmed dead at the hands of state security forces.

During his speech Thursday, Maduro defended the work of security forces.

“The Bolivarian National Guard has put up a great, heroic fight. They have lost men, been killed by snipers … and attacked by criminal gangs,” he said.

Maduro then urged the opposition to join his planned constituent assembly. Called by Maduro earlier this week, the assembly will have the power to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution. While Maduro has hailed the planned assembly as a way to bridge the country’s political divide, the opposition has dismissed the initiative as an attempt to bypass Venezuela’s parliament, the National Assembly (AN). The AN is controlled by the opposition.

“My message of hope, is that we can definitively get out of this cycle of violence, of insurgency, by way of … the constituent assembly,” Maduro said.

The first meeting of a presidential commission for the organisation of the constituent assembly is set to take place on Monday. On Friday, the head of the commission, Elias Jaua, invited the main opposition coalition, the MUD, to attend. The coalition is yet to respond.

Source*

Related Topics:

Venezuela’s Opposition Activists Confess Being Paid to Promote Violent Protests*

U.S. Cries ‘Power Grab’ Following Venezuela Supreme Court Ruling*

Venezuela Maintains High Human Development Despite U.S. Engineered Economic Crisis*

Evo Morales Defends Venezuela against ‘Treacherous’ OAS Head*

World Bank to Reduce Venezuela Payout in Exxon Case*

The Caribbean Supports Venezuela against U.S. Interventionism*

Venezuela’s Supreme Court Blocks U.S. Regime Change*

Draft Law Would Require Egyptian Social Media Users to Register With Government*

Draft Law Would Require Egyptian Social Media Users to Register With Government*

By Afef Abrougui

Sixty Egyptian members of parliament recently approved a draft law on “the regulations of using and exploiting social media networks.” If adopted by the parliament, the law would require social media users in Egypt to register with a government authority in order to use social media websites including Facebook and Twitter.

The law would establish a department tasked with granting citizens permission to use social media. Within six months of the law’s adoption, users would have to register on the department’s website with their real names and state ID numbers to be able to use social media networks. Failure to do so could bring punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine.

The six-article draft law, which was circulated by local media including Youm7 and Egypt Independent, defines social media as “any application that works via the internet and is used to communicate with others via voice, video messages and text.”

It is unclear how the law would be enforced once adopted, as the draft does not indicate how Egyptian authorities could impose registration on users or to detect those who do not register, given that the Egyptian government does not currently have the ability to regulate social media companies at this level. But the bill’s sponsor MP Riyad Abdul Sattar told Al-Monitor that registered users will get a username and a password from the telecommunication ministry “to get through the firewall blocking Facebook.”

This could mean that Egypt plans to create a national-level firewall around Facebook, through which they could then require Egyptians to submit identity information in order to access the network. But no such plans are known to exist, as of yet.

Local experts are skeptical about the technical feasibility of the proposal. Ramy Raoof, senior research technologist at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), told Global Voices:

I highly doubt the technical capabilities and understanding of any authority in Egypt towards tech-related matters. In my opinion, the same way they think of controlling physical public and private spaces by force is how they imagine it could be done online. If I will take them seriously, this means they are going to deploy a strong monitoring system to filter out citizens who apply for an approval or don’t, and this means a crazy system to monitor people’s activities and also referring them to trial. It is not realistic at all technically — but in Egypt everything is possible

To become law, the bill will first need to be discussed by the parliament’s legislative and constitutional committees before it is referred for plenary debate. Whether its adoption and enforcement are successful or not, the bill is “consistent with the pro-military mindset in the parliament that is set maximize control and make sure no different narrations are present on the scene,” Raoof said.

Last year, MP Tamer El-Shahawy proposed an anti-cyber-crime bill which would prescribe a life prison sentence for those convicted of “threatening public order” and “incitement to protest”.

Source*

Related Topics:

Egypt Busts Int’l Organ Trafficking Network*

Cats on a Hot Tinned Roof in Egypt*

Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections without Voters*

Israel Admits Role in Overthrow of Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi and Installation of President Al-Sisi*

215 Forced Disappearances in Egypt within the Past Two Months*

Egypt Adopts Controversial Anti-Terrorism Law*

Four Fates for Egypt*

A Worldwide Coalition against Surveillance is Expanding*

 

Creator of World’s Largest Child Porn Site Gets 30-Year Prison Sentence*

Creator of World’s Largest Child Porn Site Gets 30-Year Prison Sentence*

By Alberto Luperon

Steve W. Chase has gotten 30 years behind bars for creating what authorities fear was the biggest child porn site in the world. A federal judge sentenced the 58-year-old on Monday at a North Carolina court.

“Chase was the mastermind and gatekeeper of Playpen, a hidden, members-only Internet platform and a safe-haven for those looking to view and trade child pornography without detection,” said U.S. Attorney Westmoreland Rose.

“The depiction of the horrendous sexual exploitation of innocent and vulnerable children is a crime my office takes very seriously. Today’s sentence delivers a clear message that the dark web is not a safe place for those looking to possess, receive and share child pornography: This type of criminal activity will land you in jail for a long time.”

This sentence stems from a September conviction for one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, one count of advertising child pornography, three counts of transportation of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.

Chase started Playpen in August 2014, officials say. To evade detection, he used the Tor network, which, long story short, lets users maintain their privacy on the Internet. That’s what made investigating so difficult at first. In a statement published Friday, FBI Special Agent Dan Alfin said they couldn’t do much about it at first because they simply couldn’t locate the site’s administrators and users.

This changed in December 2014, when Chase inadvertently revealed Playpen’s IP address. A foreign law enforcement agent noticed, and told the FBI.

“From that point we took normal investigative steps—seized a copy of the website, served search warrants for e-mail accounts, followed the money—and everything led back to Steven Chase,” said Alfin.

Michael Fluckiger

 

Two co-defendants, 46-year-old Michael Fluckiger of Indiana and 47-year-old David Browning of Kentucky, received 20-year prison sentences for helping run the site.

The feds say taking down the site has led to much good. As of Thursday, they said they arrested at least 350 U.S.-based individuals, prosecuted 25 producers of child porn, prosecuted 51 “hands-on” abusers, and identified or rescued 55 American children. There have been also 548 arrests worldwide, with 296 sexual abused children identified or rescued.

During his trial, Chase tried to get the charges dismissed by claiming the FBI actually made the site perform better in order to catch paedophiles. The feds admitted last year that before shutting Playpen down, they ran it for 13 days so they could better find abusers.

Source*

Related Topics:

Trump Campaign Chair Charged with Paedophilia and Sex Trafficking*

3000 Elite Paedophiles Arrested – Media Silent*

Int’l Banking Whistleblower Reveals High Level Paedophilia and Child Sacrifices*

The Desecration of Childhood

Where Some Children Disappear to on Halloween*

Attorney Suing Elite Paedophile Ring Shot Dead*

Washington Paedophile Epidemic So Bad Police Tell Children to Stay Indoors*

U.K. Paedophile Epidemic So Big Police Ask Vigilante Group to Takeover*

Dutch Media Cancels Dr. Phil Show after Exposing Elite Paedophilia Ring*

Citizens Fight Back, Move to Impeach Judge for Letting Paedophile Cop Off Easy*

‘nothing short of the nation’s first paedophile protection act’*

 

There Are No “Macron Leaks” in France. Politically Motivated Hacking Is Not Whistleblowing.*

There Are No “Macron Leaks” in France. Politically Motivated Hacking Is Not Whistleblowing.*

By Robert Mackay

Here’s some news for the alt-right activists in the United States behind a disinformation campaign aimed at getting Marine Le Pen elected president of France by spreading rumours about her opponent, Emmanuel Macron: The French do not much like having their intelligence insulted by Americans.

Funniest part of #MacronLeaks is the U.S. alt-right, who can’t read French, spending time on misinterpreting mundane documents.

— Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) May 5, 2017

Time-tested alliance of Russian propaganda and US far-right Trumpian lunatics looks more like the Three Stooges this time #MacronLeaks

— Pierre Briançon (@pierrebri) May 6, 2017

That theme was repeated again and again in France on Saturday, in response to reports that a trove of hacked documents — nine gigabytes of memos and emails stolen from Macron aides and posted online Friday night, just before a legally imposed blackout on statements from candidates took effect — was first publicized on social networks by pro-Trump propagandists.

Qui est @JackPosobiec le militant pro-Trump qui a le premier relayé les « MacronLeaks » ? — via @lemondefr @pixelsfr https://t.co/Se9GLF7IUJ

— Cécile Prieur (@cecileprieur) May 6, 2017

According to Nicolas Vanderbiest, a Belgian academic who studies social networks, the hacked documents only began to attract attention after they were linked to on Twitter by Jack Posobiec, a Trump supporter who added the misleading hashtag, #MacronLeaks.

Via ce tweet-ci il a offert le premier tweet via 4Chan. pic.twitter.com/4qidML19F8

— Nicolas Vanderbiest (@Nico_VanderB) May 5, 2017

That tag, which falsely suggested that the hacked documents had been leaked by a public-spirited whistleblower, rather than stolen by Macron’s political opponents, and contained evidence of wrongdoing, instead of what appears to be mainly a collection of mundane campaign memos, was soon used by a more influential account, WikiLeaks.

#MacronLeaks: A significant leak. It is not economically feasible to fabricate the whole. We are now checking parts. https://t.co/wLemQiYHT2

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 5, 2017

Metadata of #Macrongate “offshore” document corresponds to Cannon printer which costs over $100k https://t.co/f3BL3oOmgI pic.twitter.com/aAB0q1cLVN

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 6, 2017

As Vanderbiest demonstrated in graphics that chart how awareness of the hacked documents spread across Twitter, a series of tweets from WikiLeaks drew much more attention to the trove — and helped validate it in the minds of many followers of the transparency organization, some of whom wrongly assumed that Wikileaks was the original source for publishing the documents.

Le début du hashtag #MacronLeaks : oh encore lui. Bah ca alors pic.twitter.com/6YKg0eKyan

— Nicolas Vanderbiest (@Nico_VanderB) May 5, 2017

La cartographie animée temporaire et rapide de #MacronLeaks sans les explications pic.twitter.com/aGrW86KEoh

— Nicolas Vanderbiest (@Nico_VanderB) May 5, 2017

Cartographie de #Macronleaks à minuit.
Mauve = Dénonciation
Vert = l’histoire d’amour entre le FN et les comptes US/Trump . Tout est dit pic.twitter.com/QVsyOdGTEi

— Nicolas Vanderbiest (@Nico_VanderB) May 6, 2017

Even as Wikileaks helped spread news of the hack, the group’s French lawyer, Juan Branco, wrote that the “MacronLeaks” dump “disgusts me.”

D’évidence le procédé des “Macronleaks” me dégoûte. On joue à quoi ?

— Juan Branco (@anatolium) May 5, 2017

“What are we playing at?” asked Branco, who is running for a seat in parliament next month as a candidate of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Insoumise party.

Instead of important revelations, an initial review of the documents circulating under the MacronLeaks tag by Julien Cadot, a journalist for the site Numerama, suggested that they “seem to be utterly banal.”

“There are briefing notes, bills, loans for amounts that are not excessive,” Cadot explained, along with “strictly personal and private exchanges — personal notes on rain and good weather, a confirmation email on the publication of a novel, the reservation of a table between friends.”

The point of the dump, then, appears to be less about providing real evidence to back up the rumors and innuendo Marine Le Pen’s supporters have been spreading about Macron for months, and more a way to reinforce the fact-free speculation the candidate herself engaged in during a televised debate this week — that her rival, a former investment banker, might be hiding something that would discredit him, like an offshore account.

That was certainly the message Le Pen’s influential deputy, Florian Philippot, attempted to drive home on Twitter, where he asked rhetorically, “Will #Macronleaks teach us something that investigative journalism has deliberately silenced?”

Les #Macronleaks apprendront-ils des choses que le journalisme d’investigation a délibérément tues ? Effrayant ce naufrage démocratique.

— Florian Philippot (@f_philippot) May 5, 2017

That seemed unlikely, however, given the timing of the release — which came just before French media outlets were forced to observe a ban on reporting for the campaign’s final weekend, meaning that any revelations of real significance would not be broadcast outside the echo chambers of social networks and non-French outlets.

According to initial reviews of the documents, the hacked documents also seem to have been stolen nearly two weeks ago. The decision to not release them until it was too late for journalists to dig through them for dirt on Macron strongly suggests that the hackers, at least, had not come across anything incriminating.

Not that the lack of evidence stopped alt-right activists like Posobiec — who previously played a central role in pushing the viral conspiracy theory that Hilary Clinton’s aides were using the code word “pizza” in emails to refer to child sex slaves — from trying to claim that the hacked documents were damaging to Macron.

5% of #MacronGate users account for 40% of tweets. The most prolific tweeted 1668X/24 hrs?faster than one RT per min, all day with no sleep.

— Nicole Perlroth (@nicoleperlroth) May 6, 2017

As Alberto Nardelli of Buzzfeed noted, Posobiec even falsely claimed that a mundane document showing that Macron’s campaign had taken out financial insurance was a suspiciously “huge new life insurance policy” taken out by the candidate.

Unfortunately for Jack here, French voters can read French https://t.co/aCuMtOZXFM

— Alberto Nardelli (@AlbertoNardelli) May 5, 2017

Macron took out huge new life insurance policy in March 2017, per docs #MacronLeaks pic.twitter.com/VHUmQCeJAF

— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) May 5, 2017

While Macron’s campaign confirmed that some of the documents were genuine, they claimed that the trove also contained forgeries. Among the hacked documents examined by security researchers, some did appear to be obvious fakes — like one receipt for illegal drugs, supposedly ordered by an elderly French politician who used Bitcoin to make his purchase and asked for the drugs to shipped to him under his own name at his parliamentary office.

Bad fakes mixed in too: an old French politician using bitcoin to have drugs shipped to the parliament building? lol (HT @IEPgrenoble) pic.twitter.com/VbwjjsBFG0

— the grugq (@thegrugq) May 5, 2017

Other researchers reported that the metadata of some documents revealed that they had been edited on computers using Russian-language characters.

Dropping files after appending metadata to Microsoft Offices files such as “?????” or “???????_??????” Why? #attribution H/T @voulnet pic.twitter.com/h2KBLimjZn

— Matt Suiche (@msuiche) May 6, 2017

Who is Roshka Georgiy Petrovich? ????? ??????? ????????? 26th Excel file from #MacronLeaks @wikileaks pic.twitter.com/vHFmki5oev

— Bivol (@BivolBg) May 6, 2017

That fueled widespread speculation that the hacked documents might have been stolen and released by Russian intelligence agents, to promote Le Pen, who had a friendly meeting with President Vladimir Putin in March, and has borrowed 9.4 million euros from a Russian bank to fund her campaign.

Deleted tweet of France’s ambassador in DC: “To be expected. Last chance offensive in favor of a candidate favored by a foreign government” pic.twitter.com/spU7nbp6vy

— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) May 5, 2017

One Russian paper calls Emmanuel Macron a “psycopath”; another says he has “bulging fish eyes”. It’s clear who Moscow’s backing in this race pic.twitter.com/NoV2f7IqyZ

— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) May 5, 2017

Russia has a lot riding on Marine Le Pen’s candidacy. How far would they go to help her win? https://t.co/EkZ3262Sko

— max seddon (@maxseddon) May 6, 2017

“What I get from this clumsy initiative is that it reveals just how much these people think of us as imbeciles,” the blogger Jean-Marc Lafon wrote on Twitter.

“You can’t love France and be convinced that the French people are fools,” he added.

“You can be a patriot and have a brain.”

As Nicolas Vanderbiest, the Belgian researcher, noted, earlier this week Posobiec and a network of followers and bots were also responsible for spreading an obviously forged document that they insisted was evidence that Macron had evaded French taxes by opening a secret bank account in the Bahamas. In that case, Posobiec had used the English-language hashtag #MacronGate, which, as Samuel Laurent of Le Monde noted, betrayed the fact that it did not originate in the French-speaking world.

Cartographie animée du #MacronGate sur son prétendu compte caché. Comme ça vous avez tous les éléments. pic.twitter.com/XNeUjnAJA7

— Nicolas Vanderbiest (@Nico_VanderB) May 4, 2017

Even though that fake “proof” of a secret Macron account was debunked in the French media, it continued to spread on social networks, successfully confusing some voters, who were also exposed to other forgeries shared by activists from Le Pen’s National Front.

Taken together, the effort to spread forged documents and the late release of genuine material hacked from Macron’s campaign, disguised as a “leak,” might be evidence of an intentional disinformation campaign, aimed at misleading voters into thinking real evidence of malfeasance by Macron had been provided to the media but was being suppressed.

Source*

Related Topics:

French Presidential Favorite Macron sparks firestorm for Speaking the Truth about Colonization*

German domination of Europe: Marine Le Pen Savages Merkel, to Her Face in E.U. Parliament

CIA Involvement in French 2012 Presidential Election*

Facial Recognition Is Everywhere — but So Are Tools to Defeat It*

Facial Recognition Is Everywhere — but So Are Tools to Defeat It*

The new Privacy Visor is one of many devices designed to thwart facial detection systems

Photo Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso

 

By Joshua Kopstein

Apart from celebrities and high-profile fugitives, most people take for granted the ability to walk around in public without being identified by strangers, blissfully detached from their names and personal history. But more recently, this basic concept of public anonymity has been rapidly eroding.

Thanks to the rise of social media, ubiquitous cameras, internet-connected devices, and massive police facial recognition databases, more than half the U.S. adult population can now be near-instantly identified and tracked on the street simply by revealing their face. In response, privacy-minded engineers and activists have been fighting back with tech of their own.

“You can see a crumbling border between the cyber and physical worlds due to the spread of advanced sensors,” said Professor Isao Echizen during a recent talk at the International Workshop on Obfuscation at NYU Law School.

Before becoming a researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics, Echizen spent a decade working in a research and development lab at Hitachi, where he designed copyright protection systems for the Japanese electronics giant. More recently, he’s been using his experience defending corporate intellectual property to defend people’s privacy.

In 2012, Echizen and his colleagues unveiled a prototype of the Privacy Visor, a bizarre-looking pair of glasses that defeats face detection systems by blasting camera sensors with beams of near-infrared light, which are invisible to the human eye.

The visor worked, but it wasn’t exactly subtle or flattering to wear. Commercial face detection algorithms have also evolved since then, and computer vision researchers have used advanced machine learning systems like artificial neural networks to successfully thwart various anti-face detection techniques — including Echizen’s prototype.

Now, after years of development, Echizen has unveiled an improved version of the Privacy Visor that doesn’t require power or use any electronics at all. Instead, the new model — which he officially released to market in March — uses repeating white patterns printed on a plastic transparency. The dense patterns reflect light back at the camera’s sensor, causing enough noise to prevent many algorithms from successfully detecting faces.

When I got my hands on one of Echizen’s Privacy Visors, I had almost no difficulty fooling the face detection schemes used by popular social media platforms. The puppy faces and other cute video filters provided by Snapchat’s face-detecting Lenses quickly disappeared after lowering the visor onto the center of my face — though it often needed a bit of adjustment. Facebook’s algorithm also didn’t detect any faces in uploaded photos of people wearing the visor from various angles and distances.

But as situations change and technology improves, experts say there’s no permanent “silver bullet” solution to the problem Echizen’s Privacy Visor is trying to solve. In a paper published last September, researchers at Cornell University built an artificial neural network that can de-obfuscate and match face images with up to 95 percent accuracy, even at extremely low resolutions.

“There’s no approach that ‘just works,’ or anything close to it,” Lujo Bauer, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University who recently co-authored a paper detailing new methods of defeating facial recognition, told Vocativ.

That’s partly due to the old paradox of obfuscation: if you’re the only one actively trying to hide from surveillance technologies like facial recognition, you’re way more likely to stand out.

“In general, the more effective the approach, the more likely it is to be conspicuous to those nearby,” said Bauer.

“A face recognition algorithm may not immediately identify you, but bystanders may gawk, and a human looking at a video feed would also likely notice that something suspicious is going on.”

Nevertheless, researchers have continued to come up with new methods and technologies for thwarting face detection and recognition. In a recent paper, Bauer and his collaborators designed a set of 3D-printed glasses with patterns that reduce the effectiveness of facial recognition — the algorithms that try to identify people in a photo, after their faces have been successfully detected.

Artist and privacy researcher Adam Harvey is perhaps best known for his CV Dazzle anti-face detection makeup patterns. Instead of preventing algorithms from detecting faces, his most recent experiment causes them to detect too many.

The project, called HyperFace, is a textile pattern containing vaguely face-shaped assortments of pixels that form “ideal” face template images, as understood by the most commonly-used face detection method, Viola-Jones. This turns the material into a kind of camouflage, hiding the wearer’s face by fooling the algorithm into detecting false ones.

Still, Harvey says it’s hard to convince large numbers of people to wear the 21st century equivalent of a tin foil hat. With future versions of HyperFace, he’s aiming to make the “faces” on the material less visible using colored patterns — part of a continuing effort to “make tin foil look really good,” he says.

Adam Harvey holds up HyperFace textile pattern at NYU Obfuscation workshop.

 

“There’s a lot of propaganda coming from the FBI and Facebook that you have no right to hide,” said Harvey during a talk at the NYU Obfuscation workshop.

“Going against that narrative has always been difficult because Facebook is popular and the FBI is powerful.”

The effectiveness of any anti-facial recognition tool ultimately depends on what kind of adversary you’re trying to protect against, and how badly they want to find you. While there’s no practical way to hide from a well-resourced government agency, Bauer says it’s difficult — but still not impossible — to hide from automated systems that identify and track people en-masse.

“Suppose I don’t want to be identified in a crowd at a protest. If I’m at the protest for four hours, it means that if any [camera] captured me in the four hours, I have to fool all of them,” Bauer told Vocativ.

That can be extremely difficult, he said, since remaining undetected would mean successfully avoiding facial detection from all possible camera angles and at various distances — not to mention making sure your anti-facial detection visor or glasses doesn’t slip off for a brief moment.

Nevertheless, Bauer thinks there’s good reason for people to want anti-facial recognition tech. And he has no doubt creative solutions like Privacy Visor will continue to pop up as the cat-and-mouse game continues.

“For very specific situations, I believe there will continue to be solutions, but those are likely to be of more benefit to people seeking to cause harm than to those seeking to maintain their privacy,” he said. “To maintain privacy in general, however, we’d have to be evading facial recognition all the time, regardless of who’s doing it and what algorithm they’re using — and that’s much harder.”

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. Marshals Biometric Scan Passenger Retinas to Board Flight: “Like Everyone Else, I Complied”*

Third of British Population on States Big Brother Facial Recognition Database*

NWO: Central Banks Imposing Biometric ID in Developing Countries First*

Biometric Identification Control: What Will You Do?

A Biometric Passport Can Be Easily Faked*

U.S. Marshals Biometric Scan Passenger Retinas to Board Flight: “Like Everyone Else, I Complied”*

Los Alamos Study Finds Airport Scanners Alter DNA*

U.S. Dismissive of International Agreement Banning Aircraft Over Syrian Safe Zones*

U.S. Dismissive of International Agreement Banning Aircraft Over Syrian Safe Zones*

By Jason Ditz

Russia announced that the safe zones, which went into effect overnight, are now officially closed to all warplanes, and US officials are livid at the idea, insisting they have no intention of respecting that.

The destruction in Maysaloun school in #Tabqah after several U.S. ِairstrikes in Raqqa, Syria. (Photo: Twitter @Raqqa_SL)

 

A day after the U.S. gave tepid support for the establishment of Syrian safe zones to try to separate combatant forces and reduce the amount of fighting, they appear to have noticed that this might get in their way of their own attacks across the country, and are pledging to ignore the demilitarization of the zones.

Back when Turkey and the U.S. were both super keen on the idea of safe zones, a big selling point was the imposition of no-fly zones over the areas, to keep the civilians within getting bombed. This was also a big obstacle, as the U.S. wasn’t totally clear it could do this without declaring war on Russia.

With Russia also on board now, that should’ve been easier. Instead, Russia announced that the safe zones, which went into effect overnight, are now officially closed to all warplanes, and U.S. officials are livid at the idea, insisting they have no intention of respecting that.

Largely this appears to be a case of the U.S. just being deliberately difficult, as none of the safe zones are in areas U.S. warplanes were operating in the first place. The reality, however, is that the zones are now being used in service of a ceasefire the U.S. never really supported to begin with ,and with the U.S.-backed rebels also objecting about the ceasefire getting in the way of their war, the U.S. will be non-cooperative.

Source*

Related Topics:

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