TechCrunch: ICE has a huge license plate database targeting immigrants, documents reveal

TechCrunch: ICE has a huge license plate database targeting immigrants, documents reveal. “Newly released documents reveal Immigration and Customs Enforcement is tracking and targeting immigrants through a massive license plate reader database supplied with data from local police departments — in some cases violating sanctuary laws.”

Engadget: Trump administration may monitor social media to catch disability fraud (updated)

Engadget: Trump administration may monitor social media to catch disability fraud (updated). “If you’re claiming disability benefits, a latergram of you hiking or going out dancing could soon get you in trouble. A proposed Trump administration rule would allow agency officials to snoop on the social media accounts of Social Security disability recipients. The White House is working with the Social Security Administration to propose a new rule that allow for social media monitoring in order to crack down on fraud, reports the New York Times.”

Source: Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database (NBC San Diego)

NBC San Diego: Source: Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database. “Documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates show the U.S. government created a secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan and in some cases, placed alerts on their passports.”

Ars Technica: China’s “democracy” includes mandatory apps, mass chat surveillance

Ars Technica: China’s “democracy” includes mandatory apps, mass chat surveillance. “While China’s growth as a surveillance state has been well-documented, the degree to which the Chinese leadership uses digital tools to shape the national political landscape and to control Chinese citizens has grown even further recently. That’s because authorities have been tapping directly into Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members’ and other Chinese citizens’ online activities and social media profiles.”

The Quint: Google Won’t Pull App That Lets Men Track and Control Women

The Quint: Google Won’t Pull App That Lets Men Track and Control Women. “Google has declined to remove controversial Saudi Arabia app Absher from its Play Store, Business Insider reported. The all-purpose government app also offers features that lets men track and control the movement of women. Google declined the removal of the app saying that it does not violate any of its agreements and hence, continues to stay on Google Play Store.”

Motherboard: Police in Canada Are Tracking People’s ‘Negative’ Behavior In a ‘Risk’ Database

Motherboard: Police in Canada Are Tracking People’s ‘Negative’ Behavior In a ‘Risk’ Database. “Police, social services, and health workers in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of vulnerable people—including minors and people experiencing homelessness—with little oversight and often without consent. Documents obtained by Motherboard from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) through an access to information request show that at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a ‘Risk-driven Tracking Database’ that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people’s lives. “

Al Bawaba: A Guide to Actually Understanding the Political Impact of AI

Al Bawaba: A Guide to Actually Understanding the Political Impact of AI. “Since their entrance into mainstream political consciousness, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data have been seen a harbinger of either political doom or revolution. Movies, TV series, think pieces and tech reports paint and increasingly grim picture of power being handed over by governments and citizens to amorphous algorithms that govern with no transparency. The most dramatic depiction is the all-out data-driven apocalypse of the Terminator universe, but subtler, more intimate insights into our Data Hell come from Black Mirror, whose episodes shed light on people, relationships and societies that have sacrificed their subjectivity in the name of optimization.” A deep dive with a focus on China.

CNBC: Facebook lists and tracks users it considers security threats

CNBC: Facebook lists and tracks users it considers security threats. “One of the tools Facebook uses to monitor threats is a ‘be on lookout’ or ‘BOLO’ list, which is updated approximately once a week. The list was created in 2008, an early employee in Facebook’s physical security group told CNBC. It now contains hundreds of people, according to four former Facebook security employees who have left the company since 2016.”

Ars Technica: Feds won’t build license plate database—they just want access to one

Ars Technica: Feds won’t build license plate database—they just want access to one. “Just over a year ago, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sought a contractor to build and operate a national license plate reader database. After some controversy, that plan was eventually pulled. According to a new ad posted Thursday, the agency now wants to ‘obtain query-based access to a commercially available License Plate Reader (LPR) database.'”

Reuters: Thai proposal for all-powerful cyber agency alarms businesses, activists

Reuters: Thai proposal for all-powerful cyber agency alarms businesses, activists. “A proposed cybersecurity law in Thailand would give a new government agency sweeping powers to spy on internet traffic, order the removal of content, or even seize computers without judicial oversight, alarming businesses and activists.”

New York Times: At China’s Internet Conference, a Darker Side of Tech Emerges

New York Times: At China’s Internet Conference, a Darker Side of Tech Emerges. ” Every year at the World Internet Conference, held since 2014 in the photogenic canal town of Wuzhen near Shanghai, companies and government officials have convened to send a message: China is a high-tech force to be reckoned with. With that message now settled beyond much doubt, this year’s conference showcased something different. China’s tech industry is becoming more serious about grappling with its products’ unintended consequences — and about helping the government.”

Motherboard: This Tool Shows Exposed Cameras Around Your Neighbourhood

Motherboard: This Tool Shows Exposed Cameras Around Your Neighbourhood. “Surveillance cameras are pretty much a standard when living in many cities. And many of those cameras are connected to the internet, and may be deliberately or inadvertently open for others to tune into. Exposed devices can be everywhere, from businesses, to schools, to inside homes. A new tool allows you to see where insecure cameras are physically located.”

The Next Web: This AI can search for people by height, gender, and clothing in surveillance videos

The Next Web: This AI can search for people by height, gender, and clothing in surveillance videos. “A team of AI researchers from India developed a tool to search for people in surveillance footage by height, clothing color, and gender. It’s like a search engine that can find people in a video.”

The Daily Star: HRW concerned over Bangladesh govt’s intensive surveillance on social media

The Daily Star: HRW concerned over Bangladesh govt’s intensive surveillance on social media. “Human Rights Watch today said Bangladesh government has embarked upon intensive and intrusive surveillance and monitoring of social media ahead of national elections, raising concern over a chilling effect on speech.”

Fast Company: These portraits were painted to confuse facial recognition AI

Fast Company: These portraits were painted to confuse facial recognition AI. “How do you have to distort a face so that facial recognition algorithms no longer see a face–and evade the technology that has become so pervasive in our world? That was the question the Seoul-based artistic duo Shin Seung Back and Kim Yong Hun posed to a group of 10 different painters. The result is their series Nonfacial Portrait, a striking collection of painted portraits that evade the algorithms.”