Google’s ‘Ambient Background’ Spy Tech

By PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | INFOWARS.COM | MARCH 23, 2012

Six years ago we warned readers that Google was planning to use the ambient background noise of a person’s environment to spy on their activities in order to direct targeted advertising at them through technological devices. That has now come to fruition with the search engine giant filing a petition for “Advertising based on environmental conditions.”

“As that title implies, it’s not just background sounds that could be used to determine what adverts you seen on your mobile phone. The patent also describes using ‘temperature, humidity, light and air composition’ to produced targeted adverts,” reports the Daily Mail.

In other words, Google is going to spy on your private conversations, music preferences, TV watching habits, your choice of radio station, and whatever else is happening in your immediate environment, in order to build a psychological profile of your entire life.

The current patent relates to smart phones, but any Inter-connected device could ultimately be used for the same purpose.

Indeed, back in 2006 when we first reported on the issue, Google was already finalizing plans to spy on an individual’s ambient background environment by means of the microphone embedded in their personal computer.

In an article entitled Government, Industry To Use Computer Microphones To Spy On 150 Million Americans, we reported how Google was “planning to use microphones in the computers of an estimated 150 million-plus Internet active Americans to spy on their lifestyle choices and build psychological profiles which will be used for surveillance and minority report style invasive advertising and data mining.”

Google’s efforts to spy on users via their cell phones is part of the wider move towards the ‘Internet of things’ where virtually every technological appliance will be connected to the web, opening a pandora’s box of surveillance opportunities.

Given that the private industry is already licking its lips at the commercial prospects for this technology, don’t be naive to think that the state isn’t too far behind.

CIA Director David Petraeus recently lauded this development as “transformational” because it would open up a world of new opportunities for “clandestine tradecraft,” or in other words, make it easier for intelligence agencies and governments to spy on you via your dishwasher.

Petraeus said the emergence of so-called ‘smart’ devices would “change our notions of secrecy,” allowing authorities to track individuals via their household appliances.

“Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the “smart home,” you’d be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room’s ambiance,” reports Wired.

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters—all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low cost, and high-power computing—the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing,” Petraeus told attendees at a meeting for the CIA’s venture capital firm In-Q-Tel.

Identificação Biométrica torna-se Mais Invasiva

Se você acredita que as impressões digitais ou a identificação com foto são exemplos do uso invasivo da tecnologia, espere até ler isto.

Por Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
20 de julho de 2011

Se você nunca viu o documentário Shadow Government ou Governo Sombra, sinceramente recomendo. Ele detalha as últimas informações sobre como tecnologia é utilizada para criar um programa de identificação global de proporções bíblicas. Neste sistema que está sendo construído em quanto as pessoas questionam “por que eu tenho para dar minhas impressões digitais para obter uma licença para dirigir,” empresas querem implementar o registro de todos os seres humanos no planeta. Sem exceções.

A variedade de tecnologias disponíveis para efetivamente identificar alguém no trabalho, na academia, em eventos públicos, no tribunal e até mesmo em casa é simplesmente incrível. No entanto, os produtores e compradores dessas ferramentas de segurança não param de pensar em novas maneiras de obter contratos mais lucrativos de empresas privadas ou do governo.

A tecnologia de identificação mais invasiva foi anunciada recentemente pela empresa que a produz. E chamada Bio-Sig-ID e é criada pela Biometric Signature Inc. Segundo a descrição do fabricante, BioSig-ID é uma tecnologia de “Identidade multi-factor”; a melhor em sua classe. Isto fez com que a empresa ganhasse a confiança de uma grande variedade de organizações que vão desde setores como saúde, sistemas financeiros e bancários, educação online, cloud computing, a Casa Branca e o Departamento de Segurança Interna dos Estados Unidos.

O BioSig-ID é conhecido por sua capacidade de coletar informações, tais como padrões de movimento do Mouse, velocidade de digitação, gestos do usuário e outras características pessoais para identificar a pessoa que tem a intenção de acessar informações ou usar uma peça de equipamento.

Biometric Signature anunciou recentemente que recebeu aprovação da U. S. Patent Trademark dos Estados Unidos para a sua mais recente patente que irá acrescentar a grande coleção de ferramentas baseadas em tecnologia de identificação. BioSig-ID tecnologia inclui os movimentos realizados com diversos dispositivos como um mouse, as marcas da tela de toque, dedos e movimentos do corpo para criar um sistema multi-fator biométricas utilizadas para fins de identificação.

Conveniência é o nome do jogo

Como muitas vezes acontece, o uso de BioSig-ID e outras tecnologias invasivas, é apresentado não como uma ameaça à privacidade, mas como uma “forma conveniente para manter a segurança”, ou para manter os dados e informações seguras. Em outros exemplos de violações de privacidade encontramos a indústria do entretenimento, que conseguiu a criação de produtos, tais como consolas de jogos de vídeo que gravam os movimentos dos usuários como uma impressão digital biométrica humana. Kinect, o dispositivo usado no interior do Xbox da Microsoft, permite aos usuários jogar apenas movendo seus corpos. “O console detecta o movimento e reconhece pessoas através de uma câmera e vários sensores instalados no dispositivo.” Não é conveniente?

Junto com os jogos de vídeo estao os infames scanners de corpo inteiro que são supostamente para nos manter a salvo do terrorismo, mas são uma das tecnologias mais invasiva jamais criadas. Os scanners não só podem dar imagens nuas dos passageiros que optam por renunciar a sua privacidade -há oportunidade de optar por não usá-los- mas também “banham” eles com uma dose de radiação venenosa. Leia informações sobre as quantidades de radiação emitida pelos scanners aqui. Leia sobre a radiação dos scanners de corpo inteiro ou “backscatter” scanners aqui. Saiba mais sobre o fluxo de radiação aqui.

Criando a necessidade de tecnologia invasiva de identificação

O sucesso de tecnologias que promovem a identificação biométrica existe graças à criação artificial de uma necessidade, o que fez com que o uso desta ferramenta tenha aumentado exponencialmente na última década. Isso não significa, no entanto, que o uso dessas tecnologias é tão jovem. Empresas privadas e agencias militares têm trabalhado para criar formas de identificar as pessoas por um longo tempo. Na maioria dos casos, a tecnologia desenvolvida para criar uma identidade biométrica tem sido utilizada em locais altamente sensíveis como as proprias empresas e instalações militares.

O sucesso desta tecnologia é baseada no fato de que um mercado foi criado, como acontece com muitos produtos, para garantir sua aprovação. A parte ruim é que junto com a inovação, as empresas e os governos tem usado o medo do povo e políticas para impulsionar a produção e venda. Quando os consumidores percebem a sua existência, a tecnologia já tem sido testada por muitos anos. Para BioSig-ID, o produto foi testado inicialmente pelo Grupo Tolly.

Como descrito acima, muitas organizações e empresas adotam esta tecnologia sob o pretexto de segurança. Segurança de dados, segurança da informação, acesso seguro às instalações, segurança de acesso à Web e assim por diante. No negócio de saúde, por exemplo, a DEA requer prescrição eletrônica de substâncias controladas, um exemplo infame da fraude que é a guerra contra as drogas. A DEA utiliza esta tecnologia para autenticar o acesso a registros de pacientes.

Em bancos e mercados financeiros, as instituições privadas e escritórios do governo utilizam identificação biométrica para “proporcionar segurança e proteger as informações dos clientes, que de acordo com essas organizações reduz fraude. Mas não tem funcionado muito bem, porque milhões de dados de cartões de crédito foram roubados nos últimos anos. Nenhuma organizaçao financeiras, nem hackers, nem os bancos têm sido responsabilizados por pôr em perigo a privacidade de seus clientes.

A educação não escapou à violação da privacidade. Organizações educacionais, ambas usam tecnologia biométrica com seus serviços online para “garantir” o crédito apropriado para os estudantes e para o registro e controle de pagamentos. Universidades e outras instituições que oferecem aulas on-line requerem a identificação de mais de uma impressão digital.

Novos serviços baseados na Internet, tais como celulares e computação em nuvem são adicionados ao grupo de serviços nos que os consumidores e usuários usam ferramentas de validação BioSig-ID e similares. Enquanto todo o conteúdo migra para a “nuvem”, as corporações e governos obtém um controle cada vez mais centralizado de informações e como as pessoas acessam essas informações no trabalho ou em casa. Os sistemas de identificação biométrica serao a chave para o gerenciamento de certificados ou protocolos para acessar os “Clouds”. A idéia de ter uma identificação de Internet única, que já foi proposto por funcionários dos governos em vários países, de repente, parece mais realista.

E se você é um funcionário do governo, como muitos são hoje, e mais, no futuro próximo, prepare-se para dar informação sobre qualquer movimento que seu corpo faz. No México, todos os funcionários do governo federal tiveram que passar por uma identificação biométrica a fim de manter seus empregos. Em todo o mundo, os governos estão implementando protocolos de segurança que incluem o uso de cartões de identificação ou credenciais para acessar e gerenciar informações do governo.

A identificação eletrônica já está disponível em lugares como Hong Kong, Malásia, Estônia, Finlândia, Bélgica, Portugal, Marrocos e Espanha.

Biometrically Identifiable Gesture Technology

If you believe fingerprinting or picture ID’s are invasive forms of technology, wait until you read this.

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 20, 2011

If you have never seen the documentary Shadow Government, I honestly recommend it. It details the latest information regarding the use of technology to create a global identification system of biblical proportions. In this system that is being built as we wonder “why I have to give my fingerprint to obtain a driver’s license”, every single human being will be accounted for; no exceptions.

The variety of technologies available to effectively identify anyone at work, at the gym, at public events, in Court houses and even at home, is simply mind blowing. However, the producers and buyers of these so-called security enhancing tools do not stop thinking about new ways to get the highest paid contracts from private companies or the government.

The latest example of invasive identification technology is Biometric Signature ID, Inc’s BioSig-ID. According to the manufacturer’s description, BioSig-ID is a “Multi-Factor Identity Proofing Technology”; the best of its kind. This earned the company the trust of a variety of organizations going from sectors such as healthcare, the financial and banking systems, online education, cloud computing, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

The BioSig-ID is known for its capacity to gather information such as mouse movement patterns, typing speeds, user gestures, and other personal characteristics to fully identify the person who intends to access information or use a piece of equipment.

Biometric Signature ID announced recently it received approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its latest patent which will be added to the large collection of technology-based identification tools it produces. The BioSig-ID technology collects movements made with various devices such as a mouse, touchscreen markings, fingers and body movements to create a biometric multi-factor password used for identification purposes.

Convenience is the name of the Game

As it often happens, the use of BioSig-ID as well as other invasive technologies, is presented not as a threat to personal privacy, but as a “convenient way to stay safe” or to keep data and information safe. In other examples of privacy violations we encounter the entertainment industry which managed to create products such as video game consoles that record the users movements as a biometric human fingerprint. Kinect, the device that is inside Microsoft’s XBox, allows users to play by just moving their bodies. “The console detects movement and recognizes people through a camera and various sensors installed on the device.” Isn’t that convenient?

Along with video gaming are the infamous full body scanners, which are supposed to keep us all safe from terrorism, but that instead are one of the most invasive forms of technology ever created. The scanners not only render full naked images of the passengers that allow their privacy to be violated -there is an opt out chance- but also bathes them with poisonous doses of radiation. See information on the scanners’ radiation amounts here. Read about full body scanner backscatter radiation here. Learn about radiation flux here.

Creating a need for invasive identification technologies

The amount of biometric-based identification technology production and consumption has increased exponentially in the last decade or so. This does not mean, however, that the use of these technology is so young. Military and technology contractors have been working on ways to fully identify individuals for a long time. In most cases, technology such as the one developed by Biometric Signature ID has been used in highly sensitive places in companies and military installations.

The success of this technology relies on the fact that a market was created -as it happens with many products- to assure its adoption. The evil part is that people’s fear and government policy are also used to push the production and sale of biometric identification. By the time consumers get to know about its existence, it has already been tried and tested for many years. In the case of BioSig-ID, the product was tested initially by The Tolly Group.

As we cited before, many organizations and companies adopt this kind of technologies under the safety excuse. Data safety, information safety, access to premisses safety, web access safety and so on. In the healthcare business, for example, the DEA requires electronic prescription of controlled substances, another failure of the infamous war on drugs. DEA uses this technology to authenticate access to patients’ records.

In the banking and financial markets, both private institutions and government offices use biometric identification to “bring security and safeguard customer information, reduce fraud, etc. It has not worked very well, though, as millions of customer credit card information has been stolen from those very same institutions and neither the hackers nor the banks have been held accountable for endangering the privacy of their customers.

Education has not escaped privacy violation. Both physical and online educational organizations adopted biometric and other invasive identification technologies to “guarantee” the correct accreditation of students as well as for registration and payment controls. Universities and other learning online-based institutions offer classes online which require signing in with more than one fingerprint.

New internet-based services such as Mobile and Cloud computing will pile on the number of consumers and users of Bi0Sig-ID and similar validation tools. As all content migrates to the “Cloud” and the corporations and the government become more empowered by centrally controlling information and how people access it from work or home, biometric identification systems will be key to mandate certified entrance to those “Clouds”. The idea to have a unique internet ID, as it has been proposed by government officials in several countries is suddenly appearing more and more realistic.

And if you are a government employee, as many are nowadays, and more will be in the near future, get ready to give every single piece of information your body emits. In Mexico,  all federal government employees had to submit to biometric identification recognition in order to keep their jobs. All over the world, government implement security protocols that include the use of Government Identity Cards or Credentials to access and manage information.

E-IDs are already available in countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Estonia, Finland, Belgium, Portugal, Morocco and Spain.

Greenpeace: Apple is least green tech corporation

This assessment does not include the dirtiest of all facts. It uses software to secretly collect information from users. What does Greenpeace want companies to use? Windpower?

UK Guardian
April 21, 2011

Apple has come bottom of the most comprehensive green league table of technology companies because of its heavy reliance on “dirty data” centres.

The list, which is compiled by Greenpeace and released in San Francisco on Thursday, shows that the company relies heavily on highly polluting coal power at the sites that house its banks of servers.

Greenpeace’s report, How Dirty is Your Data? reveals that the company’s investment in a new North Carolina facility will triple its electricity consumption, equivalent to the electricity demand of 80,000 average US homes. The facility’s power will be supplied by Duke Energy, with a mix of 62% coal and 32% nuclear. On Wednesday, Apple posted a large boost in quarterly earnings, which grew by 95% to $6bn (£3.65bn).

Gary Cook, Greenpeace’s IT policy analyst and lead author of the report, said: “Consumers want to know that when they upload a video or change their Facebook status that they are not contributing to global warming or future Fukushimas.”

Companies in the US are not required by law to disclose their energy use or carbon emissions. But Greenpeace drew on publicly available information on investments made in data centres, to estimate the maximum power these facilities will consume, and matched that information with data from the government or utilities.

The report estimated dependence on coal for Apple’s data centres at 54.5%, followed by Facebook at 53.2%, IBM at 51.6%, HP at 49.4%, and Twitter at 42.5%. Top marks in Greenpeace’s clean energy index went to Yahoo, followed by Google and Amazon. Greenpeace is also campaigning for Facebook to “unfriend coal” and use cleaner energy to power its servers.

Cook said: “Many companies treat their energy consumption a bit like the Coca-Cola secret formula, because they don’t want competitors knowing how much they spend on energy. The amount of electricity they consume would give some indication of what kind of arms race they were in. They don’t really want this story to be told.”

Cloud computing relies on large data centres, rather than in-house based IT services, to power internet-based services such as Hotmail or Gmail. Data centre energy demand already accounts for 1.5% to 2% of world electricity consumption and is set to quadruple over the next 10 years.

Molly Webb, head of smart technology at the Climate Group in London, said: “Greenpeace is calling for transparency from companies which rely heavily on data centres, and that would ideally highlight the need for investment and ambitious government policy to ensure enough clean power is available to green our tweets.”

Jonathan Koomey, a project scientist for the End-Use Forecasting Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, whose work was cited in the study, said that the IT industry wrongly attracted criticism: “The use of IT often reduces environmental impacts. When we compared greenhouse gas emissions for downloading music to buying it on a CD, for example, we found downloads reduced emissions 40-80%.”

Apple declined to comment on the Greenpeace report. But at its last shareholder meeting, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said the company would have more to say on the new data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, in the spring.