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August 10, 2012 4:45 PM   Subscribe

TrapWire is a national surveillance network run by veterans of America's intelligence community and is installed in most American cities. It's "more accurate than modern facial recognition technology", and was revealed as part of WikiLeaks's Stratfor releases (previously). Meanwhile, WikiLeaks is currently the victim of a massive DDOS attack.
posted by bwerdmuller (62 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Surely this....
posted by Malor at 4:52 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


What. The. Fuck?
posted by Mezentian at 4:54 PM on August 10, 2012


Eh? Surely nothing. This is free enterprise. There's no prohibition on widespread surveillance of citizens in public by private companies. Not like those damned Big-Brother-loving Brits.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 4:55 PM on August 10, 2012


Is there a source other than RT for this?
posted by mulligan at 5:06 PM on August 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


Godfather just called.... he "found" my luggage in CA..... don't want to
know how or who died.....
But it'll be in the States in a few days!

posted by CautionToTheWind at 5:07 PM on August 10, 2012


Is there a reputable source for this? These sources are clearly untrustworthy.
posted by twblalock at 5:13 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit paranoid about ubiquitous surveillance, but I'm going to set that aside for a moment and try to be reasonable.

In theory, I don't necessarily have anything against a predictive surveillance system set up around high value targets. Properly regulated with the appropriate level of Congressionally mandated transparency, such a program could certainly mitigate the risk of a major terrorist attack.

But the federal government -- Republican and Democratic administrations alike -- seem unable to properly regulate shit. Whether it be their own agencies or the private sector, our federal regulatory bodies (with few exceptions) have as much balls as a castrati.

Add the fact that Trapwire is apparently a completely private entity, and this whole thing is just a recipe for ugly privacy invasions, profiling of the worst form, and possibly much worse.

The elite -- the 1%, the plutocracy, whatever the fuck you want to call them -- are centralizing far too much power. Sure, today maybe Trapwire is only used against traditional terrorists. But what happens when it's used against peaceful protesters? What happens when corporations use it to collect unchecked volumes of data about our lives and habits so that they can spend billions of dollars selling products made to break and buying elections at any and every level?

There's enough centralized power in the United States already. There's no need for more. Give plutocrats this kind of information (i.e. power) and they're bound to abuse it every which way but loose.

As for sources, Trapwire's own website is pretty upfront about what it can do.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 5:13 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]




The Stratfor guys were previously shown by their emails to be enormous bullshitters. This is just more of it.
posted by humanfont at 5:16 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


As long as these aren't SCORPION STARE enabled, we're fine.
posted by mrbill at 5:16 PM on August 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


GnomeChompsky: "The elite -- the 1%, the plutocracy, whatever the fuck you want to call them -- are centralizing far too much power. Sure, today maybe Trapwire is only used against traditional terrorists. But what happens when it's used against peaceful protesters? What happens when corporations use it to collect unchecked volumes of data about our lives and habits so that they can spend billions of dollars selling products made to break and buying elections at any and every level?"

Well, either you topple them or they rule forever.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:17 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, if you aren't doing your communication over TOR you're basically jumping up and down waving flags.

How many people here have abstained from saying the perfectly legal things that they think for fear of government retribution?
posted by dunkadunc at 5:21 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


As usual, Cryptome.org had the goods on Tripwire two years ago. I can't find a way to link to it. Just go to their search and input Tripwire, look for the Mar 19 2010 entry. Also they have many of the Anonymous leaks pulled out of the enormous volume of data, looks like NYPD is using Tripwire.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:31 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oops, substitute Trapwire in your Cryptome search, damn that's an easy typo to make.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:33 PM on August 10, 2012


So does Trapwire have anything to do with the mysterious license plate readers that have been turning up installed on utility poles around New York?
posted by dunkadunc at 5:38 PM on August 10, 2012


I don't know about New York, but here's a bit about the license plate readers installed here in L.A.
posted by mykescipark at 5:49 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


How many people here have abstained from saying the perfectly legal things that they think for fear of government retribution?

Exactly. It's called a chilling effect for a reason. I've noticed a very startling trend of people simply not caring about things like privacy, free speech, etc., which just makes these kinds of intrusions even more problematic.
posted by odinsdream at 6:12 PM on August 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


The fact that this is being reported by Business Insider -- which is owned by the guy who started DoubleClick, which is tracking your internet use right now -- is groan-worthy enough.

That their only cited source is fucking Russia Today is just shit icing on the turd cake. And, oh, look, the author's photo is a fucking screencap of him on RT. Nice.

"more accurate than modern facial recognition technology"

What does that even mean? If it's anything, it is modern facial recognition technology. Maybe they've got a gait analysing add-on. The horror.

I'm generally a pretty paranoid person, but this looks to me like nothing more than RT's usual "Everything that isn't Putin's Russia is fucked up in ways you can't even imagine!" shtick.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:15 PM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


What happens when corporations use it to collect unchecked volumes of data about our lives and habits so that they can spend billions of dollars selling products made to break and buying elections at any and every level?"

It's called Citizens United.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:18 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]




In other surveillance news: Appeals Court OKs Warrantless Wiretapping
posted by homunculus at 6:22 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]




3VR’s Video Intelligence Platform (VIP)™ transforms customer service by allowing businesses to:
  • Optimize staffing decisions, increase sales conversion rates and decrease customer wait times by bringing extraordinary clarity to the analysis of traffic patterns
  • Align staffing decisions with actual customer activity, using dwell and queue line analytics to decrease customer wait times
  • Increase competitiveness by using 3VR’s facial surveillance analytic to facilitate personalized customer greetings by employees
  • Create loyalty programs by combining point of sale (POS) data with facial recognition
3VR VIP products used to elevate customer service capabilities include:
3VR VIP Analytics
  • Facial Surveillance
  • License Plate Recognition
  • People Counting
  • Advanced Object Tracking (color, size, direction and motion)
  • Third-party Analytics
3VR VIP Data Integration
  • POS
  • Exception-based reporting (EBR)
Also, according to this video it evidently prevents babies from being stolen. In this 2007 interview it's stated that the company is a spinoff based on technology developed for the Department of Homeland Security.
posted by XMLicious at 6:33 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


NYPD, Microsoft Launch All-Seeing "Domain Awareness System"

Yeah, that's covered in detail on Cryptome. You thought people were joking when they called Microsoft, "The Borg?" Microsoft is assimilating every server and data source into one monumental Big Brother. You thought the Apple-Microsoft wars were over? They're just starting. Apple owns the user side. Microsoft owns the server side, as long as they'll sell it to the Surveillance State. MS can no longer make money selling products to users, the big money is in selling products to governments to track users. Hasn't anyone read "The Difference Engine?" I guess they did, but instead of seeing it as a cautionary tale, they saw it as an instruction manual.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:42 PM on August 10, 2012


I saw anti-camera measures used at trade shows that sensed the reflection of camera's sensors and aimed a laser at them to blind them. It shouldn't be too hard to up the light source to fry them for good.

Also if they are all networked the entire system can be hacked.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 6:59 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


A laser like this?

This is all completely hypothetical, of course.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:03 PM on August 10, 2012


Ultra-bright Infra-Red LEDs can also be used to blind cameras while not being apparent at all to human observers.
posted by odinsdream at 7:16 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Surely this....

Will show why Bush was bad and Obama is better for delivering on home and change by stopping such.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:16 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


No doubt Trapwire is becoming intensely curious about the activities of the Guy Fawkes character, who seems to be everywhere at once.

Meanwhile, Big Brother and SkyNet look on, waiting their turn.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:18 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the real point is not to just temporarily blind the camera, but to destroy the sensor. That IR LED thing sounds pretty cool, though. In theory it could be built into a hat.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:18 PM on August 10, 2012


Is there a source other than RT for this?

yes. Because the messenger is more important then the message.

http://privatepaste.com/f9dd332518/weqwewqesada
posted by rough ashlar at 7:18 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


That IR LED thing sounds pretty cool, though. In theory it could be built into a hat.

http://hacknmod.com/hack/blind-cameras-with-an-infrared-led-hat/



In case you become bored.
http://www.notbored.org/the-scp.html
posted by rough ashlar at 7:24 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ultra-bright Infra-Red LEDs can also be used to blind cameras while not being apparent at all to human observers.

Wear 'em. Then when security comes by tell 'em you are an angel and what they are seeing is your divinity. Best if you look like this - http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp01302002.shtml If your divinity comes from 5 D cells - who's to say you are wrong?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:30 PM on August 10, 2012


How many people here have abstained from saying the perfectly legal things that they think for fear of government retribution?

haha what

wait seriously
posted by Ictus at 7:53 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


yes. Because the messenger is more important then the message.

When the messenger is in the pocket of a despot and regularly makes shit up, yeah, it kind of matters actually.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:09 PM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah, that's covered in detail on Cryptome. You thought people were joking when they called Microsoft, "The Borg?" Microsoft is assimilating every server and data source into one monumental Big Brother. You thought the Apple-Microsoft wars were over? They're just starting. Apple owns the user side. Microsoft owns the server side, as long as they'll sell it to the Surveillance State. MS can no longer make money selling products to users, the big money is in selling products to governments to track users. Hasn't anyone read "The Difference Engine?" I guess they did, but instead of seeing it as a cautionary tale, they saw it as an instruction manual.
Lol, that's one of the crazier things I've read in a while. Not concern over the surveillance state, but rather trying to tie it into some crazy Mac vs. PC bitterness left over from the 90s and declaring Apple the defender of the user in some battle against the evil Microsoft. Lots of corporations are involved in this kind of thing, and Apple sold iPhones with Carrier IQ, and they lobbied against the library of congress adding a DMCA exception for unlocking cellphones. If Apple had it's way, jailbreaking would be illegal, as it is for game consoles.

I mean holy shit, you liked one PC platform more then another in the 90s and now that means the company that made them is some defender of freedom the one who made one you didn't is now working with big brother?
posted by delmoi at 9:18 PM on August 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ultra-bright Infra-Red LEDs can also be used to blind cameras while not being apparent at all to human observers.
It would be pretty easy to filter out IR if those hats ever became popular.
posted by delmoi at 9:19 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


How many people here have abstained from saying the perfectly legal things that they think for fear of government retribution?

Could you expand on that? I'm not sure exactly what you mean.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:20 PM on August 10, 2012


delmoi: "It would be pretty easy to filter out IR if those hats ever became popular."

Most surveillance cameras are specifically non-IR-filtered so they can use invisible illumination at night.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:11 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Boiled Frogs
posted by onesidys at 11:24 PM on August 10, 2012


Camel's Nose
posted by onesidys at 11:28 PM on August 10, 2012


Unaccountable private entities (read:corporations) wielding this sort of unchecked power make me infinitely more nervous than the idea that the government has a surveillance capability. I know that quite well, thanks. The difference is that there are at least laws in place meant to regulate the conduct and use of such capabilities within the government.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:19 AM on August 11, 2012


Any way you slice it, a country spying on its own citizens is analogous to treason. Even with the best intentions, it's disgusting to treat an individual's privacy as the background noise to finding some needle-in-the-haystack bogeyman. And then they try to justify it all based on terrorist attacks that could have been prevented if the government actually listened to intelligence or followed protocol (by scrambling fighter jets once the planes went too far off course and too long without contact).

Here's hoping the name Abraxas refers to the genus of moths.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 1:14 AM on August 11, 2012


a hammer and/or screwdriver works fine too...tear them ALL down!
posted by sexyrobot at 2:46 AM on August 11, 2012


See also the CCD-me-not umbrella.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:52 AM on August 11, 2012


The difference is that there are at least laws in place meant to regulate the conduct and use of such capabilities within the government.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze


Either sarcasm or galaxy-sized denial. Can't figure it out.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 3:55 AM on August 11, 2012




[Please don't make this personal. MetaTalk is your option. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 10:12 AM on August 11, 2012


Ick. This is like Western Goals Foundation turned into a private contractor.
posted by warbaby at 5:27 PM on August 11, 2012




charlie don't surf: "Hasn't anyone read "The Difference Engine?" "

Yeah, but I didn't much care for it, to be honest.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:38 AM on August 13, 2012


“The beauty of it is that we can protect an infinite number of facilities just as efficiently as we can one and we push information out to local law authorities automatically.”

This part, at least, is very clearly marketing bullshit. That MS/NYPD system confuses me, as well, they are apparently expecting to monetize it, somehow? It looks like the intention is to make money off selling systems to other municipalities, but one wonders where they will look for more monetizing opportunities next.

From "Analysis of Laser Light Threat to CCTV" [PDF]:
A Class2 laser of 1mW was never able to permanently disable a CCTV camera when at least 3m away from the lens
A green Class3A laser of 5mW was able to disable a CCD-based camera at 15 meters which resulted in a permanent white screen
A red Class3A laser of 5mW was not able to disable a CCD-based camera (see above) at 100m
Lasers in the Class3B power range (both red and green) are able to destroy the CCD/CMOS chip elements.
posted by nTeleKy at 10:52 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]






It looks like the intention is to make money off selling systems to other municipalities, but one wonders where they will look for more monetizing opportunities next.

Ogdenville? North Haverbrook?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:24 PM on August 14, 2012












In other surveillance news: Did Bush’s Broadband Deregulation Upend His Own NSA Wiretapping?
posted by homunculus at 4:32 PM on August 21, 2012




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