Tag Archives: security

31 May 2009
Smile when you say that

According to an article at USA Today, four states have adopted a “no-smiles” policy for driver license photographs (although it later mentions that three of them “allow slight smiles”). Thirty-one states already do computerized photo matching and three others are considering it. The photo matching software is used to detect possible DL fraud or identity […]

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08 Mar 2009
EyeBorg

Rob Spence is going to make the eye-camera a reality (if some obscure TLA agency hasn’t already). The implications for privacy and security have long been a part of science fiction, but this project should garner it wider attention in the general public’s eye (sorry). Take a one eyed film maker, an unemployed engineer, and […]

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04 Feb 2009
Just say “Cheese!”

Here’s an interesting mix of articles about public imaging. It’s not enough that you have to watch out for your camera-phone-armed friends and enemies who may catch you in a moment of indiscretion (check with Mr. Phelps), the rabid paparazzi who are continually hounding your trail, or the proliferating surveillance cameras — now you need […]

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11 Dec 2008
Remotely Controlled Thermostats

Speaking of cold weather, here’s an interesting idea: let the government control your home’s thermostat. Next year in California, state regulators are likely to have the emergency power to control individual thermostats, sending temperatures up or down through a radio-controlled device that will be required in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage […]

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30 Sep 2008
X-Ray Messages for the TSA

While I don’t think it’s a good idea to send messages to the TSA via metal plates in your luggage [MAKE Magazine], that’s not really what this post is about. Rather, it’s the reactions to the screening process itself, exemplified by the comments on the Make post. As perception of similarity is split in an […]

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03 Aug 2008
Information Seizure

Ultimately, if you are allowed to travel at all, it will be in a pod, naked and sedated. Regulations already prohibit starting out with a variety of innocuous materials (shampoo), over-zealous policy enforcement prohibits “inappropriate” dress (Transformer t-shirts) , and economic pressure is exerted to limit the amount of luggage you carry. If you carry […]

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04 Jun 2008
It’s Your Fault

This article at NewScientist, Malicious software threatens internet economy, by Colin Barras & Tom Simonite, summarizes an OECD report: Malware: A security threat to the Internet economy (PDF). I’ve selected a few items from the summary: most malware infections (93%) occur on home users’ computers around one in four personal computers in the US – […]

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26 May 2008
Pot Luck

According to this BBC News article, “An unwitting passenger arriving at Japan’s Narita airport has received 142g of cannabis after a customs test went awry, officials say.”. Against regulations, an agent hid the training sample in a real passenger’s bag rather than a training bag. Apparently he has been doing this regularly. Imagine the scenario […]

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18 May 2008
Who’s got your number?

Shops secretly track customers via mobile phone (Jonathan Richards, Times Online). Using receivers deployed throughout a building. the system tracks handsets via triangulation. It’s accurate to within a few feet, enough to tell which individual stores are visited, and for how long. The system tracks phones by the unique IMEI code, so technically[1] no personal […]

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12 May 2008
Safety Deprivation

It seems that we shouldn’t even be allowed to check on our own safety. Here are a couple examples, below. Ostensibly they’re to protect us from ourselves by avoiding panic or loss of business (which is even worse, of course). But that’s not true — it’s about control. It’s about denying anyone outside of authority […]

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