When hackers exploited a bug in Parler to download all of the right-wing social media platform's contents last week, they were surprised to find that many of the pictures and videos contained geolocation metadata revealing exactly how many of the site's users had taken part in the invasion of the US Capitol building just days before. But the videos uploaded to Parler also contain an equally sensitive bounty of data sitting in plain sight: thousands of images of unmasked faces, many of whom participated in the Capitol riot. Now one website has done the work of cataloging and publishing every one of those faces in a single, easy-to-browse lineup. Late last week, a website called Faces of the Riot appeared online, showing nothing but a vast grid of more than 6,000 images of faces, each one tagged only with a string of characters associated with the Parler video in which it appeared. The site's creator tells WIRED that he used simple open source machine learning and facial recognition software to detect, extract, and deduplicate every face from the 827 videos that were posted to Parler from inside and outside the Capitol building on January 6, the day when radicalized Trump supporters stormed the building in a riot that resulted in five people's deaths.
Local businesses close as more National Guard troops deploy in the nation's capital. Selfie-snapping Capitol rioters left investigators a treasure trove of evidence -- at least 140,000 pictures and videos taken during the deadly Jan. 6 siege, according to federal prosecutors. The mass of digital evidence from media reports, live-streams and social media posts has been crucial to the FBI, which by Friday had identified more than 275 suspects, with close to 100 charged, officials said. Investigators have been working with social media and phone companies to help ID suspects -- as well as using advanced facial recognition technology, according to Bloomberg News. FILE: Rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington.
The US Army just took a giant step toward developing killer robots that can see and identify faces in the dark. DEVCOM, the US Army's corporate research department, last week published a pre-print paper documenting the development of an image database for training AI to perform facial recognition using thermal images. Why this matters: Robots can use night vision optics to effectively see in the dark, but to date there's been no method by which they can be trained to identify surveillance targets using only thermal imagery. This database, made up of hundreds of thousands of images consisting of regular light pictures of people and their corresponding thermal images, aims to change that. How it works: Much like any other facial recognition system, an AI would be trained to categorize images using a specific number of parameters.
Laura Ingraham warns the left wants to treat its opponents'like the Chinese treat their dissidents' Democrats and their mainstream media allies are hell-bent on suppressing dissenting voices as the Biden administration takes office, Laura Ingraham warned viewers Tuesday. "The Ingraham Angle" host called out Washington Post associate editor Eugene Robinson, who said during an appearance on MSNBC earlier Tuesday that "there are millions of Americans, almost all White, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed. "It is as though they are members of a cult, the Trumpist cult," added Robinson. "In their continued effort to use the Capitol incursion for political gain, Democrats feel emboldened to smear tens of millions of Trump supporters," Ingraham replied. "They feel no need to debate issues or policies, not when they can treat their political opponents the way the Chinese treat its dissidents." HANNITY DISMISSES'INSANE' SUGGESTION HAWLEY, CRUZ COULD BE ADDED TO NO-FLY LIST OVER CAPITOL RIOT "Apparently, they are now in favor of separating families," added Ingraham, referring to a since-fired PBS lawyer caught in a Project Veritas sting saying Trump is "close to Hitler" and that the Department of Homeland Security should set up "reeducation camps". "I thought they were against that." However, the host noted, these same figures were silent as Black Lives Matter and other leftist groups tore through urban areas last summer, looting big-box retailers, setting fires and at times blowing up automated teller machines. "We heard no talk of manhunts or big pushes for facial recognition technology or adding supportive politicians to no-fly lists," she said. "Where were the cries for swift justice back then?
The Los Angeles Police Commission approved a policy Tuesday that set new parameters on the LAPD's use of facial recognition technology, but stopped far short of the outright ban sought by many city activists. The move followed promises by the commission to review the Los Angeles Police Department's use of photo-comparison software in September, after The Times reported that officers had used the technology -- contrary to department claims -- more than 30,000 times since 2009. The new policy restricts LAPD detectives and other trained officers to using a single software platform operated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which only uses mugshots and is far less expansive than some third-party search platforms. It also mandates new measures for tracking the Police Department's use of the county system and its outcomes in the crime fight. Commissioners and top police executives praised the policy as a step in the right direction, saying it struck the right balance between protecting people's civil liberties and giving cops the tools they need to solve and reduce crime -- which is on the rise.
In a recent New Yorker article about the Capitol siege, Ronan Farrow described how investigators used a bevy of online data and facial recognition technology to confirm the identity of Larry Rendall Brock Jr., an Air Force Academy graduate and combat veteran from Texas. Brock was photographed inside the Capitol carrying zip ties, presumably to be used to restrain someone. Brock was arrested Sunday and charged with two counts.) Even as they stormed the Capitol, many rioters stopped to pose for photos and give excited interviews on livestream. Each photo uploaded, message posted, and stream shared created a torrent of data for police, researchers, activists, and journalists to archive and analyze.
Late last year, San Francisco face-recognition startup Everalbum won a $2 million contract with the Air Force to provide "AI-driven access control." Monday, another arm of the US government dealt the company a setback. The Federal Trade Commission said Everalbum had agreed to settle charges that it had applied face-recognition technology to images uploaded to a photo app without users' permission and retained them after telling users they would be deleted. The startup used millions of the photos to develop technology offered to government agencies and other customers under the brand Paravision. Paravision, as the company is now known, agreed to delete the data collected inappropriately.
The FBI is seeking information on a half-dozen men suspected of assaulting federal officers Jan. 6 -- a pack that may include the alleged killer of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. A poster of the top suspects was sent out late Sunday night in a social media bulletin. The murder of a federal officer carries the death penalty. "Yes," Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI's former assistant director for counterintelligence, said when asked by the Herald Monday if one of those men shown could have killed Officer Sicknick. "The FBI is using facial recognition, surveillance cameras, geo-location of cell phones and more to find this guy or gal," Figliuzzi said.
They took our Capitol, stormed the halls, pilfered our documents, and shattered the norms of our democracy. The lasting damage from Wednesday's attack will not come from the mob itself, but from how we respond. Right now, a growing chorus is demanding we use facial recognition, cellphone tower data, and every manner of invasive surveillance to punish the mob. In the days since the attack, the airwaves have been full of former law enforcement officials claiming that surveillance is the answer, such retired FBI special agents Danny Coulson and Doug Kouns. Even many who are normally critical of policing have jumped on the surveillance bandwagon in the desire to find justice.
Gov. Charlie Baker was flanked by public safety officials, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and key lawmakers on Thursday afternoon for the ceremonial signing of landmark police reform bill passed by the Legislature last month. The legislation created the state's first-ever licensing system for police officers, to be overseen by a civilian-led commission. The new law is the culmination of efforts to increase transparency and accountability in law enforcement spurred the high-profile police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others. The new law also institutes use-of-force standards in policing and places strict limits on so-called "no-knock warrants," requires a warrant for using facial recognition technology under most circumstances and begins to claw back qualified immunity protections for officers. BOSTON, JAN. 7, 2021 -- Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano chatted before a bill-signing ceremony for the policing reform law got underway at the State House.