How to camouflage yourself from facial recognition technology. The day when you’ll be able to hold up your phone and identify a stranger through a viewfinder is getting closer.
Google’s Goggles, a mobile app for visual search, has a facial recognition version unreleased to the public, while Israeli startup Face.com’s technology can tag people’s faces in Facebook photos. Facebook even released a basic version of face detection last night, although it doesn’t have recognition. So in a world where technology chips away at our ability to remain anonymous, how does one reclaim some semblance of control? It turns out there’s actually a pretty simple way around the facial recognition technology available in the market today, according to Adam Harvey, a graduate student at NYU’s ITP (the same program that produced Foursquare chief executive Dennis Crowley and that Twitter’s location guru Raffi Krikorian taught at).
“It breaks apart the gestalt of the face,” he said. Harvey says there a couple of projects that could stem from idea. Insurgents Intercept Drone Video in King-Size Security Breach (Updated, with Video) In Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military depends on an array of drones to snoop on and stalk insurgents.
Now it looks as if insurgents are tapping into those same drones’ broadcasts, to see what the flying robot spies see. If true — and widespread — it’s potentially one of the most serious military security breaches in years. “U.S. military personnel in Iraq discovered the problem late last year when they apprehended a Shiite militant whose laptop contained files of intercepted drone video feeds,” Wall Street Journal reports. “In July, the U.S. military found pirated drone video feeds on other militant laptops, leading some officials to conclude that militant groups trained and funded by Iran were regularly intercepting feeds.” How’d the militants manage to get access to such secret data? Using cheap, downloadable programs like SkyGrabber, militants were apparently able to watch and record the video feed — and potentially be tipped off when U.S. and coalition forces are stalking them.
1973 NSA cryptography lectures. For those with an interest in cryptography, and secure communication generally, a series of recently declassified lectures from the American National Security Agency are well worth reading.
The moderately-to-heavily redacted documents from 1973 cover a number of engaging subjects. The first volume covers the importance and practicalities of secure communications, codes, one time pads, encryption systems for voice communication, various bits of specific American communication equipment, TEMPEST attacks (described as “the most serious technical security problem [the NSA] currently face[s] in the COMSEC world”), and more. The second volume includes lecture on operational security, issues around the number of sending and receiving stations, public (commercial) cryptography, the destruction of cryptographic equipment in emergency situations, and more.
Originally classified Secret and ‘No Foreign,’ the lectures are well written, engaging, and illuminating. Report a typo or inaccuracy. Hist_US_COMSEC_Boak_NSA_1973. Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones. Official site for programs SkyGrabber (accepting free to air satellite data by digital satellite TV tuner card (DVB-S/DVB-S2)), LanGrabber (save YouTube video), Tuner4PC (software for satellite internet) Technical explanation of Predator drone hack published Boing Boing.