True World Intelligence News (TWIN)

Voice of Truth: Proclaimer of truth and defender of the faithful

U.S. Gov’t Steals Facial Photos Out of Millions of Emails, WebCams, and Social Media Messages

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The National Security Agency is collecting millions of images of people through its international surveillance network to be implemented in a number of other facial recognition programs, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

Thanks to rapid advances being made in the field of facial recognition technology, the NSA is much better equipped to “exploit the flood of images included in emails, text messages, social media, video conferences and other communications,” according to an article in the New York Times, co-written by Laura Poitras, who, together with Glen Greenwald, are the only two journalists to have received the leaked NSA documents.

The NSA has the capacity to intercept “millions of images per day,” as well as some 55,000 “facial recognition quality images.” This latest milestone in US intelligence gathering, which goes a long way to putting the final touches on the much-feared Orwellian nightmare, gives the US spy agency “tremendous untapped potential,” according to the 2011 documents.  

Since most people have a number of photographs taken of themselves for identification purposes, the question arises as to how much reach the NSA has in acquiring peoples’ facial images.

According to Vines, the NSA does not access driver’s licenses or passport photos of Americans, but refused to say whether the agency had access to the State Department’s photo archive of foreign visa applicants. She also declined to say whether the spy agency collected photographs of Americans from social media sources, like Facebook and Instagram, which would not be a difficult task considering that millions of people willingly post ‘selfies’ to the web.

Moreover, the report claimed that one of the agency’s most intense efforts to acquire facial images is through a program dubbed Wellspring, which “strips out images from emails and other communications, and displays those that might contain passport images.”

The NSA facial recognition program made tremendous headway in 2010 when it successfully matched images from two separate databases, one in the NSA database code-named Pinwale, and another in the government’s primary terrorist watch database, known as Tide, the NSA files revealed.

That technical breakthrough led to an “explosion of analytical uses” for the agency.

The NSA has since brought on board “identity intelligence” analysts whose job it is to match the facial images with other records about individuals to build broad portfolios of intelligence targets.  

http://rt.com/usa/162868-nsa-snowden-social-facial/

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Written by voiceoftruthusa

June 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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