Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Minority Report 2011

Remember from that Tom Cruise snoozer Minority Report the iris scanners they had everywhere?  Guess what:

Dozens of police departments nationwide are gearing up to use a tech company's already controversial iris- and facial-scanning device that slides over an iPhone and helps identify a person or track criminal suspects.

The so-called "biometric" technology, which seems to take a page from TV shows like "MI-5" or "CSI," could improve speed and accuracy in some routine police work in the field. However, its use has set off alarms with some who are concerned about possible civil liberties and privacy issues.

The smartphone-based scanner, named Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, or MORIS, is made by BI2 Technologies in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and can be deployed by officers out on the beat or back at the station.

An iris scan, which detects unique patterns in a person's eyes, can reduce to seconds the time it takes to identify a suspect in custody. This technique also is significantly more accurate than results from other fingerprinting technology long in use by police, BI2 says.

When attached to an iPhone, MORIS can photograph a person's face and run the image through software that hunts for a match in a BI2-managed database of U.S. criminal records. Each unit costs about $3,000.

The kicker is the price.  Three grand is -nothing- for cop equipment these days. Before long you are going to be getting face/iris scanned for every traffic stop and minor infraction, every time you fly, etc.   They already do this at the US border, have done for several years. 

Please note, Dept. of Homeland Security is rolling out airport-level security for train stations, bus stations, subways, sports events, and in Texas the local high school prom. Yeah, they already did that last one. Complete with the groping.

The joke is that this tech does nothing that isn't accomplished by plain old picture ID for identification purposes. But what it is great for is -finding- people.  If you get on somebody's sh-t list, the little red flag goes up and then you're busted.  Airport, side of the road, bus station, government office, random camera checkpoint, boom.

Which is fine if everybody on the government side is playing by the rules.  But (GunWalker/Fast and Furious, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Caledonia, name your scandal) we know by now that they don't.

On another note, this story is from Reuters.  I suspect (but can't prove) that the only reason Reuters published it is the scanner attaches to an Apple iPhone. Reuters and other American MSM outlets of late seem to have taken a stance of "viewing with alarm" anything to do with Apple and iPhone particularly.  All part of the same old Britney Spears-style "build them up then tear them down" media algorithm. Apple is entering the tear-them-down phase, so look for lots more negatory stories about them in the coming months.

 Anybody who thinks they're getting informed from TV/newspaper "information" is severely deluded. What they are really getting is kept in a box and fed BS like a mushroom.

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