People have the right to protect the use of our name and likeness, but what do we do about technology that can sense the shape of our face? The Hill reports that the Obama administration and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) will hold the first of a series of monthly meetings in February to discuss “a voluntary, enforceable code of conduct that specifies how the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights applies to facial recognition technology,” according to the NTIA. The proposed policy comes as more companies are building facial recognition technology into their features.
From designing a website to saving taxpayer money to fixing potholes, technology is enabling citizens to engage with their government in new and meaningful ways. Here’s how.
A contract uncovered by the New York Times shows that the C.I.A. is paying AT&T more than $10 million per year to access the company’s phone records for aid in counterterrorism efforts. The CIA, which is forbidden by law from from spying on Americans, is accessing phone records of foreigners under a voluntary contract with AT&T. Some of the records represent calls into or out of the U.S., raising the possibility that the agency is indeed engaged in domestic spying; AT&T claims, however, it “masks” the records of Americans.
The Bay Area has big city problems and a surplus of startups. The mayor’s office wants to put them together to solve its greatest problems.
Although their mail clients have shut down, Lavabit and Silent Circle have joined forces to change the protocols of secure mail.
Government isn’t exactly known for good design. Design firm Huge used design to improve the city government’s website and, by extension, city services.
As it turns out, one of the biggest “scares” of NSA’s power over our electronic data — targeting people through cell phone locations — was already launched and scrapped. The New York Times reported that a pilot project to track cell phone locations was enacted in 2010 and 2011 to test the group’s ability to handle data, but officials say no information gathered was used for intelligence purposes. The government is no longer tracking locations under the Patriot Act, but the mere existence of this project shows yet again just how much the NSA was hiding from the public.
In the wake of the Washington Post’s revealing look into routine violations in the NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is pulling no punches on the branches of the U.S. government. In its statement, the EFF calls for a “truly independent investigatory body” to look into the NSA’s dealings. Transparency has been limited, so an NSA-driven group like the 9/11 commission could give citizens a more thorough report of what was going on behind closed government doors.
News of the NSA’s funding of British spies and accusations of the U.S. spying on a journalist on behalf of the New Zealand military underline the complexity and reach of our governments’ intelligence agreements.
The AP has done an extensive report on the logistics of wiretapping, and how much it costs to track your data varies greatly on where the government is looking.