Sidney Fussell's posts - English uPOST

Colombia Is Testing Drones to Drop Herbicide on Crops Used for Cocaine Colombia Is Testing Drones to Drop Herbicide on Crops Used for Cocaine

Under newly elected President Iván Duque, Colombia is testing remote-controlled drones designed to track and destroy coca, the crop used in cocaine production. The government has reportedly tested ten drones so far.

Major UK Airport Turns to Whiteboards and Markers After Flight Info Screens Crash

Passengers waiting to fly out of London’s Gatwick airport Monday morning were left squinting and craning their necks to read whiteboards crammed with critical flight information. Via its Twitter account, an airport spokesperson apologized to travelers, explaining that “damage to a Vodafone fibre optic cable” took…

California Officials Admit to Using License Plate Readers to Monitor Welfare Recipients California Officials Admit to Using License Plate Readers to Monitor Welfare Recipients

Since 2016, Sacramento County officials have been accessing license plate reader data to track welfare recipients suspected of fraud, the Sacramento Bee reported over the weekend.

Hackers Can Turn Body Cameras Into Malware Spewing Machines, Security Expert Says Hackers Can Turn Body Cameras Into Malware Spewing Machines, Security Expert Says

Once lauded as tools to enhance police accountability, body cameras have been facing increasing scrutiny from privacy advocates, and now one researcher has identified them as cybersecurity time bombs. Speaking to Wired ahead of a Def Con presentation, Josh Mitchell, a consultant at the security firm Nuix,…

The TSA's Shady 'Quiet Skies' Program Has Tracked Thousands of Passengers, Yet Produced No Leads The TSA's Shady 'Quiet Skies' Program Has Tracked Thousands of Passengers, Yet Produced No Leads

The TSA admitted to surveilling about 5,000 citizens this year as part of its secretive “Quiet Skies” program, which places travelers on TSA watch lists even if they aren’t suspected of a crime, the Boston Globe reports. In a meeting with members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee last week…

Axon CEO Says Face Recognition Isn't Accurate Enough for Body Cams Yet Axon CEO Says Face Recognition Isn't Accurate Enough for Body Cams Yet

Face recognition is coming to schools, stadiums, and airports, but surprisingly not to body cameras—yet. On an earnings call Tuesday, Rick Smith, CEO of Axon, one of the largest body camera manufacturers in the U.S., said the reason was simple: In addition to privacy and policy concerns, face recognition isn’t…

The Algorithm That Could Save Vulnerable New Yorkers From Being Forced Out of Their Homes The Algorithm That Could Save Vulnerable New Yorkers From Being Forced Out of Their Homes

Early one morning in April 2013, a stranger knocked on Virginia Hanlon’s door, identifying himself as a building contractor. That was the first lie. 

New Bill Would Force TSA to Adopt 'Gender-Neutral' Screenings  New Bill Would Force TSA to Adopt 'Gender-Neutral' Screenings 

U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice, a New York Democrat, has introduced a new bill that compels the Transportation Security Administration to adopt gender-neutral technologies and screening techniques.

Bangladesh Blocks Mobile Internet Amid Police Crackdown on Student Protests Bangladesh Blocks Mobile Internet Amid Police Crackdown on Student Protests

The Bangladeshi government has reportedly suspended 3G and 4G mobile internet services since last Saturday after more than a week of violent clashes between police and student protesters over road safety.

Get Ready for Indoor Surveillance Drones Get Ready for Indoor Surveillance Drones

Surveillance drones are headed indoors.

Amazon Accidentally Makes Rock-Solid Case for Not Giving Its Face Recognition Tech to Police Amazon Accidentally Makes Rock-Solid Case for Not Giving Its Face Recognition Tech to Police

Days after the ACLU released a damning report on Amazon’s face recognition product Rekognition, Amazon’s general manager of AI, Dr. Matt Wood, countered its findings in a blog post. The ACLU used Rekognition to scan the faces of all 535 members of Congress, finding the software mistook 28 of them for suspected…

Canadian Malls Secretly Tracked Shoppers' Age, Gender Using Facial Recognition Technology Canadian Malls Secretly Tracked Shoppers' Age, Gender Using Facial Recognition Technology

Shoppers at the Chinook Centre, a mall in Calgary, Canada, have been unwittingly scanned by face recognition software.

Inmates 'Hack' Prison-Issued Tablets, Swiping $225,000 in In-App Bucks for Music and Games Inmates 'Hack' Prison-Issued Tablets, Swiping $225,000 in In-App Bucks for Music and Games

Hundreds of inmates in Idaho prison facilities reportedly exploited a “hack” that allowed them to illegitimately add nearly a quarter-million-dollars worth of credits from prison-issued tablets into their accounts.

Amazon's Face Recognition Misidentifies 28 Members of Congress as Suspected Criminals Amazon's Face Recognition Misidentifies 28 Members of Congress as Suspected Criminals

Amazon’s controversial face recognition software, called Rekognition, misidentified more than two dozen members of Congress as people arrested for crimes. The false identifications were made when the ACLU of Northern California tasked Rekognition with matching photos of all 535 members of Congress against 25,000…

Can We Make Non-Racist Face Recognition? Can We Make Non-Racist Face Recognition?

As companies race to employ facial recognition everywhere from major league ballparks to your local school and summer camp, we face tough questions about the technology’s potential to intensify racial bias; Commercial face recognition software has repeatedly been shown to be less accurate on people with darker skin,…

Facebook Swears to End Housing Discrimination on Its Ad Platform for Real This Time Facebook Swears to End Housing Discrimination on Its Ad Platform for Real This Time

Facebook has signed an agreement with Washington state to retool its advertising platform after a Pro Publica investigation found it could be used to abet housing discrimination. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a year-long investigation into Facebook’s targeted advertising feature, which lets advertisers…

Dozens Sentenced for Call Center Scam Where Victims Bought iTunes Gift Cards Under Threat of Arrest Dozens Sentenced for Call Center Scam Where Victims Bought iTunes Gift Cards Under Threat of Arrest

Dozens of defendants were sentenced to prison on a wealth of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy charges relating to a complex call center scheme operating from India, the Department of Justice announced on Monday. A ring of scammers operating both in India and the U.S. coerced victims, the DoJ says, into…

WhatsApp Tries to Crack Down on Viral Hoaxes After 20 Lynchings in India WhatsApp Tries to Crack Down on Viral Hoaxes After 20 Lynchings in India

Facebook is restricting WhatsApp users’ ability to forward messages: Each message can now only be sent to a maximum of 20 chats, down from 250, per user. In India, the cap is even lower: only 5 chats. The cap on forwarding comes after at least 20 mob killings, linked to viral child abduction hoaxes spread on the…

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