Surveillance

The big picture

How AI, surveillance and biometrics could converge in a tech arms race

Historian Yuval Harari warns about the threat of simultaneous developments in advanced tech.

Jan 25, 2020 - Technology
China's move on face-recognition standards

China will likely use technical standards to claim a UN seal of approval for its use of its products.

Dec 5, 2019 - World
Deep Dive: The end of anonymity

Data that might once have gone unnoticed can now be detected, analyzed and logged in real time.

Sep 7, 2019 - Technology
The steady erosion of privacy at home

IoT devices can pick up your voice, interests, habits, TV preferences, meals and all sorts of other sensitive data.

Jun 24, 2019 - Technology
AI is "awakening" surveillance cameras

New technology can constantly watch for "anomalies" in live feeds.

Jun 14, 2019 - Technology
How U.S. tech powers China's surveillance state

It's another complication of doing business in China.

Updated Jul 27, 2018 - World

All Surveillance stories

FCC to propose fining wireless carriers for location sharing

FCC commissioners, with chairman Ajit Pai at left, testify before a House committee in Dec. 2019. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The FCC plans to propose fines against wireless carriers totaling roughly $200 million for improperly sharing customers' location information with outside parties, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: Lawmakers and others have been calling for agency action for over a year after revelations that location data from AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint made its way to a resale market used by bounty hunters.

NYPD aims to ease process of removing DNA from city's database

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The New York Police Department plans to limit DNA collection from juveniles and ease restrictions on removing samples from the city's digital database, New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told the Wall Street Journal this week.

The big picture: U.S. law enforcement has access to DNA in databases outside of the criminal justice system. Through genealogy websites with millions of users like FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch — the latter of which automatically opts users out of law enforcement collection — police can use DNA to identify suspects, the New York Times reports.

Cybersecurity is a government game

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Forget lone hackers and gangs of digital outlaws: Governments, acting for good and ill, have become the prime movers in the cybersecurity world.

What's happening: Three big stories this week drove home government's central role in a myriad of major breaches, hacks and scams.

Podcast: The intelligence coup of the century

A bombshell Washington Post report revealed that a communications tech company used by dozens of countries was secretly owned by the CIA, thus allowing the U.S. to spy on conversations with both allies and enemies. Dan digs in with Washington Post reporter Greg Miller.

Go deeper: Huawei equipment has secret "back doors," U.S. officials claim

Keep ReadingArrowFeb 12, 2020 - World

Tech giants hammer facial recognition startup

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Venmo and LinkedIn have sent Clearview AI cease-and-desist letters in the wake of a blockbuster report that the facial recognition startup has scraped billions of people's faces from their websites, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Clearview's app is used to identify suspected criminals by over 600 law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, per the Times.

FAA proposes new drone-tracking regulations

Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images.

The Federal Aviation Administration wants to require the vast majority of drones to broadcast identifying and location information so authorities can spot rogue drones and generally keep tabs on the rest.

Why it matters: Drone makers have been waiting on the FAA to propose the Remote ID regulation to ease security concerns about potentially hostile drone operators that could, for example, wreak havoc at an airport — similar to the incident that shut down the U.K.'s Gatwick Airport last year.

Go deeperArrowDec 31, 2019

Baltimore revives controversial "spy plane" surveillance pilot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios.

Baltimore will become the first city in the U.S. to pilot aerial surveillance, funded by philanthropists, to understand its impact on crime, per the Baltimore Sun.

Driving the news: Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, who's been skeptical of the effectiveness of surveillance planes, has reversed course and said he supports a pilot program to let three private planes monitor the city from above.

Go deeperArrowDec 24, 2019

Comey defends FBI but admits FISA failures: "I was wrong"

In a wide-ranging interview on "Fox News Sunday," former FBI director James Comey argued that the bureau was "vindicated" by the Justice Department inspector general's findings on the origins of the Russia investigation, but admitted that he was "wrong" about serious failures the watchdog found in the FBI's surveillance process.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 15, 2019

The other report blowing up D.C.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill today painted a vivid illustration of how political actors frequently cherry-pick facts for their own partisan gain.

Why it matters: The dueling narratives aren't mutually exclusive, but it takes some nuance to sort through the partisan hyperbole.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019
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