Caught in a TrapWire

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Person of Interest

Person of Interest

WikiLeaks has revealed the existence of TrapWire, a technology that sucks in US civilian security camera feeds for centralised analysis.

The revelations may explain the recent denial of service attacks that have taken WikiLeaks’ servers offline.

Not only does TrapWire fly in the face of constitutional protections against warrantless surveillance, but it also raise questions about the security of the central repository where the feeds go to.

Foreign nations compromising the security of TrapWire would have unprecedented abilities to surveil Americans without their knowledge.

It’s also interesting to note that such a system is a key element of the fictional TV series Person of Interest, broadcast on the CBS network.

From Business Insider:

Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it’s the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community.

The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation’s ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented. The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.”

So: those spooky new “circular” dark globe cameras installed in your neighborhood park, town, or city—they aren’t just passively monitoring. They’re plugged into Trapwire and they are potentially monitoring every single person via facial recognition.

Original tip: io9

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