Tags: nsa | targeted | facial | recognition

NSA Targeted Facial Recognition, Too, Snowden Documents Show

By    |   Monday, 02 Jun 2014 08:19 AM

The National Security Agency is harvesting millions of images per day for its facial recognition program, according to new documents obtained by The New York Times.

Previously, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's famous 2011 leak of classified government documents had only confirmed the collection of written and audio data, however newly obtained sections of the documents reveal that emails, text messages, social media, videoconferences, and other communications have been targeted for image harvesting as well.

It's unclear how many Americans have been targeted so far, however out of the millions of images it collects each day, roughly 55,000 are considered "facial recognition quality images." In the documents dated from 2010 and 2011, the NSA said that those images, combined with other identifying signifiers like fingerprints, represent "tremendous untapped potential in tracking intelligence targets such as suspected terrorists.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

TechCrunch noted that the NSA has developed its own algorithm-driven facial recognition software, and also uses commercially available software like PittPatt, a company owned by Google.

"It’s not just the traditional communications we’re after: It’s taking a full-arsenal approach that digitally exploits the clues a target leaves behind in their regular activities on the net to compile biographic and biometric information," says one PowerPoint presentation contained in the documents.

Other government bureaus such as the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and State Department have also been revealed in the past to be collecting images, however the Times points out that the NSA is "unique in its ability to match images with huge troves of private communications."

Vanee M. Vines, the agency spokeswoman, told reporters that "We would not be doing our job if we didn’t seek ways to continuously improve the precision of signals intelligence activities — aiming to counteract the efforts of valid foreign intelligence targets to disguise themselves or conceal plans to harm the United States and its allies."

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota), a privacy advocate, said that at this time, "our privacy laws provide no express protections for facial recognition data."

Urgent: Assess Your Heart Attack Risk in Minutes. Click Here.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
The National Security Agency is harvesting millions of images per day for its facial recognition program, according to new documents obtained by The New York Times.
nsa, targeted, facial, recognition
358
2014-19-02
Monday, 02 Jun 2014 08:19 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved