technology
Head of Russian Orthodox Church Warns Big Data Will Usher in the Antichrist and, Well, Hmm

The devil is in the downloads, says Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. In a recent interview with the state-run Russia-1 TV network, Kirill warned that smart devices like cell phones and social networks could enable the rise of Satan’s chosen and the rule of darkness until the end times. Read More >>

security
Protesters Picket London Police’s Facial Recognition Van

This very out of place, unmarked, bright green, coned-off van bang in the middle of London's tourist and shopping district is rightly arousing suspicions, not because people think it might be packed with terrorists psyching themselves up enough to leap out and make everyone spill their festive lattes in shock, but because we know it's the Met Police testing mass surveillance/facial recognition technology on the ruddy-cheeked festive passers-by. Read More >>

security
UK Intelligence Agencies Are Planning a Major Increase in ‘Large-Scale Data Hacking’

Intelligence agencies are preparing to “significantly increase their use of large-scale data hacking,” the Guardian reported on Saturday, in a move that is already alarming privacy advocates. Read More >>

google
More Than 600 Google Employees Are Demanding an End to Project Dragonfly

Google’s Project Dragonfly, the controversial project for a censored search product for China, has sparked two separate letters from the company’s employees arguing either for or against the project. As of today, however, a letter in opposition of the project has amassed more than 600 signatures, eclipsing the reported figure of a separate letter defending Dragonfly. Read More >>

surveillance
Legal Threat Looms Over Israeli Cyber Firm Accused of Helping Saudi Spies

Amnesty International said today that it had submitted a formal request to Israeli authorities two weeks ago asking that the export license of a Herzliya-based hacking firm be revoked over reported efforts to sell Saudi Arabia sophisticated surveillance software. Read More >>

ai
Facial Recognition Flags Woman on Bus Ad for ‘Jaywalking’ in China

China’s surveillance system is becoming increasingly omnipresent, with an estimated 200 million cameras and counting. While this state of existence alone is unsettling, it’s even more troubling that the machines are screwing up even the simplest task. Read More >>

china
China’s Social Ranking System Is Getting Closer to Becoming a Terrifying Reality

China’s “social credit” system – the one straight out of a dystopian Black Mirror episode – is getting closer to becoming a reality. Read More >>

privacy
This Sensor Is a Party Narc

Amid a wave of nightmarish Airbnb incidents, in which hosts have been caught spying on guests without their consent, a company called NoiseAware is getting some attention for its upcoming, internet-connected party-alarm sensors. They don’t record audio or video, but they can surveil guests and fire out an alert if it sounds like someone is throwing a rager. Read More >>

surveillance
Top European Court Rules UK Mass Surveillance Regime Violates Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled this week that the British government’s surveillance regime violated human rights laws. Read More >>

wtf
US Home CCTV Video Shows Woman in Broken Arm Restraints Ringing Doorbell in Dead of Night 

Montgomery County, Texas police are investigating an eerie incident captured on a home surveillance system in which an unknown, partially dressed woman in what appeared to be severed hand restraints rang local residential doorbells late at night. Read More >>

travel
America’s Shady ‘Quiet Skies’ Programme Has Tracked Thousands of Airline Passengers, Yet Produced No Leads

America's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) admitted to surveilling about 5,000 US citizens this year as part of its secretive “Quiet Skies” program, which places travellers on TSA watch lists even if they aren’t suspected of a crime, the Boston Globe reports. In a meeting with members of the US Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee last week, the TSA reportedly declined to specify what exactly gets a person on the list for enhanced monitoring, but made one major admission: after monitoring thousands of people placed on the list, zero leads have been produced. Read More >>

facial recognition
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 US, said the reason was simple: In addition to privacy and policy concerns, face recognition isn’t accurate enough. Read More >>

drones
Get Ready for Indoor Surveillance Drones

Surveillance drones are headed indoors. Read More >>

drones
Who Will Police Police Drones?

The US Police Foundation doesn’t want the police to call drones “drones.” Because of the public’s association with “military-style weapons like the Predator,” the organisation’s 311-page report reads, the term “drone” is “a major obstacle to law enforcement’s ability to convince the public” that police drone programs “could actually increase public safety, not jeopardise it.” Read More >>