‘This Stuff Freaks Me Out’: Rep. Rashida Tlaib Raises Alarm Over Use of Facial Recognition as Groups Demand Federal Moratorium 

‘This Stuff Freaks Me Out’: Rep. Rashida Tlaib Raises Alarm Over Use of Facial Recognition as Groups Demand Federal Moratorium

“You should be freaked out too. The inaccuracy and threat to our privacy is real.”

By Jake Johnson

Before detailing her specific concerns about facial recognition technology during a House Oversight Committee hearing on the subject Tuesday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib expressed a sentiment broadly shared by privacy advocates and the general public.

“This stuff freaks me out,” said Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan. “I’m a little freaked out by facial recognition.”

Tlaib’s remarks came during the Oversight Committee’s second hearing this year on facial recognition technology as lawmakers grapple with how the software should be regulated—or if it should be used at all.

“You should be freaked out too,” Tlaib tweeted. “The inaccuracy and threat to our privacy is real. The second Oversight hearing on facial recognition technology reveals just how bad this is for all of us.”

As Common Dreams has reported in April, law enforcement agencies are increasingly using facial recognition technology at border crossings and major airports throughout the United States, raising serious concerns among civil liberties groups.

In a letter to the House Oversight Committee ahead of Tuesday’s hearing, a coalition of over 60 groups led by the ACLU called for a “federal moratorium on face recognition for law enforcement and immigration enforcement purposes.”

“Face recognition gives government agencies the unprecedented power to track who we are, where we go, and who we know,” the letter reads. “This capability threatens to create a world where people are watched and identified as they attend a protest, congregate outside a place of worship, visit a medical provider, or simply go about their daily lives.”

Concerns over the threat facial recognition poses to privacy rights were echoed by lawmakers during Tuesday’s hearing.

“In the Fourth Amendment, our Founding Fathers endowed with us ‘the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures,'” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said before questioning officials from the TSA and FBI over the use of facial recognition technology at airports, protests, and elsewhere.

When Ocasio-Cortez asked TSA official Austin Gould whether individuals must provide “explicit consent” before their faces are scanned at airports, Gould said, “Passengers have the opportunity to not participate.”

As digital rights group Fight for the Future pointed out, this “means JetBlue, Delta, and others can record your face without your explicit consent.”

Watch Ocasio-Cortez’s full five minutes of questioning:

licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

 

 

Source: ‘This Stuff Freaks Me Out’: Rep. Rashida Tlaib Raises Alarm Over Use of Facial Recognition as Groups Demand Federal Moratorium | Common Dreams News

The Final Straw Radio Debuts on Activate Radio 8PM Thursday Night

The Final Straw Radio Debuts on Activate Radio 8PM Thursday Night

This week we are adding The Last Straw Radio to the radio stations schedule. Tune in at activatemedia.org

It’s not a new show, in fact, they just celebrated 9 years of production. The Last Straw Radio brings unique perspectives from marginalized groups that seldom are heard from. They bring the first-hand stories of people on the front lines fighting for their rights and freedoms. They are looking for another co-host and if you like their show, we suggest you support them with their Patreon account on their site.

Here is some information from their website where they also have archived episodes available. 

The Final Straw is a weekly anarchist and anti-authoritarian radio show bringing you voices and ideas from struggle around the world. Since 2010, we’ve been broadcasting from occupied Cherokee land in Southern Appalachia (Asheville, NC). We also frequently feature commentary (serious and humorous) by anarchist prisoner, Sean Swain.

The Final Straw has been operating since mid-2010 out of AshevilleFM.org, a free-form internet radio station in Asheville, North Carolina now broadcasting at WSFM-LP, 103.3 FM!

Why TFSR?

At a time when the conservative, religious right has been dominating the free-to-consumer media, such as talk radio and Fox, and expanding their networks of influence and distribution, we hope to present counter-information and present free media from an anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian, feminist, anti-racist, eco-defense and generally anti-oppressive perspective. We hope that this media, our radio show, can contribute to the sharing voices engaged in the thinking and struggles on the ground to build solidarity and spread the anarchistic position.

 

New Search Warrants in Flint Water Crisis Probe Raise Serious and Urgent Questions

New Search Warrants in Flint Water Crisis Probe Raise Serious and Urgent Questions

“The people of Flint deserve answers. Hopefully this investigation will yield them.”

by Jessica Corbett

 

Activists reiterated demands for “accountability and justice” for the people of Flint, Michigan following reports Monday that the authorities investigating the city’s water crisis executed search warrants for the state-owned cell phones of former Gov. Rick Snyder and 65 other current and former officials.

“The people of Flint deserve answers,” Mary Grant, public water for all director at Food & Water Watch, said in a statement. “Hopefully this investigation will yield them. And there needs to be accountability for those involved in creating this crisis, including former Governor Snyder.”

The Associated Press reported Monday on search warrants (pdf) the outlet obtained through public records requests.

The search warrants, signed by a Flint judge, were sought two weeks ago by Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who is assisting with the criminal investigation of Flint’s water being contaminated with lead five years ago and a regional outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

One warrant, signed May 19, lists all content from Snyder’s cellphone, iPad, and computer hard drive. Similar information was sought from the devices of 33 employees who worked in his office, 11 in the Department of Environmental Quality, and 22 in the Department of Health and Human Services.

The evidence was apparently initially obtained by former special prosecutor Todd Flood with investigative subpoenas. Because it has been kept in a division of the attorney general’s office, Hammoud took the unusual step of securing a warrant to search another part of the office. She has been managing the probe since January.

The search warrants came after Hammoud revealed in an April 26 court filing that millions of records related to the Flint water crisis allegedly were not turned over in response to subpoenas. The “trove” of documents, stored in boxes and on computer hard drives—and which supposedly included a list of state employees titled “Phones/Wiped”—were later discovered in the basement of a state-owned building.

Hammoud, who confirmed Monday that authorities executed the search warrants reported by the APsaid in a statement to MLive-The Flint Journal, “The Department of Attorney General through the Flint water criminal prosecution team is investigating the Flint water crisis as a whole.”

“As stated in recent motions, the prosecution is aware of substantial potential evidence that was not provided to the original prosecution team from the onset of the investigation. The team is currently in the process of obtaining this evidence through a variety of means, including search warrants,” Hammoud said. “The team is also conducting a thorough review of existing and newly received evidence pertaining to the Flint water crisis.”

Food & Water Watch Grant’s, in her statement, summarized what is already publicly known:

The Flint water crisis started when Snyder took local control away from Flint’s leaders and put the city under financial management. An emergency manager appointed by Snyder five years ago made the disastrous decision to switch Flint’s water supply to a polluted river without proper treatment, leading to bacterial and lead contamination that will leave a lasting legacy to Flint’s people, particularly its children.

The timeline of events leading to the Flint water crisis shows that the Snyder administration knew more about the crisis than it initially disclosed to the public. Yet Snyder has not faced any consequences for his decisions that resulted in the crisis.

“This new development leaves us with a lot of questions,” Grant added. “We hope this investigation finally yields accountability and justice for Flint.”

 

Source: New Search Warrants in Flint Water Crisis Probe Raise Serious and Urgent Questions | Common Dreams News