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FBI has 411 million photos in its facial recognition system, and a federal watchdog isn't happy

By Zack Whittaker

The FBI has amassed more than 411 million photos as part of its vast facial recognition database, according to a government watchdog -- which in a new report criticized the system for its lack of safeguards and protections.

That includes millions of individuals' driving license photos, as well as photos of foreigners applying for visas, and criminal mugshots.

But the Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the FBI in a new report, published Wednesday, saying that the agency had not properly tested the system or balanced civil liberties and privacy.

The system kicked into operations in early-2015 after what appeared to be a relatively successful pilot. Agents would feed in a photo and the database would spring back between two and no more than 50 images of suspects, leaving the agent to make the final call on who the suspect might be.


CIA medical staff gave specifications on how to torture post-9/11 detainees

Source: Guardian

CIA medical personnel acknowledged that placing detainees in small boxes barely large enough to fit their bodies inside was not “particularly effective”, but they still provided guidance permitting interrogators to continue using the so-called “confinement boxes” for hours on end.

Sensitive agency documents, declassified on Tuesday, provide a new level of detail on the intimate involvement of its medical staff during its post-9/11 torture program. Officials assigned to the Office of Medical Staff (OMS) provided precise specifications for enforcing sleep deprivation, limiting the caloric intake of detainees’ food, and the proper positions for waterboarding, as outlined in a 2004 document providing “guidelines on medical and psychological support” for torture.

In the event that a detainee stopped eating inside the agency’s unacknowledged prisons overseas, known as “black sites”, OMS advised that the preferred method to forcibly feed a detainee was rectally – a procedure that human-rights advocates have equated to sexual assault.

Since a 2014 Senate report criticized the CIA for running what it characterized as an ineffective, brutal regimen of incommunicado confinement, the agency has pointed to the involvement of OMS staff to claim it performed its torture within doctor-mandated safeguards. Yet human-rights-minded physicians say OMS staff violated a fundamental obligation of medical ethics – to do no harm – and instead provided agency torturers with a physiologically informed blueprint for inflicting pain.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/15/cia-torture-program-september-11-medical-staff-instructions-details

'Spam King' sentenced to two years in prison

Source: BBC

A US man who sent more than 27 million spam emails to Facebook users has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Sanford Wallace, 47, is nicknamed the "Spam King" and last year pleaded guilty to federal charges

including fraud and criminal contempt in connection with using electronic mail.

Wallace, who is from Las Vegas, also faces a fine of $310,000 (£218,500).
The messages were sent to Facebook users in 2008 and 2009.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36538541

Atlanta man threatens to make two local gay bars ‘the next Orlando’

Patrick Saunders

June 15, 2016 12:00 am Atlanta, Georgia,

Today in Gay Atlanta

The Atlanta Police Department confirmed they are investigating a gay Atlanta man who tweeted that he would make two local gay bars “the next Orlando.” The incident follows the early Sunday morning shooting at Orlando LGBT nightclub Pulse that left 50 dead and 53 injured.

Brett Edgerton, going by the handle @BrettTEdgerton, tweeted the following: “TEN or Blake’s could be the next Orlando. You think I am the type to be the next ‘shooter’? Keep hating me then…”

The previous tweet from that account read “You are all dead to me” and the headline of his Twitter profile reads “I will be your the last person you will see.” That Twitter account has since been taken down.

Edgerton’s Twitter activity was shared on social media hundreds of times by people throughout Atlanta’s LGBT community on Tuesday, with many notifying Atlanta police as well.


Reid, Schumer split on Warren for vice president

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has urged Hillary Clinton to select Elizabeth Warren as her vice presidential nominee, but the idea doesn’t have buy-in from his deputy, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The split between Reid and Schumer is highly unusual. Schumer is a close friend and ally of Reid, who is retiring at the end of this Congress. Schumer is widely expected to replace Reid as the Senate’s top Democrat next year.

A senior Democratic source familiar with Reid’s behind-the-scenes moves said the minority leader has recommended Warren (D-Mass.), a progressive, rising star who could rev up the party’s base, to Clinton’s campaign. Some Democrats maintain that Warren would be able to woo disappointed backers of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is expected to bow out of the Democratic presidential primary soon.
The Boston Globe earlier this month reported that Reid had asked Marc Elias, a prominent Democratic election lawyer, to review the process under Massachusetts law for filling Warren’s seat should it become vacant.


Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest

Remembering Orlando

General Election

Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- He is their Leader

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Gunz n politics

Last Bernie Group Toons

A last one before the change

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