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Anti-Surveillance Mask Lets You Pass As Someone Else 196

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-thik-I've-seen-you-before dept.
SonicSpike (242293) points out this article about a mask that can foil surveillance cameras and provide fuel for nightmares. "If the world starts looking like a scene from Matrix 3 where everyone has Agent Smith's face, you can thank Leo Selvaggio. His rubber mask aimed at foiling surveillance cameras features his visage, and if he has his way, plenty of people will be sporting the Personal Surveillance Identity Prosthetic in public. It's one of three products made by the Chicago-based artist's URME Surveillance, a venture dedicated to 'protecting the public from surveillance and creating a safe space to explore our digital identities.' 'Our world is becoming increasingly surveilled. For example, Chicago has over 25,000 cameras networked to a single facial recognition hub,' reads the URME (pronounced U R Me) site. 'We don't believe you should be tracked just because you want to walk outside and you shouldn't have to hide either. Instead, use one of our products to present an alternative identity when in public.'"
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Anti-Surveillance Mask Lets You Pass As Someone Else

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  • by mlookaba (2802163) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:39AM (#46972865)
    Wearing a mask in public is already considered "probable cause" for detain and search. While I agree with the reasons, this product will go nowhere except Halloween parties.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:58AM (#46972987) Journal
    All you need is make up. These recognition algorithms work by looking at the corners of mouth, centers of eyes and the tip of the nose. You should be able to take a picture of your mortal enemy load it up to Picassa or some such thing. Then use make up to add/subtract edges to your mouths, add a contrast point to the tip of the nose, take a selfie and see of Picassa matches your made up face to your patsy. Adjust it till you fool it. Then you can go commit serious crime in full view of the cameras, and tip off the police and point them to the guy who stole your girlfriend in high school. In security terms, the automatic face recognition systems hash your face to a checksum, but without a salt. Spoofing will be trivial.

    Pretty soon contact lenses will be available where you could color part of it white and some part black to change the distance between eye centers. After that the automatic face recognition system for surveillance will get their well deserved death.

  • Re:Should Be Illegal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CRCulver (715279) <> on Sunday May 11, 2014 @12:03PM (#46973033) Homepage

    No person in their right mind would walk around with these things just to not be recorded.

    Under underestimate the power of fashion. People walk around "in their right minds" with bits of metal or ink in their skin, or (just to show it's not just those crazy kids today) codpieces or monocles. Who knows what the future may hold, perhaps it will come to be considered stylish to stick it to the surveillance state.

  • Stopgap measure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CODiNE (27417) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @12:05PM (#46973047) Homepage

    Welcome to a new cat and mouse game.

    With a sufficient number of people successfully using this technique the detection methods will keep getting smarter.

    Sizing a person based on the distance between joints.
    Solution: elbow and knee extender prosthetics. Strap it on the upper limb and add a few inches before the joint is visible through clothing.

    Recognizing a person through their walking styles.
    Solution: Joining the ministry of silly walks and becoming and expert at switching gaits by choice.

    Heuristics based on tracking bodies and the likelihood of people doing switcheroos while off camera.
    At this point you would end up being a high profile target that gets human eyes overseeing your tracking.

    Infrared lights can be filtered...
    Looks like the mouse always loses this one.

  • by PPH (736903) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @12:06PM (#46973059)

    Even easier, large dark glasses. Cameras can't see your eyes and locate the centers. Or wear a pair of these [].

    Sunglasses are your best bet, as law enforcement isn't going to be able to use them as probable cause for anything.

  • Re:Should Be Illegal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Noah Haders (3621429) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @12:24PM (#46973149)
    it's a way to protest the surveillance state, and protest is a form of speech. so it's constitutionally protected.
  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @01:50PM (#46973685)

    When the laws were created is irrelevant to the reality that protecting your privacy is made impossible in many places by government thugs.

    Wearing masks in public is not a protection of your privacy: you're in *public*: everyone can see you, and what you are doing. That's part of the whole concept of a public place. No, wearing masks preserves *anonymity*, which is different from privacy. As is, you have and should have limited rights to privacy in public (can't force people not to look at you, for example). You have no right whatsoever to anonymity in public.

  • by blindseer (891256) <blindseer AT earthlink DOT net> on Sunday May 11, 2014 @06:15PM (#46975147)

    Are you in favor of rolling back the anti-Klan laws?

    Yes. So long as it also means rolling back the anti-self defense laws.

    The KKK got away with what they did by first disarming their victims. Those laws come primarily from the Jim Crow era, an effort to keep Blacks effectively slaves. An armed Black man did not have to be concerned about hooded characters invading his property, because they'd be dead and the hood removed in short order.

    I don't care if people wish to wear masks so long as I'm not disarmed. If the masked people don't want to get shot then don't go busting down my door. Masked people in a shopping mall, making every purchase with cash, I have no problem with that. If it doesn't pick my pocket or break my leg it bothers me none.

    Disarming and unmasking people puts the government in a very powerful position. I have the right to associate as I please without the government knowing. I have the right to defend myself as I see fit. The government need not know what weapons I own. If the government fears me because I am anonymous and armed then perhaps it is because the government is doing something they should not.

    This is supposed to be a government of the people, for the people. We should be partners, not adversaries. That means the government needs to trust the people with being unnamed and armed. If they cannot do that then we have tyranny.

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.