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Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category: Page 2

Feb 22, 2020

The next chapter for African genomics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics, surveillance

The rest of the world is interested, too. Africa contains much more genetic diversity than any other continent because humans originated there. This diversity can provide insights into human evolution and common diseases. Yet fewer than 2% of the genomes that have been analysed come from Africans. A dearth of molecular-biology research on the continent also means that people of African descent might not benefit from drugs tailored to unique genetic variations. Infectious-disease surveillance also falls short, meaning that dangerous pathogens could evade detection until an outbreak is too big to contain easily.


Nigeria is poised to become a hub for genetics research, but a few stubborn challenges block the way.

Feb 21, 2020

Moscow deploys facial recognition technology for coronavirus quarantine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI, security, surveillance

Sobyanin said last month that the city had begun using facial recognition as part of its city security surveillance programme.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had not seen details of the actions being taken in Moscow but that measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus should not be discriminatory.

The clamp down on quarantine rules comes after a woman in St. Petersburg staged an elaborate escape from a hospital where she said she was being kept against her will.

Feb 13, 2020

The Rise of Smart Camera Networks, and Why We Should Ban Them

Posted by in categories: business, habitats, privacy, robotics/AI, surveillance

Police are using cameras at private businesses and homes, along with AI, to expand their video surveillance — raising privacy concerns.

Feb 9, 2020

Information theft via manipulating screen brightness in air-gapped computers

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, security, surveillance

Data can be stolen from an air gapped personal computer just by using variations in screen brightness. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University wrote a paper on it.

As the team defines them, “Air-gapped computers are systems that are kept isolated from the Internet since they store or process .”

Continue reading “Information theft via manipulating screen brightness in air-gapped computers” »

Feb 8, 2020

H-IIA conducts IGS Optical 7 launch

Posted by in categories: existential risks, government, satellites, surveillance

Making its first flight in over a year, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Centre on Sunday with a reconnaissance satellite for the Japanese government. Liftoff occurred at10:34 local time 01:34 UTC, during a five-minute launch window.

Sunday’s launch deployed the IGS Optical 7 satellite for the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Centre, an agency of the Japanese government responsible for space-based surveillance. IGS Optical 7 is part of the Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) or Joho Shushu Eisei (JSE) system, consisting of spacecraft collecting optical and radar images of the Earth.

Japan began development of IGS in the late 1990s, following North Korea’s attempted satellite launch in 1998. Although the North Korean launch failed to reach orbit, the rocket carrying it crossed Japan during its ascent, sparking fears that North Korean missiles would be able to target the islands. With IGS, Japan aimed to develop an independent reconnaissance capability to monitor future threats. The constellation can also be used for disaster monitoring and other civilian applications by the Japanese government.

Feb 8, 2020

Inspection drone with five-hour flight time released

Posted by in categories: drones, surveillance

Drone maker Skyfront has partnered with Silvus Technologies to create a drone with a maximum flight time of five hours and an operating distance of 100km. The new long-range drone will allow operators to inspect pipelines and other assets as well as conduct long-range surveillance missions.

Feb 4, 2020

DARPA is testing drones it can launch from a plane—then collect mid-air

Posted by in categories: drones, media & arts, military, surveillance

The news: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has conducted the first test of a new type of drone that can be launched from a plane in a swarm and recovered in mid-air when it’s done its job.

How it works: A military transport or bomber plane releases a series of drones in rapid succession. They carry out the task designated to them (surveillance, for example) and then return to the plane, docking on a line before being winched in. It looks a bit like the airborne refueling process.

Continue reading “DARPA is testing drones it can launch from a plane—then collect mid-air” »

Feb 1, 2020

Surveillance of Bat Coronaviruses in Kenya Identifies Relatives of Human Coronaviruses NL63 and 229E and Their Recombination History

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, surveillance

Circa 2017 Bats harbor a large diversity of coronaviruses (CoVs), several of which are related to zoonotic pathogens that cause severe disease in humans. Our screening of bat samples collected in Kenya from 2007 to 2010 not only detected RNA from several novel CoVs but, more significantly, identified sequences that were closely related to human CoVs NL63 and 229E, suggesting that these two human viruses originate from bats. We also demonstrated that human CoV NL63 is a recombinant between NL63-like viruses circulating in Triaenops bats and 229E-like viruses circulating in Hipposideros bats, with the breakpoint located near 5′ and 3′ ends of the spike (S) protein gene. In addition, two further interspecies recombination events involving the S gene were identified, suggesting that this region may represent a recombination “hot spot” in CoV genomes. Finally, using a combination of phylogenetic and distance-based approaches, we showed that the genetic diversity of bat CoVs is primarily structured by host species and subsequently by geographic distances.


bMarie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Find articles by Mang Shi

Continue reading “Surveillance of Bat Coronaviruses in Kenya Identifies Relatives of Human Coronaviruses NL63 and 229E and Their Recombination History” »

Jan 26, 2020

Large Military-Grade Drones Could Soon Be Flying Over Your Backyard

Posted by in categories: drones, military, robotics/AI, surveillance, terrorism

As the U.S. military and defense contractors eye a potential drone war with Iran as tensions with the country remain elevated, the defense industry is also preparing to test-fly domestic versions of its combat drones over major American cities in an effort to fully integrate military-grade drones into civil airspace alongside commercial air traffic in the coming years.

That’s right, those robotic killing machines used for counterterrorism strikes in the Middle East are coming home — and could eventually be used to surveil large protests and communities of color throughout the U.S.

The Poway-based defense contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., will test-fly its SkyGuardian drone, outfitted with a 79-foot wingspan and advanced surveillance capabilities of more than 2,000 feet, over San Diego, California, sometime this year.

Continue reading “Large Military-Grade Drones Could Soon Be Flying Over Your Backyard” »

Jan 24, 2020

Police to roll out live facial recognition cameras in London

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, surveillance

LONDON (Reuters) — British police are to start operational use of live facial recognition (LFR) cameras in London, despite warnings over privacy from rights groups and concerns expressed by the government’s own surveillance watchdog.

First used in the capital at the Notting Hill carnival in 2016, the cameras will alert police when they spot anyone on “wanted” lists.

“The use of live facial recognition technology will be intelligence-led and deployed to specific locations in London,” the city’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Friday.

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