Israel secretly tracking Palestinians with FRT


  • Boycottez AnyVision : société israélienne de surveillance par une reconnaissance visuelle « testée sur le terrain »
    Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), le 30 août 2019

    AnyVision tire profit des violations, par Israël, des droits humains des Palestiniens et elle exporte sa technologie de surveillance répressive dans le monde entier.


    Telefónica, société transnationale espagnole de télécommunications, et G4S, utilisent également la technologie d’AnyVision. La ville de #Nice, en #France, surveille les citoyens avec AnyVision et l’été dernier, l’entrée du stade de Londres était surveillée par AnyVision.

    Réaction à :

    #Anyvision #Anyvision_Interactive_Technologies #Microsoft #Qualcomm #Identité #Biométrie #Face-recognition #facial #vidéo-surveillance #sécuritaire #surveillance #Palestine #israel #Mossad #Armée #Cisjordanie #Occupation #BDS #Boycott #DropAnyVision

  • Microsoft Slammed For Investment In Israeli Facial Recognition ‘Spying On Palestinians’
    Thomas Brewster, Forbes, le 1er août 2019

    It’s unclear whether investors were aware of AnyVision’s business in regions with tainted human rights records. The Israeli company is trying to grow its business in Hong Kong, where protesters this week used lasers in an attempt to stop facial recognition profiling them. In a job post for a sales position in Hong Kong, AnyVision discloses it has customers and partnerships not only in that country but also Macau, the so-called Las Vegas of Asia. In Russia, a country heavily criticized for its human rights record, the AnyVision’s tools are deployed at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, according to a post on the company’s website.

    Shankar Narayan, the director of the Technology and Liberty Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told Forbes that he’d held meetings with Microsoft in Seattle last year in which the tech giant appeared receptive to ideas on holding back the spread of facial recognition. But the company has not followed through with any action, Narayan claimed.

    Human Rights Groups Slam Microsoft for Investing in Israeli Face-recognition Company
    Amitai Ziv, Haaretz, le 4 août 2019

    Amos Toh, a senior researcher on artificial intelligence at Human Rights Watch, told Forbes that the use of such technology “in a very fraught political context, could be problematic,” referring to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

    Suite de:

    #Anyvision #Anyvision_Interactive_Technologies #Microsoft #Qualcomm #Identité #Biométrie #Face-recognition #facial #vidéo-surveillance #sécuritaire #surveillance #Palestine #israel #Mossad #Armée #Cisjordanie #Occupation #Human_Rights_Watch #ACLU #Russie #Hong-Kong #Macao

  • This Israeli Face-recognition Startup Is Secretly Tracking Palestinians
    Amitai Ziv, Haaretz, le 15 juillet 2019

    Anyvision Interactive Technologies is one of Israel’s most curious startups. It has shown extraordinary growth, and its technology is being used by the army to monitor West Bank Palestinians at checkpoints on the way into Israel — while using a network of cameras deep inside the West Bank. The company’s co-founder and chief executive, Eylon Etshtein, told TheMarker that his company is sensitive to racial and gender bias and only sells to democracies.

    Anyvision is Israel’s most high-profile biometric recognition firm, particularly in facial recognition. The company notes that its software can be hooked up to cameras of all kinds and be installed and used immediately, requiring little computing capacity.

    TheMarker has learned that Anyvision is taking part in two special projects in assisting the Israeli army in the West Bank. One involves a system that it has installed at army checkpoints that thousands of Palestinians pass through each day on their way to work from the West Bank. The product lets the army quickly identify whether the person passing through has an Israeli work permit, thereby shortening the wait at the border.

    The army said in a statement in February: “As part of a wide-ranging program to upgrade the crossings in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] through the addition of technology, 27 biometric crossings have been established and new identification and inspection stations have been added. The inspection procedure at the crossings has become more efficient and significantly faster.”

    Anyvision’s second project is much more confidential and includes facial recognition technology elsewhere in the West Bank, not just at border crossings. Cameras deep inside the West Bank try to spot and monitor potential Palestinian assailants.

    At TheMarker’s most recent Technovation conference in June, Yaniv Cohen, Anyvision’s accountant, described how the facial recognition firm built its first prototype in 2014 and launched its initial product commercially three years later, working with government clients, security agencies and foreign corporations. In 2018, Anyvision raised $28 million (led by the German company Bosch) and increased revenues sixfold.
    “The company operates in the field of picture processing, and its power is in its technology,” Cohen said. “Its people have developed new generations of the product at an extraordinary pace, which has let them attract customers and enter new markets, helping them quickly raise funds and race ahead.”

    Anyvision’s president, Amir Kain, is the former head of Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s security department. One of Anyvision’s advisers is Tamir Pardo, the former head of the Mossad intelligence service.

    Pinpoint accuracy

    According to a presentation on its website, Anyvision has a staff of 240 including 30 Ph.D.s and is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It says the company operates in 43 countries and at more than 350 locations such as stadiums, airports and casinos.

    It says its products are being used at some of the most well-protected airports in the world and claims a 99.9% accuracy rate for its facial recognition technology compared with 70% among competing systems. It says that on average, it suffers less than one false reading a day. Anyvision was recently named a Cool Vendor by Gartner, the research and consulting firm that honors breakthrough technology developed by startups.

    In the middle of last month, Anyvision raised $31 million from Microsoft’s M12 venture capital fund as well as investment fund DFJ Growth and Israeli investor Eyal Ofer’s O.G. Tech. The startup has raised $74 million in first-round funding at an estimated company valuation of $500 million. Firms that have already invested include Qualcomm and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

    The company sells three products based on its technology. The first, Better Tomorrow, identifies suspicious behavior; it’s the kind used at airports and casinos. Its SesaMe product uses facial recognition technology on smartphones; for example, Bank Hapoalim employs the system to let users open bank accounts through its app. The third product, Insights, can tell supermarket chains what shoppers are looking at in the aisles.

    “On a commercial level, industry has been trying for 15 years to develop facial and body recognition and computerized vision, but it didn’t come to fruition,” Etshtein, the co-founder and chief executive, told TheMarker. “We have the technology to make this leap, so we’re attracting the market’s attention.”

    The controversy over facial recognition

    Anyvision’s involvement in the West Bank is being revealed amid a lively debate around the world on the use of biometric technology, especially facial recognition. About a month ago, San Francisco became the first American city to outlaw facial recognition technology. And camera maker Axon recently decided to eliminate its products’ facial recognition capacity, based on the recommendations of an ethics committee that it had formed.

    “Regarding the global trend, I can say that a few newspapers have adopted a very left-wing approach. I wouldn’t say that it’s representative. We did a market study about the American population and found that the rate of support for facial recognition technology for use in security is off the charts,” Etshtein said.

    “We support regulating the field so that the technology won’t be biased based on gender or race, and also due to privacy issues. We’re very sensitive to such matters, so of all the companies in the world, Microsoft decided to go with us. We’re also working in the [U.S.] Senate, through lobbyists, to explain why artificial intelligence is a good thing,” he added.

    “No one in the world does mass surveillance other than China, and I don’t operate in China. I also don’t sell in Africa or Russia. We only sell systems to democratic countries with proper governments. For example, you’ll find statements by the mayor of Nice [France], who says he can finally locate a child who has gotten lost, an old person with dementia or someone with malicious intentions.”

    Presented with the argument that the West Bank isn’t governed democratically and that mass surveillance is being carried out there, Etshtein responded: “It’s really a huge dilemma, but I’m not the guy to ask this. Ultimately we’re a technology company that does the maximum so that its technology isn’t misused.”

    The American Civil Liberties Union recently published a major study — “The Dawn of Robot Surveillance” — on crowd monitoring using video technology and its impact on civil rights.

    Also, a high-profile information security researcher, Bruce Schneir, wrote: “It used to be that surveillance cameras were passive. Maybe they just recorded, and no one looked at the video unless they needed to. Maybe a bored guard watched a dozen different screens, scanning for something interesting. In either case, the video was only stored for a few days because storage was expensive.”

    “Increasingly, none of that is true,” he added. “Recent developments in video analytics — fueled by artificial intelligence techniques like machine learning — enable computers to watch and understand surveillance videos with human-like discernment. Identification technologies make it easier to automatically figure out who is in the videos. And finally, the cameras themselves have become cheaper, more ubiquitous, and much better; cameras mounted on drones can effectively watch an entire city. Computers can watch all the video without human issues like distraction, fatigue, training, or needing to be paid. The result is a level of surveillance that was impossible just a few years ago.”

    Quoting from the ACLU report, Schneir noted that they “won’t just record us, but will also make judgments about us based on their understanding of our actions, emotions, skin color, clothing, voice, and more.”

    Last month a number of civil rights groups including the ACLU sent a letter to Google, Amazon and Microsoft asking that they not provide such technology to the U.S. government. “We are at a crossroads with face surveillance, and the choices made by these companies now will determine whether the next generation will have to fear being tracked by the government for attending a protest, going to their place of worship, or simply living their lives,” Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties director for the ACLU of California, wrote in the letter.

    In October, Google announced that it was withdrawing from bidding on a $10 billion contract to develop facial recognition technology for U.S. military drones. The company dropped out following protests by its employees over the use of the technology. Google then said it had found that the technology could be used in ways that violate its ethics guidelines.

    A tool for good?

    Among Anyvision’s investors, Microsoft has attracted particular attention. According to Bloomberg, the U.S. company’s investment had been delayed so that Anyvision could ensure that its technology met Microsoft’s ethics standards.

    Bloomberg quoted Anyvision’s chief commercial officer, Max Constant, as saying: “They’re asking the question now of how do we leverage this in a way so that we can actually make sure that this is a tool for good.”

    What are Microsoft’s guidelines regarding tools for good? Israel’s military control over the West Bank, parts of which are under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, is opposed by the international community and is seen by many people around the world as a violation of human rights. The U.S. group Freedom House describes the West Bank as “not free,” with a rating of 25 out of 100 points.

    The Israeli surveillance operation in the West Bank is undoubtedly among the largest of its kind in the world. It includes monitoring the media, social media and the population as a whole — and now it turns out also the biometric signature of West Bank Palestinians. This monitoring op is now competing with the Chinese regime, that intensively uses facial recognition and monitors its civilians’ activity on social networks.

    Voir aussi :

    Israel secretly tracking Palestinians with FRT
    DM Chan, Asia Times, le 15 juillet 2019

    Et en #France, à #Nice (#Reporty) :

    La CNIL défavorable à l’utilisation de l’application de sécurité Reporty à Nice
    Claire Legros, Le Monde, le 22 mars 2018

    A ces questions, la CNIL (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés) vient d’apporter une première réponse, claire et motivée, à propos du dispositif d’origine israélienne Reporty, que la ville de Nice avait commencé à déployer.

    #Anyvision_Interactive_Technologies #Palestine #israel #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance #Face-recognition

  • Reconnaissance faciale : la ville de Nice n’a pas reçu « d’autorisation » de la CNIL

    Contrairement aux affirmations de Christian Estrosi, la ville de Nice n’a pas reçu de feu vert de la CNIL pour expérimenter un système de reconnaissance faciale à l’occasion du fameux carnaval, mais a plutôt bénéficié d’un accompagnement. La commission regrette surtout l’agenda serré dans lequel elle a été amenée à ausculter ce dispositif. Explications. La ville de Nice va tester un système de reconnaissance faciale auprès de 1 000 volontaires. Six caméras seront implantées dans un corridor d’accès au (...)

    #algorithme #CCTV #biométrie #facial #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance #CNIL

  • Comment des villes « hyper connectées » contrôlent l’espace public

    Ni fantasme ni science-fiction : ces dispositifs sont très exactement ceux que des villes françaises commencent à expérimenter sous le nom générique de « safe city » (la ville sûre), avatar en uniforme de la « smart city », la « ville hyper connectée ». « La sécurité est, avec la mobilité, le pilier le plus réaliste de la smart city, estime Marc Darmon, directeur général adjoint du groupe Thales. Il y a un marché porteur pour ces technologies, par la conjonction de l’urbanisation, de la numérisation et de risques qui s’aggravent. »
    Un mouvement de fond

    De Nice à Valenciennes (Nord), de Marseille à la Défense ou à Nîmes, de plus en plus de collectivités se laissent tenter par des plates-formes numériques organisées autour des outils de surveillance et de contrôle de l’espace public.

    Un mouvement de fond, en phase avec de puissants intérêts industriels et porté par des subventions publiques, qui prospère dans un certain flou juridique et inquiète les associations de défense des libertés publiques. Construits autour d’une vidéoprotection dernier cri, dopée à l’intelligence artificielle, aux algorithmes et au « big data », ces dispositifs ont l’avantage de rendre bien concret l’un des rêves fondateurs de la smart city : la gestion centralisée de la ville depuis un poste unique de commandement.

    Mais dans ce schéma, les outils de surveillance occupent une place à part. Au point de faire de la sécurité la première priorité. « La vidéoprotection n’est qu’une partie de la smart city, mais c’est peut-être la plus importante, car elle donne une vision instantanée du territoire : c’est le cœur et le poumon de la ville, c’est un outil qui sert à la gestion ordinaire de l’espace urbain », assume Bernard Serafino, responsable de la sécurité au cabinet du maire de Nîmes.
    « Big data de la tranquillité publique »

    La préfecture du Gard a déployé, avec Engie Ineo, un système de vidéosurveillance intelligente à l’échelle des quinze communes de l’agglomération : 600 caméras, reliées à un centre de supervision high-tech, qui permettent de gérer l’espace urbain et de rechercher et de suivre un individu ou un véhicule d’un bout à l’autre de l’agglomération.

    La ville de Marseille, de son côté, se fait fort depuis le printemps de mettre en place un « big data de la tranquillité publique » grâce aux technologies de Engie Ineo et à une plate-forme de données Oracle, un dispositif censé être opérationnel début 2019. « La safe city est la première brique de la smart city, c’est un outil d’aide à la décision pour la collectivité », décrit Caroline Pozmentier, l’adjointe au maire chargée de la sécurité publique.

    « Une logique de surveillance massive »

    Dans ce contexte, les plates-formes safe city « made in France » sont cofinancées par la Banque publique d’investissement (Bpifrance), subventionnées par les collectivités et encouragées par le Comité de la filière industrielle de sécurité (Cofis), placé sous la tutelle du premier ministre Edouard Philippe.

    « C’est important pour les villes de se dire qu’il y a des acteurs français sur ces sujets clés : notre droit est plus contraignant que celui de la Chine ou des Etats-Unis sur la gestion des données », estime Nathalie Allegret, chez Engie Ineo.

    Françaises ou non, ces technologies soulèvent quelques inquiétudes. « La safe city, c’est la prolifération d’outils issus du milieu du renseignement, dans une logique de surveillance massive, d’identification des signaux faibles, des comportements suspects », dénonce Félix Tréguer, un responsable marseillais de l’association La Quadrature du Net. « Ces outils permettront un contrôle social très sophistiqué quand leur potentiel sera optimisé, estime-t-il. Nous ne trouvons pas rassurant que la police municipale devienne le service de renseignement de l’espace public urbain et de son double numérique. »

    « Améliorer les secours, la circulation, c’est légitime, mais la généralisation de la vidéosurveillance nous inquiète, et scruter les réseaux sociaux, ce n’est pas le rôle d’un maire ! Sans aucun garde-fou, un outil pareil ne peut pas faire preuve de la neutralité indispensable, redoute Henri Busquet, de la Ligue des droits de l’homme à Nice. C’est potentiellement un outil de destruction politique, qui fait courir un risque particulier aux opposants, aux journalistes… »

    La tentation du contrôle social

    L’inquiétude est d’autant plus vive que certains élus ne cachent pas vouloir repousser les limites du cadre légal. « On pourrait faire beaucoup mieux, estime M. Estrosi, qui s’est plusieurs fois heurté à la CNIL. Ce qui nous limite, c’est la loi, notamment la loi Informatique et libertés de 1978. Je demande à ce que le législateur fasse évoluer les textes, au rythme où évolue la société. Je dispose du logiciel qui permettrait dès demain matin d’appliquer la reconnaissance faciale et d’identifier des individus fichés où qu’ils se trouvent dans la ville… Pourquoi se l’interdire ? Est-ce qu’on veut prendre le risque de voir des gens mourir au nom des libertés individuelles, alors qu’on a les technologies qui permettraient de l’éviter ? »

    #Capitalisme_surveillance #Videosurveillance #Smart_city #Safe_city