Los Angeles Police Department Bans Use Of Facial Recognition Software

Illustration for article titled The LAPD Just Banned Its Officers From Using Third-Party Facial Recognition Software

Photo: David McNew / Staff (Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Police Department issued a moratorium on the use of commercial facial recognition software on Tuesday, effectively ending a trial with dystopian software manufacturer Clearview AI that the department had long sought to downplay.

The decision reportedly comes after Buzzfeed News probed the LAPD’s use of the software, which officials had in the past claimed to only deploy “sparingly.” Contrary to those claims, however, the investigation found that more than 25 LAPD employees had performed nearly 475 searches over a three month period in 2019, using the facial recognition software as a tool to scrape non-criminal images from their vast databases. Typically, those databases are compiled by culling photos from social media and other public internet platforms, which has drawn the ire of civil liberties activists who claim that the data is gathered without the consent of the

Read More

Facebook bans big ‘Stop the Steal’ group for sowing violence

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook on Thursday banned a large group called “Stop the Steal” that supporters of President Donald Trump were using to organize protests against the presidential vote count. Some members had called for violence, while many falsely claimed that Democrats are “stealing” the election from Republicans.

Though the group amassed more than 350,000 members before Facebook took it down, it was just one of several smaller groups that popped up as vote counting extended for days in several battleground states. Inside the groups, members and organizers tried to ensure they would get around Facebook’s moderators and “trolls” who might report or mock them.

“In line with the exceptional measures that we are taking during this period of heightened tension, we have removed the Group ‘Stop the Steal,’ which was creating real-world events,” Facebook said in a statement. “The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election

Read More

Portland, Maine, bans police from using facial recognition software


James Martin/CNET

On Tuesday, citizens of Portland, Maine, passed a ballot initiative banning use of facial recognition and surveillance technology by law enforcement, the Bangor Daily News reported. The Portland City Council had banned use of this software by police and city agencies in August, but this measure strengthens that ordinance. 

The new measure gives citizens the ability to sue the city for illegal surveillance, requires the city to suppress evidence illegally obtained through such surveillance, and makes violations by city employees grounds for suspension or termination, the Portland Press Herald reported. It also allows a citizen to receive $100 per violation, or $1,000, whichever is greater, plus attorney’s fees. 

The ban does not apply to private companies.

Portland, Maine, isn’t the only city with a facial recognition ban in place: Since 2019, San

Read More

Sweden bans Huawei and ZTE equipment from 5G rollout

Sweden flag

Image: Unif

Sweden has banned telcos from using Huawei or ZTE network equipment for their 5G rollouts as the nation joins a growing list of western countries that have restricted the Chinese companies’ involvement due to security concerns. 

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS), the country’s telecommunications agency, made the decision after conducting a security assessment that found the companies’ kits could potentially harm Sweden’s security.

The security assessment was made in consultation with the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Service, the PTS said. 

The decision comes a few weeks ahead of the nation’s 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz 5G spectrum auction that has been set for November 10. 

Sweden’s four main telcos, Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige, and Teracom have already gained approval to participate in the auction. 

320 MHz in the 3.5GHz band and 80MHz in the 2.3 GHz band will be available during the auction. To

Read More

Sweden bans Huawei; Ericsson risks blowback [Video]

Sweden is the latest country to ban Huawei.

On Tuesday (October 20) Stockholm said the Chinese telecom gear maker would not be allowed a role in its 5G phone networks.

The ban also applies to rival Chinese firm ZTE.

Swedish regulators said the move flows from security concerns.

They described China as one of the biggest threats to the country.

The ban follows diplomatic pressure from Washington, and comes after a similar move by the UK.

In July London said it wanted all Huawei gear purged from the country’s mobile networks by 2027.

But one of Sweden’s own industrial champions could now risk blowback.

Ericsson has won contracts to supply 5G gear to all three major mobile networks in China.

Analysts say those deals could be at risk if Beijing decides to retaliate.

Future sales could also be jeopardised.

For now though, Ericsson and Finnish rival Nokia look like the

Read More

Sweden Bans Huawei, ZTE From New 5G Infrastructure

(Bloomberg) — Sweden has banned Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. from gaining access to its fifth-generation wireless network, adding to the increasing number of European governments forcing local telecom companies to shift away from Chinese suppliers.


Load Error

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority said in a statement Tuesday that the “influence of China’s one-party state over the country’s private sector brings with it strong incentives for privately owned companies to act in accordance with state goals and the communist party’s national strategies.”

It went on to say that the two Chinese technology giants must be blocked from existing infrastructure by January 2025.

The U.S. has described Huawei as the “backbone” of surveillance efforts by the Chinese communist party, and is pressuring European governments to block the technology company from gaining access to 5G networks. The U.K. has already imposed an outright ban on Huawei’s 5G equipment, while German

Read More

QAnon bans: how tech companies are responding to the conspiracy theory

Facebook said its companies are cracking down on QAnon.


In this photo illustration a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

On October 6, Facebook announced it would remove all pages, groups, and Instagram accounts that promoted QAnon.

The ban, which the company said would be enacted gradually, comes after the platform previously announced over the summer that it had removed 790 QAnon Facebook groups. 

Extremism researchers are tracking how the new ban will play out, as the movement has spread rapidly on Facebook and on Instagram, where many are using “Save the Children” rhetoric to further propagate the movement’s misguided focus on human trafficking conspiracy theories. 

Facebook has been criticized for its slowness in acting against QAnon. 

Twitter announced a moderation plan on QAnon in July.

twitter logo

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In July, Twitter announced it would begin cracking

Read More

Twitter Screws the Pooch, QAnon Bans, and FCC Takes the Bait

Illustration for article titled Twitter Screws the Pooch, QAnon Bans, and FCC Takes the Bait

Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

HellfeedHellfeedHellfeed is your bimonthly resource for news on the current heading of the social media garbage barge.

It’s hard to believe that the 2020 election is just 18 days away, which may count for the inexorable sense of doom hanging over everything, or the sensation of that time is warping like the event horizon of a black hole. Before we’re smashed into an accretion disk, you might as well catch up on the present:

Twitter fucked up big time

This week, the New York Post published a factually inaccurate, hole-riddled article—cited to a stolen hard drive obtained by ambulatory wineskin Rudy Giuliani—supposedly offering evidence that Joe Biden colluded with his son, Hunter Biden, on corrupt deals in the Ukraine. Facebook, where the story was going viral, announced it would take steps to limit its further spread. Twitter went one

Read More

Hilarity Ensues After Software Used By Virtual Paleontology Conference Bans The Word “Bone”

As an outsider you’d probably expect paleontologists to constantly use the word “bone”, and you’d be right. Day in, day out, they can’t stop mentioning bones.

This caused quite a lot of trouble at this year’s Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) conference, which was held as a virtual event this week due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Trying to keep things as normal as possible, they held Q&As with the speakers after their talks. Attendees only needed to submit a written question they want answered, and this is where the problem arose. The software banned several words the paleontologists needed to say, including but not limited to “bone”.

“The platform we’re using for the conference is apparently set up for business and industry meetings, not science, and apparently it came with a pre-packaged naughty-word-filter,” paleontologist at the University of Tennessee Stephanie Drumheller said of the issue in an

Read More