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FBI delves into DMV photos in search for fugitives

October 13th, 2009 . by TexasFred

FBI delves into DMV photos in search for fugitives

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - In its search for fugitives, the FBI has begun using facial-recognition technology on millions of motorists, comparing driver’s license photos with pictures of convicts in a high-tech analysis of chin widths and nose sizes.

The project in North Carolina has already helped nab at least one suspect. Agents are eager to look for more criminals and possibly to expand the effort nationwide. But privacy advocates worry that the method allows authorities to track people who have done nothing wrong.

“Everybody’s participating, essentially, in a virtual lineup by getting a driver’s license,” said Christopher Calabrese, an attorney who focuses on privacy issues at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Earlier this year, investigators learned that a double-homicide suspect named Rodolfo Corrales had moved to North Carolina. The FBI took a 1991 booking photo from California and compared it with 30 million photos stored by the motor vehicle agency in Raleigh.

In seconds, the search returned dozens of drivers who resembled Corrales, and an FBI analyst reviewed a gallery of images before zeroing in on a man who called himself Jose Solis.

Full Story Here:
FBI delves into DMV photos in search for fugitives

There are a lot of programs that are good for the USA, if administered correctly, and not allowed to fall off into the realm of intrusiveness. Identifying the bad guys is always a good thing, and we see it used on TV all the time as the guys on NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles nail the terror suspects and those evil murderers with facial recognition software.

Using the facial recognition technology to scan all the DMV records in the USA may very well be a good thing, and one that could turn up the BAD GUYS. But suppose it’s used, and abused? What then?

Carnivore was a system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications. It used a customizable packet sniffer that can monitor all of a target user’s Internet traffic. Carnivore was implemented during the Clinton administration with the approval of the Attorney General.

The Carnivore system was a Microsoft Windows-based workstation with packet-sniffing software and a removable disk drive. This computer must be physically installed at an Internet service provider (ISP) or other location where it can “sniff” traffic on a LAN segment to look for email messages in transit. The technology itself was not highly advanced — it used a standard packet sniffer and straightforward filtering. The critical components of the operation were the filtering criteria. To accurately match the appropriate subject, an elaborate content model was developed.

The Carnivore system could be installed on a system either through the cooperation of the system owner, or by use of a court order. Once in place, the system was restricted by U.S. Federal law to only monitor specific persons. Under the current regulations, publicly acknowledged government personnel are required to get a warrant or court order naming specific people or email addresses that may be monitored.

When an email passes through that matches the filtering criteria mandated by the warrant, the message is logged along with information on the date, time, origin and destination. This logging was believed to be relayed in real time to the FBI. All other traffic would presumably be dropped without logging or capture.

Full Story Here: SOURCE

Some folks say Carnivore is a dead issue, it may be. Some say that the FBI essentially abandoned the use of Carnivore in 2001. Essentially? Given the POWER, and possibilities OF Carnivore, do YOU think the FBI gave it up?

Perhaps the most intrusive web-based technology ever developed, Carnivore possesses the ability to essentially wiretap individuals’ computers, accessing every piece of datum flowing to and from a Central Processing Unit (CPU), provided the data were moved on a network connection. But Carnivore opens up a privacy ‘can of worms,’ as the technology far out-paces present laws aimed at the protection of individual liberty and privacy. And, indeed, the surveillance project has already been examined on a number of grounds, including possible Fourth and First Amendment abuses and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986. Yet, although several groups have expressed a desire to challenge the project’s constitutionality, the ECPA at present remains the sole source of judicial action concerning Carnivore (American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU], 2002, 2003; StopCarnivoreNow, 2003; Gooldstein & Orr, 2003). SOURCE

And from the same article:

Who does Carnivore target? According to the FBI (2000a), Project Carnivore will only be utilized by the agency when a group or person is suspected of terrorism, child pornography or exploitation, espionage, information warfare or fraud. The Bureau denies the ability to engage the software at whim, noting that the use of Carnivore is controlled under Title III of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which provides legal protection of privacy for all types of electronic communication. Therefore, the Bureau is required to obtain a court order to utilize the tool. Unlike search warrants that are needed to search houses or other physical property, applications made under Title III for intercepting wire and electronic communications require the authorization of a ‘high-level’ official from the Department of Justice before a local United States Attorney office can make an application to a federal court. The term ‘high-level’ official, however, is not precisely defined. Also, unlike typical search warrants, federal magistrates are not authorized to approve such applications, which instead are reviewed by federal district court judges. Additionally, interception of communications is limited to the aforementioned federal felony offenses. SOURCE

I am NOT a conspiracy theorist, never have been. That said, Carnivore WAS real. It may still be for all I know. Names change, covers can and are applied. It’s a possibility.

Could this facial photo recognition program be an extension or, possibly a reinstatement of the Carnivore program? Different names, different approach? And always the ever present message that tells us how much good this program does for us? And our safety?

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13 Responses to “FBI delves into DMV photos in search for fugitives”

  1. comment number 1 by: HoosierArmyMom

    The Obooboo Administration has already shown that they want control over the World Wide Web. So if it’s Guberment digging in to our personal lives, I am FLAT OUT against it!!! I really don’t want the crooked Chicago politicians in the White House having access to information they have no business with. Given the high tech equipment we the tax payers have already paid for that’s in the White House, I’d say it’s already too late. May as well get my reservation nailed for Camp FEMA!!!

  2. comment number 2 by: TexasFred

    The Camp FEMA thing was the Libber mantra all during the Bush administration…

    It’s no more a reality today than the so-called *martial law* that was declared in Hardin, Montana that panicked so many Conservatives lately…

    Camps and prisons are NOT needed, just shut down the net and Conservatives have a problem.. Like we’re not going to use *other* methods of communications.. :twisted:

  3. comment number 3 by: WashingtonArmory.com

    Fred, You know as well as I do that if it can be abused it will. Especially in this current administration when we are being given a very expensive magic show. This administration is showing us the right hand all day so we don’t see what the left hand is doing behind his back. Why have we not heard about ANY executive orders??? Now as far as the electronic surveillance, Carnivore was most likely “dropped” because there are more effective methods that have been introduced since the “days of old”. I am sure that in the Obama administration this will be touted as increasing intelligence to protect the U.S. but in reality how many of the more dangerous individuals really care about a drivers license??? If their intent is illegal already and they would kill you,I a cop or anyone else to commit crimes do you really think they care if they have the “privilege” to drive? Not me. Also as a side bar this is how intrusive they can get TODAY!

    Schwarzenegger signs ammo-regulation bill

  4. comment number 4 by: TexasFred

    Schwarzenegger signing ammo-regulation bill affects me here in Texas HOW?

    We don’t have ANY trash like that in Texas, we’d sweep it out before it ever got to the State House…

    California has a problem, always has had, and if it weren’t for a few good people out there, I would be all for nuking the damned place…

  5. comment number 5 by: HoosierArmyMom

    Oh Camp FEMA is a joke in my book. But, many of my old friends around here are into operating HAM radios. Old technology, but quite effective and low overhead. Hard to believe we could be forced into immulating the old “Radio Free Europe”!!! Plus, working in IT, I have come to believe you can hire the smartest guy on the planet to shut someone down, and chances are they or someone they know will be “smarter” and come up with a hack or a workaround for what the other guy does. It could be a very interesting “Web War”.

  6. comment number 6 by: HoosierArmyMom

    Very cute Fred… does that mean I should brush up on Morse Code in order to continue following your blog? LOL!!!!

  7. comment number 7 by: TexasFred

    Nope, my Code generator is on the fritz… :?

  8. comment number 8 by: WashingtonArmory.com


    It may not affect You in Texas right now but there is an old saying: As goes California so goes the nation. I am sure that you remember thinking “so what, those California emissions laws won’t affect me” but now look at what we have. you basically cannot get a car today that does not meet those (Expensive) Emissions standards. and in a roundabout way it will affect all gun owners again. We will have to endure the ammunition shortages that have plagued the firearms industry and community since the election. I have backorders for 38 SPL dating to April and 45ACP to February. and I don’t see it getting any better anytime soon.

  9. comment number 9 by: BobF

    By time we the public learn of anything like this, it’s already in place and implemented. We basically have no idea how much we can be monitored electronically and by satellite. When they can tell the color of your eyes, in real time, by satellite, you know you have no privacy.

  10. comment number 10 by: Silver Fox

    Let the government snoop all they want to overseas, but keep that to a minimun here in this country. I don’t want that camels nose under my tent. With all the current restrictions and laws I’m sure to be illegal on something—think I took some of those tags off my matresses.

  11. comment number 11 by: TexasFred

    *As goes California so goes the nation.*

    Parts of the nation maybe, NOT Texas… We HAVE ammo, our stores have AMMO… Anyone that had a lick of sense had AMMO before Obama was elected, but even such, we have AMMO now…

    This post was about personal intrusion, the FBI, Carnivore…

    What happened to that?

  12. comment number 12 by: WashingtonArmory.com


    Sorry about that I did get off topic, I was writing for the first time in a while and I had that stuck in my head. It does tie in a little as the ID, and fingerprint thing are intrusions but as far as the original topic goes I am rather sure that I don’t have too much to worry about as I have a very clean record and have been checked regularly (occupational hazard) and I don’t think I could care if anyone saw my Emails since I don’t have anything to hide. Besides that as I said before I don’t think this will prove to be much more than a publicity thing for Obambi. Do you think that any real criminals or terrorist actually care if they are legally allowed to drive? and even if they do have a license do you think that most would use a real address? Besides all that wether they can legally or not we all know that government is watching us, No conspiracy it is just a fact of life it is what the “end user” does with the information that matters. And as your Post last week showed I think that The Nobel Appeasment prize winner will do………… Nothing! and yes I am sure that the intelligence community (smartly) just upgraded Carnivore to be more “user friendly” and fit their purposes for the times at hand. I just pray that the intelligence community is still made up of mostly Conservative people who will do the Right thing!

  13. comment number 13 by: TexasFred

    You make a hell of a point, and that point DOES tie in to the gun thing…

    The bad guys don’t care, they aren’t driving legally any way, and they don’t have that DMV pic out there, just like this MAIG and ILLEGAL guns thing, the bad guys aren’t going to the local gun shop and BUYING their guns…

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