If there’s an organization that can’t catch a break lately, it has got to be the National Security Agency (NSA). Ever since Edward Snowden dropped several NSA spying bombshells to the media, it seems like we can’t go more than a week at a time without hearing of another spying revelation. Just within the last year we’ve learned that supposedly our emails aren’t safe from prying eyes, our phone calls aren’t safe from listening ears, and even our webcams aren’t necessarily safe from watching us without our knowledge. It’s a scary world we live in, and if you believe all the above is true, it might be about to get just a little bit scarier for you.
This is no big surprise considering all of the other NSA leaks as of late, but it is still surprising nonetheless. Recent reports show that the NSA has been taking all kinds of images from emails, video calls, texts, various forms of social media, etc. and using them to increase the strength of their facial recognition program. Just how many images are they taking per day? According to Snowden, as reported by the New York Times, they intercept “millions of images a day”.
Smile For The Camera
Technically, the NSA is using this facial recognition technology to locate supposed terrorists, but all of the images they capture can’t belong to suspected terrorists; some of them (maybe a lot of them) belong to folks just like you and me. As the New York Times reports:
“It is not clear how many people around the world, and how many Americans, might have been caught up in the effort. Neither federal privacy laws nor the nation’s surveillance laws provide specific protections for facial images. Given the N.S.A.’s foreign intelligence mission, much of the imagery would involve people overseas whose data was scooped up through cable taps, Internet hubs and satellite transmissions.”
Does this frighten you in the least that anything and everything you do online could potentially be watched and monitored by governmental agencies? Do you believe they only use facial recognition for suspected terrorists? Let us know how you feel about this in the comments section below.
[Image via audiosex]