UN Starts Investigation to Ban Cyber Torture

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UN Starts Investigation to Ban Cyber Torture

Magnus Olsson, Geneva 8 March 2020                                                                                                

UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Special Rapporteur on torture revealed during the 43rd HRC that Cyber technology is not only used for internet and 5G. It is also used to target individuals remotely – through intimidation, harassment and public shaming. 

On the 28th of February in Geneva, Professor Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel Inhuman Degrading Treatment and Punishment, has officially confirmed that cyber torture exists and investigation is now underway on how to tackle it legally.

Electromagnetic radiation, radar, and surveillance technology are used to transfer sounds and thoughts into people’s brain. UN started their investigation after receiving thousands of testimonies from so-called “targeted individuals” (TIs).

Professor Nils Melzer is an expert in international law and since 2016 he holds the Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. His team has found evidence that Cyber technology is used to inflict severe mental and physical sufferings.

“Judges think that physical torture is more serious than cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” he told the Guardian on 21 February. “Torture is simply the deliberate instrumentalization of pain and suffering.” These psychological torture methods are often used “to circumvent the ban on torture because they don’t leave any visible marks”. (1)

Cyber psychological systems like cognitive radio are used to interrupt human perceptions and memory. They can also be used to spy on people violating personal integrity which could lead to corruption and slavery in society. Cyber torture is also called no-touch torture or brain-machine interface.

One way to handle this situation is to regulate new technologies and use AI control mechanisms by independent and impartial investigators. The evidence gathered could then be used to convict criminals easier and quicker in the future.

Professor Meltzer and his team is now underway to create an international legal framework covering cyber technologies that can cause torture which previously was hard to prove. In the future it may be necessary to establish Radio Frequency Spectrum police in order to protect humanity from cyber terrorism. Nils Meltzer also revealed to me personally that the HRC will release several reports on this subject soon in the future.

  1. Owen Bowcott, ‘UN warns of rise of ‘cybertorture’ to bypass physical ban’ (The Guardian, March 2020)      https://www.theguardian.com/law/2020/feb/21/un-rapporteur-warns-of-rise-of-cybertorture-to-bypass-physical-ban?fbclid=IwAR0mIvFNEpODW8KspG0XulW8MqkmzSSiO2gskQOgHicfxRjCTgKWV3vjlh0

New Surveillance System Identifies Your Face By Searching Through 36 Million Images Per Second

New Surveillance System Identifies Your Face By Searching Through 36 Million Images Per Second

 

When it comes to surveillance, your face may now be your biggest liability.

Privacy advocates, brace yourselves – the search capabilities of the latest surveillance technology is nightmare fuel. Hitachi Kokusai Electric recently demonstrated the development of a surveillance camera system capable of searching through 36 million images per second to match a person’s face taken from a mobile phone or captured by surveillance. While the minimum resolution required for a match is 40 x 40 pixels, the facial recognition software allows a variance in the position of the person’s head, such that someone can be turned away from the camera horizontally or vertically by 30 degrees and it can still make a match. Furthermore, the software identifies faces in surveillance video as it is recorded, meaning that users can immediately watch before and after recorded footage from the timepoint.

This means that the biggest barrier in video surveillance, which is watching hours of video to find what you want, is gone.

The power of the search capabilities is in the algorithms that group similar faces together. When a search is conducted, results are immediately shown as thumbnails, and selecting a thumbnail pulls up the stored footage for review. Because the search results are displayed as a grid, mistaken identifications can be ruled out quickly or verified by pulling up the entire video for more information.

The scenarios that this system could be useful for are endless. The police, for instance, could find individuals from old surveillance video or pick them out of large crowds, whether they are suspects or people who’ve been kidnapped. Or if a retail customer is caught stealing something on camera, the system could pull up footage from each time the customer has been in the store to identify other thefts that went unnoticed.

Rapid search of the video database allows users to review video around key timepoints.

The company, which specializes in video cameras for the imaging, medical, and security markets, states that the system is ideally suited for large-scale customers, such as law enforcement agencies, transportation centers, and retail centers. The system will be released in the next fiscal year presumably customized to specific customer’s needs. Interested parties have to contact the company directly, which is probably wise in order to control whose hands it ends up in. And this means that soon, the only thing that’s going to be anonymous anymore are the agencies and organizations using the software.

While this news should make anyone concerned about privacy shudder, it really was only a matter of time before something like this was developed. Likewise, it means that competing systems will follow until systems like this are common. So it will be up to legislators to define how the technology can be used legally as with other surveillance systems, like license-plate recognition cameras.

Check out the video from the security trade show so you can see for yourself just how easy it is to be Big Brother with this system:

[Media: YouTube]

[Sources: DigInfoDigital TrendsPhysOrg]