recommended reading

Make Way for the Human Flesh Search Engines


The robots are coming.

Indeed, it may just be time for Americans to welcome more scrutiny into their lives. The United States has had surveillance cameras for decades, and facial recognition software tied to some of the thousands of cameras in use in public places for most of the past 10 years. However, the April 15 bombing at the Boston Marathon may, like 2011’s summer riots in the UK, may be the moment when public awareness of the presence and more advanced capabilities of what are now being called “analytic cameras,” or cameras designed to not only capture but analyze what they see.

In this particular horrific incident, hundreds of cameras were trained on various parts of the crime scene since it took place at the focal point, the finish line, of a globally known and watched event. While not a nationally televised live sporting event, the Boston Marathon drew thousands of onlookers, hoping to see the race, snap pictures or grab video of friends and family as they surged toward the line. Because it is a timed event, cameras were also trained at the end to determine finishing place. And lastly, because it took place in a dense urban environment and a major commercial zone, probably hundreds of private and city closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras caught fragments of the scene.

It is this dense visual coverage—and the fact that these images weren’t centrally controlled but captured by both businesses and hundreds of people, creating a mountain of visual evidence, not quickly able to be parsed by humans, of varying quality, and spread over a large area—that has called machine intelligence into play. The FBI has fed mounds of visual evidence into face recognition applications since the bombing to get a fix on those responsible.

Read more at Quartz

(Image via alphaspirit/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.