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'User Manual for Authoritarian Surveillance': ACLU Red Alert as Amazon Peddles Facial Recognition Tool to Police


'User Manual for Authoritarian Surveillance': ACLU Red Alert as Amazon Peddles Facial Recognition Tool to Police

Jake Johnson, staff writer

After internal emails (pdf) published by the ACLU on Tuesday revealed that Amazon has been aggressively selling its facial recognition product to law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S., privacy advocates and civil libertarians raised grave concerns that the retailer is effectively handing out a "user manual for authoritarian surveillance" that could be deployed by governments to track protesters, spy on immigrants a


I’m sure that most regulars at CD have heard this stated often, but it bears repeating: every time you spend a dollar, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.

Draw your own conclusions.


Yup. I absolutely avoid Amazon and all its subsidiaries (like Whole Foods). Don’t buy from Amazon!

You can almost always find someone - usually a very small individual business selling the same product on E-Bay. Use them instead. Books can be bought from independent booksellers.


People have absolutely no clue what is waiting for them when they finally try to resist. It will be on hell of a wake up call…those Jackboots are ready.


But if you are a “law abiding citizen” you have nothing to worry about!


Of course, the corollary to this is that anyone expressing concern about this surveillance cannot be up to any good, is clearly guilty of “pre-crime”, and should be immediately arrested!


Burkas are looking better all the time.
Of course they have effectively been outlawed either by regulation (e.g. in schools) or attacks by bigots from the public.


Welcome to the “fourth” Reich!


“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist and said nothing, then they came for ___________” (fill in the blank).


If Trump’s campaign against Amazon wasn’t actually a campaign to put the US Postal Service out of business (disguised as a campaign against Amazon) it might be the first thing I agree with Trump on. Actually, the second thing. I agree Guantanamo needs to remain open to house Trump and other DC crooks after they are brought to justice.


This can be countered by keeping an ongoing list of the businesses/companies that set this tool up in their stores and then boycotting said stores. We need to be hitting these companies in the only manner they can understand, their bottom line.


then they came for…everybody else.


You all aren’t thinking about our ability to identify Wall Street criminals that are on the run from the law, cause that happens a lot. There will be nowhere to hide. Always a silver lining…


If cities don’t already have laws against wearing masks in public spaces don’t already exist, they will soon. Such laws will of course be meant to thwart anyone trying to go about their lives anonymously.

Just one more development upon an underlying mountain.

How did we get here so quick? Oh yes, that day. Never mind.

Mistaken identity from these systems happens with some statistical relevance, and as that little problem is worked out, random lives will be ruined even before such a system would be used in mass to round up political dissidents.

Then of course, there will be corrupt officials that will just coverup and evidence that the recognition data is erroneous.

Gosh, what would a dictator like a Trumpest in a Tin Pot do with all of these surveillance systems from the NSA to this already in place, and with HSD Fusion centers coordinating with militarized police possessing these systems, if such a dickhead dictator wanted to quash any massive revolt of US citizens?

Well, we shall see. The breakdown of order in this country is at this point inevitable. There will emerge quickly a political caste system of sorts, with the emergent right wing on top. The brown shirts of the US. White Nationalists with guns.

That’s where all of this is headed.


Yes, the future progressives and resisters will probably be labeled as supporting terrorists!


This is what happens when we blithely ignore stories like this, e.g., Google wants to mine asteroid belts.
More to the point: When corporations are unregulated, they behave like kids in a candy store, even though they’re already profoundly wealthy (ooh, who doesn’t want to be wealthy?) and absurdly above the law. Bezos is the richest person on Earth. My dream: The corporation (entirely artificial entity) itself is removed from society.


In my experience with music CD’s, Amazon has sellers (I don’t buy from it directly, though know it gets a cut of all) with CD’s that I cannot find anywhere else, but I always look to local retailers first.


As Claudia from Cabin talk said, “why are they so afraid of us?”

One of our new guards at work told me he used to be a cop and he was mad that some company didn’t give him a break on the price of something because he told them he’d been a cop - expecting a break. I didn’t ask why he wasn’t one anymore. I was too amazed by the anger and entitlement.


Yes indeed: The only tool it seems we have to resist is total, non cooperation. Boycotts need to be well organized so that a transition to non cooperation will become quite effective in hurting their ‘bottom line’.




There’s ebay which is okay as a buyer. If you’ve ever opened a store with them you’re dealing with the mob. I never got a penny from what I sold because they hold on to the money you make for weeks - even after your customers give you good feed back and I got so fed up with them I closed my store - 3 months after selling my stuff and never getting a penny. My customers payed paypal but it goes to directly ebay and not your paypal account. Ebay releases it to you after they take out 10% of anything you make(they keep 10% of
your sales) and listing fees and after they make you wait an unspecified time before transferring the money to you. Complaining had them tell me they keep your money for an unspecified time because your store is new and you have to “prove” yourself. When you’re selling stuff and paying shipping and the store fee and you never see a penny, it’s time to close. I’ve been told they’ve just gotten way worse but they were always bad.