Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster." -MickAK

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Witness Protection Program's Days Are Numbered

Technology will kill it off. Mass facial recognition programs are coming, if not already here. Iris and or retinal identification will eventually be possible at a distance.

The facial recognition part could be fixed with extensive surgery. But they're not going to fix the retinal ID part. I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes illegal to wear sunglasses in some places.

Once that happens, all it takes is somebody who is able to tap into the networks and create an alert for the person they're looking for. And let's face it, wiseguys who have turned informer aren't going to settle for living in a cabin off the grid.

5 comments:

Expatriate Owl said...

The Witless Protection Program is already ineffective and undependable. The new technologies will, as you observe, make it all the more so.

S O said...

Contact lenses with fake colour retinas have been in use since the 70's at least.

And there are and will be few CCTV in rural areas.

BadTux said...

Gait recognition is also an up and coming technology. It can be defeated if you knowingly walk with a different gait but that's hard to do for long periods of times, your gait is intimately tied to your body. And there's an increasing number of CCTV cameras even in rural areas today because of the meth problem and the crime wave it has produced, where meth addicts crazed for another fix are stealing everything that isn't nailed down and some things that are.

That said, these cameras are *not* yet tied together. The problem is bandwidth. Video produces a ton of data and pushing that data over Internet pipes isn't reasonable yet. But the cameras are getting smarter -- some of them even have a Linux API exposed for writing software that actually runs on the camera for grabbing key frames and other such things -- so it's a matter of time.

Nangleator said...

The Witness Protection program, like law enforcement itself, is not intended to work. It's intended to give the illusion that it works. It's to give a possible witness the idea that he has a way out, with a good life ahead. The illusion is all that is necessary.

As for modifying your gait, a few pieces of duct tape across parts of the body, like say, your shoulder blades, can make sure you never forget to modify your walk. Duct tape: Another use.

Comrade Misfit said...

S.O., maybe an innocent witness might be content living in a rural area. But I doubt that your average wiseguy-turned-rat will be happy there. He'll go to a casino and the recognition system will flag him.