Disguises in the Age Of Surveillance

In a discussion with a fellow who …. knows, I confirmed my suspicions that there is facial recognition systems everywhere. Not only that, but license plate readers are everywhere as well. While I myself am a completely law abiding good citizen who would never do anything….lawless, I have in the past given some advice….

Never, ever, ever, bring a mobile phone or vehicle with a GPS to anything which could get into any questionable territory. Did I say never? I did? Good…..never.

Along with this, understanding disguise is a lot like understanding camouflage, it probably isn’t what you think. While the latest pattern at the big box outdoor store is great for catching money from customers, the real use of camouflage is very different.

Along those lines, I have a slightly different perspective on social media than most. People normally either completely drop off of it or make themselves interesting to some dude in a cubicle in Quantico. Be in between. They already know who you are, or more precisely the computers know who you are. They know you like guns, that you do not trust government and that you buy your pet meds online. Trust me, they know you. The trick is, have you gone from known to interesting? Have you gone from a dude who has voiced his distaste of current affairs to a person who may be someone worth looking at a lot more closely….

Let me tell you a little story. A few years ago, my quiet older middle class neighborhood had 2 fellows rent a recently vacated home in the culdesac behind me. It was obvious early on that something odd was happening. My neighborhood is close, we watch out for each other and we don’t call 911 first, no brag but we know that the guy next door can be there a whole lot faster. We quickly figured out that those 2 guys were selling drugs from their rented home. After numerous calls from many of us, and some letters, I stopped a cop on my street and simply asked him if he was aware. He told me yes, but he could not comment.

Long story short, they were busted on a Tuesday morning. It was the largest amount of meth ever confiscated in my county. They were not making, just selling, but right here in my nice old neighborhood. One day after this, a fellow came up to me at my back fence and said “Mr. Lawless?”. I looked up and it was a guy in a Led Zepplin shirt, jeans and sorta dirty sneakers with long hair and a beard. I stepped back a ways and asked what he wanted. He showed me his BATFE badge and asked to talk.

Turns out, those guys had been under investigation for months, before we even knew about them. Their habits and movements had triggered the investigation. The eye of Sauron was on them because they made themselves obviously interesting. Their vehicles were tracked, their faces were picked up at different locations and their phones were pinged. Myself and my neighbors simply helped confirm the activities that they were already watching.

See, they made some guy somewhere say “hmmmmmm” and look closer. One step led to another and before long these obviously dim guys were under investigation. Don’t be dim.

Like camouflage, using disguise is different that you probably think as well. While I am no expert in how facial recognition works, I know it can be fooled with certain amendments to your face. I hope this video helps you to understand and that you find it as interesting as I did.

Tick. Tock.

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