During a chat discussion on travel.stackexchange.com a few days ago, when airport biometric an was discussed, the conversation deviated and we started talking about general surveillance tech. A user, zxq9, made a number of interesting claims.

1. Human terrain

He said about himself that:

I used to work in a field where "human terrain" was part of our product. We're still probably 10 years from live crowd inspection -- it would be inordinately expensive to do this accurately with today's hardware.

Is "human terrain" an industry-specific keyword that is used to denote a certain type of surveillance? What are other similar such keywords that are very aptly hide in their innocuous name what surveillance they actually are doing? Is his claim about live crowd inspection true?

2. Israeli research

He claimed interesting things about companies that carry out surveillance tech and use crowd identification:

Most of the pioneering work was done about 15 years ago in Israel in an effort to figure out what members of a crowd had attended other crowd-sized events (and then compare that against criminal databases from before and after). Some of that work is published.

Where can I find that work? I couldn't come up with much searching the internet.

3. Corporate acquisitions

Even more interestingly, he said such are regularly acquired by the likes of Google, Facebook etc.:

[A] cursory web searching will present you with a flood of articles about companies being acquired/contracted by Facebook, FBI, Apple, Google.

Where is proof that the tech giants actually are doing this? And by proof I don't mean a sensational article by Huffington Post or similar sites, but compelling arguments (for example, either articles by reputable publishers in the industry or databases with lists of bought companies etc, from which one can infer that such acquired).

  • 1
    Did you ask the user for details? – Arminius Oct 20 '17 at 11:07
  • @Arminius Yes, as you can see if you scroll down the chat. – woza Oct 20 '17 at 13:07

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