Facial recognition protest (copy)

Protesters target facial-recognition technology use by Amazon.

If you Google “police state,” one of the definitions is: “a totalitarian state controlled by a political police force that secretly supervises the citizens’ activities.”

We have been lurching towards such a state for several years now.

Recently, The Washington Post (July 7) published the results of public-records requests by Georgetown Law researchers. Since 2011, the FBI and ICE have been scanning the driver’s license database photos of millions of Americans without their consent or knowledge.

Most of the hits are of people who have never committed a crime.

Members of both political parties have expressed their dismay, including Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D.-Md., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R.-Ohio.

Two cities — San Francisco and Somerville, Mass. — have banned their police and public agencies from using facial-recognition software. Well, do you value your privacy, or don’t you mind if your face is found erroneously to commit a crime?

Many years ago, the eponymous character Pogo, in that comic strip, said: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” It was a gentle rebuke to the U.S. participation in the Vietnam War.

The same quote could very well be applied today.

Harvey Herman


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