Shitbirds Of A Feather Flock Together: ICE Signs $274,000 Contract With Clearview

from the voted-Most-Hateable-for-two-years-running! dept

ICE continues to not care what anyone thinks of it. Its tactics over the past few years have turned it into one of the federal government's most infamous monsters, thanks to its separation of families, caging of children, unfettered surveillance of undocumented immigrants, its fake university sting created to punish students trying to remain in the country legally, its sudden rescinding of COVID-related distance learning guidelines solely for the purpose of punishing students trying to remain in the country legally… well, you get the picture.

Perhaps it's fitting ICE is buying tech from a company that appears unconcerned that most of the public hates it. Clearview -- the facial recognition software that matches uploaded facial images with billions of images scraped from the open web -- is one of the latest additions to ICE's surveillance tech arsenal.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) signed a contract with facial recognition company Clearview AI this week for “mission support,” government contracting records show (as first spotted by the tech accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry). The purchase order for $224,000 describes “clearview licenses” and lists “ICE mission support dallas” as the contracting office.

That its new partner is being sued in multiple states (including a suit filed by the Vermont Attorney General) doesn't appear to concern ICE, which is itself often on the receiving end of lawsuits. Clearview may be making good on its promise to pull out of the private market and sell only to government agencies, but that just means it will be only governments using unproven AI and scraped images to pursue investigations and arrest people.

Clearview's statement to The Verge about its contract with ICE makes it appear this is all about the children:

“Clearview AI’s agreement is with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which uses our technology for their Child Exploitation Unit and ongoing criminal investigations,” Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That said in an emailed statement to The Verge. “Clearview AI has enabled HSI to rescue children across the country from sexual abuse and exploitation.”

Clearview leans on the children here, but the statement says a couple of other interesting things I'm sure Ton-That would rather slide by unnoticed. First: "and ongoing criminal investigations." ICE considers every undocumented immigrant to be a criminal, which means the agency is going to use this software to track down people in the US for committing the civil violation of staying in the country without the proper paperwork. ICE has not been able to find enough dangerous immigrants to make the administration's public statements about rampaging hordes of bad hombres come true, so it has decided to go after everyone, including students here on visas.

Second, Clearview claims it has "enabled" HSI to "rescue children across the country." I'd say we'd just have to take its word on this but we certainly don't have to take its word on this because it's said things like this in the past only for the named law enforcement agency to contradict Clearview's claims when asked for comment. That may be what Clearview hopes its partnership with ICE/HSI will do, but it's difficult to believe the recently signed contract has already produced results or that ICE/HSI are really using this mostly to fight child sexual exploitation rather than just uploading photos of brown people and hoping for hits.

Either way, we can safely conclude both partners here suck. ICE is bad and keeps getting worse, and Clearview isn't ever going to improve and is presumably still scraping sites for "content" it can sell to its customers.

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Filed Under: dhs, facial recognition, for the children, hsi, ics, surveillance
Companies: clearview, clearview ai


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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 12:27pm

    Ummmm???

    Didnt think they could do that,
    Without Gov. say so..
    WHO gave them permission.??

    Or is my assumption Correct that they are a Private concern..Paid for by our tax money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 12:37pm

    They'll burn that up before lunch, $274,000.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 12:39pm

    Shitbirds Of A Feather Flock Together: Left Wing Propagandists Spin For The Obama Regime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 12:41pm

    STONE STARTED THE ROSY PALM SCHTICK. Go back and check for yourself. I name Rosy Palmer from his comment because it hilariosly aggitated him seemingly. Why are you not being nice? I am not Hamilton.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 12:41pm

    Point of order

    First, at what point does Clearview become a state actor? Second, will TSA/HSI apply for a warrant for each and every use of this database, as they should?

    To the first question, if Clearview is only supplying its goods to law enforcement, aren't they already a state actor?

    And as to the second question, I seriously doubt it, at least until they get caught and fail to properly set up their parallel construction scenarios, and even then only when they feel like it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 1:04pm

    They will burn that up before lunch, $274,000..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Koby (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 1:14pm

    ICE considers every undocumented immigrant to be a criminal, which means the agency is going to use this software to track down people in the US for committing the civil violation of staying in the country without the proper paperwork.

    8 U.S. Code § 1325 (a) does make it a criminal violation, potentially resulting in imprisonment of 6 to 24 months.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 1:32pm

      Then let’s see them go after all the White people who’ve overstayed their visas by months instead of Black and brown people who’ve overstayed by a microsecond, then.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 3:22pm

      Re:

      interesting idea...
      Let them in for 5-24 months, if not forever.
      I love the advanced concept of letting others DO OUR JOBS, as we retire..at 20.

      As a citizen, the corp pays quite abit even giving us Min wage at 32 hours..
      Forgo all that paper work, Pay them min wage and Just give the Social sec its money, and I say Fair is fair.

      On to reality.
      Ever wonder WHY, those South of our border REALLY want to come to the USA?? I think, look up School of the America's. Wonder where all the USA anti drug money went? Ever wonder WHAT our corps do down there??
      Go figure out The old and new NAFTA.. and wonder why we still charge import fee's.. OH! look up the international freeway, which was built long ago, and the CORPS really want to change it...ALLOT threw every Low income area they can..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rorybaust (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 3:03pm

    surely someone could organise a class action over copyright of the images , we may assign a right to the actual social media for use but not to Clearview but at least where I am since the mandatory face mask edict Clearview got diddy squat chance of identifying anyone

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 3:30pm

    I bet clearview has acess to dozens of leaked databases eg company x leaked X million user data files which seems to happen every single month and of course it can acess Facebook, Instagram etc and of course there's data on everyone who ever applied for a drivers license or a passport.
    I d imagine clearview will be a high priority target of Chinese hackers too

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 6:16pm

    Second, Clearview claims it has "enabled" HSI to "rescue children across the country."

    Then i suppose they will be releasing all those children they have caged and are abusing. What, did they misplace them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Aug 2020 @ 1:01am

      Re:

      "Then i suppose they will be releasing all those children they have caged and are abusing."

      Odds are good the children in question will be "rescued" right into a cage, or thrown, alone, across the mexican border.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2020 @ 9:35am

    Smell that, Rand? Shitbirds. They get to flapping their wings, they kick up a shit tornado. Next thing you know, we're all covered in it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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