Nov 11, 2012

EU's INDECT coming to a place near you?

The European Parliament requested (april 2011) INDECT had to be suspended until documentations were published - as well as requesting review of the fundamental rights and ethics related to this project.
This is what the citizens elected representatives in the Parliament said:

 27.   Stresses that all research conducted within the FP7 must be conducted in accordance with fundamental rights as expressed in the European Charter; therefore, strongly urges the Commission to immediately make all documents related to INDECT (a research project funded by the FP7 aimed at developing an automated observation system that constantly monitors web sites, surveillance cameras and individual computer systems) available and to define a clear and strict mandate for the research goal, the application and the end users of INDECT; stresses that before a thorough investigation on the possible impacts on fundamental rights is made, INDECT should not receive funding from the FP7


... INDECT continued...



May 2012, new questions were asked from the Parliament (Ref. E-005080/2012 ) - which were answered  by the Commission: (17 July 2012)
The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that no official letter of withdrawal has been submitted by the Polish Government or the Polish police. To the knowledge of the Commission, the Polish police is still a partner of the INDECT consortium. The Commission would also like to inform the Honourable Member that INDECT has not been tested during the European Football championship (ref.)

Reports on the current state and the next steps of INDECT are publicly available under the following link as well as on the homepage of the project. Like all FP7 projects, INDECT will also be the object of a financial and technical assessment before the final payment. Similarly, INDECT will also have to produce a publicly available final report. The total contribution of the Commission for INDECT to this date amounts to EUR 9.196.633,11.
(EU gives these number for this project: Total cost: EUR 14.984.466 / EU contribution: EUR 10.906.984)




The 4 October 2012 another request for written answer was addressed to the Commission (ref. E-008922/2012)
  In response to violence on trains, stampeding crowds, football hooliganism and other similar problems, Member States are implementing the INDECT project to tackle criminal behaviour. Co-funded by the EU under the seventh framework programme for Research and involving researchers in 12 Member States, the INDECT project (Intelligent information system supporting observation, searching and detection for security of citizens in urban environment) is currently causing controversy. The project is designed to enhance the way existing mass surveillance tools, such as photographs and video footage, are used by improving the relevant procedures and making them automatic in an effort to ensure that crisis situations are dealt with more effectively.
However, the use of automatic surveillance techniques of this kind combined with the systematic collection of personal data could undermine individual freedoms.

Does the project include plans for a new regulatory framework to monitor exchanges of data and the detection of criminal activity on the Internet?
If the project is successful, how does the Commission intend to follow it up in legislative terms?
Is the introduction of an automatic system for detecting crime on the Internet and on the street part of a plan to create a huge database?
Lastly, does the Commission intend to produce a report on the research activities, outcome and precise objectives of INDECT in order to address once and for all people’s legitimate misgivings about the project?
(No answers as of today).



What is INDECT

This figure gives a brief overview of what it is (click on the figure for larger image)

 

  • provide several tools for watermarking technologies,
  • different types of search engines.
  • create MAS (Multi Agent System), an agent-based information system for observation, analysis and detection of criminal activities and threats in computer communications network, especially in the Internet.
  • provide tools for Relationship Mining;  identification of relations between entities as well as identification of events in which entities participate.
  • will targets terrorism, hooliganism, thievery, fire, artificial crowd, abandoned luggage, people in dangerous places, and others. 
  • acquisition and analysis of audio and video streams from large number of cameras and microphones. 
  • automatic, intelligent detection of threats and danger events based on image and sound analysis. 
  • provide tools for identification and observation of mobile objects in urban environment. 
  • will provide tools for biometrics and intelligent methods for extraction and supplying security information
  • deliver Web Portal which will provide “a single point of access” to various data sources (“intelligence subsystems”)
  • integrating and offering some of the (mentioned) functionalities
  • use Indexer to convert child pornography evidence files into a hash/descriptor database,  using Searcher and the previously generated database, suspect file systems of individual, arrested computers, can be searched for similar...
  • supports crawling of public Internet resources, 
  • aim of combating not only Internet child pornography, but also hooliganism and promotion of totalitarian ideologies
  • face-recognition-based search engines (with many features)
  • using normal face photos; the system has ability to search in mug shots database
  • Face recognition/detection in photos from monitoring cameras, Internet, etc., as well as recognition of detected faces in the mug shots databases has been considered. 
  • searching for criminals in community portals (e.g. public resources of Facebook, etc.) using photo of that criminal is under consideration
  • analysis of data sources, support for criminal analysis (detection of roles based on Social Network Approach, visualization of complex relationships), monitoring and detecting illegal content on the Internet
  • Botnet detection and confinement have been performed
  • Investigated analysis consists of the following tasks: importing external massive data, matching various formats of data (e.g. phone call billings, bank account transactions), data filtering, frequent patterns searching, statistics, visualization using different types of ... hypotheses. 
  • tools for Behavioural Profiling, especially learning behavioural profiles of known criminals. 
  • as an input, textual description of solved crimes have been performed and provided.
  • modelling criminal behaviour patterns investigated. 
  • prediction of behavioural characteristics of offenders is provided. 
  • has developed a system for gathering news articles.
  • detecting threats in real environment, some elements of sound events detection and classification have been analysed
  • sound analysis includes gunshot, explosion, scream, crying for help in European languages, breaking glass
  • techniques for sound source localization
  • high quality of CCTVstreams is ensured
  • event detection algorithms for automatic recognition of threats, like traffic or crowed interactions
  • automatic recognition of biometrics, including visual and sound features
  • recognition of criminals, the selected tools and special software developed
  • offenders detection, movement detection, and finally tracking. 
  • main task of the software is identification of characteristic features of the followed object,
  • detecting presence of people in closed areas, crowd observation
  • controlling position of the camera to hold the followed object close to the centre of the screen
  • started to develop an integrated network-centric system consisting of: INDECT UAV,
  • automatic Plate Recognition Station, Blue-Force Tracking Devices and Small Tracking Devices


Surprised?

The project faced several ethical issues related to its potential impact and use. 
Handling of collected personal data while protecting privacy and confidentiality is of major importance for the project...


Now, ask your politicians how, why & what is happening a place near yourself...




Links:

The INDECT Project

Storebror PST har fått nye øyne på nettet  (Norwegian text)

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