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Dozens of Groups Launch 'Ban Facial Recognition' Campaign, Calling it a Threat

Dozens of Groups Launch 'Ban Facial Recognition' Campaign, Calling it a Threat
On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Chris Garaffa, web developer and technologist.

A diverse team of advocacy groups kicked off an effort Thursday to convince local, state and federal lawmakers to enact a blanket ban on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. The coalition of organizations, which represents more than 15 million people, warns that the tech imperils fundamental privacy rights and is "spreading like an epidemic." How big of a problem is this technology?

As if the events of recent days are not enough, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was dealt a fresh blow on Thursday when his brother Jo quit the government, saying he could no longer reconcile "family loyalty and national interest." Jo Johnson, a Conservative MP for Orpington, had campaigned strongly against Britain´s exit from the European Union in 2016, a position that put him at odds with his older and more famous brother Boris. "In recent weeks I've been torn between family loyalty and the national interest - it´s an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & minister," Jo Johnson tweeted. Like many families in Britain, the Johnsons were deeply divided over Brexit: a third sibling, Rachel, and their father Stanley also wanted to stay in the EU. Will a new election be announced soon in the UK?

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has declared the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization. A resolution that was introduced after the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival was approved unanimously this week. Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement, "The NRA exists to spread pro-gun propaganda and put weapons in the hands of those who would harm and terrorize us.  Nobody has done more to fan the flames of gun violence than the NRA." The NRA has called the passage a publicity stunt.

The Pentagon is pulling funding from Hurricane Maria recovery projects at military facilities in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and the money is being redirected towards US President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the US' southern border. Further funding is being redirected from construction projects in Europe, which were intended to strengthen allied defenses. In total, 127 such military construction initiatives in 23 states, three US territories and 20 countries will lose funding in order to budget $3.6 billion for the border wall, according to a Wednesday release from the Defense Department. This is real presidential brinksmanship.


Chris Garaffa — Web developer and technologist.  

Dr. Julian Vigo — Independent scholar and filmmaker who specializes in anthropology, technology and political philosophy. His latest book is "Earthquake in Haiti: The Pornography of Poverty and the Politics of Development."    

Dr. Rima Brusi — Anthropologist, writer, educator and scholar-in-residence at the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies at Lehman College-City University of New York.  

Douglass Sloan — Democratic strategist and principal at National Capital Strategy Group.

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