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“Privacy-technologies have come a long way in the lab, but they need to be made accessible and usable by end-users. Simply Secure will bring together developers, designers and users to ensure simple daily tasks can be made private, without increasing their complexity.” George Danezis, reader in security and privacy engineering at University College London

According to a leaked document in which technology companies are invited to offer their services, Egypt’s interior ministry says it wants the ability to scan Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Viber in real-time for usage that might “harm public security or incite terrorism”. The ministry asks the unnamed companies for a system that could dredge up “vocabulary which is contrary to law and public morality”. According to the document, this would include “degrading and acerbic ridicule; slander; insult; the use of profanity”, incitement of “extremism, violence and rebellion … demonstrations, sit-ins and illegal strikes”; and “pornography and decadence; immorality and debauchery, and the publication of ways to manufacture explosives”.

With presidential elections scheduled for October, the government is wary that violence and censorship have eroded human rights. Scrutiny from media industry groups and press freedom advocates, both domestic and international, has prompted Rousseff’s administration to take action, primarily by forming a working group in late 2012 to investigate attacks on the press and issue recommendations to the federal government.

Regardless of how you feel about facial recognition technology—is it a big time saver or a total privacy violator or both?—it’s here. Right now, military-grade technology is at work, watching who’s going in and out of buildings around the world. It’s also more easily accessible than ever. One of the most appealing things about the system is that it works with almost any existing security system. You just install the software and start spotting faces.