The protest at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. is being called a major security failure.
Five people lost their lives during the protest, including a veteran and a U.S. Capitol Police Officer.
As you know, the protestors made their way past security guards and into the Senate chamber, where election results were being certified.
People roamed the halls and were able to enter the offices of multiple lawmakers.
Four hours after the security breach, the protestors had been cleared out of the building.
Lawmakers reconvened the joint session to count electoral votes from the election.
But the damage was done.
And, authorities are still looking for many of those who participated to pursue criminals charges.
Many participants posed for photos and videos at the scene – some even live-streamed the protest on social media.
With many attendees believing they were not breaking the law, they walked past cameras, some even with their ID badges on.
At least 50 people were charged with crimes.
With protestors coming from all over the U.S. it could take a decent amount of time before the FBI tracks down all of them, even though many have already been found.
But, it is instructive to see how they are tracking them down.
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are being used to identify protestors.
These liberal tech giants don’t care about your privacy.
They would love nothing more than to help arrest these people. (Although, if these people were not conservatives, I’m sure the tech giants would be slower to help out.)
The FBI has asked for digital media showing the actions of those inside the Capitol.
According to the FBI, they are working with their “partners” to hold people accountable.
Even social media detectives are tracking down people.
There are websites with accounts dedicated to identifying and naming protestors.
There is even an Instagram page focused on identifying attendees. It had over 200,000 followers in the days after the protest.
The U.S. Capitol opened in 1800. It’s old, made of stone, with deep underground areas.
But it has a vast infrastructure to support cell phones, because lawmakers need access to the latest technology.
As for the protestors, this makes it easy for cell phone providers to pinpoint their location.
Any connected cell phone can act as a tracking device.
And investigators identified cell phone users who may have connected to guest Wi-Fi networks.
Unless protestors made a point of deactivating their devices or leaving them behind, their location is known.
The best way to avoid this type of tracking is to leave your phone at home or put it in a Faraday bag.
There are countless hours of video from the protest. Much of it taken by the attendees themselves.
It provides the ideal video for facial recognition.
Much of the same footage was captured from different angles, and with good lighting.
Also, very few of the protestors wore masks that would have blocked parts of their face.
The military-grade facial recognition technology used by the federal government is the best.
It can compare images from other government databases such as state driver’s license records.
The FBI’s software alone includes more than 641 million photos of Americans’ faces.
These are images from jail mug shots, visa applications, and driver’s licenses.
Authorities have made clear their determination to investigate the security breakdown.
FBI Office chief Steven D’Antuono said, “Just because you’ve left the D.C. region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out you were part of criminal activity in the Capitol.”
Now, last summer people burned down parts of major U.S. cities.
But the FBI didn’t put this much effort into tracking down those people – I guess this hit too close to home.
Now that you know people are being tracked, you can see how many folks are handing their info to any group that wants it.
Don’t do that. Be careful what you post and what you record.