The Happiest..... er, SPYINGEST Place on Earth?

UPDATE: Sorry, Ma-ma kept Da-da honest by doing some digging and it turns out that the below excerpt is innaccurate, and being misrepresented by some people, now Da-da being one of them. Damn. Seems the "software engineer" referenced was stoned out of his mind on said day (the infamous 4/20 Day of Stonedness), and his girlfriend volunteered their particulars to the park in advance. That said, D-land still has more cameras per square foot than any other place on earth, but speaking as one who's worked there, it comes in handy when someone barfs (custodians magically appear to spread, "pixie dust" on the offending splotch), or if some visiting gang member gets a little fighty -- OR if you're playing a song that's NOT in the Disney songbook (jeez, it was just, "Lullaby of Birdland," give Da-da a break).

Here's the original story, with the Naomi Wolf portion now DEBUNKED.


Da-da was planning Bronko & Nagurski's first trip to Disneyland, but he's not so sure, now. It's sad, as Da-da used to work for the mouse (now, The Maus) years ago, and he gives THE best unofficial tours...

This Is How We Know The Shocking Facts About 'TrapWire' Are True

Last week WikiLeaks published internal emails from the U.S. private security firm Stratfor that describe a widespread surveillance network called TrapWire that was created and is run by former members of the CIA.

RT first broke the story about the system's staggering reach into the privacy of passersby and informative stories followed.

Then several news outlets claimed that the growing dismay was misguided, specifically the claim that cameras linked to TrapWire utilizes facial recognition software.

Ryan Gallagher of Slate said the reports are "rooted in hyperbole and misinformation" and Scott Shane of the New York Times called them "wildly exaggerated."

But one thing – besides the fact that the founder of TrapWire's parent company said the software "can collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition" – proves to us that the reporting on TrapWire is rooted in reality: Mickey Mouse does it.


A Naomi Wolf article in the Guardian about the rise of security cameras at Occupy hangouts and the multi-billion dollar biometric technologies industry includes this story:
A software engineer ... visited Disneyland, and ... the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.
It turns out that Disney applies biometrics – that is, the statistical analysis of biological data – in the form of scanning visitor fingerprint information and identifying people with facial recognition software.

[NOTE: Da-da discovered that you can opt out of the thumbprint thing, which is, apparently, a "thumb measuring" device, to prevent people... from doing something. If you show ID at a ticket window, you can get right in.]

In fact, "Walt Disney World is responsible for the nation’s largest single commercial application of biometrics," and after 9/11 the government sought, "Disney’s advice in intelligence, security and biometrics," as reported in 2006 by Karen Hamel of News 21.

Hamel listed several former Disneyland employees that have gone on to fill, "some of the most sensitive positions in the U.S. intelligence and security communities," including:
• Disney executive Gordon Levin, who was part of a group convened by the Federal Aviation Administration and other federal agencies to help develop a plan for, "Passenger Protection and Identity Verification" at airports by using biometrics.

• Eric Haseltine, who left his post as executive vice president of research and development at Walt Disney Imagineering in 2002 to become associate director for research at the NSA and then became National Intelligence Director John Negroponte’s assistant director for science and technology.

• Bran Ferren, who served on advisory boards for the Senate Intelligence Committee and offered his technological expertise to the NSA and the DHS.
So if Mickey does it at, "the Happiest Place on Earth" – and willingly shares his biometrics secrets with the government – then it's no stretch that TrapWire actively spies on people all over the world.

[This is sounding a little paranoid.]

Read more
Da-da can understand Disney's desire for high levels of security, but they can do that without violating guests' (or cast members') civil liberties -- esp. those of children. Needless to say, Da-da cares little about himself, but the privacy and civil liberties of his children -- and everyone else's children -- is a different matter. Da-da for one won't stand for this. So, Da-da chooses to do the most hurtful thing he can to the Disney Empire: he won't give them his money... not that he could afford the ticket prices, anyway.

So long, Walt. Da-da's glad you didn't live to see what they've done to your dreams.
No wonder his ghost haunts the place.

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