The former United States Attorney General Eric Holder has been working on auditing AnyVision, an Israeli Artificial Intelligence company. Currently, Holder works at Covington & Burling, a law firm based in Washington DC. After months of research and investigation, Holder and his team of lawyers approved of AnyVision as one of the top facial recognition companies in the world.
Seeing the results of this investigation, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12 has invested $74 million in AnyVision. Earlier, AnyVision helped the Israeli army dodge several terrorist attacks from the Palestinians. The facial recognition software developed by Anyvision was employed by the Israeli forces to monitor Palestinians in the West Bank region.
The West Bank region is a landlocked territory near Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. Several countries have been battling to get a piece of this land and hence, the formation of militant groups in this region.
AnyVision has been instrumental in storing and recognizing the faces of the Palestinian militants and trouble-makers. This is also the reason why it received top defense prize in 2018 from the Israeli government.
What Did Eric Holder and His Team of Attorneys Uncover During the Investigation?
Despite the murmurs in the media, Eric Holder and his team at Covington & Burling concluded that AnyVision did not conduct a mass surveillance program in the West Bank region. The report Published by M12 also confirmed the fact that AnyVision facial recognition software has been used in border crossing checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank.
The faces of people who passed through the selected checkpoints were captured and stored for the record. AnyVision was never used to monitor the activity of militants in the regions around the checkpoints–this is contrary to the media reports.
Mr. Holder and his team went through all the records kept by AnyVision and the officials at the aforementioned checkpoints. They found nothing shady and hence the funding was approved.
What Do Folks on Twitter Think About Microsoft’s Decision to Fund an Israeli Company
Neil Crump @PyramidHead76, a photographer from West Midlands, England says “I guess they can re-invest the money in something less creepy, like reanimating the dead.”
A Palestinian media outlet IMEU @theIMEU reports that “Palestinian human rights advocates mobilized to pressure Microsoft over its funding of an Israeli facial recognition company that was helping to spy on Palestinians under occupation. Now Microsoft has sold its stake in the Israeli company.”