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Clearview AI was built with the help of far-right extremists, reveals a report 

A report reveals the controversial face recognition software Clearview AI was developed with help from far-right extremists. 

The Huffington Post claims founder Hoan Ton-That has close ties with several extremists, attended dinners organized by alt-right groups and had employees famous for speech. 

It includes Charles Johnson, owner of a crowdfunding platform for white supremacists and Jack Posobiec, who led the Pizzagate campaign, along with Peter Thiel and his associate Jeff Giesa who is said to donate to alt-right causes, the Huffington Post claims.

The report claims to have videos, messages and emails linking the Clearview founder to these individuals as well as evidence suggesting the technology was designed specifically to ‘identify every illegal alien in the country.’

Ton-That has commented on these allegations in an email to DailyMail.com, stating: ‘I am not a white supremacist or an anti-semite, nor am I sympathetic to any of those views.’

‘They are abhorrent and I reject them wholly and without reservation.’

‘To those who have read my words in the Huffington Post article, I deeply apologize for them.’

A report reveals the controversial face recognition software Clearview AI was developed with the help of the far-right. The system is said to have a three-billion-strong database of social media photographs includes pictures which are private or have been deleted

Clearview identifies people by cross-referencing their mugshot with its mammoth image archive, which has sent chills up the backs of privacy campaigners since it began selling its service to police.

The system is said to have a three-billion-strong database of social media photographs includes pictures which are private or have been deleted.

And the mobile app is capable of matching names to faces with a tap of a touchscreen.

Clearview AI came under fire earlier this year when reports revealed it was lending its services US law enforcement agencies including the FBI to help hunt down suspects or search for illegal immigrants.

Clearview’s website says its technology has ‘helped law enforcement track down hundreds of at-large criminals, including pedophiles, terrorists and sex traffickers’.

The Huffington Post claims founder Hoan Ton-That has close ties with several extremists, attended a dinner organized by an alt-right group and had employees known for their hate speech

The Huffington Post claims founder Hoan Ton-That has close ties with several extremists, attended a dinner organized by an alt-right group and had employees known for their hate speech

The list of suspicious characters include Charles Johnson, who owns a crowdfunding platform for white supremacists and the leader of the Pizzagate campaign, along with Peter Thiel (pictured), a Facebook board member and Trump adviser, and his associate Jeff Giesa who is said to donate to alt-right causes, according to the report

The list of suspicious characters include Charles Johnson, who owns a crowdfunding platform for white supremacists and the leader of the Pizzagate campaign, along with Peter Thiel (pictured), a Facebook board member and Trump adviser, and his associate Jeff Giesa who is said to donate to alt-right causes, according to the report

But the app raises questions about privacy and the potential for it to be used for evil.

However, it appears privacy and security are the least of the firm’s problems.  

Ton-That grew up in Australia with his Vietnamese family before moving to the US aged 19 and later co-founding Clearview AI.

A well-known hacker, Ton-That made a name for himself in 2009 by creating a computer worm that stole Gmail users’ login credentials.

Six years later, he was rubbing elbows with those in the far-right who were helping Trump get into office.

CLEARVIEW AI FOUNDER COMMENTS ON ALLEGATIONS 

I am a proud American of Vietnamese and Australian descent. I am an immigrant to this country, which I support and dearly love, in large part because of its diversity and acceptance of people regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. 

I am not a white supremacist or an anti-semite, nor am I sympathetic to any of those views. They are abhorrent and I reject them wholly and without reservation. People I am close to personally and professionally are Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, straight, gay, black, white, Asian, and they have shaped my life and thinking over all these years. I grew up in Australia, but truthfully, I grew up on the Internet.

I grew up without television or movies as cultural touchstones. I learned about the world, its inhabitants and ideas online. It’s where I learned my craft to program and code, and how to navigate the vast variety of information, thoughts and views. It had not always been a straight path, and it had not always served me well. 

There was a period when I explored a range of ideas—not out of belief in any of them, but out of a desire to search for self and place in the world. I have finally found it, and the mission to help make America a safer place. To those who have read my words in the Huffington Post article, I deeply apologize for them.

I was shocked by and completely unaware of Marko Jukic’s online writings under a different name. As soon as those writings were brought to my attention, we took steps to separate him from the company. Tyler Bass no longer works as a consultant for Clearview AI.

Pictured is Charles Johnson (right) with George Zimmerman (right), who is known for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida back in 2012

Pictured is Charles Johnson (right) with George Zimmerman (right), who is known for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida back in 2012

This included Mike Cernovich, who is known for the infamous Pizzagate campaign and Andrew Auerheimger, a Nazi hacker who is involved with the far-right neo-Nazi, white supremacist and Holocaust denial site, The Daily Storm, according to the report.

The Huffington Post claims to have evidence that Ton-That attended a dinner with white supremacist Richard Spencer that was organized by alt-right financier Giesea, an associate of Thiel.

He was also a guest at the ‘Night for Freedom’ party organized in New York two years later.

Gavin Mcinnes, the Canadian founder of the neo-fascist Proud Boys gang, was a speaker who made racist jokes during his speech. 

The Pizzagate campaign leader Jack Posobiec was also there along with Canadian cult leader Stefan Molyneux and James O’Keefe, who in 2009 released a movie that ridiculed people of color that was financed by Thiel, claims the report.

The list of suspicious characters include Charles Johnson, owner of a crowdfunding platform for white supremacists

The list of suspicious characters include Charles Johnson, owner of a crowdfunding platform for white supremacists

Johnson told one source later that year that he viewed the technology as a way to potentially 'identify every illegal alien in the country.' There is also a Facebook post that he shared saying he was 'building algorithms to ID all the illegal immigrants for the deportation squads'

Johnson told one source later that year that he viewed the technology as a way to potentially ‘identify every illegal alien in the country.’ There is also a Facebook post that he shared saying he was ‘building algorithms to ID all the illegal immigrants for the deportation squads’ 

According to documents obtained by the Huffington Post, Thiel is suggested to have given Johnson funding or a startup that the Southern Poverty Law Center would label a ‘white nationalist hate group.’

However, the characters do not appear on any of the incorporation papers and the only link between Johnson and Ton-That is a single Facebook post.

Sources associated with the far-right did tell the Huffington Post that the two were in close contact since early 2016 when Johnson told them he was working with Ton-That on a facial recognition system.

Johnson told one source later that year that he viewed the technology as a way to potentially ‘identify every illegal alien in the country.’

Tyler Bass, a GotNews writer, questioned if there was a way to scrape 'an entire Facebook page quickly ... the next time another American goes apes*** and before Facebook pulls it down out of shame.'. Ton-That said Bass is no long with Clearview AI

Tyler Bass, a GotNews writer, questioned if there was a way to scrape ‘an entire Facebook page quickly … the next time another American goes apes*** and before Facebook pulls it down out of shame.’. Ton-That said Bass is no long with Clearview AI

There is also a Facebook post that he shared saying he was ‘building algorithms to ID all the illegal immigrants for the deportation squads.’

Video and private messages obtained by the Huffington Post confirm that Johnson and Ton-That teamed up on ‘far-right schemes’ in 2016.

And a year later they were in talks about scraping social media sites for a facial precognition business.

Then there is Marko Jukic, a Clearview employee who has contributed to extremist blogs with anti-semantic comments.

Text in emails show a thread between Johnson and his associates at GotNews, which discussed a ‘dogwhistle’ post they were putting together about a racially motivated mass shooting in Fresno, California, that was carried out by Black man who was Muslim.

Tyler Bass, a GotNews writer, questioned if there was a way to scrape ‘an entire Facebook page quickly … the next time another American goes apes*** and before Facebook pulls it down out of shame.’

‘I was shocked by and completely unaware of Marko Jukic’s online writings under a different name,’ Ton-That shared with DailyMail.com.

‘As soon as those writings were brought to my attention, we took steps to separate him from the company. Tyler Bass no longer works as a consultant for Clearview AI.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk