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Bourlai co-edits textbook on surveillance-related technologies

A photo of Mahos Bourlai.

 Thirimachos Bourlai has co-edited a textbook on surveillance-related technologies.

West Virginia University’s Thirimachos Bourlai , associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering, has co-edited a textbook on surveillance-related technologies in both civilian and military environments.

“Surveillance in Action” discusses the ethical and privacy considerations in the light of the global environment from both perspectives: the citizen and the government. It presents cutting-edge technologies in the service of surveillance.

According to Bourlai, the book is broken into three parts.

“The first part of the book—Surveillance of Human Features—reviews surveillance systems that use biometric technologies,” Bourlai said. “It covers a variety of approaches including gait recognition, face-based physiology-assisted recognition, face recognition in the visible and infrared bands and cross-spectral iris recognition.”

The second part—Surveillance for Security and Defense—looks at the ethical issues raised by the use of these systems in combatting terrorism and ensuring security.

“In addition to presenting different iterations of satellite surveillance systems, it explores the use of unmanned air vehicles and drones,” Bourlai said. “It also proposes surveillance techniques for detecting stealth aircrafts and drones and highlights techniques for maritime border surveillance, bio-warfare and bio-terrorism detection.”

The final portion—Cyber Surveillance—reviews data hiding techniques that are used to hinder electronic surveillance. It also presents methods for collecting and analyzing information from social media sites and discusses techniques for detecting internal and external threats posed by various individuals (such as spammers, cyber-criminals, suspicious users or extremists in general).

A subject matter expert in biometrics and facial recognition, Bourlai is the founder and director of WVU’s Multi-Spectral Imagery Lab. The MILab has participated in biometrics and deception detection-related research projects funded by various sponsors, including the Center for Identification Technology Research, a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center founded at WVU; the U.S. Department of Defense-Office of Naval Research; TechConnectWV; the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; the Department of Homeland Security; and the FBI.

The book, Bourlai’s second, was co-edited by Panagiotis Karampelas, an instructor in the Department of Informatics and Computers at the Hellenic Air Force Academy in Greece.

“I am grateful and honored to know and work with Prof. Karampelas,” Bourlai said. “We have been working together since 2015 on several research and educational initiatives, including the completion of this book, and the successful organization and completion of two past conferences in surveillance and security.”

The book is being published by Springer International Publishing. It is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2018.



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