"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, December 15, 2014

Police spy on social media to help assess your ‘threat rating’

Big Brother is Bi-Partisan 

  • The two different wings of the Republicrat Party that controls Congress is using your tax dollars to build a 1984 Surveillance Police State.

(Interaksyon) -  Yet new data-mining technologies can now provide police with vast 
amounts of surveillance information and could radically increase police power. 
Policing can be increasingly targeted at specific people and neighborhoods — 
with potentially serious inequitable effects.

One speaker at a recent national law enforcement conference compared future 
police work to Minority Report, the Tom Cruise film set in 2054 Washington, 
where a “PreCrime” unit has been set up to stop murders before they happen.
While PreCrime remains science-fiction, many technology advances are already 
involved with predictive policing — identifying risks and threats with the help 
of online information, powerful computers and Big Data.
New World Systems, for example, now offers software that allows dispatchers to 
enter in a person’s name to see if they’ve had contact with the police before. 
Provided crime data, PredPol claims on its website that its software “forecasts 
highest risk times and places for future crimes.” These and other technologies 
are supplanting and enhancing traditional police work.
Public safety organizations, using federal funding, are set to begin building a 
$7-billion nationwide first-responder wireless network, called FirstNet. Money 
is now being set aside. With this network, information-sharing capabilities and 
federal-state coordination will likely grow substantially. Some uses of FirstNet 
will improve traditional services like 911 dispatches. Other law enforcement uses 
aren’t as pedestrian, however.

One such application is Beware, sold to police departments since 2012 by a private 
company, Intrado. This mobile application crawls over billions of records in 
commercial and public databases for law enforcement needs. The application 
“mines criminal records, Internet chatter and other data to churn out … 
profiles in real time,” according to one article in an Illinois newspaper.
For example, working off a home address, Beware can send an officer basic 
information about who lives there, their cell phone numbers, whether they have 
past convictions and the cars registered to the address. Police have had access 
to this information before, but Beware makes it available immediately.
Yet it does far more — scanning the residents’ online comments, social media 
and recent purchases for warning signs. Commercial, criminal and social media 
information, including, as Intrado vice president Steve Reed said in an interview 
with urgentcomm.com, “any comments that could be construed as offensive,” 
all contribute to the threat score.
There are many troubling aspects to these programs. There are, of course, 
obvious risks in outsourcing traditional police work — determining who is a threat 
— to a proprietary algorithm. Deeming someone a public threat is a serious 
designation, and applications like Beware may encourage shortcuts and snap decisions.

It is also disconcerting that police would access and evaluate someone’s online 
presence. What types of comments online will increase a threat score? Will 
race be apparent?

These questions are impossible to answer because Intrado merely provides the 
tool — leaving individual police departments to craft specific standards for what 
information is available and relevant in a threat score. Local departments can 
fine-tune their own data collection, but then threat thresholds could vary by 
locale, making oversight nearly impossible.

Read More . . . .

CIA To Spy On You Through TV, Appliances

“From the proletarians nothing is to be feared. Left to themselves, they will continue from generation to generation and from century to century, working, breeding, and dying, not only without any impulse to rebel, but without the power of grasping that the world could be other than it is.”
George Orwell

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