This planet gets more like a prison every day...
Tuesday, Aug 24th, 2010
Law enforcement agencies in Washington D.C. have begun to use technology that they say can predict when crimes will be committed and who will commit them, before they actually happen.
The Minority Report like pre-crime software has been developed by Richard Berk, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Previous incarnations of the software, already being used in Baltimore and Philadelphia were limited to predictions of murders by and among parolees and offenders on probation.
According to a report by ABC News, however, the latest version, to be implemented in Washington D.C., can predict other future crimes as well.
“When a person goes on probation or parole they are supervised by an officer. The question that officer has to answer is ‘what level of supervision do you provide?’” Berk told ABC News, intimating that the program could have a bearing on the length of sentences and/or bail amounts.
The technology sifts through a database of thousands of crimes and uses algorithms and different variables, such as geographical location, criminal records and ages of previous offenders, to come up with predictions of where, when, and how a crime could possibly be committed and by who.
The program operates without any direct evidence that a crime will be committed, it simply takes datasets and computes possibilities.
“People assume that if someone murdered then they will murder in the future,” Berk also states, “But what really matters is what that person did as a young individual. If they committed armed robbery at age 14 that’s a good predictor. If they committed the same crime at age 30, that doesn’t predict very much.”
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Critics have urged that the program encourages categorizing individuals on a risk scale via computer mathematics, rather than on real life, and that monitoring those people based on such a premise is antithetic to a justice system founded on the premise of the presumption of innocence.
Other police departments and law agencies across the country have begun to look into and use similar predictive technologies. The Memphis Police Department, for example uses a program called Operation Blue CRUSH, which uses predictive analytics developed by IBM.
Other forms of pre-crime technology in use or under development include surveillance cameras that can predict when a crime is about to occur and alert police, and even neurological brain scanners that can read people’s intentions before they act, thus
detecting whether or not a person has “hostile intent”.
It is not too far fetched to imagine all these forms of the technology being used together in the future by law enforcement bodies.
The British government has previously debated introducing pre-crime laws in the name of fighting terrorism. The idea was that suspects would be put on trial using MI5 or MI6 intelligence of an expected terror attack. This would be enough to convict if found to be true “on the balance of probabilities”, rather than “beyond reasonable doubt”.
The government even has plans to collect lifelong records on all residents starting at the age of five, in order to screen for those who might be more likely to commit crimes in the future.
Another disturbing possibility for such technology comes in the form of a financial alliance of sorts between Internet search engine giant Google and the investment arm of the CIA and the wider U.S. intelligence network.
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Google and In-Q-Tel have recently injected a sum of up to $10 million each into a company called Recorded Future, which uses analytics to scour Twitter accounts, blogs and websites for all sorts of information, which is used to “assemble actual real-time dossiers on people.”
The company describes its analytics as “the ultimate tool for open-source intelligence” and says it can also “predict the future”.
Recorded Future takes in vast amounts of personal information such as employment changes, personal education and family relations. Promotional material also shows categories covering pretty much everything else, including entertainment, music and movie releases, as well as other innocuous things like patent filings and product recalls.
Those detached from any kind of moral reality will say “If you’ve got nothing to hide then what is the problem with being scanned for pre-crime? If it keeps us all safe from murderers, rapists and terrorists I’m all for it”.
How far towards a literal technological big brother police state will we slip before people wake up to the fact?
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor at Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and regular contributor to Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.
This is just another bloody computer model. We already know that these don't work. There are the models that completely failed to predict the recession and then there are the models that can't accurately predict weather more than 24 hours ahead but are apparently uncannily accurate about a apocryphal cataclismic climate metldown 50 years hence.
Linear modes fail absolutely at predicting even short term chaotic trends. Anyone who says they can is either a liar, delusional or seeking rent. It's all bullshit.
See here what they are creating next:
If the Nazis had had this technology, no-one would have survived. That's horrific, Lennie.
I agree, Lynne, but how long before we do "preventative" law enforcement? People all over the world are wasting away in cells, accused of terrorist activity. No proof, no court case, no lawyer. Anyone from a government agency can accuse an innocent person, and, like the witch hunts of old, that person will never be allowed to defend themselves.
But who is speaking out? Who has emailed their government reps? Who is publicly denouncing this stuff? A handful of people (comparatively) on the internet, who are branded as "conspiracy theorists". And joined by some fake protestors to bring disrepute to the information.
Lennie, if that technology were to find itself on UK streets I would start up a business selling non-toxic body paint that reflects the scanners beams. I will quite happily use my body as a mobile protest platform painting phrases such as: My arse, your face or, to voice my most abject protest in two, universally recognised words: F*ck you!
Dez, being a catastrophic, man-made global warming sceptic (aka denier) there are watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) already baying for my blood and that of fellow sceptics. Apparently we should be convicted of crimes against humanity. We are labelled climate terrorists for denying that the "science is settled" and should be locked up, shot or gassed.
For asking four little words: Where is the evidence? So far it ain't been forthcoming. We get lots of computer model forecasts (not evidence), theory (not evidence), rhetoric (not evidence) and threats (evidence but only of their mental illness and violent tendencies) but nothing empirical. They are trying to label natural climate forcings as unnatural ones and turning a beneficial gas (CO2) we'd all die without into a world roasting monster driving us all towards a climate meltdown of Venusian proportions. And as far as the current record southern hemisphere winter is concerned, particularly on South America, I'm told to believe that cold is the new warm and besides, Moscow is roasting (but other parts of Russia have experienced a colder than average summer) because the jet stream has been bent out of shape which is vexing because they haven't found a way of blaming AGW yet. And I'm still trying to puzzle out how this last winter was the warmest on record when there were snow drifts piling up against my house for the first time in years and my two koi ponds were frozen over with an inch of ice. Oh and I live just a couple of hundred yards from the sea and I've absolutely refused to drown yet in all that sea rise that stubbornly ain't happening and shows no signs of beginning...
People are beginning to take notice that the world is going to hell in a pickle barrel thanks to our pathologically stupid ruling elites. It takes time to awaken this sleeping behemoth and many continue to dream on in the hope that things will turn out right eventually. I hope that Oz makes the right decision too. You have shown your doubts with the tied election results. Let's hope that common sense prevails.
At least some us remain vigilant though, eh? :0)
I've never believed in global warming - well, perhaps momentarily - since I saw a Dutch documentary proving the world is actually cooling (made in the early 90s, I think). We are being egged on to believe in a massive swine flu epidemic (really? where?) so we can support the drug companies and perhaps be infected with something worse. We are told we must fight "terror". Where? The Irish were blowing people up rather a lot and no-one took to them because they had no use at the time. No oil, no pipeline, no political use. Now it's the fairies at the bottom of the garden, which seemingly can't be found in the Afghani caves, even though we have technology that can see through your undies, and satelites that can find marijuana growing in forests. It IS 1984, but we just don't know it yet.
For once, I'm speechless. And horrified.