The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score’


Washington Post:

The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score’

FRESNO, Calif. — While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect’s potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report. The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man’s social- media postings. It calculated his threat level as the highest of three color-coded scores: a bright red warning.

The man had a firearm conviction and gang associations, so out of caution police called a negotiator. The suspect surrendered, and police said the intelligence helped them make the right call — it turned out he had a gun.

As a national debate has played out over mass surveillance by the National Security Agency, a new generation of technology such as the Beware software being used in Fresno has given local law enforcement officers unprecedented power to peer into the lives of citizens.

Police officials say such tools can provide critical information that can help uncover terrorists or thwart mass shootings, ensure the safety of officers and the public, find suspects, and crack open cases. They say that last year’s attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., have only underscored the need for such measures.

But the powerful systems also have become flash points for civil libertarians and activists, who say they represent a troubling intrusion on privacy, have been deployed with little public oversight and have potential for abuse or error. Some say laws are needed to protect the public.

All seems very 1984-ish but if it works, especially finding terrorists it will be hard to oppose.
I remember right after 9/11 some expert said that our intelligence establishment was geared toward finding big stuff like missiles, tank divisions, &c and we had to come up with ways of finding small groups and individuals that are part of small networks.


Cool! Can’t wait for the day when being a Catholic constitutes a bright red threat level! (I am being sarcastic)


Giving the authorities some much needed information vs. loss of privacy. It is a two-edged sword.

I think they have quite a few Muslims to deal with before they start harassing Catholics. (I’m being sarcastic too.) :cool:


You aren’t being sarcastic. This White House has assessed right wing Christian religious groups to be a greater threat to domestic terrorism than Islamic groups. Fox News spent roughly 2 years rolling their eyes about the priorities of our Homeland Security Department.


Care to back that up?

Loss of privacy does not mean better security.

Better security does not mean loss of privacy.


And who will keep tabs on the many dangerous people who work in law enforcement ?


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? I think we will probably reach a point of infinite recursion eventually what with us all keeping an eye on each other.


Well, the bible does tell us there will be a time when christianity will be illegal, so should really not be a shock that we are headed in that direction.

Plus, I think its fairly well known, the govt keeps tabs on everyones emails, cell phones, texts, Facebook, twitter, etc etc. They are not collecting all that data just for the fun of it…Im sure there are some plans to use that information against the people, but Edward Snowden tried to warn everyone about this, sadly, many people just blew it off.


Umm, considering the Catholic stand on abortion, the HHS Mandate, and related issues, I’d say the CC. Is already considered a threat.

Thank God for the Catholic Church



If the information is publicly available and based on the description it sounds like most of it was, this is an excellent tool to have. More intelligence will ensure that fewer situations turn violent.

closed #11

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