They Spied On Private Messages To Predict "Criminal Intent"

police officer texting on phone
Zain Murdock
December 22, 2021

It just got revealed that the LAPD and other precincts partnered with a tech firm called Voyager Labs. They say their algorithm can predict future criminals, and even dig into “suspect’s” follower lists for surveillance! But what have they actually done with this technology?

They were able to read people’s PRIVATE messages! They claimed to “identify a few new targets” when it came to gangs and hate groups, often including community activists – as well as thousands of people barely associated with them. That could be any of us.

The surveillance got so bad that even Facebook wrote to the LAPD, telling them to stop making fake profiles to spy on its users! And as much as police claim that they’re able to unearth “smoking guns,” experts and activists say the technology is more like a racist, xenophobic virtual stop and frisk.

“They’re saying, ‘We can see if somebody has criminal intent.’ No, you can’t,” said data scientist Cathy O’Neill, who worries that the algorithm will be turned into a technological weapon. “Even people who commit crimes can’t always tell they have criminal intent.”

As technology gets more advanced, police will have more dangerous ways to criminalize Blackness. None of us are safe! Whether you’re a “criminal” or not, this system is out to get us – and it needs to be challenged by the masses before it’s too late.

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