Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Beware of Technology named Beware

The Washington Post reports that there is a technology used by police forces called Beware. Beware, marketed by Intrado, profiles the threat level of a prospect for a police call. Calls to residences are among the most dangerous for police to answer. Their chances of being in harms way is much higher. So in addition to its 200 police camera "perched across the city," 800 more from schools and traffic cameras, and another several hundred worn by officers, the Fresno Police Department is testing yet another technology that is so invasive that it assigns a threat level to the person in the house before the police knock on the door. This is the type of technology used to spy on you every day. There's more.

The Post reports: "The cameras were only one tool at the ready. Officers could trawl a private database that has recorded more than 2 billion scans of vehicle license plates and locations nationwide. If gunshots were fired, a system called ShotSpotter could triangulate the location using microphones strung around the city. Another program, called Media Sonar, crawled social media looking for illicit activity...But perhaps the most controversial and revealing technology is the threat-scoring software Beware. Fresno is one of the first departments in the nation to test the program...As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the generate a color-coded threat level for each person."

Intrado's website describes Beware as: "Accessed through any browser (fixed or mobile) on any Internet-enabled device including tablets, smartphones, laptop and desktop computers, Beware® from Intrado searches, sorts and scores billions of publicly-available commercial records in a matter of seconds - alerting responders to potentially dangerous situations while en route to, or at the location of, a 9-1-1 request for assistance." It actually assigns a threat level of green, yellow, or red. But the company secret is how Beware scores an individual to assign the threat level, and its accuracy. A Fresno City Councilman had his threat level run and his home was rated yellow because of a previous resident, the Post reported.

Protecting police officers from unnecessary risk is important. Protecting personal privacy is a Constitutional requirement. Instead of being stewards of public property, such as roads, parks, schools, government buildings and the like, the government--local, state, and federal--has become dictator over public property. There is a big difference between a steward and a dictator. Under the deceptive guise of protection, your rights, your religious beliefs, your ability feel secure in the privacy of your home, can be violated by the all-knowing government. Exodus 20:3 says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Government is not God. We should ensure that it understands that while we still have a say.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson

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