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A Surveillance Company Is Giving The US Police Access To The Private Social Media Presence Of The States’ Own Citizens, In Attempts To Preemptively Catch Criminals

A company by the name of Voyager Labs has started gaining online relevancy over its strategies of helping out US detectives solve crimes by utilizing social media.

At any rate, Voyager Labs is a US based cybersecurity and analysis firm that pulls data from the social media personas of citizens, creating facsimiles of their real-life comings and goings with the data provided. The end result is to accurately capture the essence of a person’s life, in order to better run surveillance on them and catch culprits in the act of committing crimes. Moreover, Voyager Labs claims that such technology can even be implemented in the pursuit of preemptively stopping certain individuals from committing crimes in the first place.

Right out of the gate, we have two already repulsive concepts being involved: online surveillance, and the US police. Why in anyone’s right mind would putting them together be a good idea is beyond my understanding. Then again, we live in a day and age where literal Nazis go about declaring themselves as such with pride in their voices, so maybe I’m the idiot. Surveillance is already a major part of online discourse against social media and third party advertisers. Meta has been, and is even currently being, held accountable for robbing users of their search history and location data in the interests of profiting off of selling such data to advertisers for targeted ads. Is that bad? Yes. What would make this worse? Some random company run by trigger-happy imbeciles whose idea of doing things by the book involves shooting first, and asking questions never.

What’s worse is that Voyager Labs (a surveillance company that sounds uncomfortably similar to Voyeur Labs, yikes) actively admits to integrating bias in their so-called predictive system. The Guardian published studies that reveal how Voyager considers tweeting about Islam or adding Arab Pride to one’s Instagram bio to be suspicious behavior that indicates terrorist behavior. This is absolutely vile, disgusting behavior, a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, and validates the US police to snoop about more freely, when the exact opposite should be happening.

Whatever one’s views are on policing, this much is clear: such behavior is unethical and morally bankrupt to say the least, and boot-licking to be concise and accurate.

Photo: Doug Chayka / NYT

H/T: TG.

Read next: Edward Snowden Took To Social Media And Voiced His Concerns Of Search Engines Usability And Their Privacy Practices

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