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Crime The Military Technology

Fighting Street Gangs With Military Counter-Insurgency Software 171

An anonymous reader writes "After every major war, technology developed for a conflict gets applied to civilian life. The BBC recently reported that Army researchers have adapted advanced social network analysis software used for counter-insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan to help law enforcement analyze the behavior of street gangs. With the growing problem of gang violence in major U.S. cities, this may provide a fresh perspective. 'Orca can figure out the likely affiliations of individuals who will not admit to being members of any specific gang, as well as the sub-structure of gangs – the gang ecosystem – and the identities of those who tend to dictate the behaviour of others. ... Having some knowledge of the links and affiliations between different gangs can highlight dangers that call for more focused policing. If a gang perpetrates some violent action on a rival gang, police will often monitor the rival gang more closely because of the likelihood of retaliation. But gangs know this, and so the rivals might instead ask an allied gang to carry out a reprisal. Understanding such alliances helps the police stay a step ahead.' The question is: will it work?"
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Fighting Street Gangs With Military Counter-Insurgency Software

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  • one small problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by jfruh ( 300774 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @08:12PM (#44232573)

    With the growing problem of gang violence in major U.S. cities...

    This is a friendly reminder that violent crime in the U.S. has dropped every year for the past ten years [psmag.com], and in fact we're at the end of a fairly sustained 20-year drop in crime.

  • Re:one small problem (Score:4, Informative)

    by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:02PM (#44233503)

    The second amendment isn't ultimately about hunting. It is about the final defense of the American people against tyranny, whether from home or abroad.

    Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive. --- Noah Webster [wikiquote.org]

    The Swiss have that figured out as well.

    In World War II, the Swiss had defenses no other country had. Let's begin with the rifle in every home combined with the Alpine terrain. When the German Kaiser asked in 1912 what the quarter of a million Swiss militiamen would do if invaded by a half million German soldiers, a Swiss replied: shoot twice and go home. Switzerland also had a decentralized, direct democracy which could not be surrendered to a foreign enemy by a political elite. Some governments surrendered to Hitler without resistance based on the decision of a king or dictator; this was institutionally impossible in Switzerland. If an ordinary Swiss citizen was told that the Federal President--a relatively powerless official--had surrendered the country, the citizen might not even know the president's name, and would have held any "surrender" order in contempt. -- Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook [davekopel.com]

  • Re:one small problem (Score:4, Informative)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:35PM (#44233691)

    The 2nd amendment is because we didn't have a standing military at the time, nor did most parts of the US have any law enforcement of note. Having those firearms at that time served a legitimate need.

    Nice to see that you're pretty much completely ignorant of the reasons behind the 2nd amendment.

  • Re:one small problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:45PM (#44234059)

    The 2nd amendment is because we didn't have a standing military at the time,

    That is false two respect. First, the US Army as a force in being predates the Constitution, which is where the 2nd Amendment is found.

    The U.S. Army as a permanent institution began on 3 June 1784, when the Confederation Congress approved a resolution to establish a regiment of 700 officers and men. Intended as a force to assert federal authority in the Ohio River Valley, the regiment deployed at a string of posts along the Ohio where it functioned as a frontier constabulary during the last years of the Articles of Confederation era.

    Congress adopted this tiny force after the reorganization of the government under the Constitution in 1789. Responding to the outbreak of Indian war in the Old Northwest—and especially to St. Clair's defeat in 1791, the worst setback at Indian hands in the army's history—the government expanded the military establishment to over 5,000 in 1792. Organized as the “American Legion” and commanded by Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne, the army defeated the northwestern tribes at Fallen Timbers in 1794. During the same year, in response to European threats, the government launched a program of seacoast fortifications and added a corps of artillerists and engineers to build and man them. -- more [answers.com]

    Second, the 2nd Amendment rights were not intended to be time limited.

    II. A Permanent Right [ucla.edu]

    Some people suggest the justification clause provides a built-in expiration date for the right. So long as a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state (or so long as the right to keep and bear arms contributes to a well-regulated militia, or so long as the militia is in fact well-regulated), the argument goes, the people have a right to keep and bear arms; but once the circumstances change and the necessity disappears, so does the right. 12

    This reading seems at odds with the text: The Amendment doesn't say "so long as a militia is necessary"; it says "being necessary." Such a locution usually means the speaker is giving a justification for his command, not limiting its duration. 13 If anything, it might require the courts to operate on the assumption that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, since that's what the justification clause asserts. 14


    Having those firearms at that time served a legitimate need.

    They still do. Besides, whether you recognize it or not, if you are an American man you have almost certainly been a part of the militia.

    Sec. 311. Militia: composition and classes [house.gov]

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are -
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.


    Nice to see that you're pretty much completely ignorant of the reasons behind the 2nd amendment.

    If I have more to learn I don't think you have anything to teach. What you "know" about the matter seems to be wrong.

  • Pigeonholing people? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Camael ( 1048726 ) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @12:10AM (#44234205)

    when gang members are identified, eliminate them

    But what if the identification was wrong?

    Just look at how the profiling is done. From TFA:-

    One of the features of Orca is an algorithm – a set of rules – that assigns each member of the network a probability of belonging to a particular gang. If an individual admits to this, the assignment can be awarded 100% probability. But if he will not, then any known associations he has with other individuals can be used to calculate a probable “degree of membership”.

    We have no idea what rules are applied, or the weight given to them. The could take into consideration, for example, factors like skin color, race, language spoken, location of birth, marital status, family pedigree etc. I'm certain that the police are already taking some of these factors into consideration in deciding who to pay special attention to. The difference is that this technology is impersonal and can be misused to provide a veneer of legitimacy to otherwise abusive acts , e.g. "I'm shaking him down because the program says he is a gang member".

    My point is that people who are born into a gang dominated environment already are severely disadvantaged, and it sits ill that someone who may be innocent may be subjected to undeserved police action/scrutiny simply because he is marked as a criminal by some program.

  • by DamnStupidElf ( 649844 ) <Fingolfin@linuxmail.org> on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:23AM (#44235515)

    Those same corrupt assholes who I have on video towing my car while not improperly parked, fucking up, dropping it on its side, totaling it then lying in court saying it was side swiped when they got there, and the judge disallowing the surveillance video?

    Pics or it didn't happen.

    Seriously, stick that video on youtube and get yourself a nice civil lawsuit going when it goes viral.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun