Palantir Knows Everything About You
april 2018 by jm
This is so fucking dystopian:palantir surveillance privacy precrime spidergrams future la gangs justice algorithms data-protection data-privacy policing harrassment
Operation Laser has made L.A. cops more surgical — and, according to community activists, unrelenting. Once targets are enmeshed in a [Palantir] spidergram, they’re stuck.
Manuel Rios, 22, lives in the back of his grandmother’s house at the top of a hill in East L.A., in the heart of the city’s gang area. [...] He grew up surrounded by friends who joined Eastside 18, the local affiliate of the 18th Street gang, one of the largest criminal syndicates in Southern California. Rios says he was never “jumped in”—initiated into 18. He spent years addicted to crystal meth and was once arrested for possession of a handgun and sentenced to probation. But except for a stint in county jail for a burglary arrest inside a city rec center, he’s avoided further trouble and says he kicked his meth habit last year.
In 2016, Rios was sitting in a parked car with an Eastside 18 friend when a police car pulled up. His buddy ran, pursued by the cops, but Rios stayed put. “Why should I run? I’m not a gang member,” he says over steak and eggs at the IHOP near his home. The police returned and handcuffed him. One of them took his picture with a cellphone. “Welcome to the gang database!” the officer said.
Since then he’s been stopped more than a dozen times, he says, and told that if he doesn’t like it he should move. He has nowhere to go. His girlfriend just had a baby girl, and he wants to be around for them. “They say you’re in the system, you can’t lie to us,” he says. “I tell them, ‘How can I be in the hood if I haven’t got jumped in? Can’t you guys tell people who bang and who don’t?’ They go by their facts, not the real facts.”
The police, on autopilot with Palantir, are driving Rios toward his gang friends, not away from them, worries Mariella Saba, a neighbor and community organizer who helped him get off meth. When whole communities like East L.A. are algorithmically scraped for pre-crime suspects, data is destiny, says Saba. “These are systemic processes. When people are constantly harassed in a gang context, it pushes them to join. They internalize being told they’re bad.”
april 2018 by jm
Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology - The Verge
february 2018 by jm
palantir creepy surveillance crime forecasting precrime new-orleans us-politics privacy
Predictive policing technology has proven highly controversial wherever it is implemented, but in New Orleans, the program escaped public notice, partly because Palantir established it as a philanthropic relationship with the city through Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s signature NOLA For Life program. Thanks to its philanthropic status, as well as New Orleans’ “strong mayor” model of government, the agreement never passed through a public procurement process.
In fact, key city council members and attorneys contacted by The Verge had no idea that the city had any sort of relationship with Palantir, nor were they aware that Palantir used its program in New Orleans to market its services to another law enforcement agency for a multimillion-dollar contract.
Even James Carville, the political operative instrumental in bringing about Palantir’s collaboration with NOPD, said that the program was not public knowledge. “No one in New Orleans even knows about this, to my knowledge,” Carville said.
february 2018 by jm
The Violence of Algorithms: Why Big Data Is Only as Smart as Those Who Generate It
june 2015 by jm
palantir algorithms big-data government democracy transparency accountability analytics surveillance war privacy protest rights
The modern state system is built on a bargain between governments and citizens. States provide collective social goods, and in turn, via a system of norms, institutions, regulations, and ethics to hold this power accountable, citizens give states legitimacy. This bargain created order and stability out of what was an increasingly chaotic global system. If algorithms represent a new ungoverned space, a hidden and potentially ever-evolving unknowable public good, then they are an affront to our democratic system, one that requires transparency and accountability in order to function. A node of power that exists outside of these bounds is a threat to the notion of collective governance itself. This, at its core, is a profoundly undemocratic notion—one that states will have to engage with seriously if they are going to remain relevant and legitimate to their digital citizenry who give them their power.
june 2015 by jm
How A 'Deviant' Philosopher Built Palantir, A CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut - Forbes
august 2013 by jm
Palantir -- the free-market state-surveillance data-retention nightmare. At the end of this slightly overenthusiastic puff piece we get to:palantir data-retention privacy surveillance state cia forbes andy-greenberg eff epic snooping
Katz-Lacabe wasn’t impressed. Palantir’s software, he points out, has no default time limits -- all information remains searchable for as long as it’s stored on the customer’s servers. And its auditing function? “I don’t think it means a damn thing,” he says. “Logs aren’t useful unless someone is looking at them.” [...]
What if Palantir’s audit logs -- its central safeguard against abuse -- are simply ignored? Karp responds that the logs are intended to be read by a third party. In the case of government agencies, he suggests an oversight body that reviews all surveillance -- an institution that is purely theoretical at the moment. “Something like this will exist,” Karp insists. “Societies will build it, precisely because the alternative is letting terrorism happen or losing all our liberties.”
Palantir’s critics, unsurprisingly, aren’t reassured by Karp’s hypothetical court. Electronic Privacy Information Center activist Amie Stepanovich calls Palantir “naive” to expect the government to start policing its own use of technology. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Lee Tien derides Karp’s argument that privacy safeguards can be added to surveillance systems after the fact. “You should think about what to do with the toxic waste while you’re building the nuclear power plant,” he argues, “not some day in the future.”
august 2013 by jm
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