UK Surveillance Backlash

February 9, 2018

Recently, the UK attempted to fight a variety of criminal activity by developing a mass data unit that used analytics and AI to fight crime. If it sounds like science fiction, that’s because it doesn’t really exist. The task force was ruled illegal recently, we discovered in a Guardian story, “UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal.”

According to the story Security minister Ben Wallace responded to the ruling saying:

“Communications data is used in the vast majority of serious and organized crime prosecutions and has been used in every major security service counter-terrorism investigation over the last decade. It is often the only way to identify pedophiles involved in online child abuse as it can be used to find where and when these horrendous crimes have taken place.”

While the British police are crying for more freedom, they are not the only ones being restricted. A better solution, in our mind, comes from Crime Report, who are advocating for a balanced system of big data policing. According to their report, “acceptable boundaries” must be set in order to protect citizen privacy, but also increase the police’s ability to do their job through technology. It’s likely to be a debate that rages on for a while, but we are hoping for an acceptable solution.

Patrick Roland, February 9, 2018

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