How Police Across the US are Watching Your Every Move Online to Determine Your “Threat Score”

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Top Tier Gear USA


Imagine the following scenario: You are on your way home from work, driving down the road when you notice police lights in your rearview mirror. You are being pulled over.

As you sit there, on the shoulder, adrenaline rushing, simultaneously angry and nervous, the police officer, in his patrol car behind you, is sizing you up based on an algorithm that determines your “threat rating.”

The officer enters your license plate into a mobile application on his laptop. In a matter of seconds, this application crawls over billions of records in commercial and public databases, including all available social media engagement, recent purchases and “any comments that could be construed as offensive.” The application then determines if your “threat rating” is green, yellow, or red.

Imagine that you are one of our informed and frequent readers and understand the importance of police accountability and are unafraid to voice your entirely peaceful, yet strong opinion about police misconduct. Imagine that you left a comment on Facebook this morning about a particular officer’s misconduct; imagine that it is this particular officer who just pulled you over.

Your rating just came back red.

Up until this point, you have never committed a crime, you have never been violent, you have never even so much as run a stop sign. However, this police officer now knows that you made a comment about him punching the (insert handcuffed and helpless victim example here) on Facebook, and he literally sees red–your threat rating.

What happens next? Does a routine traffic stop for driving 10 miles over the speed limit morph into a situation in which you now have a Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm pistol with Streamlight TLR-2s laser site being aimed just above your left ear?

Do you receive multiple erroneous citations because this officer now has access to your personal life? Do you get cited where the officer would have otherwise let someone else go?

Or, maybe you are a cop or a judge, or the mayor, but this application confuses you with someone else and marks you as “red,” then what? What if you are driving someone else’s car?

The reality is that any number of unimaginable things can and would happen next. And now, thanks to an especially ominous product, by a company named Intrado, and the Orwellian nature of police in this country, those extraordinary situations are now a reality.

Intrado is one of many corporations thriving here in the US, from the creation and growth of the police industrial complex. The hypothetical “application” mentioned in the above scenario is a real product of Intrado, called Beware. Police departments nationwide have been purchasing and using this application since 2012.

Intrado is one of many companies who cater to the police state, giving police these ostensibly helpful tools that actually erode civil rights and leave an enormous opening for corruption and abuse.

Private companies are currently, and have been, acquiring large portions of your tax dollars from federal grants to be used to build and implement certain “Pre-crime” technologies.

In a society that claims justice to be blind, how does judging someone on what they might do fit into the idea of freedom? The answer to that question is simple; it doesn’t.

Even if these “threat ratings” showed a statistical correlation to actually lower some instances of crime, which we have not seen, it’s not the right way to go about policing a people. Reason Magazine’s Peter Suderman sums this logic up quite eloquently:

By a roughly similar logic, we could lock up everyone—or even just everyone with the right risk profile, regardless of what crimes they have or have not already committed—from a high crime neighborhood, and call it a success when crime goes down.

This “surveillance grid” does little to nothing to protect society from a rogue criminal. What is does do, however, is protect the government by deeming large groups of people an enemy of the state; regardless of whether or not the individuals in these arbitrary groups are peaceful or have committed a crime.

report this week out of the Washington Post drew attention to Fresno, California, whose use of this technology has raised serious concerns.

Councilman Clinton J. Olivier, a libertarian-leaning Republican, said Beware was like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel and asked Fresno Chief of Police Jerry Dyer a simple question: “Could you run my threat level now?”

Dyer agreed. The scan returned Olivier as a green, but his home came back as a yellow, possibly because of someone who previously lived at his address, a police official said.

“Even though it’s not me that’s the yellow guy, your officers are going to treat whoever comes out of that house in his boxer shorts as the yellow guy,” Olivier said. “That may not be fair to me.”

The Fresno police department, along with their use of Beware, has dozens of monitors plastering the walls of their threat center that display feeds from the hundreds of cameras police have placed across the city. If those cameras don’t show enough, the police can then tap into 800 more feeds from the school and traffic cameras, as well as the future streaming of hundreds of officer body cams. As if this wasn’t enough, police will soon have access to the thousands of private cameras used by local businesses. It’s as if they are using 1984 as an instruction manual.

As what point does this dystopian surveillance grid growth begin to slow — when we all have permanently attached shock collars that police can use to “lock down” the town in the event of a ‘threat’?

If the idea of shock collars sounds ridiculous, just remember that prior to 9-11, the idea of spying on Americans in such a manner that is accepted now, was not only shunned, it was illegal.

The good news is that people are informing themselves about these insane police state measures and are resisting them.

After the citizens expressed their outrage over Beware’s threat rating system, Fresno Chief of Police Jerry Dyer, said he now wants to make changes to address resident’s concerns, according to the Post. Dyer claims that they are working to get the color-coded rating system, and the social media spying disabled.

Fresno is not alone in their outrage either; we’ve already seen well-informed communities stop their police departments from obtaining such equipment. The city council of Bellingham, Washington, rejected a proposed purchase of the Beware “threat rating” system in 2014.

Despite the Bellingham police department receiving a $25,000 federal grant to cover some of the $36,000 annual cost of Beware, the citizens still said “nay.” At a mandatory hearing about the purchase from Intrado, Bellingham citizens discovered how Beware worked and opposed the purchase.

Only through a lesser ignorance and peaceful resistance will the police state be stopped.

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Contributed by Matt Agorist of The Free Thought Project.

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  • jps73

    Another reason to stay off wastebook.

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  • NonYo Business

    Guilty before a trial.

  • I am a stand-up, clean-cut, tax-paying, good citizen that loves ‘Murica but that Я0llyJ0g3r guy is definitely a threat, lol!

  • Anothereno

    don’t use your real name online? use a “fake email” that doesn’t link to anything personal…. It’s pretty easy to circumvent systems like that…

    I’ve been doing it for years..

    • Me too. I take it a step further and sign up for stuff outside of my interest and support things I am against when using my real name also. Never give your enemy your true info… lies for the liars!

    • You’re fooling yourself, technology is much more sophisticated than you are. Everything you do online, everything you buy, everywhere you go is being tracked and fed to fusion centers where powerful AI algos put it all together.

      • That’s true but with obfuscation you can really throw them off and this I know for a fact.

      • Anothereno

        There’s a difference between directly targeting someone and mass data collection, sure they could find me if they were looking hard enough, but generally they take tit for tat..

        My VPN stores no data whatsoever so unless they were monitoring me in realtime they won’t see it.

        • You can add a second layer by using anonyMox firefox addon(free vpn). They have people fooled into thinking it is useless to try and hide but the truth of it is my connection makes so many stops that yeah, it could be possible to find me but no, I am nowhere near worth the expense/effort. You can add the free open VPN to a DD-WRT router for yet another vpn. logs for 3 days, then deletes the logs when they change the password, the other services I use do not log at all but the vpnbook one encrypts my whole house connection and I have extra client vpns on my machines that are logless. If you ever want to set up a DD-WRT router I can send you screen shots which will save you hours/days of frustration, lol! That thing was difficult to configure.

  • whiteberry

    One nation… under surveillance… with tyranny and subjugation for all…

  • WinstonSmithy

    Am I being served or protected by this program? What other profession scores the threat level of their employer(s)? Oh right, it’s being funded by the true employers of the police, the Feds, via “grants” of money printed out of thin air.

  • Rick E.

    This illustrates why one needs to find out where your police officers live! I know I have said this before on here, but one needs to level the playing field a little.
    It can be a fun game following one home, as they’re easy to follow due to their inherent stupidity and arrogance.
    Knock knock, who’s there? (not officer friendly)!

    • SP_88

      It’s a big help that they only hire people who have a below average IQ.

  • sunshine

    Fucking sickening. But not at all surprising. They want total control and they will apparently get their way. I guess it doesn’t matter to most people but it should….

  • RandyJ/ProudSurvivor

    My only threat rating should be displayed as a big, fat middle finger…

  • Mark

    site |sīt| noun1 an area of ground on which a town, building, or monument is constructed: the proposed site of a hydroelectric dam.• a place where a particular event or activity is occurring or has occurred: the site of the Battle of Antietam | materials for repairs are always on site.• short for building site.2 a website: the site has no ads and is not being promoted with banners |some servers use cookies to track users from site to site.

  • Mark

    sight |sīt| noun1 the faculty or power of seeing: Joseph lost his sight as a baby | [ as modifier ] : a sight test.• the action or fact of seeing someone or something: I’ve always been scared of the sight of blood.• the area or distance within which someone can see or something can be seen: he now refused to let Rose out of his sight.• dated a person’s view or consideration: we are all equal in the sight of God.2 a thing that one sees or that can be seen: John was a familiar sight in the bar for many years | he was getting used to seeing unpleasant sights.• (sights) places of interest to tourists and visitors in a city, town, or other place: she offered to show me the sights.• (a sight) informal a person or thing having a ridiculous, repulsive, or disheveled appearance: “I must look a frightful sight,” she said.3 (usu. sights) a device on a gun or optical instrument used for assisting a person’s precise aim or observation.

  • Roscoe

    The pigs will not let it be peaceful… YOU will have to FIGHT for your liberties…………. GUARANTEED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike

    Don’t use nsabook.

  • SP_88

    The internet is a place where people are not really themselves. That hot girl in the chat room is probably an overweight sweaty guy in his underwear on a computer in his parents basement. That teenager who just invited you over while their parents are out for the evening is probably Chris Hanson from “To Catch a Predator”. People are not real on the internet. And so the information gathered about these people is as phoney as their profile.
    I can understand a company coming up with this crap to make money, but I can’t understand why anyone would buy it based on the fact that it’s at least 50% inaccurate. And for the money it costs, that’s unacceptable. Not to mention that it will likely cause someone to be shot by the police, if it hasn’t already. If it’s only giving officers accurate information half of the time, and they don’t know which half, and it is just as likely to give them a green when the person is a red as it is to do the opposite, then this thing is completely useless. Men’s tits and the pope’s balls are more useful. They could save a lot of money and just have the cops guess. If they want to get fancy they could have a computer program that just randomly gives the officer a threat rating that is a complete guess. It would probably be more accurate.
    Maybe some day they could make a collar that people wear and it has a light on the side of it that tells the officer our threat level. And it could have a remote control that does certain things to us so we aren’t a threat, like a shock or the ability to shrink until it is choking us. I’m sure that the government will come up with other uses as well. Maybe the light would become unnecessary since nobody would be a threat anymore.

    • Gary

      I think the plan is a chip rather than a collar, and they’ll turn it off if you’re naughty.

      • SP_88

        And basically turn us off for being naughty.

  • John Henry Bicycle Lucas

    I have a Gasden flag sticker on the back window of my pickup, and on my motorcycles. I want it to let people know where I stand. So, if I’m stopped I will explain why I have it presented, if I need to. I will be compliant, but I won’t let my rights be abused. If I have a ticket or arrest coming, ok. I’ll see you in court.

    This is a small town and the cops already know a lot about residents without any database. These guys around here know I’m not a threat to them. I do travel however. This is when I must use caution.

    So, in effect, I’m already in their face. I don’t care anymore. Yes, that is my real picture on my profile.

  • Razedbywolvs

    The government does such a grate job at protecting the environment.
    I enjoy paying more taxes because DHS is a valuable service to me.
    Democracy is good, but instant run-off voting is bad.
    Muslims and Jews are good.
    Women need more stuff because they are exactly the same as men.
    People occupying public spaces are bad.
    I love Google.

  • Phil Rou

    Ok, this is frightening, but it is merely the tip of the iceberg. Some genius applied some statistics and came up with the notion that you are something like ten times more likely to go bankrupt, if someone within two degrees of separation of you has done so. Imagine what will happen to your credit score once banks start implementing that algorithm based on your LinkedIn or Facebook profile. Just look at your LinkedIn profile and see home many people this includes.
    Of course, this kind of profiling has existed since time immemorial; in Switzerland they don’t bother with Facebook they do it the old fashioned way : if you are a foreigner, they simply beat the crap out of you until you confess to murder, then proudly publish the fact that 72% of prison inmates are foreigners. Read about my incredible true story here :

  • Revolution is the only recourse! Revolution now!