Sunday, January 07, 2018

Do I really want Big Brother talking to me via an ‘always on’ device?
Alison DeNisco Rayome reports:
Lancashire police officers are researching an integration with the digital assistant that would allow the force to send out crime bulletins to residents, such as missing persons reports, wanted suspects in the area, and the number of officers currently on duty, according to a TechSpot report. The integration could also be used for internal communications, such as to update officers on daily crime logs or breaking incidents.
However, the most interesting potential usage would directly involve residents, allowing victims and witnesses to report crimes directly to the police via their Amazon Echo—another example of how artificial intelligence (AI) tools can potentially free up human workers like police to do more complex work.
Read more on TechRepublic.

So, it’s like fingerprints? But it can be used in ways fingerprints can not. (e.g. You are related to someone who left DNA at a crime scene.)
Did you know that police can compel you to provide a DNA sample if they are booking you for (just) a misdemeanor?
I didn’t know, and was not happy to read about it on John Wesley Hall posts part of the opinion in U.S. v. Buller:
This court tends to agree with Justice Scalia that the primary purpose of the DNA collection statute is criminal investigation. As such, this court also agrees that the Fourth Amendment should require a warrant or some level of suspicion before the search of one’s DNA is allowed. However, until the King decision is modified or repudiated, it remains the law of the land and this court is bound to apply it. Because the analysis under King and the rationale for the conclusion in King cannot be meaningfully distinguished in the case of a misdemeanor arrestee, and because there is no federal law decided in the five years since the King decision was issued making such a distinction, the court concludes that the collection of DNA from Mr. Buller is constitutional under the Fourth Amendment.
Add that to the list of things that need to be fixed.

Are they now saying “Free is Bad?”
How to Curb Silicon Valley Power—Even With Weak Antitrust Laws
Technology companies with unprecedented power to sway consumers and move markets have done the unthinkable: They’ve made trust-busting sound like a good idea again. [Yoicks! Bob]
The concentration of wealth and influence among tech giants has been building for years—90 percent of new online-ad dollars went to either Google or Facebook in 2016; Amazon is by far the largest online retailer, the third-largest streaming media company, and largest cloud-computing provider. Silicon Valley titans coasted to the top of the economy with little government oversight on the backs of incredibly convenient products, a killer backstory, shrewd lobbying, and our personal data. They were allowed to grow unfettered in part because of a nearly-40-year-old interpretation of US antitrust law that views anticompetitive behavior primarily through the prism of the effect on consumers. In that light, the tech industry’s cheap products and free services fell somewhere between benign and benevolent.

Perspective. How would you find that terrorist-related needle in this haystack?
WhatsApp sets new messaging record: 75 billion on New Year’s Eve
WhatsApp, one of the world’s most-used messaging services, hit a new milestone on New Year’s Eve: more than 75 billion messages sent by its users. The new record represents the most messages sent in a single day in the chat app’s history, a spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. The previous record was set in 2016, also on New Year’s Eve: 63 billion messages sent.
The 75 billion number included 13 billion images and 5 billion videos, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp revealed.

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