Topical news and op-ed articles

  • 2013-06-10 | Fortune | Francis Gouillart | Big data NSA spying is not even an effective strategy
    The Obama Administration thinks it can prevent terrorism by collecting and linking immense volumes of private phone call, credit card, and Internet data. Unfortunately, as the administration trades privacy for intelligence insights, President Obama is exchanging a cherished American value for an unproved theory.
  • 2013-06-10 | | Tim Cavanaugh | What do They know about you? An interview with NSA analyst William Binney
    William Binney worked as a National Security Agency analyst for nearly 30 years, eventually becoming the technical director of the of the world geopolitical and military analysis and reporting group.
  • 2013-04-09 | FBI | Zach Friend | Predictive Policing: Using Technology to Reduce Crime
    This is an informal report about the use of software for predictive policing by the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). It is mainly based upon research in Santa Cruz, CA by George Mohler, P. Jeffrey Brantingham and Zach Friend, but also references the LAPD's use of the same software by its Foothill division.
  • 2013-02-27 | NIJ Journal | Nancy Ritter | Predicting Recidivism Risk: New Tool in Philadelphia Shows Great Promise
    Tool uses random forest modeling to identify probationers likely to reoffend within two years of returning to the community.
  • 2013-02-08 | Wired | Nassim N. Taleb | Beware the Big Errors of ‘Big Data’
    We’re more fooled by noise than ever before, and it’s because of a nasty phenomenon called “big data”. With big data, researchers have brought cherry-picking to an industrial level. Modernity provides too many variables, but too little data per variable. So the spurious relationships grow much, much faster than real information.
  • 2013-02-01 | NIJ Journal | Greg Ridgeway | The Pitfalls of Prediction
    The criminal justice system should take advantage of the latest scientific developments to make reliable predictions, but need to know about seven common pitfalls.
  • 2013 | Rand Corporation | Walter L. Perry et al | Predictive Policing Forecasting Crime for Law Enforcement
    A four page resarch brief compiled by the Rand Corporation PP team: Walter L. Perry, Brian McInnis, Carter C. Price, Susan Smith, John S. Hollywood.
  • 2012-10-29 | BBC | Katia Moskvitch | Predicting crime - a step towards a safer world?
    News report citing claims from IBM that CRUSH (Criminal Reduction Utilizing Statistical History) that predictive policing technology has helped reduce crime in Memphis, Tennessee, by more than 30%. Also cites claims from PredPol about "impressive results in Los Angeles.
  • 2012-09-18 | Daily Mail | Martin Robinson | Minority Report-style computer programme predicts where future burglaries will take place
    West Midlands Police is the first in the UK to use the ‘predictive policing’ method to stop house or flat burglaries before they happen in Birmingham. The project is known as Operation Swordfish and will use a new software system to map crimes and to calculate where the next burglary will probably happen, allowing the police fleet control to send officers to that area of the city.
  • 2012-09-18 | BBC | Phil Mackie | Could 'predictive policing' help prevent burglary?
    Supporters of a new initiative being tried out in the UK known as "predictive policing" argue that careful analysis of statistics and criminal behaviour could prevent future crime. News report on Operation Swordfish – a predictive policing scheme launched in the West Midlands.