Tag Archives: Law enforcement

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It, by Kashmir Hill

The advances in facial recognition technology get creepier and creepier. From Kashmir Hill at nytimes.com:

A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and “might lead to a dystopian future or something,” a backer says.

Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow hair on their own photos.

Then Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security.

His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

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Revenue Collection and Something Else, by Eric Peters

Tickets use to be revenue collection devices. Now they’re part of a design to make driving as painful as possible. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

It used to be that roadside mulctings were primarily, even exclusively, motivated by simple money-lust. Traffic enforcement as a kind of random tax-raising effort.

Many towns and even cities in the United States are extremely dependent on the “revenue” – as it is styled – which is generated by the fleecing of motorists. This is why there are so many “infractions” – and it is why many of them are deliberately contrived so as to assure almost every motorist will be “guilty” of at least one “violation” every time he drives.

Examples include absurdly under-posted speed limits that are often functionally impossible to comply with – unless you want to get run over. And pedantic requirements about exactly where one must stop at a stop sign – and how long one must stop. The touching of a yellow line, etc.

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Beware The Wrath Of Patient Men, by the Raconteur Report

Just because somebody doesn’t advertise their political views doesn’t mean they don’t have them, that they’re not strongly held, and that they won’t, if push comes to shove, shove back…with firearms if necessary. From the Raconteur Report at raconteurreport.blogspot.com:

Dear Leftards:

You irrepressible commie halfwits think you’ve got the cards. You’re the idiot talking tough with the shotgun in your hand, and you’re about to get comeuppance. In Louis L’Amour’s memorable phrase, you’re about to have your meathouse torn down. With a mere couple of nutbags (mainly your own nutbags, nota bene) doing what nutbags do, you imagine you’ve got enough pull now to leverage your way into more asinine abridgments of the Constitution.

You haven’t, you won’t, and you really, really need to knock it off.
I remind you of this while you’ve got your limbs and most of your teeth all still attached.

We’re really not kidding.
You’ve had all the slices of our cake you’re ever getting.

Step. AWAY. From the table.
STFU, keep your hands in plain sight, and walk away, and you might live through this.

And for the cynical timid souls on the other side suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and normalcy bias, desist.
Re-think.

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The Breakdown Of Law In American Cities, by Samantha Biggers

It’s one thing if a police force is simply overwhelmed by crime. It’s another thing altogether if it simply stops enforcing certain laws. From Samantha Biggers at backdoorsurvival.com:

There is a disturbing trend in the cities of America. This trend is the complete disregard of the law and a persistent ignoring of very serious problems that affect the health, safety, and wellbeing of all that live, work, or do business in them and the surrounding suburbs. This cannot go on without some very serious consequences. When people are forced to take the law into their own hands, the situation can get out of hand quickly. Violence and chaos are far too easy to start and difficult or even impossible to stop without massive devastation.

When there is no law then that is anarchy and many of the larger cities in the United States are descending into it.

Anarchy is a slippery slope. When leaders issue orders to not arrest people for crimes, that is a warning sign that things are going downhill at a rapid rate.

What laws are not being enforced?

Shoplifting

Stores are being told they are on their own when it comes to stopping shoplifters. Everyone can just hire their own security force right? That is totally affordable for the small business owner in the eyes of some.

Vagrancy

There was a time when people would be told to move on or go to jail. Now there is no jail and police are not allowed to break up homeless camps in cities, even when they are literally on the sidewalks.

Smaller amounts of hard drugs like meth and opioids

Cities such as Seattle have told their police to not even bother booking someone unless they have more than about 30 doses of heroin. That is considered a personal amount and not anything anyone should worry about.

Property rights

One would think they have the right to say that someone cannot live on their property without permission or paying rent. More property owners are finding that they have a much harder time ridding their property of squatters.

People can make fun and scoff at celebrity LA landowners like Johnny Rotten for complaining about homeless encampments on their front yard but the man has a legitimate complaint. His wife has Alzheimer’s and a bunch of people in the front yard that are on drugs and unstable is not a safe situation.  Just because someone is wealthy doesn’t mean they don’t have a legitimate complaint if property laws are not enforced.

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What it Means to be a Law Enforcer . . . by Eric Peters

Law enforcers enforce the law, no matter how idiotic or unjust. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

It is no accident that police have become more brutal – in appearance as well as action – since they became law enforcement.

The term itself is a brutal syllogism. The law exists and must be enforced because it is the law. I am just doing my job, only following (lawful) orders. People were hanged for using such reasoning to justify the enforcement of vicious, evil laws and went to the gallows baffled as to why.

Victor’s justice, they called it. And perhaps they were right, if a bit prematurely.

Today’s defendants – well, one hopes that they will be that, one day – are just as guilty in kind if not degree.

They enforce the laws. All of them. They do not question the rightness of any of them. The law is the law.

It ought to raise hairs on the back of any thinking person’s neck.

Law enforcement countenances anything, provided the law says so. It is what has made it possible for law enforcers to seize people’s property without charge or due process of any sort – because the law (civil asset forfeiture) gives them the power to do it. Some do it perfunctorily – the banality of evil Hannah Arendt wrote about. Others do it zealously – this includes the rabid little man who is the chief law enforcement officer of the state, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

It is what enables “good Americans” (the same as “good Germans”) to stand in the middle of the road, halting every car at gunpoint (implied, even if not actually drawn; see what happens if you do not stop) and demanding “papers” be presented.

Without feeling ashamed of themselves.

Because the law says it is “reasonable” to do this. (If so, then it is not-rape to briefly penetrate an unwilling victim – which action by the way law enforcers also perform under color of the law but call it “looking for contraband” rather than rape.)

To continue reading: What it Means to be a Law Enforcer . . .