Monday Meetup: APD Tracks Social Media

EFF-Austin-logo-300x188Date: Monday, November 16, 2015
Time: 7PM
Location: Capital Factory

Our speaker this month will be radio personality Jimmy Preston, host of 100 Proof Radio on KTSW 89.9FM and producer at Double Punch Kick Productions.

Jimmy is originally from Northern Virginia, and was a willing participant in the Tech Boom and crash at the turn of the century, and after leaving the tech sector went on to contribute to the Real Estate boom and bust in 2008. After moving to Austin 5 years ago, he began purposing a career in media production, and will complete his degree at Texas State University in May 2016. His interest in social justice issues, and media law and ethics have led him to follow many groups in the Austin area as they work to bring about change for the better. Jimmy is currently working with the Second Chance Democrats to bring Fair Chance Hiring to Austin, and the initiative just passed committee and will go to the full council in February 2016.

Jimmy will be speaking to us about Austin Police Department partnering with local company Snap Trends to monitor social media aggregate data. Snap Trends says they created this software “to serve public safety organization [sic] and national intelligence agencies in the United States.” They state that their technology “builds a clear view of social conversations when and where they occur, the influencers driving them, and why.”


Surveillance states

Arundhati Roy quites Edward Snowden from a meeting in Moscow:

Ed spoke at some length about “sleepwalking into a total surveillance state”. And here I quote him, because he’s said this often before: “If we do nothing, we sort of sleepwalk into a total surveillance state where we have both a super-state that has unlimited capacity to apply force with an unlimited ability to know (about the people it is targeting)—and that’s a very dangerous combination. That’s the dark future. The fact that they know everything about us and we know nothing about them—because they are secret, they are privileged, and they are a separate class…the elite class, the political class, the reso­urce class—we don’t know where they live, we don’t know what they do, we don’t know who their friends are. They have the ability to know all that about us. This is the direction of the future, but I think there are changing possibilities in this….”

Read the entire article here.

ComputerCOP in Travis County

Here’s a video about the dangers of using ComputerCOP software, which has been distributed by hopefully unwitting law enforcement organizations:

In 2011, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office distributed 5,000 copies of ComputerCOP with keylogger.