The NYPD intends to create algorithms that scan the text of conversations in chat rooms, social media and emails for clues on potential ‘apolitical or deranged killers’, according to NYT. NYPD Police Chief Raymond Kelly said in a statement.
The goal would be to identify the shooter in cyberspace, engage him there and intervene, possibly using an undercover to get close, and take him into custody or otherwise disrupt his plans.There are plans to send NYPD officers to Newtown and to scenes of other mass shootings to collect information, Paul. J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, told NYT.
This is particularly bizarre since it appears that Adam Lanza, the shooter at the Sandy Hook Elementary Schoold, didn't leave any kind of Facebook or twitter clues. What algorithm would have spotted him in advance
The NYPD previously released a report [pdf] – signed off by Commissioner Kelly - studying the characteristics of over 200 ‘active shooters’ in a search for commonalities. According itNews the report says:
Although this analysis identified some common characteristics among active shooters, the NYPD found a large degree of variation among attacks across some broad categories, including: sex of the attacker, age of the attacker, number of attackers, planning tactics, targets, number of casualties, location of the attack, weapons used, and attack resolution.It's curious the NYPD chooses to claim it is looking for "apolitical killers," since to me it looks like the direction this is headed will included monitoring of political speech. And we already know what happened to Brandon Raub, who was taken in to custody by local police, the FBI and Secret Service, after internet comments that were anti-state, but comments that were not unusual on the internet. It is going to be very interesting to see who and how many people are going to be arrested or entrapped by the NYPD under this program.