August 07, 2003

A modest proposal for the MATRIX

With greater power, comes the need for greater restraint. This article outlines how modern technology is being used to increase the efficiency of police work to the point where it's actually giving them qualitatively new capabilities. Databases are combined, information can be correlated from disparate sources and all with an ease that rivals the best of private enterprises business intelligence systems.

The old, practical barriers of inefficiency are falling rapidly. But there is a war on so perhaps new capabilities are needed. But at the same time abuse must be rooted out and never tolerated. The experience of UK CCTV is telling, people viewing those cameras capture a great many more women's breasts than they do terrorists or even petty criminals. The negatives of such systems has even led to at least one site that will map out routes on the web that will avoid cameras.

But the MATRIX system of combining databases is not so easy to conduct oversight on. Perhaps providing yearly notification of how many times your name came up as a hit on the search, why you were investigated. and who was investigating you would serve to minimize fishing expeditions.

Posted by TMLutas at August 7, 2003 12:12 AM