The Los Angeles police department pursued a contract with a controversial technology company that could enable police to use fake social media accounts to surveil civilians and claimed its algorithms can identify people who may commit crimes in the future.
A cache of internal LAPD documents obtained through public records requests by the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-profit organization, and shared with the Guardian, reveal that LAPD in 2019 trialed social media surveillance software from the analytics company Voyager Labs.
Like many companies in this industry, Voyager Labs’ software allows law enforcement to collect and analyze large troves of social media data to investigate crimes or monitor potential threats.
But documents reveal the company takes this surveillance a step further. In its sales pitch to LAPD about a potential long-term contract, Voyager said its software could collect data on a suspect’s online network and surveil the accounts of thousands of the suspect’s “friends”. It said its artificial intelligence could discern people’s motives and
— source theguardian.com | Sam Levin, Johana Bhuiyan | 17 Nov 2021