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Orwellian Police Software Scans Social Media and Assigns Citizens a Threat Rating

Fresno, CA– Don’t use the word “rage” on social media, or you may have an anti-police mentality. At least that’s the case according to Chief Dyer of the Fresno Police Department and their new social media scanning software called “Beware.”

The Orwellian software, which we have previously reported on, is designed to assess the risk involved when officers respond to calls at any given address. However it is likely to build even more mistrust among trigger happy police and create more danger for those they like to claim that they “protect and serve.”

The software compiles all information on any given person, or people at an address in which officers are responding. It then computes a numerical threat score or risk index for each person to assign a color-coded threat rating.  Not only does the Beware software pull up social security numbers, previous and current addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information but it scans your social media as well.

A reporter from ABC who voluntarily had himself assessed turned up a threat rating of ‘green’ with a score of zero. Another woman who had simply tweeted about a card game involving the word “rage” triggered a higher threat rating since the word “rage” apparently signifies an anti-police mentality.

“It doesn’t make them a criminal necessarily, some of those comments, but it certainly gives the officer an awareness that this person may have an anti-police sentiment and be an increasing level of threat to them,” Chief Dyer told ABC regarding the woman’s threat level.

This software has already been rejected in one city in Washington state. It is also majorly contended by privacy and human rights activists. However, Fresno has decided to jump on the opportunity to use the product for free for 18 months as a test market of sorts.

Chief Jerry Dyer told ABC that he understands the civil rights concerns, but the information is public and it may prove critical to officer safety.

With social media being used as a soundboard for many who post their fleeting thoughts or random feelings at any given time, what this software is essentially doing is targeting people for thought crimes. It is ensuring that they are greeted by an officer prepared to handle them as a criminal no matter the situation.

In the book 1984, by George Orwell, thought crime is a criminal act of holding unspoken independent opinions that go against the ruling party of Oceania.  It meant that not only were people controlled, but their thoughts were as well.

These laws were enforced by the Thought Police, who used surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate those who would dare to question or dislike, even internally, their government and rulers in Oceania.  While the novel was published in 1949, Orwell was intensely omniscient, and television-like screens with hidden microphones and cameras were used to monitor, misinform, and police the people or Proles.

“The inhabitants of Oceania, particularly the Outer Party members, have no real privacy. Many of them live in apartments equipped with two-way telescreens, so that they may be watched or listened to at any time. Similar telescreens are found at workstations and in public places, along with hidden microphones. Written correspondence is routinely opened and read by the government before it is delivered. The Thought Police employ undercover agents, who pose as normal citizens and report any person with subversive tendencies. Children are encouraged to report suspicious persons to the government, and some even denounce their parents. Surveillance controls the citizenry and the smallest sign of rebellion, even something so small as a facial expression, can result in immediate arrest and imprisonment. Thus, citizens (and particularly party members) are compelled to obedience.” Orwell, 1984.

In the Oceanian Society, Big Brother; their ruler, was atop of the pyramid, the Party in middle, the Proles, or general population at the bottom.

The Party “seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power.”

The company named Intradowho is responsible for the Beware software, would like to welcome you to 1984.

If there is hope, it lies in the Proles.