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Is it possible to visualise a scenario where both military and police authorities are regularly keeping tabs on the civilian population by monitoring their use of applications such as Facebook and Google?

Much ado has been made about the use of big data in recent times, where the electronic footprints of every man, woman and child has come under scrutiny.

Big data is the collection of information from a variety of sources such as social media sites, pictures, videos, DNA, financial, educational and medical records, as well as mobile GPS data, to name but a few.

Military and government are regularly using big data applications to keep tabs on the public, it has been revealed.

Not only is this information being used to collect information about people but it has also been used to make arrests – before a crime has been committed.

Akashic Times tracked down Joe Parry founder, Cambridge Intelligence, makers of KeyLines who produces big data systems on behalf of the police and military.

He said that the US military in particular, is one of his biggest clients. “It is possible to connect KeyLines to any data source that has network data inside it. One of our customers uses it for social media monitoring from Twitter. Usually the access to the data comes from other providers. But the data can come from anywhere really. Some of our customers have put KeyLines on corporation data – directors, shareholders, companies, et cetera. Others use it on communication networks, and several use it for anti-fraud work in the finance industry.

“Our biggest customer is the US Army – they are certainly one of the more important sources of our feature requirements. In the government or for certain sciences the rate of data generation is phenomenal.”

He added that more applications of big data are discovered every week and that its use is set to grow in the coming years.

“In my opinion large corporations and governments will continue to invest in data analysis tools for the next 100 years, not just the next few,” he added.

Mr Parry also claimed that in terms of crime fighting applications, the data is only used to help authorities understand the networks that connect people together.

However police in the US have been using it to predict when a crime is likely to be committed and have made arrests on the basis of the data fed back to them through their computer program.
It is known as predictive policing and is documented as part of an ongoing trial by police from Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.

UK police have also copied that model and in a press release published last month, they revealed that they were piloting a similar initiative.

They have been working with police departments across the USA, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, who they claim have successfully implemented predictive policing.

They are also working with university departments in the UK to detect which areas and communities are estimated to have a higher propensity towards crime.

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