Code: 1350   |  View : 306   |  Comments : 0 RSS comment feed   |   Print   |   Email  

Boston police’s social media surveillance unfairly targeted Muslims, ACLU says

06 February, 2018 19:08
Boston police’s social media surveillance unfairly targeted Muslims, ACLU says

A social media monitoring tool used by the Boston Police Department to identify potential threats swept up the posts of people using the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter and a lawmaker’s Facebook update about racial inequality, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

The ACLU says in a report based on documents obtained through a public records request that the police department’s use of Geofeedia to mine the internet appears to have had little benefit to public safety while unfairly focusing on groups such as Muslims. Boston police say the ACLU’s conclusions are misguided and that the program helped police successfully monitor events that could lead to demonstrations or crowds and threaten security.

Boston police used Geofeedia for two weeks in 2014 and again for more than a year starting in January 2015, according to the documents. The department’s use of the program became public in late 2016 after it solicited bids to spend $1.4 million for another social media monitoring software.

The now-defunct location-based program allowed officials to set up email alerts for when certain keywords were used on social media. The alerts were vetted by analysts in the department’s Boston Regional Intelligence Center and the data was discarded once it was determined it wasn’t a potential public safety issue, McCarthy said.

Geofeedia was used by police departments across the country until social media companies cut off access to its data after concerns raised by the ACLU of northern California in 2016. The software was also widely used by companies interested in what their customers were saying about them online, and news organizations for reporting.

The documents show Boston police searched for keywords they identified as ‘‘Islamic extremist terminology,’’ including words like ‘‘ISIS’’ and ‘‘caliphate’’ as well as Arabic words such as ‘‘ummah,’’ which means ‘‘community.’’

Source: The Associated Press

Category : Islamic World News  |   Rate : Article Rating|  
Boston police’s social media surveillance unfairly targeted Muslims, ACLU says
Post Rating
There are currently no comments, be the first to post one.
Post Comment

Name (required)

Email (required)


Enter the code shown above:

News Search
© Copyright 2003 Islamic Research and Information Center( I R I C ) All Rights Reserved
Please send your comments and suggestions to
Graphic Design : | Potral :