Pasco County Cops Harassed Them and Searched Their Homes Without Warrants. A Judge Says They Can Sue.

It’s not every day you receive a letter from the local police department congratulating you on your acceptance into an exclusive program. Such is the story shared by several residents in Pasco County, Florida, a community in the Tampa area. One problem: None of the recipients applied.

“We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to participate in a Prolific Offender Program,” reads a letter from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). “Research indicates that barriers to successful living may involve struggles with mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, homelessness, finding a job, or several other challenges many people face on a daily basis. It is possible you have struggled with some of these issues. If so, please know the Pasco Sheriff’s Office is committed to support you in overcoming these challenges through this program.”

The “support” it offers, originally detailed in an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times, includes sending cadres of cops to people’s homes, where officers show up unannounced, harassing them and their family members, performing warrantless searches on their homes, and trying to nab them on petty offenses, like having grass that is too tall. The lucky winners were “selected as a result of an evaluation of your recent criminal behavior,” according to the PCSO, “using an unbiased, evidence-based risk assessment designed to identify prolific offenders in our community.”

In other words, the program is ostensibly trying to keep people out of trouble and deter future criminal behavior before anything goes dramatically awry. That sounds well-intentioned on the surface. But its “relentless pursuit” of community members has ruthlessly entangled people with the state—including targets’ family and friends—trampling over their Fourth Amendment rights in the process, says a recent lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm.

Their clients received good news this week: Though the PCSO sought to have the suit dismissed on a litany of different grounds, a federal judge struck each down in a ruling issued on Wednesday, allowing the claim to proceed.

“The Fourth Amendment protects the right to be safe and secure in your person and property,” says Ari Bargil, an attorney on the suit. “This program violates that right,” he notes, “because it allows and requires Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies to approach people at their home, harass them, refuse to leave, and in some instances demand entry without a warrant. These are obvious and clear Fourth Amendment violations.”

Sheriff Chris Nocco, the brains behind the program, openly admitted that it’s intended to do more than what the congratulatory letter implies: He hopes it will “take them out” of the community, he said, with one of his former employees conceding that their job was to “make their lives miserable until they move or sue.”

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Florida Sheriff’s Office Now Notifying People It Will Be Inflicting Its Pre-Crime Program On Them

The Pasco County (FL) Sheriff’s Office has been swamped with negative press coverage centering on its predictive policing program. The Office claims it’s not “predictive policing,” but rather “intelligence-led policing.” Whatever you call it, it sucks.

The Sheriff’s Office may have some lofty goals that involve stopping crime before it starts, but the supposedly forward-looking policing program does little more than subject past offenders (along with friends, families, and acquaintances) to sustained harassment by law enforcement officers. What’s supposed to keep crime down by directing resources to possible serious criminal activity has manifested as multiple visits from officers who do little more than try to coerce people into consenting to unlawful searches and write out nuisance citations for things like missing mailbox numbers or uncut grass.

The Sheriff’s Office has since spun this off to include students at public schools, presumably to prep kids for a future of pointless harassment by law enforcement officers simply because they have the misfortune of living in Pasco County.

Thanks to some lawsuits and investigations, the Sheriff’s Office is being a bit more proactive on the notification front. According to this ongoing investigation by the Tampa Bay Times, targets of the “intelligence” program are now being informed they’ve been blacklisted by the Sheriff’s Office.

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We’re All Targets of the Biden Administration’s New Pre-Crime Surveillance Program

Recently, the Biden Administration announced the establishment of what is essentially a pre-crime surveillance program. This program comes as no surprise to those of us with any concern for our civil rights as we saw this coming a thousand miles away. 

Of course, the program will combat “violent domestic extremism” and “violent white supremacy.” (Because all those years of blaming Muslims was just to get silly white people to give up their rights so the surveillance and police state could be turned back on them.) 

Who is running this pre-crime surveillance program?

The new office of pre-crime is called the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships. (CP3) is run by the Department of Homeland Security. However, John W. Whitehead has pointed out the DHS is “notorious for:

  • militarizing the police and SWAT teams
  • spying on activists
  • dissidents and veterans
  • stockpiling ammunition
  • distributing license plate readers
  • contracting to build detention camps
  • tracking cell phones with Stingray devices
  • carrying out military drills and lockdowns in American cities
  • using the TSA as an advance guard
  • conducting virtual strip searches with full-body scanners
  • carrying out soft target checkpoints
  • directing government workers to spy on Americans
  • conducting widespread spying networks using fusion centers
  • carrying out Constitution-free border control searches
  • funding city-wide surveillance cameras
  • utilizing drones and other spybots

Sounds very “Minority Report,” right?

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Total Tyranny: We’ll All Be Targeted Under The Government’s New Precrime Program

“There is now the capacity to make tyranny total in America.”― James Bamford

It never fails.

Just as we get a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, there might be a chance of crawling out of this totalitarian cesspool in which we’ve been mired, we get kicked down again.

In the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that police cannot carry out warrantless home invasions in order to seize guns under the pretext of their “community caretaking” duties, the Biden Administration announced its plans for a “precrime” crime prevention agency.

Talk about taking one step forward and two steps back.

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This Biden Proposal Could Make the US a “Digital Dictatorship”

Last Wednesday, President Biden was widely praised in mainstream and health-care–focused media for his call to create a “new biomedical research agency” modeled after the US military’s “high-risk, high-reward” Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. As touted by the president, the agency would seek to develop “innovative” and “breakthrough” treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes, with a call to “end cancer as we know it.”  

Far from “ending cancer” in the way most Americans might envision it, the proposed agency would merge “national security” with “health security” in such as way as to use both physical and mental health “warning signs” to prevent outbreaks of disease or violence before they occur. Such a system is a recipe for a technocratic “pre-crime” organization with the potential to criminalize both mental and physical illness as well as “wrongthink.”

The Biden administration has asked Congress for $6.5 billion to fund the agency, which would be largely guided by Biden’s recently confirmed top science adviser, Eric Lander. Lander, formerly the head of the Silicon Valley–dominated Broad Institute, has been controversial for his ties to eugenicist and child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and his relatively recent praise for James Watson, an overtly racist eugenicist. Despite that, Lander is set to be confirmed by the Senate and Congress and is reportedly significantly enthusiastic about the proposed new “health DARPA.”

This new agency, set to be called ARPA-H or HARPA, would be housed within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and would raise the NIH budget to over $51 billion. Unlike other agencies at NIH, ARPA-H would differ in that the projects it funds would not be peer reviewed prior to approval; instead hand-picked program managers would make all funding decisions. Funding would also take the form of milestone-driven payments instead of the more traditional multiyear grants.

ARPA-H will likely heavily fund and promote mRNA vaccines as one of the “breakthroughs” that will cure cancer. Some of the mRNA vaccine manufacturers that have produced some of the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines, such as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, stated just last month that “cancer is the next problem to tackle with mRNA tech” post-COVID. BioNTech has been developing mRNA gene therapies for cancer for years and is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create mRNA-based treatments for tuberculosis and HIV.

Other “innovative” technologies that will be a focus of this agency are less well known to the public and arguably more concerning.

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Predictive Policing: Weaponizing Data and Location

Often funded by federal grant programs and even operated out of federally-designated fusion centers, “predictive policing” software is showing up in more and more local law enforcement agencies. Learn what it is and how it’s used.

In practice, it’s little more than a dystopian pre-crime government credit score.

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Google Veterans Team Up With Gov’t to Fill the Sky with AI Drones That Predict Your Behavior

Imagine in the near future, a swarm of tiny drones patrolling the skies across the country. These drones are not being flown by any pilot and are entirely autonomous, carrying out their directives coded into them during manufacturing — surveil, record, follow, and even predict your next move. Sounds like something out of a dystopian Sci-Fi flick, right? Well, there is no need to imagine this scenario or to watch it in a movie.

It is already here.

Adam Bry and Abraham Bachrach, the CEO and CTO, respectively at a company called Skydio have helped usher in this new reality. The duo started together at MIT before moving on to Google and working on Project Wing Google. 

After moving on from building self-flying aircraft at Google, the duo founded Skydio and has been giving their autonomous drones to police departments ever since — for free.

“We‘re solving a lot of the core problems that are needed to make drones trustworthy and able to fly themselves,” Bry told Forbes in an interview this week. “Autonomy—that core capability of giving a drone the skills of an expert pilot built in, in the software and the hardware—that’s really what we’re all about as a company.”

According to Forbes, Skydio “claims to be shipping the most advanced AI-powered drone ever built: a quadcopter that costs as little as $1,000, which can latch on to targets and follow them, dodging all sorts of obstacles and capturing everything on high-quality video. Skydio claims that its software can even predict a target’s next move, be that target a pedestrian or a car.”

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IARPA Developing AI To Help Predict The Future

As far as secretive government projects go, the objectives of IARPA may be the riskiest and most far-reaching. With its mission to foster “high-risk, high-payoff” programs, this research arm of the U.S. intelligence community literally tries to predict the future. Staffed by spies and Ph.D.s, this organization aims to provide decision makers with real, accurate predictions of geopolitical events, using artificial intelligence and human “forecasters.”

IARPA, which stands for Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, was founded in 2006 as part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Some of the projects that it has funded focused on advancements in quantum computing, cryogenic computing, face recognition, universal language translators, and other initiatives that would fit well in a Hollywood action movie plot. But perhaps its main goal is to produce “anticipatory intelligence.” It’s a spy agency, after all.

In the interest of national security, IARPA wants to identify major world events before they happen, looking for terrorists, hackers or any perceived enemies of the United States. Wouldn’t you rather stop a crime before it happens?

Of course, that’s when we get into tricky political and sci-fi territory. Much of the research done by IARPA is actually out in the open, utilizing the public and experts in advancing technologies. It is available for “open solicitations,” forecasting tournaments, and has prize challenges for the public. You can pretty much send your idea in right now. But what happens to the R&D once it leaves the lab is, of course, often for only the NSA and the CIA to know.

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Police Keep Secret List of Kids with Bad Grades Labelling Them ‘Potential Criminals’

 In the ostensible land of the free, we are told that all people are presumed innocent until proven guilty by their peers. To those who’ve been paying attention however, we know that “innocent until proven guilty” is a farce into today’s police state. If you doubt this assertion, you need only look at the data to see that a whopping 74% of people in jails across the country — have not been convicted of a crime. 

While it is true that many of these folks are awaiting trial for crimes they did commit, there are innocent people behind bars for the sole reason that they cannot afford bail. A free country — who claims to protect the rights of citizens — should not be keeping hundreds of thousands of presumed innocent people in cages, yet this is the status quo.

A recent report from the Tampa Bay Times shows just how determined the American police state is to guarantee an assembly line of otherwise entirely innocent people to continue this process. Police in Florida are targeting children in an attempt to label them as criminals at a young age — despite the children being entirely innocent.

The Pasco sheriff’s office has a secret list of students it believes could “fall into a life of crime” based on ridiculous standards like their grades.

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Another “Pre-Crime” AI System Claims It Can Predict Who Will Share Disinformation Before It’s Published

We previously have covered the many weighty claims made by the progenitors of A.I. algorithms who claim that their technology can stop crime before it happens. Similar predictive A.I. is increasingly being used to stop the spread of misinformation, disinformation and general “fake news” by analyzing trends in behavior and language used across social media.

However, as we’ve also covered, these systems have more often that not failed quite spectacularly, as many artificial intelligence experts and mathematicians have highlighted. One expert in particular — Uri Gal, Associate Professor in Business Information Systems, at the University of Sydney, Australia — noted that from what he has seen so far, these systems are “no better at telling the future than a crystal ball.”

Please keep this in mind as you look at the latest lofty pronouncements from the University of Sheffield below. Nevertheless, we should also be aware that — similar their real-world counterparts in street-level pre-crime — these systems most likely will be rolled out across social media (if they haven’t been already) regardless, until further exposure of their inherent flaws, biases and their own disinformation is revealed.

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