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Milwaukee PD Seeks Open Source Intelligence Tool At GOP Convention

The Milwaukee Police Department is seeking an “open source intelligence tool” to add to its intelligence gathering arsenal in time for the Republican National Convention in July, reports News From The States. Open source intelligence (OSINT) collects publicly available data from social media accounts, videos, court records, addresses, phone numbers, geo-locations and more to build a comprehensive profile about a person or a group, going beyond a simple Google search. "Law enforcement is obtaining tools like this one that use artificial intelligence to create connections and links to track …  who are all the different people, who are the friends, or have liked or commented on your profiles, and who are they connected to," said Tim Muth, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer.


A March 26 document said the police department wanted an OSINT tool “for link analysis." to examine "social media connections from one person or group to another.” The tool is likely to be purchased using the $75 million in federal assistance set aside for security at the RNC. They want the OSINT tool to be able to extract data from the dark web, provide data visualizations, detect illegal activities and identity emerging threats. David Maass of the Electronic Frontier Foundation is concerned with OSINT tools interfering with First Amendment protections. "OSINT tools are designed to produce ‘results’ even if there’s no evidence of a nefarious plot," he said. "The software will likely use dubious connections to place people under suspicion, while critical or controversial posts online may make you the target of an investigation."

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