In America there are many different types of law enforcement. You have the Department of Homeland Security, which is supposed to keep the homeland secure. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is an investigative agency that tracks serial killers according to CBS. You have the Central Intelligence Agency, who primarily run coup d’etas, lie and used to employ the world’s most dangerous care-bear, Mike Pompeo. You have Border Patrol, who are basically keepers of lines in the sand. They were the kids that would always call ‘traveling’ and ‘out of bounds’ in games of pick up basketball. As an immigrant and a less than average sports ball player, I never liked those kids.
This is of course on top of local law enforcement. You have your city cops, county cops, state troopers, sheriff’s department, Department of neighborhood patrol, those cops that give kids tickets for their lemonade stand being too close to the curb. Even lower than that you have parking cops, or meter maids. Then you also campus security who roll in cop cars ensuring drunk teens aren’t fornicating in the library by tasing them in the genitals. And lowest of all the law enforcers…Mall cops.
America literally has more choices for law enforcement than birth control, education and healthcare combined. The only thing that rivals the diversity of law enforcers is diversity of reality TV shows! But after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, all these various departments got together and decided that it was important to come together to share information and intelligence to prevent another terror attack. So across the country agencies like the DHS, FBI and local law enforcement created ‘fusion centers’.
And unlike ‘Asian Fusion’, these places were an abomination and not friendly to the working class. And unlike ‘Asian Fusion’ restaurants, these fusion centers have terrible lunch specials! Really a lot of them involved immigrant detention centers. These fusion centers have proven to be useless in their counter terrorism efforts and have been spying on citizens and attempting to infiltrate anti-war activists and protesters. This was one of the things that was revealed by ‘the Blue Leaks’ over the summer.
The Blue Leaks were leaked by the hacktivist group, Anonymous. The leak was published to the site Distributed Denial of Secrets or DDoS using peer to peer to sharing technology like BitTorrent. The same technology that was once used by high school kids to get the new Three Days Grace album is now being used to to expose racist police. Which has cops singing “I Hate Everything About You” to these hacktivists.
One of the major privacy infringements came from the use of the Amazon’s Ring, the doorbell camera. According to the Blue Leaks, Ring gathers information about your house, address and sends real time activity to any of the intelligence & law enforcement agencies. A clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Collecting data and spying on the American people was what Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA. And recently Federal Courts have agreed that what the NSA did was unconstitutional. So how is using advancements in doorbell technology – a phrase I never thought I’d utter – to collect data and spy on people any different and not a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights!? The simple answer is, it’s not and law enforcement is using protecting and serving us as cover to violate the constitution.
This also shines a light on the fact that corporations are working with law enforcement and are using consumers unwillingly to do so. The average suburbanite who uses this technology isn’t aware that Ring is sharing data with law enforcement. Now some might be perfectly fine with it, because we do have an overwhelming amount of people in this country that are willing to give away their civil liberties in the name of safety and protection from invisible enemies. But there are quite of bit of people who see this as an overreach by the thin blue hands of the law.
But in the face of the pandemic and the need to wear masks in public, facial recognition software is being rendered obsolete! Which is a problem only if you’re part of Department of Homeland Security. They came out said “Hey look, wash your hands and wear a mask, but can you think of our facial recognition software please! I mean we can’t use that if everyone is masked up and we really want to! Just every once in a while just tuck your mask down and smile so we can use our fun toys!”
According to the DHS, because masks render facial recognition useless, this gives criminals are larger opportunity to be criminals. And this isn’t just coming out fear, it’s also coming out absolutely no data to back up their claims. The only claims they have is one white supremacist group that claimed they can do property damage and get away with it while wearing surgical masks.
They were also going to call themselves the Lab Coat Killers too, but decided not to, because it sounded like they were going to kill doctors. And they realized they can’t do that, because in their racist minds, only white people are doctors. And killing white folks isn’t on brand for white supremacists.
The claim by the FBI is that these sort of technologies are used to look for violence from opportunistic actors. Considering no new movies are being made right now, this makes perfect sense. I’d also be on the lookout for opportunistic directors, producers and key grips! It’s a tough job market and now that the FBI is on to you, it’s going to get even harder!
Facial Recognition is a highly controversial subject matter. In 2019, the European Union banned facial recognition and biometric technologies claiming it violates human rights. Facial Recognition was sold on the idea of safety and security but also to keep people a little scared, primarily of being a suspect of a crime you didn’t commit. 4 out of 5 times facial recognition led to false arrests. Which means people can get that warm false sense of security and an irrational fear of cameras all at the same time. Cameras no longer just steal your soul, but also imprison forever.
In 2019, Jason Tooley, a board member of techUK, said biometric and facial recognition technologies should be used in tandem with policing and not replace it. Clearly this guy hasn’t heard of police stakeouts! Despite all this data about how ineffective facial recognition software really is, DHS still wants to use it. And even though they say the masks are needed for health and safety, they’re going to take a cue from anti-mask protesters and cough on the Fourth Amendment.
The leaks also revealed that cops were being used by corporations as hired guns. Cops are being by hired by corporations to protect things deemed ‘critical infrastructure’ like pipelines, fracking tools and telecom towers, not real critical infastructure like roads, schools, hospitals, or fro-yo shops. They’re enforcing laws that prevent protesters and activist to push back against leaking pipelines and fracking companies under boilerplate laws written by the right wing, Koch Brother funded, legislative organization, ALEC, the American Legislation Executive Council. Not only is it a horrific piece of legislation, but also new show on the FOX network! Watch a bunch of scamps try and save the environment, only find themselves on the wrong side of the law!
There’s also mercenary cops hired by the tourism industry that partners with hotels in certain cities. This can only mean there’ll be new spin-off show called CSI: Quality Inn! Most of this show is will be collecting spunk off hotel linens to solve the crime of who really ordered that porno film! It’s like Dexter meets CSI meets Pornhub! There’s also a group that is hired for shoplifting incidents. I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited to see the first season of Law & Order: Special Retails Unit!
The leaks also identified courses the LA Detectives can take offered by private surveillance corporation ‘Palantir’. Palantir is a company that is partnered with Amazon and has been known to use facial recognition software to deport undocumented immigrants. So the course titles include “How To Spot An Immigrant” “Italian or Indian: Stereotyping Shades Of Brown” “Recognizing Faces but Not Souls” & “How To Love Your Bezos!” That last one is very popular because it’s 100% mandatory!
Between using Amazon’s Ring and the Amazon Partnered Palantir, Jeff Bezos is nuzzling under the bosom of lady Justice whether she wants him there or not, because that how Bad Boy Bezos do. He takes what he wants he wants everything…except a head full of hair. Good villains don’t have hair.
As I mentioned earlier, the Blue Leaks were published on DDoS’ server, which was seized by German authorities on behalf of America. The Germans were like “Oh you need to hide your dirty little secrets about persecution? We got you! We’re very good at hiding dirty little secrets. Ask us about 1936-1945…because we don’t know what happened…we were all taking a collective nap!”
If the idea behind law enforcement is to protect and serve, the Blue Leaks have revealed that they’re doing a really shitty job of it. These leaks show us that the only thing they’re protecting is their own criminality and unconstitutional behavior. And the only thing they’re serving are corporations and their inanimate objects that poison our planet. This only strengthens our need to Defund the Police and start funding more community driven programs that are actually built protecting and serving.
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!