The visitor phone and the probation phone, an objective solution for preventative law enforcement.

In the case of a visiting alien or a citizen convicted of a violent or terroristic crime, it is reasonable that their freedom to act as they will should be conditional, for some long probationary period. The nature of the conditions which are typically used for probationary situations can include: meetings with probationary officers, a tracking anklet, and special behavioral restrictions determined by court order. These methods are not wrong,  but with technological advances they are not the best solutions because these methods are subject to abuse at the probation officer’s discretion.

The goal of the probationary period is to grant conditional access to a community that one is either a complete stranger to or that one has previously violated the rights of some of the citizenry. This conditional access should be both unobtrusive and not debilitating. For instance, forcing aliens and convicts to wear a large placard sign which reads “alien” or “convict” is an obtrusive form of conditional access, and although it solves the problem of preventing crimes, it also interferes with every aspect of the probationary’s ability to survive in the community, by inviting the community members to reject the probationary or to apply extortionary pricing for goods and services. An example of a debilitating condition would be something like an unnecessary leg brace, that would keep the probationary from being able ro run, and thus, ostensibly to prevent them from physically being able to commit crimes. This type of debilitating device is also wrong because it prevents the probationary from being able to use their body to survive. If the probationary is hobbled, then they cannot leap out of the way of an out of control vehicle or the like.

The tracking ankle bracelet is both unobtrusive and non-debilitating, but it only provides location information to the monitors. This location information is typically used to define a certain set of areas in which the probationary may travel without alerting the monitor. The probationary can travel outside of those areas, or cut off the ankle bracelet, if it is necessary for them to survive, but they will be subject to consequent arrest and possible prosecution if they acted on some other motive. This is a good probationary system, however, it is lacking in the detection and prevention of further violent crimes or conspiracy. Someone with an ankle bracelet can unfortunately still meet with an associate in their home and be given an assault rifle and explosive devices and instructions in what to do with them.

I propose that the probationary system should be modified to further reduce privacy. I propose that the probationary should have to rent a probationary phone with a tracking anklet accessory. The anklet and phone both have gps and cellular location capabilities and the phone collects the information from the anklet and transmits it to the monitors. The anklet and phone both also have interference detection, including if the phone losses connection to the anklet, and they both start to emit annoying loud (smoke detector like) beeps when they are low on battery and need to be charged by the probationary or if they lose connection to the monitors. So far this system is essentially the same as the tracking anklet system with small differences in the technological implementation. The difference will be that the phone will be constantly recording and transmitting audio. This will include muffle detection, and boxing detection in which the phone uses ultrasonic emmisions to detect whether it is muffled with a sound deadening material or sealed in box which would reflect all sound. Upon detection of either of these situations, the phone will intermittently emit a series of audible beeps to which the probationary will be trained to respond to with a vocal phrase to confirm that the phone is still recording the probationary. Furthermore, the probationary will be required to use the phone for all calls and text messges. What will prevent the probationary from using other phones? Nothing, but the phone will detect and record the identifying information of any other nearby cellular device. So although nothing will prevent the probationary from being handed a second phone on which to send and receive text messages, the monitors will be able to detect the consistent presence of that other phone and take measures such as calling it or messaging it.

OK, so this does provide a large amount of additional information, but who will listen to it and monitor it?  The answer is software. Voice detection AI’s will scan the incoming streams for warning words, phrases, shouting, screaming, moaning, and other possible warnings and will send snippets to human monitors to listen to. The human monitors will review the snippets and can listen to the whole recorded stream at will as well as all of the other data from the probationary’s devices to investigate further, and decide whether or not to call the probationary and/or instruct them to come in for an interview.

Finally, to reduce any abuses from the monitors from a “Stanford Prison Experiment” type effect or from bribery/extortion from external forces, the monitors will have to voluntarily submit to being under the exact same probationary system as the visitors and convicts, as a condition of their employment. All of the data streams, including those from the monitors themselves will be backed up in off site restricted access facilities to prevent any tampering.

A note on the protection of trade secrets and intellectual property for visiting businessmen or employed probationaries: To protect their trade secrets from being recorded, companies may apply to the agency and will receive a security token generator which they may enter into the phone to temporarily disable audio recording for a fixed period of time, during which time the company certifies that the probationary is engaged in company business. The token generator can not be given to the probationary or brought within a certain distance of the probationary without triggering audible noise warnings and a monitor alert.

This system will provide a valuable crime prevention tool, as well as a very useful forensic tool if a probationary still ends up being involved in a crime. It is not obstrusive or debilitating, and does not reduce the probationary’s ability to survive. This not meant to replace or be a substitute to human observation and investigation into a specific subject but is meant to be a supplement to such and a sieve to catch those subjects that didn’t seem to need to be more thoroughly tracked and investigated.

Addendum A:

Access to the data:

The data generated by this system is likely to contain private and potentially embarassing information, therefore all operational real time access to the data by the agency in charge will be solely granted to monitors that are being recorded under the same system. These monitors may, at their discretion report information that they have witnessed to emergency services, local law enforcement, federal law enforcement, and to any other federal agency needing the data for the purpose of homeland security. Abuse of this discretion will be minimized by the fact that the monitors are being constantly recorded themselves.

Other parties may also have valid interest in the data from the system including law enforcement agencies and courts. Access to the data shall be granted upon court order for the investigation and trying of US code Title 18 federal crimes, whether the accused is the probationary or not. Access to the data shall not be granted for civil trials or criminal trials having do with violations of state laws except in the event that the requested data has already been released for use in a federal criminal trial. This limitation is necessary to prevent states from passing strange minimally punished criminal laws for the purpose of obtaining all of the federal monitoring data for uses which are not intended by this system.

Out of consideration for the privacy of the probationaries, Freedom of Information Act requests for the data shall be delayed for 150 years.

Addendum B:

In the special case of child aliens: Children under the age of 10 years will go without any personal monitoring, though they may still be coincidentally monitored by the visitor phones of adult traveling companions. They will be exempt because children that are so young frequently lack the ability to quickly learn to adhere to the complex requirements of the visitor phones, which coincidentally reduces the possible threat that they could pose. Children between the ages of 10 and 17, inclusive shall be monitored by personal position tracking without personal audio recording except that which may coincidentally occur due to the proximity of adult aliens. In this age range, children can potentially pose a threat to the community, but they are not considered to be mature enough to provide consent to be recorded. Thus, the initial upper bounds for this age range is set at 17. This could be reduced in the future in response to criminal abuses of this lenience.

Addendum C:

Backup of the data, further checks to the power of the monitors

The data streams, including those of the monitors, will be backed up and stored in an offsite facility to which the monitors have no physical access.  It should be made an explicit felony for the monitors to attempt to access this facility.  The data stored within the backup facility will be symmetrically encrypted such that it can be decrypted by the monitors via one key controlled by them and it may be decrypted by the Attorney General via another key.  The Attorney General will be ultimately responsible for ensuring that subpoenas from the courts for the data are honored with the actual unadultered data.

With the monitors monitoring each other, it is likely that subgroups of ideologically similar people will form within the larger group of monitors.  Such a situation could be expected to result in difficulties for monitors which belong to minority groups.  Furthermore, as a result of their knowledge of the monitoring system, the monitors will be better equipped to bypass the system in order to get away with petty crimes and pranks that could potentially make life for a monitor that is part of a minority more difficult.  Therefore, the entire agency facility in which the monitors reside shall be under video surveillance, and this video shall be stored in the off site facility and shall have the same accessibility rules as the audio data.

Special technological note:

Audio data can contain a great deal of information about computers and computer interfaces that it records.  Therefore, to protect the operational encryption keys of the monitors, their computer interfaces should be physically and sonically isolated from the actual computers, and their interfaces should be specifically designed to emit as little audio information as possible (such as key tapping).

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