Thursday, November 16, 2017

I am conflicted about AI-based law enforcement ...

From The Times today (Gang war fear after Romanian sex trafficker Sorin Serbu is killed):

Sorin Serbu - Romanian gangster
"The murder of a powerful Romanian gangster threatens to prompt an underworld war to control a lucrative sex trafficking market.

Sorin Serbu was beaten to death by masked men carrying baseball bats two weeks after he is said to have been involved in a fight with a rival Romanian gangster.

Serbu, 36, was left in a pool of blood outside the Global Bar in Ilford, east London, in the early hours of Sunday after a music gig. Police have confirmed that they are looking for five attackers. He was taken to an east London hospital but died of his injuries. The incident was reported to police by ambulance workers at 2.48am.

The gangster had a history of running drugs and prostitutes into Europe and made millions of euros while based in Italy, according to The Sun, which quoted a Romanian justice source saying: “There may be more bloodshed before this is over. Serbu tried to muscle in and imported around 100 prostitutes. The arrival of competition like that was always going to rock the boat.”

The vice trade in Ilford and neighbouring Redbridge has long been dominated by Romanian and Albanian gangsters. The problem has become so serious that Romanian police officers have been brought in on secondment to help tackle the gangs.

Locals have grown increasingly irate over the street trade and kerb crawling, with complaints about sex in gardens and used condoms strewn along a main road. Officers have seized vans belonging to the gangs and found mattresses in the back.

It is thought that Serbu, from Braila, eastern Romania, had relocated from Rome, his last base for drug and sex trafficking, after coming under pressure from Italian police."

Ilford used to be a relatively respectable area of east London. Not so much now.

Locally-ubiquitous CCTV and AI-based facial-recognition and incident-monitoring would surely help the authorities in dealing with this blight. What could possibly go wrong?

And then I read this (from Marginal Revolution):
"René Carmille  was a punch card computer expert and comptroller general of the French Army, who later would head up the Demographics Department of the French National Statistics Service. As quickly as IBM worked with the Nazis to enable them to use their punch card computer systems to update census data to find and round up Jewish citizens, Rene and his team of double-agents worked just as fast to manipulate their data to undermine their efforts.

The IEEE newspaper, The Institute, describes Carmille as being an early ethical hacker: “Over the course of two years, Carmille and his group purposely delayed the process by mishandling the punch cards. He also hacked his own machines, reprogramming them so that they’d never punch information from Column 11 [which indicated religion] onto any census card.” His work to identify and build in this exploit saved thousands of Jews from being rounded up and deported to death camps.

Rene was arrested in Lyon in 1944. He was interrogated for two days by Klaus Barbie, a cruel and brutal SS and Gestapo officer called “the Butcher of Lyon,” but he still did not break under torture. Rene was caught by the Nazis and sent to the Dachau concentration camp, where he died in 1945."
I remember how the Nazis demanded that Jewish authorities in the ghettos of occupied Europe should render administrative assistance in documenting their Jewish inhabitants. The more efficient the Jewish leadership, the more Jews got deported to the depth camps.

Administrative chaos saved lives, lots of them. The Greeks and Romans understood the dilemma.

1 comment:

  1. When I saw that photo in the Times I thought it would be of the murderer, not the victim - not a fellow member of your Gym then...

    Incidentally in the last half hour Mugabe has just resigned. Now is your chance to post predictions about what, if anything, will change there.


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