Our paper on bulk surveillance is under review and will be public soon. We did not go deep into predictive policing because most of the extant material was US-centric. It is interesting that the Economist, which keeps putting out city-level murder data, has chosen to publish a piece on the use of data in controlling violence in Latin America’s cities: Rodrigo Guerrero, the city’s mayor and a surgeon by training, launched a plan inspired by the epidemiological approach some North American cities were taking at the time. He set up “violence observatories” where police, public-health officials, academics and concerned citizens could study crime data. This revealed that most of the city’s murders took place in drunken brawls, not in conflict between gangs, and that they were late at night a day or so after payday.
Yesterday, a woman journalist from a Sinhala weekly newspaper called me to seek comments on appropriate phone use. I asked why. She said that excessive phone use had caused a man to kill his wife by knifing her. She wanted to write a piece about appropriate phone use, with quotes from me. I said many things in response.
We have been working with the Pakistan Telecom Authority, the Pakistan Universal Service Fund and operators to achieve universal service in that country. Universal service means a phone for everyone. But according to this report there are people in Pakistan who will kill barbarically to prevent this goal from being achieved. A young mother of two has been put to death in Pakistan for possessing a cell phone, Opposing Views reported on Thursday. Arifa Bibi was executed three months ago, on July 11, after a Pakistani tribal court sentenced her to death by stoning.