ICE hacked its algorithmic risk-assessment tool so it recommended detention for everyone

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/26/software-formalities.html

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#2

This scumbag agency needs to be shut down as soon as possible (which unfortunately will be 2021 at the earliest).

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#3

Once upon a time in a different America such an outrageous violation of law and decency would have brought citizens of all stripes to their feet in anger. Sadly we aren’t even surprised now. It’s the expected norm brought to us by the people who claimed that government had too much control…too much control if that government respected certain people’s rights. Too much control if it stood for actually abiding by the constitution. It will all go fine for those folks until the day they realize that they have become the “other” and are the target of those in power. By then they will just be another group of victims standing the way to the hog troth where the rich and powerful choose to feed. Should we comfort them? Should we help them pick up their remains and move on?

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#4

Holy Fuckanolli! Please magic man in the sky, smite them.

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#5

This is precisely why transparency reports are so important.
(When it is revealed that 100% of candidates are arrested/deported, something is seriously “wrong.”)

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#6

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#7

No, no, no. Altering the algorithm removes the most useful aspect of relying on AI and “machine learning”: The ability to shift blame to the magic box.

Now they can’t credibly make statements about how it must be right, “because math”. The incompetence of this agency is staggering.

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#8

So ICE did a Kobayashi Maru. Thanks, Captain Kirk.

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#9

Next you’ll be telling me drug dogs react to cues from their handlers! :roll_eyes:

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#10

No, that really doesn’t fit the social commentary of people assuming something is correct because they don’t understand how it works. Perhaps assuming drug dogs are infallible.

It’s actually funny, the idea of them changing the algorithm to suit their needs would be quite a good corollary to signaling a drug dog. Perhaps that’s what you meant? I’m thrown off by the eye roll.

#11

Waiting until 2021 is a choice, not an inevitability.

There are ways to change government behaviour that do not involve conforming to their timetable.

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#14

Americans, including our progressives, tend to lack imagination in this area and need models for success. They also have short memories and little appreciation for history so charts and lectures won’t do – they need to see current examples in action getting results, preferably done by white English speaking people in prosperous countries.

What’s been most effective in effecting non-violent revolution against the Australian governments that set up and maintained the prison-industrial complex of various immigration detention centres that the current regime in the U.S. is now emulating in terms of scale and detainee? Or have you all made the choice to wait until the next election is called to kick Turnbull and his party out of majority?

Short of violent revolution (which 99% of people don’t want) or death from natural causes (fingers crossed by at least 50% of American) we’re stuck with Il Douche in the Oval Office until Inauguration Day 2021 (not longer, we hope). That doesn’t and shouldn’t preclude acts of civil disobedience to slow the wheels of the ICE machine or demand justice in the interim, but actual non-violent revolution is a grinding process that takes more than two years and also often leaves the same authoritarians in power despite significant change. The Civil Rights movement in the U.S. was truly revolutionary in its results, destroying Jim Crow and the institutional structures of the Southern police state. But J Edgar Hoover remained director of the FBI until 1972 and many Dixiecrats shifted their allegiance to the GOP, setting the stage for what it’s become today.

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#15

The best recent examples aren’t from anglophone nations, but they do exist.

There are substantial differences between the US and Oz situations.

Most obviously, scale. Only a few thousand people seeking asylum arrive in Australia each year. We currently have about two thousand people in detention.

However, there are also commonalities. Like the USA, the Australian detention program began with an attempt by the establishment centre-left to triangulate on racism. Then, predictably, the right took that weapon and ran with it.

The activist left in Australia besieged the camps until they moved them into the desert to avoid us. So then we chased them into the desert and did it all again. Repeatedly.

Then they shifted the camps onto remote Pacific islands, and bribed the governments of those nations into refusing entry to any Australian dissidents.

So, yeah. We haven’t shut down the camps entirely. But we prevented the government from normalising them, and forced them into great expense and international embarrassment through the offshore “solution”.

The Oz left is currently working on getting other nations to sanction Australia, BDS-style.

In terms of electoral politics, there are also significant differences.

In the US, the major problem is that the electoral system is wildly corrupt and unrepresentative of the population. Hence the need for revolution.

Australia does not have that problem. Instead, our political problems have three main causes:

  1. Like the USA, we’re a white supremacist settler state founded upon genocide. Racism and xenophobia are strongly present in Australian culture; a large percentage of the Australian electorate are bigoted arseholes.

  2. Murdoch owns most of our media, and leverages that power heavily for political ends. Any government that offends Uncle Rupert is almost certain to lose office at the next election.

  3. Australia is functionally a US colony. Any government that offends Uncle Sam will face economic punishment, and in extreme circumstances will be overthrown.

This is what the Australian party that I support (and used to campaign for, when I was healthier) had to say about the situation, in both Oz and the US:

Booting Turnbull is useless; both Australian major parties are committed to maintaining the camps. The Greens and the left faction of the ALP are opposed, but everyone to the right of that supports the detention system.

Regrettably, malice against immigrants does have majority support in Australia. There was a hefty level of ambient bigotry to start with, and Murdoch and the right-wing parties have been deliberately feeding it for thirty years.

Nope.

Revolutions do not have to be violent. The point of the other thread I linked to is that non-violent revolutions are more likely to succeed than the violent kind.

See the Argentina example. Things can move quickly once the people are mobilised.

Not really.

The most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights movement were all murdered, the Civil Rights Act was just a repeat of the late 19th century status quo, and the condition of Black America has in many ways worsened since the 1960s. The Klan still control the police across the South (and much of the North as well).

Housing and education are just as segregated as always, the GFC annihilated the wealth of the Black middle class, and mass incarceration has boosted the number of enslaved Americans back to levels reminiscent of the antebellum era.

See this thread:

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#16

BTW, for a shorter, more direct answer to “why are you not campaigning for revolution in Australia?”:

  1. It wouldn’t work; Australians are too comfortable and complacent, and the nation is not obviously collapsing. We have healthcare, we have a social safety net, inequality is still within tolerable levels. We have a system of government that is still reasonably responsive to democratic control.

  2. Even if it did work, it would probably be immediately crushed by foreign influence. There are American military bases here.

  3. Unlike the USA, Australia does not represent an immediate existential threat to the rest of the world. The entire Australian military contains less people than the USMC reserve.

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#17

When was that? I’m not American so I don’t know the history that well, but I can’t think of a time when at least half the US population wasn’t shitting on the other half. Usually with government backing.

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#18

“Hacked” is such an insensitive characterization. The correct tem is “calibrated”; I think I speak for all right-thinking Americans when I say that nothing could be more desirable than our dedicated security forces contributing their knowledge and experience to enhance a tool that protects the Homeland.

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#19

I picture some overzealous SS officer walking in the data base room, taking the magic 8 ball out of the secure safe, asking it " Great 8 ball aren’t they al guilty?" Shake it like mad then declare " It’s on boys! " signs point to yes!"

#20

There is no way (in my mind) that James Kirk reprogrammed the goddamned simulator. He is James Kirk, and he’s not stupid, but neither is he reprogram-the-simulator smart. No way.

My best guess? Spock reprogrammed the simulator to help Kirk pass the test.

Of course, the Star Trek franchise dare not admit that Spock cheated and lied to help his friend, so you won’t see this in the film. But it’s the only logical solution.

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#21

Darn, just like Microsoft’s Tay: another AI turned into a genocidal neo-Nazi.

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#22

I’m sure someone will point out that the process isn’t racist since it returns the same answers regardless of input. :roll_eyes:

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