Israel: Social media monitoring nabs would-be attackers

June 12, 2018 - 7:03 am

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's public security minister says authorities have foiled over 200 Palestinian attacks by monitoring social media and sifting through vast amounts of data to identify prospective assailants ahead of time.

These pre-emptive actions put Israel at the forefront of an increasingly popular — and controversial — trend used by intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world that use big data technology to track would-be criminals.

While the technology appears to be effective, its tactics drew angry Palestinian condemnation and have raised questions about civil liberties.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who oversees the national police force, says Israel's use of algorithms and other technology has been an important factor in lowering the number of knife and shooting attacks in Israel in recent years.

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