PBS Documentary on National Police Archives

We have reported before about the discovery and analysis of the National Police archive. Whilst there never was going to be the smoking gun of the direct, explicit and written order to disappear someone, nevertheless a careful study of the archive will undoubtedly find the pieces that can make a condemnatory picture.

On 10 June PBS series "Frontline World" aired a really interesting documentary about the archives and the technology, supplied by Silicon Valley company Benetech, being used to help analyse them. You can watch it online.

Computer technology, with its ability to store masses of data and then mine it for patterns of behaviour, or reproduce it to the unauthorised, or just monitor people’s everyday activity, has a huge potential for ill in the hands of repressive or technologically illiterate governments. Equally it has huge potential for empowerment, the enablement of free speech and social networking. As someone who works in the information technology industry I am fascinated and gratified to see how technology is in this case making a positive contribution to human rights work, and who knows, maybe bringing some long delayed justice.

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Categories: Culture, Video

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