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Friday, July 25, 2008

A Notice From The Bureau of Public Anomaly Screenings

Date: August 7, 2032
From: The Bureau of Public Anomaly Screenings
Subject: A notice

Dear citizen,

As you may know, under the Public Screening Act of 2030, all citizens are undergoing routine checks for anomalies. We do so through the use of public sources only, aggregating and mining your digital traces.

According to our findings, which are accurate in 99.5% of all cases -- thus legally qualifying as proof beyond reasonable doubt -- we have come to the following conclusions:

- Your 56 Amazon book reviews and ratings: The choice of books reviewed, as well as the reviews given, lead our system to believe you have an above average interest in anti-governmental subjects. The associated review timestamps show high nighttime activity, which is often an indicator of minority behavior.

- Your 4,550 FriendFeed comments: Analyzing comment writing style and frequency, our automated system concludes there is a strong chance of an anomaly.

- Your 28 public Picasa photo albums containing 2,050 photos: Object recognition technology leads our system to believe you are likely to carry out criminal behavior. Additionally, facial recognition of other people in your photos allowed us to identify people you know, and we were able to take into account their online record as well.

- Your 38 blog entries, and 8,014 comments posted to other blogs: Clustering the subject matters of interest to you shows a strong correlation with subject matter clusters of past convicted criminals. Our system therefore concludes above average criminal intent.

- Your 6,600 upvotes and downvotes on social news sites Digg and Reddit: Your involvement in a large number of political threads, including upvoting of potentially anti-governmental or otherwise criminal material, raised a warning flag in our system.

- Your 3 YouTube videos recorded with a webcam: A thorough algorithmic speech pattern analysis shows signs of distress, which may point to underlying issues.

- Your 1 public social network profile: We screened your hobbies and interests and found 5 indicators of strong anomal and potentially dangerous behavior.

Additionally, we screened 45 other public sources and services, including public quotes by others made in regards to you in blogs, comments, social networks, and more.

With these findings in hand, we are legally permitted to, and did, request further personality data from your non-public digital records, including but not limited to your past emails stored with your webmail provider, your email drafts, your search history as far back as it was stored, your chat logs where available, your internet service provider's record of your online surfing behavior, your private digital health record, and your shopping history with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as any other online stores you accessed via PayPal or Google Checkout. According to these 34,266 new digital data points accumulated, we have come to the conclusion that you have likely or are about to commit criminal activity, and we were forced to alert the authorities, who will proceed with further dealings.

This is an automated message. You have the right to remain silent. Please note anything you said on the internet in the past 35 years can and will be used against you.

with regards
The Bureau of Public Anomaly Screenings
Protecting Citizens Worldwide

[Hat tip to Siggi, Tony and Ianf. This is a remake of a remake of this.]


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