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Justice

The Local Movement to Curb Big Brother

Predictive policing tools. License plate readers. Stingrays. As more and more surveillance tools fall into police’s hands, cities are trying to play catch up.
A security camera hangs from the roof of the United Nations building, against the backdrop of New York City.
A security camera hangs from the roof of the United Nations building, against the backdrop of New York City.Mike Segar/Reuters

A local government. A powerful private entity with controversial technology. A secret deal. This time, in New Orleans.

On Tuesday, The Verge revealed that Peter Thiel’s software company, Palantir, has been piloting a predictive policing technology in New Orleans for the past six years. Until The Verge’s story, the program was completely unknown not only to the public, but also to city council members.