NSA’s Skynet might be marking innocent people on its hit list

Between 2,500 and 4,000 so-called ‘extremists’ have been killed by drone strikes and kill squads in Pakistan since 2004. Maybe as early as 2007, the NSA has targeted terrorists based on metadata supplied by machine learning program named Skynet. I have no idea who would find naming Skynet a machine designed to list people for assassination a bright idea, but that’s besides the point. The real point is that the inner workings of this software, as revealed in part by Edward Snowden from his leaks, suggest that the program might be targeting innocent people. MQ-9 Reaper taxiing. Image: Wikimedia Commons Ars Technica talked to Patrick Ball, who is a data scientist and the executive director at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. Judging from how Skynet works, Ball says the machine seems…


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