State Limited Teen's Freedom of the Internet Action to Prevent the Next School Shooting
WASHINGTON — June 18, 2018
The Government has begun monitoring the teens’ social media to prevent the next school shooting.
It had to turn a couple tricks to prevent mass shooting in the country. The last time such a thing happened, when a school shooter killed 10 people in a high school in Santa Fe, Texas.
Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled a new app iWatch, in which students can report each other’s suspicious behavior – online or offline. The current limit can be just set with two buttons.
It can be a screenshot of a Facebook post, a link to a blog post, or a photo of someone in real life. The Location Services will be automatic (thanks to a mechanism built in the program) upon your consent.
Users will be also asked to rate the incident’s level of suspiciousness, “Slightly Suspicious,” “Moderately Suspicious,” or “Highly Suspicious,” and including whether it has been attempted to conceal his or her behavior.
The testimonies are sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Unit. After it can be sent with a little-known 9/11-era intelligence network called Fusion Centers.
Six of the 78 Fusion Centers across the United States are in Texas.
In addition, the different roles and responsibilities of Fusion Centers staff currently dealing with human resources would be reviewed and the related positions would be re-profiled to help prevent the next school shooting.
“Everybody in the state of Texas never wants to see another occasion where innocent children are gunned down in their own schools," Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Some experts say that relying on social media mining tools and anonymous tips submitted through an app, as Texas is proposing could lead to an onslaught of false information and make it harder to identify tips related to genuine threats.
Another council for these cases will be created as a liaison with the police to reduce the operational impact of the Fusion Centers.
The attention to social media and reporting is a response to the fact that both Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the 17-year-old Santa Fe shooter, and Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old shooter in Parkland, Florida, wrote online about all their plans before they committed the shootings. Cruz’s threats were more explicit: he posted comments like “I wanna shoot people with my AR-15” and photos of himself with his face covered, brandishing long knives.
Another Smartphone technology was created by Sandy Hook Promise. They created an app called “Say Something” which allows people to submit tips about potential school shooting threats to their local police. It happened after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013.
Also there are a number of private data mining companies that cater to school districts seeking to monitor students’ social media.
Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi says she is currently developing an app based on Michigan’s Okay2Say reporting system.
According to experts iWatch is a cheaper and more effective alternative to some of the private companies out there, like Social Sentinel, etc. The company would “scan 12 different social media sites and game forums for words like ‘kill,’ ‘gun,’ and similar threatening words,” Abbott said.