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Exposed: The UK Company Subjecting Your Social Media Posts To State Surveillance

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A UK government-funded artificial intelligence (AI) firm based in an unassuming industrial estate in Yorkshire, England, has been engaged in state surveillance, monitoring the social media posts of citizens, a recent revelation suggests.

Logically, the firm in question, has earned over £1.2 million (1.49 million USD) from government contracts to identify and analyze “disinformation” and “misinformation” spread across social media.

The AI company was started by Lyric Jain, a 27-year-old Cambridge engineering graduate, who launched the technology first during Indian elections. With one of the largest dedicated fact-checking teams globally, the company sifts through material from hundreds of thousands of media sources and all public posts on major social media platforms.

Logically has bagged lucrative deals, including a £1.2 million (1.49 million USD) contract with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and another worth up to £1.4 million (1.7 million uSD) with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor threats to high-profile vaccine service individuals, The Telegraph reported. Its client list includes US federal agencies, the Indian electoral commission, TikTok, and Facebook.

While Logically asserts that it does not share evidence collected for the UK Government with Facebook, this partnership has ignited concerns among freedom of speech campaigners.

The company’s responsibilities grew over time, aiding in building a comprehensive picture of potentially harmful misinformation and disinformation. Documents revealed that it produced regular “Covid-19 Mis/Disinformation Platform Terms of Service Reports” for the Counter-disinformation Unit – a secretive operation within the DCMS.

A public document titled “Covid-19 Disinformation in the UK” disclosed Logically’s perspective, referring to “anti-lockdown” and “anti-Covid-19 vaccine sentiment”, along with hashtags “#sackvallance” and “#sackwhitty” as evidence of “a strong disdain for expert advice.”

Logically defended its actions, stating that it is possible for content not specifically mis- or disinformation to be included in a report if there is a potential for a narrative to be weaponized.

The firm denied limiting freedom of speech, stating: “We do not specifically monitor individuals and their behavior, nor do we make any recommendations that limit their right to free speech… We monitor content, including narratives and trends across public information environments online, to help tackle the proliferation of online harms, mis- and disinformation, and prevent real-world harms.”

The company’s practices have raised questions about freedom of speech and privacy rights. Critics argue that this case illuminates the ethical and regulatory challenges posed by the powerful convergence of artificial intelligence and big data.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

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