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Enter the Dragnet

Published on 9 December 2020 at 09:10

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Real-Time Analysis and Critical Response Division (RACR) is housed in a hulking, institutional-gray building about a mile north of downtown. Its only marking is its address: 500. In the fall of 2013, I had an early morning meeting there with Doug, a “forward-deployed” engineer from Palantir Technologies, which builds and operates one of the premier platforms for compiling and analyzing massive and disparate data used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He was one of about eighty people I interviewed over the course of five years to understand how the LAPD uses Palantir and big data.

Palantir’s goal is to create a single data environment...

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