A lot of things can go wrong when states add the profit motive to law enforcement by privatizing prisons. In Idaho, the FBI is currently investigating the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a private prison corporation, for understaffing the biggest prison in the state, according to a report by the Idaho Statesman.
The prison became “so violent that inmates dubbed it ‘Gladiator School’.”
How did the CCA make up for the inadequate number of corrections officers that was cut to maximize their profits from the “about $29 million a year” contract paid by the state of Idaho?
By “ced[ing] control to prison gangs,” as a 2012 lawsuit on behalf on inmates alleged. That resulted in an increase in violence inside the facility.
And there you have it: a perfect example of why certain core functions of government should never be submitted to the market logic of corporate capitalism. Here we see, in all brutality, how humans, both prison inmates and correctional staff, are merely seen as cost factors that need to be minimized in order to maximize profits. If a few prisoners rip each other to pieces, who cares?
Provide wiretapping capabilities to hand over your (customers’) data to the FBI or be fined, Google and Facebook
The Washington Post reports on a government task proposal that aims to punish tech companies for not providing wiretapping capabilities for law enforcement officials. The FBI, which is the driving force behind this push for more more surveillance, justifies its demands with the need to counter a “going dark” problem, a “gap between authority and capability” in regards to online surveillance. The FBI mentions not just terrorism, as might seem likely briefly after the Boston Marathon Bombing, but also transnational narcotrafficking and child prostitution.
If successful, this initiative would not only concern Internet giants such as Google or Facebook, but potentially any tech company that collects user data. And that includes practically any new free-to-use online service.
This initiative by the FBI takes place in the context of a much larger secretive push towards extensive online surveillance (see below).