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Secret source code pronounces you guilty as charged

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posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 02:24 PM
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This might be an issue that grows as technology continues to interface with much more of our lives.



The results from a Pennsylvania company's TrueAllele DNA testing software have been used in roughly 200 criminal cases, from California to Florida, helping put murderers and rapists in prison.

Criminal defense lawyers, however, want to know whether it's junk science.

Defense attorneys have routinely asked, and have been denied, access to examine the software's 170,000 lines of source code in a bid to challenge the authenticity of its conclusions. The courts generally have agreed with Cybergenetics, the company behind TrueAllele, that an independent examination of the code is unwarranted, that the code is a proprietary trade secret, and disclosing it could destroy the company financially.

A new challenge, pending before the California Supreme Court, concerns some of the company's latest conclusions. The results are evidence in a cold-case murder, yet they differ astronomically from traditional DNA testing. The dispute comes as secret code is creeping into our everyday life in what is known as the Internet of Things. It's in everything, from airplanes to refrigerators, medical devices, and even elevators, light fixtures, and cars.

A private company called Sorenson Forensics, testing vaginal swabs from the victim, concluded that the frequency in the profile occurrence in the general population was one in approximately 10,000 for African Americans. The same sample, when examined by Cybergenetics at the company's Pittsburgh lab, concluded that the DNA match between the vaginal sperm sample and Chubbs is "1.62 quintillion times more probable than a coincidental match to an unrelated Black person," according to court records.

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Is the solution more parallel apps to verify each other? So society just believes? Unethical and out right cheating is becoming so common place because of the chase for the dollar.

Some group needs to determine the why to the large difference in the data that is showing in this case in order to make sure things are on the up and up. I wonder what software is next.
edit on 10/17/2015 by roadgravel because: typo




posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

Welcome to the marriage of Biological Science with Corporate Interests.

Their love child? Political Mudpit.


edit on 17-10-2015 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 02:37 PM
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Proprietary software that now is being used, not for use in a company itself as in the early days of software, but publicly with the result having a huge impact in legal issues. A very big concern

Do we need sworn to 'secrecy reviewers' to check these application for negative impact on the public? Then wouldn't those people be a target for corruption? In the future a glitch may not just be an accounting error, but someone's freedom or life.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 02:55 PM
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originally posted by: roadgravel
Proprietary software that now is being used, not for use in a company itself as in the early days of software, but publicly with the result having a huge impact in legal issues. A very big concern

Do we need sworn to 'secrecy reviewers' to check these application for negative impact on the public? Then wouldn't those people be a target for corruption? In the future a glitch may not just be an accounting error, but someone's freedom or life.


that's a YES from me .
Without independent verification ,
any result could be seen as biased .
.... and if you're an enemy of PTB ?
it's into the frame , patsy !



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

I get what you're saying, and I do have concerns about using this technology widely with so few people being able to vet independently that it comes to the right conclusions.

On the other hand, people have been wrongly convicted for centuries without the technology as well...

My prediction... a shark (oops, I meant 'sharp'... Freudian slip!) lawyer will have a wealthy client who is convicted based partially on this technology, and will have the company that wrote the code begging for mercy.

Which will probably have the same result... the company will go belly-up for lack of money to defend itself.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 03:02 PM
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Justice shouldn't depend exclusively on commercial entities, if they have a software that may help then the software should be independently checked for accuracy or not being used.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 03:20 PM
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Anything that is used in the court system to try a case should be public domain. Technology that's hidden behind a proprietary trade secret, or even law books that are behind a paywall, should be inadmissible in court.

That court won't allow an independent review of that software because if it's found to be corrupt, the court will be bogged down with appeals, verdict reversals, and new trials. Not to mention the prisons losing money in lost occupancy.

I really can't stand what our court system has become.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 03:22 PM
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Here are two real situations


Coding errors (PDF) have been found to alter DNA likelihood ratios by a factor of 10, causing prosecutors in Australia to replace 24 expert witness statements in criminal cases.

When defense experts identified a bug in breathalyzer software, the Minnesota Supreme Court barred the affected test from evidence in all future trials.



edit on 10/17/2015 by roadgravel because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 03:29 PM
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At 170,000 lines of code plus compiler checks to ensure that there's no bugs in the compiler causing problems it's not an easy thing to check over even if you do understand what the outcome of the software is supposed to be....yes i can read a lot of programming languages but if i don't know what the problem its supposed to fix in enough detail then i could easily miss something so it's going to be a very specialist team who check it over probably including doctors, the company that turns the DNA into data tools and every step of the way.

Its the sort of thing which can easily rumble around for a decade or two as there will always be something that looks dodgy and thus need sorting out



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: Maxatoria

I agree, and that's why I think the whole idea is absurd.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

We are Borg, resistance is futile.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 04:42 PM
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Forensic sciences in general are in need of a massive reworking. So many old concepts that have been proven to be less accurate than claimed.

This invention is just terrifying. Not only is it a new concept, but no one is allowed to legally question its validity or put it through vigorous scientific tests? The justice system is so screwed up as it is, we don't need things like this - which are taken as absolute fact without question - to latch itself onto an already broken system



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 06:18 PM
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From this website:

uk.mathworks.com... e.html

TrueAllele is built upon Matlab which is a mathematics toolkit, an application plus company and user written libraries. Matlab have vast tested libraries to do mathematics, statistics and code generation. Just about all university and corporate research departments use these.

Now the IP value of TrueAllele is based on scripts that they have written on top of Matlab. If anyone else knew how those mathematical scripts were written, they lose their market value.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 08:03 PM
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originally posted by: Ghost147
Forensic sciences in general are in need of a massive reworking. So many old concepts that have been proven to be less accurate than claimed.

This invention is just terrifying. Not only is it a new concept, but no one is allowed to legally question its validity or put it through vigorous scientific tests? The justice system is so screwed up as it is, we don't need things like this - which are taken as absolute fact without question - to latch itself onto an already broken system


Just wait, the age of Mind Print is soon upon us.

With the "Mind Print" technology, you will no longer
testimony before the court with a promise to tell the
truth the whole truth and nothing but... with Mind Print
you will be told what you thought and what you believed
because the court can now read your mind and PRINT
out what it needs to convict.

At this point society will change in ways we
can not now imagine.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

It is quite simple. If they do not reveal their source code for examination and decompilation, then its results cannot be trusted to be unbiased, true and fair. As such, conclusions drawn from the software should be inadmissible in court.

If the company wants to make sales, then the source code should be open for review.

This does not mean that it allows others to legally duplicate the code. Doing so would still be copyright infringement.

The fact that the company does not wish to have the source code reviewed, looks suspect to me.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:23 PM
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If they do not want it to be scrutinized by the public then do not use it against the public.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:56 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel
It's apparently easy for everyone to agree on this topic that proprietary software results should not be allowed as evidence in court, so why is this software allowed in court?

If the code can be independently verified by a team of experts that might be OK, but who picks the team of experts and how could their diligence be ensured?



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 11:02 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut




If the company wants to make sales, then the source code should be open for review.


There's the rub. Though.
It falls under the DCMA. Intellectual property and such like. Microsoft sells plenty of software without releasing the source code, as do many others.

Actually, pretty similar situation with automobile software (VW).

edit on 10/17/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2015 @ 12:14 AM
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a reply to: Phage

MS Windows code does not put people behind bars though.



posted on Oct, 18 2015 @ 04:48 AM
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a reply to: OccamsRazor04

I think we are at the stage whereby we are expected to have blind faith in technology. Is that acceptable especially in matters of where it is used to determine crime and put someone in jail for life.

I watched this morning a video on one man's crusade to tell the public that the Polygraph system can be fooled and more importantly is not fair proof of guilt. He said its because it only measures sweating on two fingers, heart beat and something else which in truth we all do at times, not necessarily because we are lying. Now if this is right and the polygraph interests - which is a billion dollar industry, has managed to use entrapment against him although their means did not involve using a polygraph to demonstrate lying and deceiving, which the case will be about, they will have managed to shut up criticism and ensure their continued profits. I wonder if the above technology will have the same worrying effect. Its nothing except about profit today and getting people into jail.

With well paid jobs being so scarce today there are many who will work on this type of project because they have no choice whether they know its fair/wrong or not. They won't have to face it if innocent people have their lives ruined. Obviously the guilty are another matter.




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