Despite the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have made a habit of spying on the citizenry. But in the 21st century, the internet and the ability of computers to store and process vast amounts of data has allowed the government to collect vast amounts of data about each of us.
Government surveillance goes well beyond the NSA/FBI mass surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s automatic license plate readers have been recording our travel for decades; the FBI’s domain awareness program records where we travel, record has been recording license plates for decades, Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (run by DHS and the FBI respectively) gather information.
CBP Admits to Targeting Journalists, Activists, After Civil Society Groups, Including Defending Rights & Dissent, Demanded Answers
After revelations that Customs and Border Patrol (CBB) had monitored journalists, human rights lawyers, and activists, Defending Rights & Dissent joined with a 100 civil society demanding answers. In a May 9, 2019 response letter, CBP admits for the first time to having engaged in this monitoring, though it defended its actions.
Recent headlines that suggest the NSA will abandon its mass phone surveillance program, commonly known as Section 215 of the Patriot Act, should be met with a healthy dollop of skepticism.
Today, Defending Rights and Dissent joined a coalition of over 100 organizations in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging it to cease any targeting of activists, journalists, and lawyers based on their First Amendment-protected speech and associational activities.
FBI Refuses to Implement Even Minor Steps to Ensure Transparency, Privacy, and Accuracy of Its Facial Recognition Technology
As facial recognition technology spreads, the implications for privacy and liberty are overwhelming. But the FBI does not care.
On March 28 at Howard University Law School, we convened a conversation about the surveillance of activists in the digital age with activists who have been targeted by law enforcement and two policy experts.