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.
DEA Finds a New Way Around Encryption: Planting Spy Phones With Suspects, Raising Concerns About Privacy, Security, and Free Expression
“Putting a smartphone whose security has been compromised into circulation could create privacy and security risks for anyone who ultimately uses that device and jeopardize free expression,” said Sarah St.Vincent, researcher on US surveillance and domestic law enforcement at Human Rights Watch.
This was Judge Robinson’s first public report on NYPD compliance with the revised Handschu Guidelines, negotiated to settle legal claims in Raza v. City of New York and Handschu v. Special Services Division, and limiting surveillance of religious and political activity.
Defending Rights and Dissent has joined a coalition of 20 other civil liberties organizations in demanding that the Justice Department Inspector General review how the incorrect figure of 7,800 unlockable devices originally came to be. The coalition of groups is also pushing for an investigation into why Justice Department officials and Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued to cite this statistic even after it was discovered that the FBI had made an error in their calculations.
Rekognition promises to “perform real-time recognition of persons of interest from camera livestreams against your private database of face metadata.” In plain English, that means it can identify people in real time.
There Are Just Too Many Unknown Unknowns When it Comes to Local Police Surveillance. But Activists In Oakland are Changing That
Orwell’s dystopic vision of a society where cameras and computers spy on every person’s movements may be upon us, but even his prescient imagination did not envision the rise of non-disclosure agreements.