Suraj K Sazawal

August 18, 2017
armed militia in camoflage

Too Close to Home

The benefits of protest are not always obvious. Demonstrations are not persuasive in and of themselves, but they encourage discussion and introspection.  In the market place of ideas, they open the door for change and help define and protect civic space.
June 10, 2017
protester with sign Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

UN Experts Decry Surge in Anti-Protest Bills in US States

“These state bills, with their criminalization of assemblies, enhanced penalties and general stigmatization of protesters, are designed to discourage the exercise of…fundamental rights.”
May 14, 2017

Montgomery County Hosts Digital Security Workshop

Whether you’re supporting victims of domestic violence, engaging in activism, or just buying something online, everyone has a reason to want to protect their security and privacy on the internet.
April 22, 2017
An gold justice scale backlight an an eerie dark background

Confidential Informants: Risking Their Lives for a few Years

Confidential informants are the unseen foot soldiers in the government’s war on drugs. By some estimates, up to eighty per cent of all drug cases in the country involve them.
February 24, 2017
airport security check with passenger walking through metal detector

Border Security, or Border Security Theater?

Travelers to the U.S., and even returning citizens are facing more intrusive questions, including demands to handover passwords. But fishing expeditions at the border do nothing to enhance national security.
October 25, 2016
Logotypes of famous Internet social media and social network brand's like Facebook Twitter Linkedin YouTube Google Plus Myspace and Pinterest printed on hanged tags.

When Exactly Does Something On the Web Cross the Line From Being a Non-Offensive Word Or Picture Into a Hate-Crime? And Who Gets To Decide?

The connections between online speech and future offline crime is hard to draw with certainty and consistency and shouldn’t be the focus of police departments.
August 10, 2016

TSA PreCheck: The Risk of the Reward

PreCheck lanes operate in more than 180 airports across the country. They permit members who provide DHS with detailed personal data, a photograph, and fingerprints to pass through the airport security with their shoes on and laptops stored in their carry-on bags. “With a 5 year, $85 membership, you can speed through security,” beams the TSA website.
July 15, 2016
Surveillance Equipment on a table

A Victory for the Fourth Amendment

Did Triggerfish just get fileted? A federal judge delivered a crucial rebuke to law enforcement’s use of stingrays when he tossed evidence discovered by DEA officers who used the problematic technology to locate a suspect and search his home without a warrant.
July 12, 2016
CCTV Camera

Seattle Utility Company Under Fire for Secret FBI Surveillance Camera Network

City Light, Seattle’s utility company is feeling the heat. Not only are they involved in a bizarre legal battle over its proposed smart meter network (that may expose user’s personal information to unauthorized third-parties) but the FBI uses its utility poles to
June 10, 2016
The White House

Inherent Problem: Unchecked Presidential Power in the Age of Endless War

Karen Greenberg’s new book, Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State, offers a stinging rebuke of the runaway presidential power that has undermined justice and due process in the war on terror era. Whether by endless wars, torture, or
May 19, 2016
Fingerprint Graphic

No, the FBI’s Huge Biometrics Database Should Not Be Exempt From Privacy Rules

In a world where police masquerade as google streetview cars to spy on citizens, questioning the validity of data amassed by law enforcement is absolutely necessary to protect against abuse. That’s why the Department of Justice’s proposal to prevent Americans from
April 21, 2016
Image of Digital Encryption

Should Congress Try to Understand Encryption Before they Outlaw It?

While the feud between Apple and the FBI attracts the media attention, Congress is where the real battle over encryption will be fought. And like past congressional forays into complex tech debates (see cybersecurity, online piracy and net neutrality), our elected officials have reliably shown their inability to grasp complex issues and consistently ignored constitutional protections in pursuit of knee-jerk fixes.
March 11, 2016
Finger Print in Crystal Ball

Predictive Policing: Gazing into Law Enforcement’s Crystal Ball

Read Suraj Sazawal's disturbing report on latest trends in predictive policing: "The ability to anticipate or predict crime represents a disturbing paradigm shift in law enforcement. Not only do the computer models infringe on civil liberties with little accountability, especially when the companies that create them keep their methods secret, but it also perpetuates racial profiling."
February 26, 2016
No Islamophobia Protest Sign

CVE Programs Want Teachers, Health Care Providers and Social Workers To Be Informants

The US government's relatively new Countering Violent Extremism program, relies on debunked theories, forces neighbors to spy on their neighbors, and interferes with the ability of Americans to exercise their constitutional rights.
December 23, 2015

Controversial Provision Taints DC’s “Model” Police Body Camera Law

Even with DC officers employing over 400 body-worn cameras (BWCs) during the past year’s pilot program, the Metropolitan Police Department did not release a single second of video to the public.   This must have assuaged DC’s top cop Chief Cathy