This week’s FOIA round-up: Amazon pitches facial recognition software to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and widespread sexual abuse of students by Chicago Public Schools employees
In this week’s FOIA round-up, emails show correspondence between Amazon and Immigration and Customs Enforcement representatives regarding the tech giant’s facial recognition software, public and confidential data from Chicago revealed a decade of sexual abuse of students throughout public schools, and a significant amount of National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s historical artifacts have gone missing or been taken in the agency’s lifetime, highlighting flawed storage and tracking procedures.
Where is the nation in processing its backlogged sexual assault evidence collection kits? By simply filling out a form, you can help us find out, and bring home accountability for survivors of sexual violence.
Although our reporting on the rape kit backlog is often bleak, there is some good news - lawmakers in Alaska are taking a step in the right direction by adding $2.75 million to the budget for the testing of every backlogged kit.
Vanessa Nason, who runs our “Counting the Uncounted: The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Project,” reflects on a year spent tracking down the extent of the rape kit backlog in America.
For the last year, we’ve been requesting data surrounding the national backlog of untested sexual assault evidence. While we still don’t know the actual number- so far more than 225,000 rape kits have been found sitting on evidence collection shelves and in hospitals from coast to coast - we have a greater understanding of the many hurdles victims and law enforcement face. There are many reasons rape kits go untested, and the lack of forensic funding continues to exacerbate the problem.