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Know Your Rights: The power of public records when dealing with law enforcement

In our culture of expanding surveillance, we are constantly encouraged to report suspicious activity to authorities. What can be done when the people you want to hold accountable are the police themselves? This project means to subvert that attention from our fellow citizens towards law enforcement.

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Five cities, five different approaches to algorithms in government

Five cities, five different approaches to algorithms in government

We looked at five cities and the steps and policies that are bringing new technology to city hall.

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As local legislators debate facial recognition, some agencies restrict it with their own policies first

As local legislators debate facial recognition, some agencies restrict it with their own policies first

Last month, San Francisco became the first municipality in the country to ban the use of facial recognition by city departments. Later today, Somerville, Massachusetts may join its ranks. Agencies in other cities, however, aren’t waiting for city councils to weigh in, implementing policies that bar the use of facial recognition. Though the agency-level limits are not subject to the public development and enforcement that support city or state-level rules, they can be important measures in an agency’s own relationship with residents.

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Massachusetts towns reveal their bids for Amazon’s second headquarters

Massachusetts towns reveal their bids for Amazon’s second headquarters

Massachusetts towns are disclosing their bids for Amazon’s second headquarters, when many places across the country refuse to. Everywhere from Halifax, Canada to Los Angeles is vying for Amazon’s heart (and dollars) in the semi-public bidding war started in September, but many towns across the country won’t disclose what they’re offering Amazon in return for the second headquarters.

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What’s hiding in the bids for Amazon’s second headquarters?

What’s hiding in the bids for Amazon’s second headquarters?

So far, 20+ towns and states have released their bids for Amazon’s second headquarters to MuckRock, and we want to know what the bids mean for your place. We’re going to work on compiling a database that aggregates the information from the bids, but there’s a lot of details in the bids that we’d miss because we’re not locals - that’s where you come in.

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Requester's Voice: Eileen Feldman

Requester’s Voice: Eileen Feldman

Massachusetts-based disability civil rights activist Eileen Feldman has sharpened her records request skills considerably since filing her first FOIA in 2005. She insists that using public records in activism takes effort and vigilance, and pleads for everyone to demand documents in electronic format.

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