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surveillance

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Street Level Surveillance: Biometrics FOIA Campaign

Police departments are increasingly tracking your face, your fingerprints, your tattoos — and even your DNA. Help the Electronic Frontier Foundation and MuckRock uncover how local agencies are tracking you and bring some much-needed transparency to the murky world of biometric surveillance.

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The Spy In Your Pocket

Cell phone surveillance technology has outpaced policy and public awareness. MuckRock is investigating precisely how law enforcement across the country use cell phones to locate and track individuals.

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CVE Watch

The programs being designed and implemented across the country under the auspices of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) have drawn fire from Muslim community members and civil rights activists. They are criticized for unfairly targeting Muslims, being used for surveillance under the pretext of community outreach, and being based on an unfounded theory of radicalization. Despite the heavy criticism CVE has been subjected to, there remain lingering questions about precisely which communities are targeted, what research (and which experts) agencies are relying on for their approaches, how (or if) government agencies are planning to safeguard civil liberties, which community leaders are being supported and for what reasons, etc. By making the relevant government documents public, we hope to help answer some of these questions.

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Cell Site Simulator Census

A nationwide census of cellphone surveillance equipment use and policy.

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Five unsettling FBI surveillance tips from the ‘40s

We’ve written before about the FBI’s 1947 guide to investigatory techniques and their heavy reliance on period-authentic casual racism. Today, we’ll be looking at the section on surveillance under false pretenses, which manages the perfect blend between adorably dated and downright creepy.

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Motel 6 isn’t scared of the ACLU

Motel 6 collaborating with law enforcement to spy on guests may be outrageous, but it’s hardly a surprise. After it was revealed in 2015 that a location in Warwick, Rhode Island had been sharing its guest lists with local police, internal emails show the hotel chain was not especially reticent after they were caught.

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Departments of Correction nationwide are considering privatized electronic monitoring as an alternative to incarceration

While a release-and-monitor system can provide relief to those awaiting trial, overcrowded prisons, and families hopeful for their their loved ones’ returns, the charges being transferred to inmates and their support networks are sometimes comparably destructive.

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Persistent FBI surveillance put no damper on I.F. Stone’s incisive pen

With a career spanning the early decades of the Bureau’s existence and a list of acquaintances that could have passed as an FBI radicals watchlist, I.F. Stone was a well-established person of interest to the federal government.

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Russell Means’ FBI file offers a day-by-day account of the American Indian Movement’s occupation of Wounded Knee

Russell Means was a seminal figure in Indigenous politics for decades, rising to the rank of National Director of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1970. His 178 page FBI file, however, only includes records regarding one incident Means was involved in - the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, a months-long standoff between AIM activists carrying small arms, and local and federal law enforcement packing 133,000 rounds of ammunition, armored personnel carriers, and .50 caliber machine guns.

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