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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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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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During the Vietnam War, FBI used the press as a cover to “avoid embarrassment” while surveilling protests

A memo from Howard Zinn’s FBI file shows how the Bureau relied on third-party contractors and press coverage to avoid scrutiny of its surveillance of Vietnam protestors.

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FBI tried to fact check Norman Mailer’s factoids about their role in Marilyn Monroe’s death

FBI files released to Connor Skelding reveal that the Bureau was so sufficiently alarmed about author Norman Mailer’s accusations about their role in Marilyn Monroe’s death that they investigated if they had, in fact, wiretapped the actress phone. After determining they hadn’t, the Bureau considered getting Mailer to retract the claim - until they discovered he was just sort of making stuff up.

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