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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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CIA memo highlights the dilemma of declassification

One of the dilemmas of reading declassified documents is that readers are constantly faced with the question of whether or not to take the exemptions at face value - after all, CIA redacts beer brands and cafeteria names while claiming to “protect sources and methods.” Doing so erodes faith in the Agency’s choices to redact certain pieces of information, creating a situation where one of two possibilities are likely: that the CIA chose to improperly redact information to protect itself from embarrassment regarding improper activities, or that some of those activities are still seen as at least potentially valid.

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The year before his murder, Malcolm X was under electronic surveillance by the FBI

The last section of Malcolm X’s 10,000 plus page FBI file concerns the Bureau’s electronic surveillance of the activist shortly before his death. For months, agents listened to X’s phone calls, photographed his comings and goings, and even considered bugging his Queens residence - only to hastily discontinue the operation for fear it would taint a potential conviction.

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Dead cats, fouled nests, and the book of horrors - inside the CIA’s darkest hour

A pair of declassified memos from January 4, 1975 reveal just how contentious things were in the lead-up to the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee, with recent exposés having rocked the American public’s faith in the government, already strained by the still-fresh memories of Watergate, and undermined CIA’s legitimacy.

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California Department of Justice spent nearly two million dollars on controversial facial recognition software

In responding to our records request California Department of Justice (CADOJ) has provided documents detailing their acquisition of an expansive and highly advanced facial recognition system. The $1.7 million tech can preform thousands of searches an hour, and appears to be fully integrated with a massive array of police databases.

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Chicago Police can’t find records of cellphone extraction tech it had previously released

In response to a recent public records request, Chicago Police claimed to have no records related to Cellebrite tech used to extract data from cellphones. Which is interesting, considering that CPD had already released that information not even a full two years earlier.

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