We’re long-time critics of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, or “BRIC.” BRIC is one of over 80 “fusion centers” across the nation. that spy on Americans without probable cause. We filed a public records request this January to delve deeper into BRIC’s surveillance practices. We partnered with the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Muslim Justice League … Continue reading Boston’s Spy Center Thinks It Has (Almost) Free Rein To Open A File On You
Quick summary of S. 2963, the MA police reform bill, as compared to previous versions. Ignore the acres of verbiage on commissions. Maybe they’ll work, maybe they won’t, but they’re likelier to drag out and thwart police accountability than to promote it. So: What real reforms were blocked and what were included? First, and most … Continue reading New Police Reform Bill Released
Yesterday, the Massachusetts House launched their own version of a police “reform” bill (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H4860). TL;DR:The House bill is, overall, far weaker than the Senate bill. We have till 1pm tomorrow to persuade House members to submit amendments. We want to see the Senate language on qualified immunity, school resource officers, police stops, and military equipment approvals, in the House bill. We … Continue reading MA House Applies Crusher To Senate’s Police Reforms
On Bastille Day, at 4:20am, the Massachusetts Senate passed a 70-page police reform bill. Two weeks remain for the House to consider it, and for the governor to sign it, in the midst of an acute public health and economic crisis. Police organizations are burning up the phone lines to prevent the House from acting … Continue reading Police Flooding Phone Lines To Block Basic Police Reforms: Call Now!
The Boston City Council voted unanimously on June 24 to ban government use of face surveillance technologies. Face surveillance systems are systematically worse at recognizing women and people of color, partly because the training datasets they learn with contain a preponderance of white, middle-aged men. Nothing about our criminal justice system requires the adoption of … Continue reading Boston Just Banned Face Surveillance. What Now?
The FBI has a new proposal afoot to require communications companies doing business in the US to make their communications technologies “wiretap-ready”, to avoid the “going-dark problem”. From Charlie Savage at the New York Times, six hours ago: The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of … Continue reading FBI-Borg Informs US Private Sector of its Impending Assimilation, Generously Limits Fines for Resistance to $25,000 Per Day Per Violation
Previously, we reported on the existence of stingrays, also known as `IMSI catchers’, which are used by law enforcement as mobile cellphone towers. Stingrays intercept location and other data from all cellphones in the area, redirecting the traffic from regular cellphone towers. They can be used to get cellphone data without having even to go … Continue reading Stingrays Can Do More Than You Ever Imagined: Law Enforcement, Cellphone Interceptions, and Countermeasures
Howdy and good morning, lovers of the Internet freedoms! It’s time for another in our “Microscope Mondays” series, where we take a good hard look at pending legislation here in Massachusetts relevant to surveillance. Previously, we’ve covered a praiseworthy effort to restrict the use of drones for law enforcement purposes and Martha Coakley’s should-be-better-known “Let’s … Continue reading Microscope Monday: Massachusetts’ proposed Electronic Privacy Act (S. 796 / HD 1014)
Congress passed a bill in February requiring the FAA to open U. S. airspace to drones. The Seattle Police Department, without letting Seattle’s City Council know about it, asked for FAA authorization to operate drones “for situations like crime scene photography, missing person searches, and barricaded person scenarios.” Their request was only revealed after a Freedom … Continue reading Seattle PD: When We Fly Drones Over Your House And Take Photos, We’re Not Infringing Your Privacy