Police departments across the country are collecting and storing information on ordinary Americans. With funding from the US Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement is using survelliance technology – cameras on bridge crossings, GPS data, and smart video motion recognition, among others – to solve crimes. But can the new technology be used without infringing on individuals’ constitutional rights?
The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) is planning a national project to uncover and report on local surveillance activities. The team of award-winning investigative reporters (Andrew Becker, Matt Drange, Amanda Pike and G.W. Schulz) are breaking stories like the facial recognition pilot program Tactical Identification System in San Diego County that allows police officers to take photographs of people they arrest to check for criminal histories. The system has nearly 1.4 million booking photos. (Many people have multiple mug shots on record.) According to the CIR report: “The use of this technology was rolled out without any public hearings or notice.”
To support CIR’s Your Neighborhood NSA project, visit their crowdfunding page at BeaconReader.