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Police Corruption Media Articles

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FedEx’s Secretive Police Force Is Helping Cops Build An AI Car Surveillance Network
2024-06-19, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2024/06/19/fedex-police-help-cops...

Twenty years ago, FedEx established its own police force. Now it's working with local police to build out an AI car surveillance network. The shipping and business services company is using AI tools made by Flock Safety, a $4 billion car surveillance startup, to monitor its distribution and cargo facilities across the United States. As part of the deal, FedEx is providing its Flock surveillance feeds to law enforcement, an arrangement that Flock has with at least four multi-billion dollar private companies. Some local police departments are also sharing their Flock feeds with FedEx — a rare instance of a private company availing itself of a police surveillance apparatus. Such close collaboration has the potential to dramatically expand Flock’s car surveillance network, which already spans 4,000 cities across over 40 states and some 40,000 cameras that track vehicles by license plate, make, model, color and other identifying characteristics, like dents or bumper stickers. Jay Stanley ... at the American Civil Liberties Union, said it was “profoundly disconcerting” that FedEx was exchanging data with law enforcement as part of Flock’s “mass surveillance” system. “It raises questions about why a private company ... would have privileged access to data that normally is only available to law enforcement,” he said. Forbes previously found that [Flock] had itself likely broken the law across various states by installing cameras without the right permits.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on AI and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Abused by the badge
2024-06-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2024/police-officer...

A Washington Post investigation has found that over the past two decades, hundreds of law enforcement officers in the United States have sexually abused children while officials at every level of the criminal justice system have failed to protect kids, punish abusers and prevent additional crimes. Accused cops have used their knowledge of the legal system to stall cases, get charges lowered or evade convictions. Prosecutors have given generous plea deals to officers who admitted to raping and groping minors. Judges have allowed many convicted officers to avoid prison time. Children in every state ... have continued to be targeted, groomed and violated by officers sworn to keep them safe. James Blair, a Lowell, N.C., police officer, met a 13-year-old girl who ran away from home. He offered to help with her school work and presented himself as a mentor. Months later, court records show, he got the girl pregnant. Matthew Skaggs, a Potosi, Mo., police officer, offered money or vape cartridges to three boys he sexually exploited. Joshua Carrier, a Colorado Springs, police officer, sexually assaulted 18 boys at the middle school where he had once worked as school police officer and later volunteered as a wrestling coach. The Post identified at least 1,800 state and local law enforcement officers who were charged with crimes involving child sexual abuse from 2005 through 2022. Officers charged with child sex crimes worked at all levels of law enforcement. Many used the threat of arrest or physical harm to make their victims comply. Nearly 40 percent of convicted officers avoided prison sentences. Children who are sexually abused by law enforcement officers sworn to protect them face lifelong consequences.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on police corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


These cities bar facial recognition tech. Police still found ways to access it.
2024-05-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2024/05/18/facial-recognition-law-enf...

As cities and states push to restrict the use of facial recognition technologies, some police departments have quietly found a way to keep using the controversial tools: asking for help from other law enforcement agencies that still have access. Officers in Austin and San Francisco — two of the largest cities where police are banned from using the technology — have repeatedly asked police in neighboring towns to run photos of criminal suspects through their facial recognition programs. In San Francisco, the workaround didn’t appear to help. Since the city’s ban took effect in 2019, the San Francisco Police Department has asked outside agencies to conduct at least five facial recognition searches, but no matches were returned. SFPD spokesman Evan Sernoffsky said these requests violated the city ordinance and were not authorized by the department, but the agency faced no consequences from the city. Austin police officers have received the results of at least 13 face searches from a neighboring police department since the city’s 2020 ban — and have appeared to get hits on some of them. Facial recognition ... technology has played a role in the wrongful arrests of at least seven innocent Americans, six of whom were Black, according to lawsuits each of these people filed after the charges against them were dismissed. In all, 21 cities or counties and Vermont have voted to prohibit the use of facial recognition tools by law enforcement.

Note: Crime is increasing in many cities, leading to law enforcement agencies appropriately working to maintain public safety. Yet far too often, social justice takes a backseat while those in authority violate human rights. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and artificial intelligence from reliable major media sources.


Police departments sell their used guns. Thousands end up at crime scenes.
2024-05-16, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/police-selling-guns/

Candace Leslie was leaving church when she got the call she will never forget. Someone shot Leslie's son four times. Police recovered at least one gun. It was a Glock pistol. Unbeknownst to investigators at the time, the gun once served as a law enforcement duty weapon, carried by a sheriff's deputy more than 2,000 miles away in California. According to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Glock was one of at least 52,529 police guns that have turned up at crime scenes since 2006, the earliest year provided. While that tally includes guns lost by or stolen from police, many of the firearms were released back into the market by the very law enforcement agencies sworn to protect the public. Law enforcement resold guns to firearms dealers for discounts on new equipment and, in some cases, directly to their own officers, records show. Some of the guns were later involved in shootings, domestic violence incidents, and other violent crimes. Reporters surveyed state and local law enforcement agencies and found that at least 145 of them had resold guns on at least one occasion between 2006 and 2024. That's about 90 percent of the more than 160 agencies that responded. Records from 67 agencies showed they had collectively resold more than 87,000 firearms over the past two decades. That figure is likely a significant undercount, however, because many agencies' records were incomplete or heavily redacted.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Columbia Crackdown Led by University Prof Doubling as NYPD Spook
2024-05-03, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/05/03/columbia-crackdown-led-by-university-prof-d...

The violent crackdown carried out on Columbia University students protesting Israel’s genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip was led by a member of the school’s own faculty, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has declared. During a May 1 press conference, just hours after the New York Police Department arrested nearly 300 people on university grounds, Adams praised adjunct Columbia professor Rebecca Weiner, who moonlights as the head of the NYPD counter-terrorism bureau, for giving police the green light to clear out anti-genocide students by force. Weiner maintained an office at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Her SIPA bio describes her as an “Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs” who simultaneously serves as the “civilian executive in charge of the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau.” In that role ... Weiner “develops policy and strategic priorities for the Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau and publicly represents the NYPD in matters involving counterterrorism and intelligence.” A 2011 AP investigation revealed that a so-called “Demographics Unit” operated secretly within the NYPD’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau. This shadowy outfit spied on Muslims around the New York City area. The unit was developed in tandem with the CIA. As a former police official told the AP, the unit attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


In This Police Youth Program, a Trail of Sexual Abuse Across the U.S.
2024-05-01, The Marshall Project
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2024/05/01/police-explorer-sexual-abuse-bo...

Created by the Boy Scouts of America decades ago, law enforcement Explorer posts are designed to help teens and young adults learn about policing. [There are] at least 194 allegations that law enforcement personnel, mostly policemen, have groomed, sexually abused or engaged in inappropriate behavior with Explorers since 1974, an ongoing investigation by The Marshall Project has found. The vast majority of those affected were teenage girls — some as young as 13. In many programs, armed officers were allowed to be alone with teenage Explorers. In a few instances, departments minimized or dismissed the concerns of those who reported troubling behavior, records show. The officers accused of abusing teenagers spanned the ranks, from patrolmen to police chiefs. Some were department veterans cited in news articles for their community work. Many cases led to criminal charges. Some officers went to prison, while others received probation or weren’t required to register as sex offenders. A few departments allowed officers to keep their jobs after a reprimand or short suspension. The Marshall Project’s analysis found at least 14 departments, among 111 agencies, that had a history of repeated allegations. Slightly more than half of the cases reporters found occurred since 2000. In 2022, the Boy Scouts agreed to settle with more than 82,000 people, most of them men, who said they were abused as minors in Scouting programs.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


War Zone Surveillance Technology Is Hitting American Streets
2024-04-30, NOTUS
https://www.notus.org/technology/war-zone-surveillance-border-us

Federal and state Homeland Security grants allow local law enforcement agencies to surveil American citizens with technology more commonly found in war zones and foreign espionage operations. At least two Texas communities along the U.S.-Mexico border have purchased a product called “TraffiCatch,” which collects the unique wireless and Bluetooth signals emitted by nearly all modern electronics to identify devices and track their movements. The product is also listed in a federal supply catalog run by the U.S. government’s General Services Administration, which negotiates prices and contracts for federal agencies. Combining license plate information with data collected from wireless signals is the kind of surveillance the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have long used, with devices mounted in vehicles, on drones or carried by hand to pinpoint the location of cell phones and other electronic devices. Their usage was once classified and deployed in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, similar devices are showing up in the streets of American cities. The Supreme Court has said that attaching a GPS tracking device to a car or getting historical location data from a cell carrier requires a search warrant. However, law enforcement has found ways around these prohibitions. Increasingly, as people walk around with headphones, fitness wearables and other devices ... their data can be linked to a car, even after they have ditched the car. Courts have not definitively grappled with the question: Under what circumstances can law enforcement passively capture ambient signal information and use it as a tracking tool?

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


How the United States Arms the Mexican Cartels
2024-04-16, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/mexican-cartels-atf-gun...

Project Gunrunner [was] a nationwide initiative launched in Laredo, Texas, in 2005, which sought to reduce the smuggling of firearms across the U.S. southern border. But while the primary tactic of Gunrunner was the interdiction of buyers and sellers who were violating the laws, [ATF] agents in Phoenix had other plans. They wanted to see where the guns went if they were allowed to cross the border — to follow the small fish until they caught bigger ones. Agents named their operation “Fast and Furious,” after the popular movie about car racing. Between September 2009 and December 2010, a joint task force comprised of federal officials from ATF, FBI, DEA, and ICE, working under the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, let over two thousand guns “walk” to Mexico. The murder that made the flawed operation public and political in the United States was of an American citizen on US soil: the killing of US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Though the investigators could not identify the specific gun that fired the bullet, two AK-47 style WASR-10 rifles were recovered at the scene. Both were traced to ... one of the straw purchasers the agents were monitoring under the Fast and Furious operation. ATF agents who shared their experiences during interviews conducted by a congressional committee admitted they knew that the only way they would learn the whereabouts of the guns they let go would be when Mexican law enforcement recovered them at crime scenes.

Note: Read more about the thousands of illegal guns American officials allowed into Mexico during Operation Fast and Furious. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Congress Has A Chance To Rein In Police Use Of Surveillance Tech
2024-04-02, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/04/02/surveillance-tech-new-york-state-police/

Hardware that breaks into your phone; software that monitors you on the internet; systems that can recognize your face and track your car: The New York State Police are drowning in surveillance tech. Last year alone, the Troopers signed at least $15 million in contracts for powerful new surveillance tools. Surveillance technology has far outpaced traditional privacy laws. In New York, lawmakers launched a years-in-the-making legislative campaign last year to rein in police intrusion. None of their bills have made it out of committee. A report from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, put it succinctly: “The government would never have been permitted to compel billions of people to carry location tracking devices on their persons at all times, to log and track most of their social interactions, or to keep flawless records of all their reading habits.” That report called specific attention to the “data broker loophole”: law enforcement’s practice of obtaining data for which they’d otherwise have to obtain a warrant by buying it from brokers. The New York State Police have taken greater and greater advantage of the loophole in recent years. They’ve also spent millions on mobile device forensic tools, or MDFTs, powerful hacking hardware and software that allow users to download full, searchable copies of a cellphone’s data, including social media messages, emails, web and search histories, and minute-by-minute location information.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The Police Have A Dark Money Slush Fund
2024-03-29, The Lever
https://www.levernews.com/the-police-have-a-dark-money-slush-fund/

Private donors including big-box stores, fossil fuel companies, and tech giants are secretly giving hundreds of millions of dollars annually to law enforcement agencies and related foundations, allowing police to buy specialized weapons and technology with little public oversight. Experts say this huge deluge of police “dark money” funding, detailed in a new University of Chicago working paper ... leaves law enforcement beholden to the companies and powerful donors bankrolling them, rather than the communities that officers are sworn to serve. The study, which analyzed a database of nonprofit tax returns, found that from 2014 to 2019, more than 600 private donors and organizations collectively funneled $461 million to police and to other nonprofits supporting police. The Baltimore Police Department for years used private money to fund a secret aerial surveillance program that could track the locations of people throughout the city in real time. The program ... was eventually ruled unconstitutional in court. In Los Angeles, the city’s police department used money from Target ... routed through a local police foundation — to purchase software from Palantir, venture capitalist Peter Thiel’s data analytics company, that provides police massive amounts of sensitive data and purports to identify crime “hot spots.” For the most part, the millions in dark-money funding that police agencies receive each year is perfectly legal. There are largely no laws or policies governing foundation donations to the police.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Cops Running DNA-Manufactured Faces Through Face Recognition Is a Tornado of Bad Ideas
2024-03-22, Electronic Freedom Foundation
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2024/03/cops-running-dna-manufactured-faces-thr...

Police in the U.S. recently combined two existing dystopian technologies in a brand new way to violate civil liberties. A police force in California recently employed the new practice of taking a DNA sample from a crime scene, running this through a service provided by US company Parabon NanoLabs that guesses what the perpetrators face looked like, and plugging this rendered image into face recognition software to build a suspect list. Parabon NanoLabs ... alleges it can create an image of the suspect’s face from their DNA. Parabon NanoLabs claim to have built this system by training machine learning models on the DNA data of thousands of volunteers with 3D scans of their faces. The process is yet to be independently audited, and scientists have affirmed that predicting face shapes—particularly from DNA samples—is not possible. But this has not stopped law enforcement officers from seeking to use it, or from running these fabricated images through face recognition software. Simply put: police are using DNA to create a hypothetical and not at all accurate face, then using that face as a clue on which to base investigations into crimes. This ... threatens the rights, freedom, or even the life of whoever is unlucky enough to look a little bit like that artificial face. These technologies, and their reckless use by police forces, are an inherent threat to our individual privacy, free expression, information security, and social justice.

Note: Law enforcement officers in many U.S. states are not required to reveal that they used face recognition technology to identify suspects. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of important news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Feds Ordered Google To Unmask Certain YouTube Users. Critics Say It’s ‘Terrifying.’
2024-03-22, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2024/03/22/feds-ordered-google-to...

Federal investigators have ordered Google to provide information on all viewers of select YouTube videos. In a just-unsealed case from Kentucky ... undercover cops sought to identify the individual behind the online moniker “elonmuskwhm,” who they suspect of buying bitcoin for cash. In conversations with the user in early January, undercover agents sent links of YouTube tutorials for mapping via drones and augmented reality software, then asked Google for information on who had viewed the videos, which collectively have been watched over 30,000 times. The court orders show the government telling Google to provide the names, addresses, telephone numbers and user activity for all Google account users who accessed the YouTube videos between January 1 and January 8, 2023. The government also wanted the IP addresses of non-Google account owners who viewed the videos. The cops argued, “There is reason to believe that these records would be relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation, including by providing identification information about the perpetrators.” The court granted the order and Google was told to keep the request secret. Privacy experts said the orders were unconstitutional because they threatened to undo protections in the 1st and 4th Amendments covering free speech and freedom from unreasonable searches. Albert Fox-Cahn, executive director at the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project [says that] “no one should fear a knock at the door from police simply because of what the YouTube algorithm serves up. I’m horrified that the courts are allowing this.”

Note: The article refers to federal investigators and to undercover cops, but it doesn't specify who was actually doing the investigating. What agency or agencies were involved in these secret operations? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


After a handcuffed ride in the back of a police van, a man was left paralyzed and needed his legs amputated, lawsuit alleges
2024-03-20, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/20/us/florida-man-paralyzed-police-lawsuit/index....

A man filed a federal lawsuit Monday alleging he was paralyzed and needed his legs amputated after police officers in St. Petersburg, Florida, put him in restraints, placed him in the back of a police van without a seatbelt and then drove in a reckless manner. Heriberto Alejandro Sanchez-Mayen filed the lawsuit in US District Court for the Middle District of Florida against the city of St. Petersburg and officers Sarah Gaddis and Michael Thacker. After being handcuffed, Sanchez-Mayen was placed in the back of [a police] van where there were no seatbelts. Thacker allegedly drove “in a reckless manner and at an unsafe rate of speed,” before he suddenly came to a hard stop at an alleged red light, the suit states. The hard stop caused Sanchez-Mayen to be thrown forward, and his head struck a metal partition. After driving to the Pinellas County jail, Thacker opened the rear doors of the van and found Sanchez-Mayen “lying face down, motionless, unconscious, and unresponsive,” the suit states. The officer unsuccessfully attempted to wake him up and then dragged his limp body out of the van, causing Sanchez-Mayen to hit his head on the bumper, the door and the concrete floor. Sanchez-Mayen suffered spinal cord injuries that left him a quadriplegic, or paralyzed in all of his limbs, and resulted in the amputation of both of his legs. The lawsuit states Sanchez-Mayen should not have been arrested in the first place, noting the criminal trespassing charge was later dismissed.

Note: New Haven, Connecticut has agreed to a $45 million settlement with Randy Cox, another man who was paralyzed while being transported handcuffed and without a seat belt in the back of a police van. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of important news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Face Recognition Technology Follows a Long Analog History of Surveillance and Control Based on Identifying Physical Features
2024-01-22, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/01/22/face-recognition-technology-follows-a-long-...

American Amara Majeed was accused of terrorism by the Sri Lankan police in 2019. Robert Williams was arrested outside his house in Detroit and detained in jail for 18 hours for allegedly stealing watches in 2020. Randal Reid spent six days in jail in 2022 for supposedly using stolen credit cards in a state he’d never even visited. In all three cases, the authorities had the wrong people. In all three, it was face recognition technology that told them they were right. Law enforcement officers in many U.S. states are not required to reveal that they used face recognition technology to identify suspects. Surveillance is predicated on the idea that people need to be tracked and their movements limited and controlled in a trade-off between privacy and security. The assumption that less privacy leads to more security is built in. That may be the case for some, but not for the people disproportionately targeted by face recognition technology. As of 2019, face recognition technology misidentified Black and Asian people at up to 100 times the rate of white people. In 2018 ... 28 members of the U.S. Congress ... were falsely matched with mug shots on file using Amazon’s Rekognition tool. Much early research into face recognition software was funded by the CIA for the purposes of border surveillance. More recently, private companies have adopted data harvesting techniques, including face recognition, as part of a long practice of leveraging personal data for profit.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


How Police Have Undermined the Promise of Body Cameras
2023-12-14, ProPublica
https://www.propublica.org/article/how-police-undermined-promise-body-cameras

When body-worn cameras were introduced a decade ago, they seemed to hold the promise of a revolution. Once police officers knew they were being filmed, surely they would think twice about engaging in misconduct. And if they crossed the line, they would be held accountable: The public, no longer having to rely on official accounts, would know about wrongdoing. Police and civilian oversight agencies would be able to use footage to punish officers and improve training. In an outlay that would ultimately cost hundreds of millions of dollars, the technology represented the largest new investment in policing in a generation. It was a fix bound to fall far short. As policymakers rushed to equip the police with cameras, they often failed to grapple with a fundamental question: Who would control the footage? They defaulted to leaving police departments ... with the power to decide what is recorded, who can see it and when. Departments across the country have routinely delayed releasing footage, released only partial or redacted video or refused to release it at all. They have frequently failed to discipline or fire officers when body cameras document abuse. We conducted a review of civilians killed by police officers in June 2022, roughly a decade after the first body cameras were rolled out. We counted 79 killings in which there was body-worn-camera footage. A year and a half later, the police have released footage in just 33 cases — or about 42%.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Defying presidents and Congress, the ATF, DEA, FBI and U.S. Marshals shroud their shootings in secrecy
2023-12-05, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/defying-presidents-congress-atf-d...

In 2021, bullets flew outside a 7-Eleven during a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The same year, U.S. Marshals fired shots inside a barbecue restaurant in the Chicago area, and a firefight erupted during a Drug Enforcement Administration search aboard an Amtrak passenger train in Tucson, Arizona. Three suspects and a federal officer were killed. Miraculously, no bystanders were struck. Had they been local police shootings, they might have generated public demands to release body camera video and use-of-force investigation reports. But they were federal operations, conducted by agents and task forces with four federal law enforcement agencies — the FBI, the ATF, the DEA and the U.S. Marshals Service — in which the use of force remains largely a black box, free from public scrutiny. Those four agencies overseen by the Justice Department, among the most prestigious in the country, have been slow to adopt reforms long embraced by big-city police departments, such as the use of body cameras and the release of comprehensive use-of-force data. From 2018 to 2022, 223 people were shot by an on-duty federal officer, a member of a federal task force or a local officer participating in an operation with federal agents, according to an NBC News analysis. A total of 151 were killed. More than 100 of the shootings were investigated by local prosecutors, with only two resulting in criminal charges for officers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in intelligence agencies and in police departments from reliable major media sources.


Secretive White House Surveillance Program Gives Cops Access to Trillions of US Phone Records
2023-11-20, Wired
https://www.wired.com/story/hemisphere-das-white-house-surveillance-trillions...

A surveillance program now known as Data Analytical Services (DAS) has for more than a decade allowed federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to mine the details of Americans’ calls, analyzing the phone records of countless people who are not suspected of any crime, including victims. Using a technique known as chain analysis, the program targets not only those in direct phone contact with a criminal suspect but anyone with whom those individuals have been in contact as well. The DAS program, formerly known as Hemisphere, is run in coordination with the telecom giant AT&T, which captures and conducts analysis of US call records for law enforcement agencies, from local police and sheriffs’ departments to US customs offices and postal inspectors across the country, according to a White House memo reviewed by WIRED. Records show that the White House has provided more than $6 million to the program, which allows the targeting of the records of any calls that use AT&T’s infrastructure—a maze of routers and switches that crisscross the United States. Documents released under public records laws show the DAS program has been used to produce location information on criminal suspects and their known associates, a practice deemed unconstitutional without a warrant in 2018. Orders targeting a nexus of individuals are sometimes called “community of interest” subpoenas, a phrase that among privacy advocates is synonymous with dragnet surveillance.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Silicon Valley is piling into the business of snooping
2023-11-05, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/business/2023/11/05/silicon-valley-is-piling-into-t...

New Yorkers may have noticed an unwelcome guest hovering round their parties. In the lead-up to Labour Day weekend the New York Police Department (NYPD) said that it would use drones to look into complaints about festivities, including back-yard gatherings. Snooping police drones are an increasingly common sight in America. According to a recent survey by researchers at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, about a quarter of police forces now use them. Among the NYPD’s suppliers is Skydio, a Silicon Valley firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make drones easy to fly. The NYPD is also buying from BRINC, another startup, which makes flying machines equipped with night-vision cameras that can smash through windows. Facial-recognition software is now used more widely across America, too, with around a tenth of police forces having access to the technology. A report released in September by America’s Government Accountability Office found that six federal law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Secret Service, were together executing an average of 69 facial-recognition searches every day. Among the top vendors listed was Clearview AI. Surveillance capabilities may soon be further fortified by generative AI, of the type that powers ChatGPT, thanks to its ability to work with “unstructured” data such as images and video footage. The technology will let users “search the Earth for objects”, much as Google lets users search the internet.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Police love Google’s surveillance data. Here’s how to protect yourself.
2023-10-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/10/24/google-privacy-police-ge...

A recent court ruling in Colorado highlighted how Google’s tracking of our locations and web searches helps police find suspects when they have few leads — but it’s also sweeping innocent people into investigations. Google says it has procedures to “protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement.” But defense attorneys and civil liberties advocates say that Google is a gold mine for novel police methods that they call unconstitutional fishing expeditions. Even if you believe you have nothing to hide from law enforcement, relentless digital tracking of Americans risks our information falling into criminals’ hands, too. Law enforcement officials say that Google’s data on people’s locations and search histories helps solve crimes, including in the 2021 Capitol riot. In initial court-ordered warrants to Google, the company typically gives police information that isn’t connected to people’s identity. Only after they single out potentially suspicious data do the police go back for individually identifiable information. But defense lawyers and privacy advocates say the two types of broad warrants to Google turn normal police work upside down and threaten Americans’ rights. In a typical search warrant, police have a suspect in mind and ask for a judge’s approval to search their home, phone data and other potential evidence. In the large-scale search term and location warrants, police know a crime occurred but don’t know who might have committed it.

Note: Explore news articles we've summarized on the troubling nature of the use of location tracking by governments and corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Law enforcement eyes opioid settlement cash for squad cars and body scanners
2023-10-20, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/10/20/1206326239/law-enforceme...

Policing expenses mount quickly: $18,000 for technology to unlock cellphones in Southington, Conn.; $2,900 for surveillance cameras and to train officers and canines in New Lexington, Ohio. And in other communities around the country, hundreds of thousands for vehicles, body scanners, and other equipment. State and local governments are turning to a new means to pay those bills: opioid settlement cash. This money — totaling more than $50 billion across 18 years — comes from national settlements with more than a dozen companies that made, sold, or distributed opioid painkillers, including Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, and Walmart, which were accused of fueling the epidemic that addicted and killed millions. In August, more than 200 researchers and clinicians delivered a call to action to government officials in charge of opioid settlement funds. "More policing is not the answer to the overdose crisis," they wrote. Years of research suggests law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives have exacerbated the problem. "Police activity is actually causing the very harms that police activity is supposed to be stemming," says Jennifer Carroll, an author of that study and an addiction policy researcher. In Louisiana ... 80% of settlement dollars are flowing to parish governments and 20% to sheriffs' departments. Over the lifetime of the settlements, sheriffs' offices in the state will receive more than $65 million — the largest direct allocation to law enforcement nationwide. And they do not have to account for how they spend it.

Note: Explore past news articles we've summarized on opioids, a crisis fueled by US drug companies and captured government agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.