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Surveillance

The advance of technology presents both opportunities for and challenges to liberty. As new technologies are implemented, their impacts on civil liberties must be considered. The ACLU supports uses of technology that enhance privacy and freedom while opposing those that undermine liberty and move us closer to a surveillance society.
ACLU of Washington sues Tacoma Police Department for not disclosing stingray surveillance records
Seattle's smart meter project lacks protections for privacy
ACLU-WA Urges King County: Don't Fund Police Database Without Transparency
Seattle has passed the strongest surveillance transparency and accountability protections in the country!

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Monday, May 11, 2015
Governor Inslee today signed into law a bill restricting the use of cell site simulator devices (popularly known as “Stingrays”). The measure (HB 1440) requires that a judge find there is probable cause that use of a Stingray will lead to evidence of criminal activity, and it includes judicial education and data retention provisions that are the first of their kind in the nation.
Published: 
Thursday, April 30, 2015
For years, with seemingly little to no oversight, the Naval Criminal Investigative Services has been monitoring vast amounts of non-military U.S. Internet traffic and communications, looking for evidence of criminal activity.
Published: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The past few years have seen numerous attempts to reform the notorious Patriot Act and its problematic provisions which the NSA has interpreted to permit unprecedented dragnet surveillance. None have been successful, thanks in large part to the continued fearmongering of the “war on terror.”
News Release, Published: 
Friday, April 17, 2015
In a bipartisan action, the Washington Legislature has approved legislation to regulate government use of cell site simulator devices, better known as Stingrays. The bill, HB 1440 – “Prohibiting the use of a cell site simulator device without a warrant,” passed the House by a unanimous vote yesterday after the Senate also had passed it unanimously. It now awaits Governor Inslee’s signature to become law.
Published: 
Friday, March 20, 2015
The ACLU-WA hosted a talk at Town Hall Seattle on March 11th on Reining in the Surveillance Society. 
Published: 
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Recent public outcry for police accountability and reform has been sparked by an epidemic of police violence targeted disproportionately at people of color. Advocacy groups, the public, and the president alike have touted body worn cameras as a potential cure for police misconduct.  If officers wear cameras, runs the thinking, we would have a clear visual record of what actually happened and who was at fault in disputed encounters with civilians.
Published: 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
By the end of the summer, the Spokane Police Department (SPD) will begin using officer-worn cameras as part of a pilot program. While the ACLU-WA has supported the use of body cameras for accountability purposes, we recently expressed concern that the SPD’s draft policies do not adequately protect individual privacy or ensure effective oversight.
Published: 
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
In June of 2013, NSA contractor Edward Snowden famously leaked knowledge of systematic government spying to journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. Over the next year, Greenwald assembled his insights about government spying and Snowden into a book titled No Place to Hide. On a book tour, he recently spoke to a packed house at Seattle’s Town Hall.
Published: 
Friday, June 20, 2014
Have you wondered where Seattle’s police drones are? How about … Los Angeles? In an aptly named article “Game of Drones” in the LA Weekly, Seattle journalist Rick Anderson chronicles how the Los Angeles Police Department acquired the two 3.5 Draganflyer X6 drones as a gift from the Seattle Police Department.
Published: 
Thursday, June 19, 2014
When people hear that their police department is considering equipping officers with body cameras, their initial reaction is likely to be “Good!”  Many instances of police misconduct have come to light over the years because someone recorded the incident with a mobile camera. So having a camera attached to each officer seems like a great way to ensure accountability.

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