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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

Published: 
Monday, June 17, 2013
Goverment power that operates unchecked behind closed doors is inevitably abused. The recent disclosures about the secret NSA surveillance programs prove this maxim.
Published: 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Having recently started as the new Technology and Liberty Director at the ACLU of WA, I’d like to tell you how I think about technology and some of the key issues I hope to focus on in the coming months and years.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, March 18, 2013
The ACLU of Washington welcomes the proposal to establish a process for the acquisition of surveillance technology by the City of Seattle. Transparency and opportunities for public input are essential , as we have seen recently with controversies generated by the City’s acquisition of drones and  also a system of surveillance cameras and a mesh network.
Published: 
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Seattle can become a national leader in establishing tight regulations for police drones. City leaders should seize the opportunity without delay.
Published: 
Friday, May 4, 2012
A week ago, on a Friday afternoon, a reporter called us with news that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) had received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to employ two unmanned aerial drones it had purchased. City officials declined to comment. Did the ACLU have anything to say? You bet!
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 23, 2012
The City of Seattle needs to develop clear and transparent policies for the use of aerial drones as a tool in law enforcement, the ACLU of Washington said today. Guidelines are needed to protect personal privacy against improper use of drones and to ensure that government does not use the technology to engage in surveillance of political activity.
Published: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
An important statewide Latino organization in Washington State has weighed in against gang injunction legislation in the state legislature. Here's what Latino Civic Alliance has to say.
Published: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The United States Supreme Court on Monday unanimously decided that law enforcement needs a warrant to place a GPS tracking device on a vehicle. We applaud the Supreme Court for ruling correctly that warrantless installation of a GPS device violates the Fourth Amendment.
Published: 
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The Washington Department of Transportation announced today that tolling will start on the SR 520 bridge on December 29. This will be Washington’s first all-electronic toll bridge—meaning there will be no toll booths—and by far the highest volume all-electronic toll facilities in the country. There are lots of advantages to eliminating toll booths (e.g., less congestion, greater safety), but there are also drawbacks, potentially including a loss of privacy. 
Published: 
Friday, October 28, 2011
One disturbing consequence of the Patriot Act, which just marked its ten-year anniversary, is how it has been used for law enforcement actions not related to combating terrorism -- the rationale for the Act's passage. A glaring example can be seen in the use of "sneak and peak” searches for drug crimes.

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