ShotSpotter, Flock Safety, and Fog Data Science pitch themselves as third-party public-safety platforms, but they really are are “data brokers”—companies that profit by selling bulk information to others.
Edward Vogel Feb 01, 2023
As more people criticize or refuse to cooperate with police, writers Emily Galvin-Almanza and Khalid Alexander argue most departments aren’t taking that criticism to heart—they’re replacing human sources and interactions with computer-generated evidence instead.
Barbed wire and a surveillance cameraUser 652243 via Pixabay Private Tech Surveillance Companies Are Taking Over Prisons by Nneka Ewulonu Incarcerated Americans are being watched like never before. Private American companies are rapidly digitizing prison mail. Some ankle-monitors can record whole conversations without people’s knowledge or consent. Most recently, at the end of last month, […]
Nneka Ewulonu Mar 08, 2022
Mayor Randall Woodfin is increasing police funding and ignoring calls for non-law enforcement public safety alternatives.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 30, 2021
Prosecutors in states ranging from New York to Utah are using decades-old gang laws to target participants in the largest uprising against police brutality in U.S. history.
Ali Winston Sep 01, 2020
Administrative subpoenas—which do not require a judge’s approval—are typically used for the department’s internal investigations, but The Appeal has learned that they are being used in criminal cases.
Ali Winston Aug 25, 2020
Louisville, Kentucky judges are ordering people with COVID-19 who have allegedly defied quarantine to wear GPS ankle monitors, raising ethical questions about the government’s role in a pandemic.
Kira Lerner Apr 09, 2020
When the dust settles on this pandemic, we need to be clear on what was an emergency response and what is a desirable permanent change.
James Kilgore Mar 23, 2020
A City Council Committee considers a bill on NYPD surveillance today.
Ali Winston Dec 18, 2019
The billionaire and former New York City mayor defended the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim Americans and mandatory minimum prison sentences for gun possession, among other policies.
Aaron Morrison Nov 21, 2019
A close examination of a poll backed by a business group reveals loaded questions, undisclosed conflicts of interest, and the shortchanging of very real privacy concerns.
Adam H. Johnson Nov 07, 2019
Tech Company Gave Two New Orleans-Area Sheriff’s Offices Access to Track Cell Phones Without Warrants
Neither agency had written policies on how to capture or store the location data without violating privacy rights.
Emily Lane Oct 23, 2019
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala has gotten into the surveillance game, but advocates say that raises questions about his role.
Kira Lerner Sep 20, 2019
Advocates warn that overuse of ankle monitors and other forms of electronic monitoring produce consequences of their own.
Kira Lerner Sep 05, 2019
California Supreme Court rules that the government cannot subject a young person on probation, as a condition of release, to random searches of his electronic devices and social media accounts.
Vaidya Gullapalli Aug 21, 2019
Blue Bell listeria outbreak killed three people, but only the teenage prankster accused of licking a carton will face charges.
Sarah Lustbader Jul 16, 2019
The popularity of Axon’s tech soared after the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014, but it may be doing more harm than good in protecting people from excessive force.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Jun 10, 2019
Spotlight: Neighborhood Crime Apps Stoke Fears, Reinforce Racist Stereotypes, And Don’t Prevent Crime
If I open an app called Citizen, which offers neighborhood “911 crime and safety alerts,” an alert pops up: “200 FEET AWAY: police search for four suspects after shooting incident.” There is a thumbnail picture of a map with a bright red dot in the middle, and shades of red cover the area around […]
Sarah Lustbader Jun 04, 2019
City officials say its vast network of cameras are simply a tool when responding to 911 calls and complaints of criminal activity. But several cases suggest the system serves an additional purpose.
Mike Hayes Jun 03, 2019
Defense attorneys say they were unaware of the practice and are unclear on how they can expunge the data of nonconvicted clients.
The technology also allows authorities to mine call databases and cross-reference the voices of individuals prisoners have spoken with.
Dismal police accountability has made communities vulnerable to private vendors.
The company is being paid $4 million a year to open and scan prisoners’ mail into a searchable database.
Raven Rakia Sep 24, 2018
Arrests that result in dropped charges and dismissals are supposed to be sealed. But until recently, the NYPD used these records to target turnstile jumpers.
New records obtained by the Appeal show the account seems to have been monitoring Black Lives Matter activists for years.
George Joseph Aug 02, 2018
Prosecutors on the “J20” case faced grave allegations of misconduct after withholding exculpatory evidence contained in videos from defense attorneys. But this is far from the first time that this office has found itself in hot water.
Police appear to have used a fake Facebook account to ‘friend’ activists and archive who ‘liked’ their posts.
George Joseph Jul 27, 2018
A onetime gang liaison for the Baltimore Police Department writes that its database is racist and error-ridden.
Larry Smith Jul 23, 2018
Advocacy group demands an end to traffic checkpoints concentrated in Black and Latinx areas.
Prince Shakur Jul 18, 2018
With Appeal staff reporter George Joseph.
Adam H. Johnson Jun 21, 2018
Los Angeles Police Department analysts are each tasked with maintaining “a minimum” of a dozen ongoing surveillance targets for future targeting, using Palantir software and an updated “probable offender” formula, according to October 2017 documents, obtained through a public records request lawsuit by the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition and given exclusively to The Appeal. These […]
George Joseph May 08, 2018
In cities across the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations agents can mine local police reports using COPLINK, a data program little known outside law enforcement circles. While public records have revealed ICE’s access to this program in the past, new documents, obtained by the ACLU of Massachusetts and shared with The Appeal, offer the first […]
George Joseph Apr 26, 2018
Since its initiation in 2013, the NYPD’s gang policing program has operated with little outside scrutiny. Based on evidence it has kept almost entirely hidden from public view, the police have targeted and surveilled entire social networks inside low-income communities, breaking down doors in pre-dawn military-style raids that have resulted in over 2,000 arrests in just the […]
Max Rivlin-Nadler Feb 12, 2018
This article was published in collaboration with The Nation. Editor’s note: After publication, The Appal received letters from David Kennedy and other proponents of the Ceasefire model that challenged this article’s characterization of the model and its effectiveness. An internal review determined that the story contained a number of inaccuracies related to the BRAVE program and the description of […]
Max Rivlin-Nadler Jan 12, 2018
A book excerpt from The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement (NYU Press 2017) In downtown Manhattan, an experimental prosecution unit has begun rethinking how to reduce violent crime. Under the leadership of district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office created the Crime Strategies Unit (CSU) to target the bad apples in […]
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson Oct 10, 2017
ICE Is Making Its Massive Data Collection Effort Secret As It Labels More and More Immigrants ‘Gang Members’
In a new rule proposal, the Department of Homeland Security has moved to exempt large swaths of the Immigration and Customs Enformcement’s massive data collection system from the Privacy Act, making the type, sources, and accuracy of information ICE is collecting almost completely secret. By doing so, it would further obscure a law enforcement agency that […]
Max Rivlin-Nadler Oct 03, 2017
The fatal shooting of Minneapolis resident Justine Damond, a white Australian native, by police officer Mohamed Noor in July reignited a local debate about the use of body-mounted cameras. Noor and fellow officer Matthew Harrity didn’t have their body cameras on when Damand was killed, a revelation that spurred interim Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to […]
Rebecca McCray Sep 27, 2017
Justine Damond called 911 Saturday night because she was concerned about a possible assault in the alleyway behind her home. For reasons that remain unknown, she was shot and killed by police after they arrived to investigate the incident. So far police have offered no explanations for the shooting. The officers’ body cameras were off […]
Alex S. Vitale Jul 17, 2017