New York police must now comply with a public records request related to the use of facial recognition and other surveillance of protesters. A judge has ordered the New York Police Department to release documents related to its surveillance of Black Lives Matters protests in the summer of 2020, requiring it to release 2,700 emails and other documents to the public or state why it is falling” and/or to allege with particularity that any document falls within one of the listed exceptions to the Civil Servants Act.”
The NYPD previously denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIL) request from Amnesty International and the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project for records connected to the use of facial recognition tools and activist surveillance (as well as a subsequent appeal of this FOIL request), prompted the two groups to sue the law enforcement agency last year. The police agency said the records request would cover more than 30 million documents and that tracking it down would be “unreasonably burdensome.”
IN governing issued Friday, New York Supreme Court Justice Lawrence Love rejected the NYPD’s arguments. Legal teams from the NYPD and Amnesty International met after the lawsuit was filed and narrowed the number of documents down to a total of 2,700, an amount that Love called “far more reasonable.” The judge also ordered Amnesty International and STOP to resubmit their FOIL request, this time tailoring it to cover the 2,700 documents in question.
A number of public records requests from Buzzfeed, With cable and other news outlets have revealed that the NYPD has a wide range of surveillance tools at its disposal. The policy agency has purchased technology such as cell site simulators, gait recognition software, X-ray vans and facial recognition software from well-known provider Clearview AI.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.