May 18, 2016

Surveillance data in ordinary law enforcement

One of the most important issues in privacy and surveillance is also one of the least-discussed — the use of new surveillance technologies in ordinary law enforcement. Reasons for this neglect surely include:

One major thread in the United States is:

Similarly, StingRay devices that intercept cell phone calls (and thus potentially degrade service) are used by local police departments, who then engage in “parallel construction” for several reasons, one simply being an NDA with manufacturer Harris Corporation.

Links about these and other surveillance practices are below.

At this point we should note the distinction between intelligence/leads and admissible evidence.

I won’t get into the minutiae of warrants, subpoenas, probable cause and all that, but let’s just say:

“Yet” is the key word. My core message in this post is that — despite the lack of catastrophe to date — the blurring of the intelligence/evidence line needs to be greatly reversed:

Going forward, the line between intelligence and admissible evidence needs to be established and maintained in a super-bright state.

As you may recall, I’ve said that for years, in a variety of different phrasings. Still, it’s a big enough deal that I feel I should pound the table about it from time to time — especially now, when public policy in other aspects of surveillance is going pretty well, but this area is headed for disaster. My argument for this view can be summarized in two bullet points:

I recapitulate the chilling effects argument frequently, so for the rest of this post let’s focus on the first bullet point. Massive surveillance will be a fact of life for reasons including:

And so I return to the point I’ve been making for years: Surveillance WILL happen. So the use of surveillance information needs to be tightly limited.

Related links:

Comments

3 Responses to “Surveillance data in ordinary law enforcement”

  1. Privacy and surveillance require our attention | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on May 18th, 2016 11:45 pm

    […] NSA’s propensity to share data with civilian law […]

  2. There’s no escape from politics now | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on February 2nd, 2017 12:32 am

    […] the legal frameworks around information use is a difficult and necessary job. The tech community should be helping more than it […]

  3. There’s no escape from politics now – Cloud Data Architect on February 6th, 2017 1:31 am

    […] the legal frameworks around information use is a difficult and necessary job. The tech community should be helping more than it […]

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