Privacy Matters

Chicago police rifled through anti-Olympics organizers' trash, sent undercover cops to meetings

What's the purpose of the police? Is it to protect public safety? Or is it to protect elite interests by undermining political opposition that runs the risk of interfering with those interests?

Hard won public records from Chicago now show the police department spied on anti-Olympics protesters, sending undercover agents to meetings, combing through activists' trash, and more.

The Chicago Reader reports:

Amazon takes workplace surveillance to the next level by incentivizing employees to report on each other

Amazon's corporate offices encourage white collar employees to use an electronic reporting tool to tell their managers how their colleagues are doing on the job. Unsurprisingly, this practice results in some bad outcomes for workers.

From a fascinating and disturbing New York Times profile of Amazon's unorthodox business practices:

Manhattan DA wants you to think his office is starving for information, but they know more about you than ever before

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The New York Times today published a fear-mongering op-ed by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, warning that commercial encryption services offered by Apple and Google endanger society by protecting criminals from police and prosecutors.

Are cops using biometrics in your city or town? Let's find out!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Boston-based public records gurus MuckRock have teamed up to conduct a crowd-sourced survey of US police departments' biometric surveillance systems. You can participate by filling out your own request, seeking information about biometric monitoring in your city or town.

NYPD sergeants' union crowdsources broken windows by asking off-duty officers to submit photos of homeless

NYPD officers aren't allowed to take photos of the public while on the job, so a union representing 12,000 NYPD sergeants has instructed them to do so while commuting to and from work. The president of the union, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, asked officers in a recent memo to submit photos of "the homeless lying in our streets, aggressive panhandlers, people urinating in public or engaging in open-air drug activity, and quality of life offenses of every type" to its office.

We love lawsuits, but we shouldn’t have had to file this one

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