Privacy SOS

Minnesota’s “Gangnet” database shut

Minnestoa's Community Justice Project, along with the NAACP and ACLU, has succeeded in putting a stop to that city's version of the Commonwealth's MassGangs database, "Gangnet". Police say they weren't using the database, but community groups hail it as a victory in the war against unchecked spying. Gangnet's departure doesn't mean an end to the widespread law enforcement collection and sharing of non-criminal information about ordinary people, but it was a particularly dangerous and explicitly broad database targeting communities of color.

The Boston Police Department isn't too fond of at least one database at the state's spy center, the Commonwealth Fusion Center.  Reportedly, the BPD is not adding to the MassGangs data base because of worries about “who’s maintaining and updating the intelligence, who would be privy to it, and what security measures would be taken” to keep the information strictly in the hands of the police  (Jonathan Saltzman, “Police don’t add to gang database,” Boston Globe, June 15, 2010).

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.