The proliferation of technology is rapidly expanding law enforcement’s ability to surveil communities and collect information. Government surveillance efforts such as the FBI’s “Black Identity Extremists” classification, the use of Amazon’s Facial Rekognition software, and predictive policing programs like Operation LASER in Los Angeles have all been justified in the name of protecting public safety. Yet any information about how these tools are being used is being withheld from the public and agencies vehemently refuse to disclose who is targeted and why. For communities of color that have long been the primary targets of surveillance, these programs threaten to further criminalize our speech and our right to protest.
Cities across the nation are using an array of tactics to challenge the use of these surveillance programs. Some are urging elected officials to implement oversight legislation while others are mobilizing community members to demand the abolition of these programs all together. However, one tactic that remains central to all organizing efforts is pressuring government agencies to release documents through public solicitations like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Public Records Act (PRA). These tools allow the public to demand information held by the government.
Please join us for a conversation with Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, Working Narratives, and the ACLU on how filing for a FOIA request has helped expose the realities of surveillance programs and how the information learned is informing their next steps.
Guest speakers include:
Rend Smith, from Working Narratives
Hamid Khan from Stop LAPD Spying Coalition
Matt Cagle from Northern California ACLU
Myaisha from the Center for Media Justice will be moderator