New York City Police Department documents obtained by The Verge show that police camera teams were deployed to hundreds of Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street protests from 2011–2013 and 2016. Originally acquired through a Freedom of Information Law request by New York attorney David Thompson of Stecklow, Cohen & Thompson, the records are job reports from the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) that document over 400 instances in which the unit’s video team attended, and sometimes filmed, demonstrations. More important than the records the NYPD turned over, however, are those that it claims it cannot find: namely, any documents demonstrating that legal reviews and authorizations of these surveillance operations took place.
The Border Patrol has either lost or destroyed original videos showing the 2012 killing of a Mexican teenager by a Border Patrol agent who fired across the border, a new court filing says. Agent Lonnie Swartz fired through slats in the border fence in Nogales, AZ, 4-1/2 years ago, killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez on the other side in Nogales, Sonora. Swartz was charged with second-degree murder in federal court in September 2015. His trial is expected to begin later this year. Swartz’s lawyer, Sean Chapman, filed a motion this week to have duplicate border surveillance videos precluded as evidence in Swartz’s trial because of technical (data retention) issues.
It has been said that Britain has more surveillance cameras than any other country in the world. This proliferation of CCTV cameras led the government to establish a surveillance camera commissioner responsible for overseeing their governance – the only country in the world to do so. In another first, the commissioner has now released a national strategy for England and Wales to set out how CCTV should be operated and to ensure that cameras are used in the public interest.
The real-life impacts of Maine’s refusal to issue new federally mandated driver’s licenses and identification cards were on display Tuesday as lawmakers heard testimony on a bill that would bring the state into compliance with the federal Real ID law. Maine has been among a handful of states to resist the federal law, which requires digital photos on state driver’s licenses, IDs that can be used with facial recognition software, and the digital archiving of identity documents such as birth certificates or Social Security numbers, among other things. The states where residents will need identification other than driver’s licenses to fly on Jan. 22, 2018, are: Maine, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington.
As physical security organizations deal with the storage and usage of video surveillance in legal matters, the following legal precedent raises questions about cloud-based storage and any use of “file sharing” sites. An insurance company has waived any claim of privilege to materials uploaded to an unprotected file-sharing site, a federal magistrate judge in Virginia ruled earlier this month. U.S. Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent said in a Feb. 9 decision that the Harleysville Insurance Co. waived its privilege in documents uploaded to a site where they were accessible to anyone who had the hyperlink, according to the ABA BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct.
On February 15, the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (GPS Act) was introduced by a bipartisan group of US Congress members. Designed to enact comprehensive rules for both government agencies and commercial service providers, the GPS Act would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using GPS data to track an individual’s location and would require service providers to obtain customer consent before sharing geolocation data with outside entities.
In its latest enforcement action in the realm of the Internet of Things, the Federal Trade Commission filed suit against D-Link Corporation, a Taiwan-based computer networking equipment manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary, alleging that the defendants failed to employ adequate security measures for their wireless routers and surveillance cameras. Although D-Link promoted the security of its routers with claims like “EASY TO SECURE” and “ADVANCED NETWORK SECURITY,” the company neglected to take easy steps to avoid security flaws, the agency asserted in its California federal court complaint. According to the agency, D-Link accepted hard-coded login credentials and the use of “command injection,” which allowed remote attackers to take control of routers by sending commands over the Internet.
The San Jose City Council is considering a proposal to install over 39,000 “smart streetlights.” A pilot program is already underway. These smart streetlights are not themselves a surveillance technology. But they have ports on top that, in the future, could accommodate surveillance technology, such as video cameras and microphones. EFF and our allies sent a letter to the San Jose City Council urging them to adopt an ordinance to ensure democratic control of all of that community’s surveillance technology decisions—including whether to plug spy cameras into the ports of smart streetlights.
In recent years, the plaintiffs’ class action bar has focused its efforts on pursuing claims under legislative schemes that provide for statutory damages. The litigation explosion under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a textbook example of how enterprising lawyers exploit laws that provide for such uncapped damages in an attempt to extract large settlements for technical violations that, in many cases, have caused no cognizable harm. As plaintiffs begin to explore new claims under these legislative schemes, we seek to help our clients minimize their risk through heightened awareness of the technical requirements of new and existing laws, vigilant compliance programs, and aggressive defense against litigation. Biometrics is one such area.
Most people don’t think about what whistleblower laws may protect them until they need them. Many information security professionals may be surprised to learn that they are protected by the law although no law specifically protects “cybersecurity” whistleblowers. This is because issues involving information security are rarely only about information security. The criminal case of […]