Suraj K Sazawal

July 15, 2016
Surveillance Equipment on a table

A Victory for the Fourth Amendment

Did Triggerfish just get fileted? A federal judge delivered a crucial rebuke to law enforcement’s use of stingrays when he tossed evidence discovered by DEA officers who used the problematic technology to locate a suspect and search his home without a warrant.
July 12, 2016
CCTV Camera

Seattle Utility Company Under Fire for Secret FBI Surveillance Camera Network

City Light, Seattle’s utility company is feeling the heat. Not only are they involved in a bizarre legal battle over its proposed smart meter network (that may expose user’s personal information to unauthorized third-parties) but the FBI uses its utility poles to
June 10, 2016
The White House

Inherent Problem: Unchecked Presidential Power in the Age of Endless War

Karen Greenberg’s new book, Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State, offers a stinging rebuke of the runaway presidential power that has undermined justice and due process in the war on terror era. Whether by endless wars, torture, or
May 19, 2016
Fingerprint Graphic

No, the FBI’s Huge Biometrics Database Should Not Be Exempt From Privacy Rules

In a world where police masquerade as google streetview cars to spy on citizens, questioning the validity of data amassed by law enforcement is absolutely necessary to protect against abuse. That’s why the Department of Justice’s proposal to prevent Americans from
April 21, 2016
Image of Digital Encryption

Should Congress Try to Understand Encryption Before they Outlaw It?

While the feud between Apple and the FBI attracts the media attention, Congress is where the real battle over encryption will be fought. And like past congressional forays into complex tech debates (see cybersecurity, online piracy and net neutrality), our elected officials have reliably shown their inability to grasp complex issues and consistently ignored constitutional protections in pursuit of knee-jerk fixes.
March 11, 2016
Finger Print in Crystal Ball

Predictive Policing: Gazing into Law Enforcement’s Crystal Ball

Read Suraj Sazawal's disturbing report on latest trends in predictive policing: "The ability to anticipate or predict crime represents a disturbing paradigm shift in law enforcement. Not only do the computer models infringe on civil liberties with little accountability, especially when the companies that create them keep their methods secret, but it also perpetuates racial profiling."
February 26, 2016
No Islamophobia Protest Sign

CVE Programs Want Teachers, Health Care Providers and Social Workers To Be Informants

The US government's relatively new Countering Violent Extremism program, relies on debunked theories, forces neighbors to spy on their neighbors, and interferes with the ability of Americans to exercise their constitutional rights.
December 23, 2015
MPDC Logo

Controversial Provision Taints DC’s “Model” Police Body Camera Law

Even with DC officers employing over 400 body-worn cameras (BWCs) during the past year’s pilot program, the Metropolitan Police Department did not release a single second of video to the public.   This must have assuaged DC’s top cop Chief Cathy
October 28, 2015

NYPD: Bad to Your Bones

The headlines are full of warnings about the dangers of eating hot dogs and deli meats.  But what about the risks posed by the New York Police Department’s use of secretive X-ray vans that make a mockery of the Constitution
October 23, 2015

Police Body Cams: Complaints Down, Arrests Up

The widespread call for police officers to wear body cameras to improve fraught relations between the public and police is understandable.   Proponents view body-worn cameras (BWCs) as an expedient solution amid a climate of distrust, allowing interactions with law enforcement
October 15, 2015
Party

Indefensible

Is the First Amendment in need of a tune-up? A federal judge recently ruled that for-profit, booze-fueled swinger sex parties are not constitutionally protected. “The First Amendment claims [by the defendants] fail because the swingers’ activity documented in the record—namely,
September 3, 2015

When Feds Are Done Playing Dress Up, Who’s Left to Pick Up the Pieces?

Whether it’s the CIA staging a phony polio vaccination scheme in Pakistan or paid FBI informants working subterfuge in New York and California mosques, government agents frequently misappropriate identities to conduct undercover stings. Unfortunately, this duplicity jeopardizes the safety and
September 1, 2015
NYPD officers making an arrest

F*LM the Police!

Which of these are illegal for you to videotape: The president exiting the White House, a train pulling into Penn Station, or a police officer making an arrest during a traffic stop? The answer: all are legal. Taking photographs and
August 26, 2015

License Plate Readers Know Where You Go

As part of the state’s plan to fight its burgeoning heroin problem, Maryland officials announced this week it may purchase license plate reading technology for the Ocean City police department to track interstate drug carriers.  While this technology has been
August 12, 2015

Search and Seizure in a Digital World

When police copy a computer’s hard drive to investigate one crime, can they hold that information indefinitely and search it for unrelated crimes? The Second Circuit Court of Appeals will decide when it rehears the U.S. vs Ganias case in
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