Earlier this month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation launched a new project designed to help educate communities about the growing list of surveillance tools deployed against the unsuspecting public. The EFF calls the new project the Street-Level Surveillance Project (SLS), which it describes as “a Web portal loaded with comprehensive, easy-to-access information on police spying tools like license plate readers, biometric collection devices, and ‘Stingrays.’”
The EFF has been involved in the fight against surveillance for 25 years, but with a massive influx of military equipment and surveillance tools to local police departments, it has never been more important to be aware of the growing Surveillance State. EFF Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch says the project “provides a simple but in-depth look at how these surveillance technologies work, who makes and uses them, and what kind of data they are collecting. We hope that community groups, advocacy organizations, defense attorneys, and individuals all take advantage of the information we’ve gathered.”
The SLS project hopes to educate users about the dangers of spying from law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local level. The privacy invasions include tracking cell phone calls, photographing our vehicles and following our driving patterns, taking our pictures in public places, and collecting our fingerprints and DNA.
“The public has heard or read so much about NSA spying, but there’s a real need for information and resources about surveillance tools being used by local law enforcement on our home turf. These technologies are often adopted in a shroud of secrecy, but communities deserve to understand these technologies and how they may be violating our rights,’’ said EFF activist Nadia Kayyali.
The Anti-Media works diligently to keep readers aware of the looming Surveillance State and any possible solutions. The Street Level Surveillance Project is one of those solutions. The website currently includes information on biometric technologies, which collect fingerprints, DNA, and face prints. It also details the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) — cameras mounted on patrol cars and on city streets that scan and record the plates of millions of cars across the country. In the coming months, more information will be added regarding cell site simulators, also known as “Stingrays.”
The website also includes explainers, FAQs, infographics, and links to EFF’s legal work in courts and legislatures. Under the “Resources” tab, there is also information for defense attorneys fighting surveillance cases, information on how to file a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request, and resources for community members fighting surveillance.
In the fight against oppression it is paramount that each individual find a method to contribute to the global awakening. Organizations like the EFF help fight the legal battles and provide resources such as the Street Level Surveillance project. At the same time, journalists at The Anti-Media and other organizations help spread the word. Now it is your turn, brothers and sisters. If you want to join the resistance to tyranny, the tools are available. The only thing left to do is to shake off the chains of bondage and take your first steps towards liberation.