Rich May Helps Shed Light on Federal Law Enforcement’s Role in Surveillance Technologies
On March 7, 2023, the Washington Post published an article highlighting the involvement of the FBI and Defense Department in the development of technologies which could be used for domestic mass surveillance. Attorney David Glod, representing the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) on a pro bono basis, has been handling the litigation against the FBI, DOJ and DEA which led to the disclosure of federal agency documents discussed in the article.
The documents disclosed by the government agencies reveal that the agencies have aggressively pursued the development of facial recognition systems driven by artificial intelligence. The agencies’ stated aim was to develop systems that could be used to identify people from street cameras and drones, at distances of more than half a mile away. As the Washington Post writes, “The internal emails, presentations and other records offer an unmatched look at the way the nation’s top law enforcement agency and military have aggressively pursued a technology that could be used to undermine Americans’ privacy and already has a counterpart in mass surveillance systems in London, Moscow and across China.”
The ACLU’s lawsuit was brought pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), which requires government agencies upon request to disclose documents about their internal operations, subject to certain specified exemptions. The suit was filed in 2019, and remains ongoing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
© 2022 by Rich May, P.C. All rights reserved.