Sun, 26 May 2019

Articles Posted in the " FOIA " Category



  • ICYMI #18: Tony Webster – Freedom of Information & Land of 10,000 Cameras

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    Sam interviews public records researcher Tony Webster. Webster has begun receiving documents from a lawsuit against Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. These emails, documents, and other revelations paint a disturbing picture of government secrecy and the creation of a digital panopticon here in Minnesota. NSP has been furthering the investigation and will be publishing our results very soon.

    Real-time facial recognition camera networks, crowd iris scan, behavioral recognition enhanced by artificial intelligence, and other Orwellian advancements will all be upon us soon.

    This lawsuit will be remembered as



  • ICYMI #17: Mike Katz-Lacabe – The Center for Human Rights & Privacy

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    Sam interviews Mike Katz-Lacabe who has been requesting documentation from law enforcement agencies across the United States to determine which possess surveillance gear. Mike and his wife established The Center for Human Rights and Privacy, the website of which includes a regularly updated blog covering their work.

    These significant contributions made towards transparency and public awareness of government surveillance – specifically cell-site simulators and license plate readers – has informed journalists and activists around the nation. The documents provided by Mike’s efforts have lead to numerous


  • ICYMI #16: Dr. Richard Tynan – Privacy International

    Jerod interviews Dr. Richard Tynan, technologist with Privacy International. The two discuss a variety of surveillance issues including: snooping technology, regulation (or lack thereof), homemade and black-market gear, the proliferation of companies involved with the industry and much more. Dr. Tynan holds a first class honours BSc (Hons) degree and a PhD in Distributed Artificial Intelligence for Embedded Sensor Networks from University College Dublin, and has also completed a Graduate Diploma in Law.

    Check out Privacy International! They have great explainers, important projects & more!

    Privacy International analysis of the state


  • Freddie Gray, FBI Planes and Civil Unrest: Baltimore 1 Year Later

    Photo by SocialJusticeSeeker812 via Flickr

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    I run into Bailey as she is stepping out of her car in downtown Baltimore. It has been almost a year since waves of protests shook the city following the death of Freddie Gray, but she remembers those days well. “I live off Fulton Street, right where everything was happening – the rioting, the looting around there.

    “Now everything’s pretty much the same around there.”

    The words have barely left her mouth when we are interrupted by the sirens of a BPD patrol car as it pulls


  • Investigations Raise Constitutional, Legal Concerns Over Aerial Surveillance

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    North Star Post has learned that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) relies on forty year old Supreme Court rulings to justify warrantless aerial surveillance and does not seek warrants when fielding intrusive electronic surveillance gear. Documents obtained by NSP through Freedom of Information requests show that the FBI does not consider their actions in these regards to constitute a search.

    The ACLU revealed a great deal of information on purchase orders of intrusive electronic surveillance technology from several federal agencies including the DEA and the FBI of which we have reported on a great deal.


  • FBI Aviation and Policy Guide Sheds Light on Aerial Surveillance

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    A recently declassified internal FBI document has shed light on certain aspects of the Bureau’s aerial surveillance program but large redactions still leave much to speculate.

    The document, titled Bureau Aviation Regulations Policy Directive and Policy Guide (BAR for short), was released as part of a North Star Post Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in May of 2015.

    The BAR discusses many aspects of the FBI’s aviation program from maintenance and safety policies to staffing requirements.

    The FBI has three separate teams as part of their main aviation program. Surveillance and Aviation Section (SAS)


  • FOIA Confirms Lawless Nature of FBI Sky Spies

    “Eyes in the Sky” by Bill McMullen

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released documents received in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that confirm the use of cell-site simulators in surveillance aircraft and the shocking disregard for oversight or regulatory policy what-so-ever. The federal government is flying spy-planes over US soil as the EFF put it, “without any policies or legal guidance.” North Star Post has been reporting on these activities since our founding following the independent disclosure of FBI operated domestic aerial surveillance on May 26th, 2015.

    The EFF reports: the FBI’s “first successful airborne geolocation mission