Join EFF on Saturday, April 9 for a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing campaign to hold California law enforcement agencies accountable for their use of surveillance technologies.
Last year, the California legislature passed two key transparency bills. S.B. 34 requires anyone uses automated license plate recognition (ALPR) systems, as well as end users of license plate reader data, to develop privacy and usage policies and post them on their websites. S.B. 741 creates identical requirements for law enforcement agencies that use cell-site simulators (i.e. IMSI catchers, Stringrays, and Dirt Boxes).
ALPR refers to systems of high-speed cameras that capture photos of license plates, convert the plates into machine readable text, and store them in databases that can be searched. Police can also set up “hot lists” so that they get pinged every time a camera spots a particular vehicle. In aggregate, this data can reveal all kinds of personal information, such as where you sleep at night, where you take your kids to school, where you worship, and what doctors you visit.
Cell-site simulators are devices that masquerade as a legitimate cell phone tower, tricking phones nearby into connecting to the device in order to log the IMSI numbers of mobile phones in the area or capture the content of communications.
We are asking supporters to join us in combing through the websites of more than 130 California local government and law enforcement agencies to collect these policies. We also want to identify which agencies are not yet complying with these laws, which went into effect on January 1.
The event will kick off at 12 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 9, and last until 4 p.m. PT. You can join in at anytime and take on as many agencies as you can. You can join us virtually online or come join us in person at EFF’s offices in San Francisco.
Due to the sensitive nature of the project, we are asking that participants pre-register for the event.
S.B. 34 and S.B. 741 are both bills we would like to see replicated across the country. But simply passing a law isn’t enough; it takes people like you to make sure that those sworn to uphold the law are actually following it themselves.
Please register below. You will be added to an internal EFF list that we will use to communicate with you regarding the California Surveillance Sweep project.