EFF: “This week, EFF’s Atlas of Surveillance project hit a bittersweet milestone. With this project, we are creating a searchable and mappable repository of which law enforcement agencies in the U.S. use surveillance technologies such as body-worn cameras, drones, automated license plate readers, and face recognition. It’s one of the most ambitious projects we’ve ever attempted. Working with journalism students at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), our initial semester-long pilot in 2019 resulted in 250 data points, just from the counties along the U.S. border with Mexico. When we launched the first nationwide site in late summer 2020, we had reached just more than 5,000 data points. The Atlas of Surveillance has now hit 10,000 data points. It contains at least partial data on approximately 5,500 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states, as well as most territories and districts…However, this milestone sadly also reflects the massive growth of surveillance adoption by police agencies. High-tech spying is no longer limited to well-resourced urban areas; even the smallest hamlet’s police department might be deploying powerful technology that gathers data on its residents, regardless of whether those residents are connected to a criminal case. We’ve seen the number of partnerships between police and the home surveillance company Ring grow from 1,300 to more than 2,000. In the two years since we first published a complementary report on real-time crime centers — essentially police tech hubs, filled with wall-to-wall camera monitors and computers jacked into surveillance datasets — the number of such centers in the U.S. has grown from 80 to 100.”
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