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Surveillance

The advance of technology presents both opportunities for and challenges to liberty. As new technologies are implemented, their impacts on civil liberties must be considered. The ACLU supports uses of technology that enhance privacy and freedom while opposing those that undermine liberty and move us closer to a surveillance society.

ACLU of Washington sues Tacoma Police Department for not disclosing stingray surveillance records
Seattle's smart meter project lacks protections for privacy
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Seattle has passed the strongest surveillance transparency and accountability protections in the country!

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Published: 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The ACLU has long been concerned about the use of facial recognition systems and the broad fishing expeditions for which they can be used.  That’s why the ACLU of Washington worked hard to change the Seattle Police Department’s proposed policy for the Booking Photo Comparison Software (BPCS).
Published: 
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Ben Wizner is director of the ACLU’s national Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, and is a legal advisor to Edward Snowden.  He has visited Snowden in Moscow and communicates with him over encrypted channels.  Wizner was in Seattle recently and spoke to KUOW host David Hyde on “The Record” about privacy in the digital age.
Published: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
A group of enthusiastic ACLU-WA activists met at the State Capitol on Tuesday to encourage legislators to support  House Bill 1771 and Senate Bill 6172 calling for reasonable, common sense limits to drone use by state and local government agencies.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
The Washington State House has passed HB 2789, a bill which puts reasonable regulations in place for government use of drones in Washington state. The measure passed overwhelmingly with strong bipartisan support by an 83-15 vote.
Published: 
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Police departments across the state have adopted or are looking to buy on-officer recording systems, or “body cameras,” to provide oversight for law enforcement. These cameras can be very beneficial for accountability to prevent or identify police misconduct. But, they also pose risks to privacy for those captured in the recordings.
Published: 
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Spokane City Council has passed an ordinance that will require Council approval to acquire and use some new surveillance equipment, such as drones and camera networks. We hope that more communities throughout Washington will consider passing similar oversight mechanisms with even stronger provisions and protections.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, July 29, 2013
The ACLU of Washington is urging that the Spokane City Council strengthen a proposal for City acquisition of surveillance equipment.
Published: 
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
A national ACLU report on license plate tracking by law enforcement confirms that the problems we identified locally are reflected in communities throughout the U.S. Our study found that few police departments in Washington place any substantial restrictions on how the location information may be used.
Published: 
Monday, June 17, 2013
Goverment power that operates unchecked behind closed doors is inevitably abused. The recent disclosures about the secret NSA surveillance programs prove this maxim.
Published: 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Having recently started as the new Technology and Liberty Director at the ACLU of WA, I’d like to tell you how I think about technology and some of the key issues I hope to focus on in the coming months and years.

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