We envision a society where systems of policing and incarceration are obsolete.
We seek to expose and constrain how law enforcement uses technology to expand its reach and to drive mass incarceration. We oppose police surveillance tools and reject the idea that technology can fix the problems in policing or keep communities safe. We have resisted body-worn cameras, face recognition, predictive policing, and other surveillance tools and techniques. Among our current initiatives, we seek to limit how local law enforcement agencies use forensic tools to search people’s cellphones. We also frequently work with defense attorneys on impact litigation and with local advocates to curb police surveillance, including in our own community in DC.
Logan Koepke, Emma Weil, Urmila Janardan, Tinuola Dada and Harlan Yu
This report is the most comprehensive examination of U.S. law enforcement’s use of mobile device forensic tools. Our research shows that every American is at risk of having their phone forensically searched by law enforcement.Read more
Latest work in this issue areaAll work in this issue area
With the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, we submitted comments to the Department of Health & Human Services on its proposed rule regarding disability discrimination and the child welfare system.
Emma Weil co-authored this piece about digital evidence and abortion prosecutions.
We submitted comments to Seattle City Council on their Surveillance Ordinance implementation process, explaining the technical capabilities of MDFTs and urging the Council to restrict the ways that Seattle PD can use them.
We filed an amicus brief in a case before the Connecticut State Supreme Court arguing that the Court should develop specific rules for the issuance and execution of cellphone search warrants.
Selected press and events
Logan Koepke discusses police use of MDFTs in an abortion case.
WIRED covers “Mass Extraction,” Upturn’s report on mobile device forensic tools.
“They’re getting a window into your soul,” said Logan Koepke. “We are placing in the hands of law enforcement something that I think is a dangerous expansion of their investigatory power.”
Body-worn cameras simply haven’t served the interests of communities in most places, and primarily should be seen as a policing and surveillance tool.