Police Surveillance and Predictive Policing

Privacy today faces growing threats from a growing surveillance apparatus that is often justified in the name of crime prevention. This video short brought to you by AJ+ summarizes some of the highly intrusive technology which allows law enforcement to conduct targeted surveillance against individuals who are not suspected of engaging in any criminal activity.  Numerous law enforcement agencies—including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, private security contractors and state and local police departments—intrude upon the private communications of innocent citizens, amass vast databases of who we call and when, and catalog “suspicious activities” based on the vaguest of standards. The government’s collection of this sensitive information is itself an invasion of privacy. But its use of this data is also rife with abuse as innocuous data is fed into bloated watchlists, with severe consequences upon individuals who do not even realize why they have been targeted. History has repeatedly shown that powerful, state surveillance tools are most often abused for political ends which disproportionately target political dissidents and disfavored minorities.

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