EFF to Court: Stop SFPD from Spying on Protesters for Black Lives

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EFF and the ACLU of Northern California recently filed a brief asking the San Francisco Superior Court to rule that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) violated the law when it obtained and used a remote, live link to a business district’s surveillance camera network to monitor protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in May and June 2020.

In October 2020, on behalf of three activists of color, we sued the City and County of San Francisco for violating the city’s landmark Surveillance Technology Ordinance. A few months earlier, an EFF investigation uncovered that the SFPD had obtained live access to a downtown business district’s camera network for 8 days that summer to spy on Black-led protests against police violence. The Ordinance prohibits any city department, including the SFPD, from acquiring, borrowing, or using, or entering an agreement to acquire or use, surveillance technology without prior approval from the city’s Board of Supervisors. The Ordinance is one of nearly 20 Community Control of Police

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