Demand a Check Against Harmful NYPD Spy Tools

Every day, NYPD officers use powerful, invasive and secretive surveillance gear that can capture vast amounts of information about the places we visit, people we talk to, and our online activities.

The NYPD has frequently avoided telling the public — or even our elected lawmakers — what tools they’re using, or if they even have policies in place to protect people’s health and privacy. What little we do know of these technologies comes from costly and time-consuming lawsuits or investigative journalism.

The dangers of operating military-grade surveillance tools are real. In 2015 it was revealed that the NYPD had obtained x-ray vans capable of seeing into people’s homes and cars, but the NYPD refused to provide information about their use or about the risk to public health from these radiation-emitting vans.

The NYPD has a history of targeting New Yorkers of color and Muslims for surveillance. Now, as the Trump regime attacks Muslims and threatens to use law enforcement to target immigrants, we need to ensure the NYPD's secretive surveillance practices don’t feed into this cruel agenda.

The Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (“POST”) Act will bring needed transparency to these technologies and allow the public to monitor their use. New Yorkers would have a right to know the types of technologies in use, as well as basic information about the NYPD policies that prevent misuse.

TAKE ACTION: Demand public oversight of the NYPD's surveillance technologies.

Message Recipients:

Speaker Corey Johnson
Council Member Vanessa Gibson
Public Safety Committee Chair Donovan Richards

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Our democracy is threatened when the police can hide from the public and lawmakers their acquisition and use of invasive surveillance technologies.

Operating in secret and sometimes even without any policies in place, the NYPD has used military grade equipment to track people’s movements, find out who they’re talking to, and potentially even peer inside people’s homes and vehicles.

Surveillance technologies can pose serious risks to our privacy and even our health, and the use of these technologies without any public oversight risks unchecked abuse and undermines trust between police and communities. The Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (“POST”) Act will give all New Yorkers, including our elected officials and oversight agencies, access to basic information about whether these tools are worth their exorbitant costs, or whether they’re just another way to invade people’s privacy and target particular communities.

New Yorkers shouldn’t have to rely on investigative journalists or costly and time-consuming litigation to get basic information about invasive — and potentially dangerous — spy technologies that target our most vulnerable residents.

I urge you embrace to transparency and oversight by supporting the POST Act.


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