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New York City Police Department Surveillance Technology

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has purchased and used new surveillance technologies while attempting to keep the public and the City Council in the dark. This chart provides an overview of the NYPD’s surveillance technology, based on publicly available information, as well as the potential impact of the use of these tools.

Published: October 4, 2019

I. Intro

In every age, police forces gain access to new tools and tech­no­lo­gies that may advance their mission to prevent and combat crime. The deploy­ment of new tech­no­lo­gies requires an under­stand­ing of their impacts on the funda­mental rights of the communit­ies that police serve and the devel­op­ment of safe­guards to prevent abuse. The New York Police Depart­ment (NYPD), however, has purchased and used new surveil­lance tech­no­lo­gies while attempt­ing to keep the public and the City Coun­cil in the dark.

This chart provides an over­view of the NYPD’s surveil­lance tech­no­logy, based on publicly avail­able inform­a­tion, as well as the poten­tial impact of the use of these tools.

Because the police insist on complete secrecy, however, the picture is far from complete. The NYPD should not be allowed to prevent the public and its elec­ted repres­ent­at­ives from learn­ing basic inform­a­tion neces­sary on these tech­no­lo­gies, which is crit­ical to effect­ive over­sight and the estab­lish­ment of safe­guards to protect the privacy and civil liber­ties of New York­ers. The POST Act, intro­duced by Coun­cil Member Vanessa Gibson and currently suppor­ted by 28 co-spon­sors, would require NYPD to take these steps.

II. Facial Recognition

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

Facial recog­ni­tion systems attempt to identify or verify the iden­tity of indi­vidu­als based on their face. Differ­ent systems analyze face char­ac­ter­ist­ics in photos or video feeds, or through real-time surveil­lance.

Impact

Facial recog­ni­tion raises the follow­ing concerns:

Race, Gender, and Age Bias. Numer­ous stud­ies have found that facial recog­ni­tion performs poorly when analyz­ing the faces of women, chil­dren, and people with darker skin tones. foot­note1_0qzkzfz 1 See, e.g., Joy Buolam­wini and Tim Gerbu, “Gender Shades: Inter­sec­tional Accur­acy Dispar­it­ies in Commer­cial Gender Clas­si­fic­a­tion,” avail­able at: http://proceed­ings.mlr.press/v81/buolam­win-i18a/buolam­win­i18a.pdf; See also Abdur­rahim, S.H., Samad, S.A. & Huddin, A.B. Vis Comput (2018) 34: 1617, avail­able at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00371–017–1428-z; See also Jacob Snow, “Amazon’s Face Recog­ni­tion False Matched 28 Members of Congress with Mugshots,” avail­able at: https://www.aclu.org/blog/privacy-tech­no­logy/surveil­lance-tech­no­lo­gies/amazons-face-recog­ni­tion-falsely-matched-28. This places communit­ies already subject to over­poli­cing at greater risk of misid­en­ti­fic­a­tion.

Privacy. Facial recog­ni­tion is recog­nized as extraordin­ar­ily intrus­ive, chal­len­ging reas­on­able expect­a­tions of privacy and lack­ing neces­sary over­sight. This is why a number of groups have called for a morator­ium on facial recog­ni­tion.

Free Speech. Law enforce­ment use of facial recog­ni­tion can chill the exer­cise of First Amend­ment rights by expos­ing protest­ers to persist­ent surveil­lance and iden­ti­fic­a­tion.

Regu­la­tion. There have been wide­spread calls for its regu­la­tion foot­note2_ctr5iay 2 See Coali­tion letter urging federal morator­ium on face recog­ni­tion for law enforce­ment and immig­ra­tion enforce­ment purposes, avail­able at https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_docu­ment/2019–06–03_coali­tion_letter_call­ing_for_federal_morator­ium_on_face_recog­ni­tion.pdf. , and some cities — such as San Fran­cisco foot­note3_uqo5hmz 3 San Fran­cisco “Stop Secret Surveil­lance” ordin­ance, File No. 190110, avail­able at: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=7206781&GUID=38D37061–4D87–4A94–9­AB3-CB113656159A. ; Oakland foot­note4_isruxst 4 The final revi­sions to Oakland’s Surveil­lance and Community Safety Ordin­ance are pending, but see Charlie Osborne, “Oakland follows San Fran­cis­co’s lead in banning facial recog­ni­tion tech,” ZDNet, July 19, 2019, avail­able at: https://www.zdnet.com/article/oakland-city-follows-san-fran­cis­cos-lead-in-banning-facial-recog­ni­tion-tech/. , CA; and Somerville, MA foot­note5_u7rb97f 5 See City of Somerville Massachus­setts Agenda Item 207566, avail­able at: http://somervil­le­cityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Legi­File.aspx?Frame=&MeetingID=2941&Media­Pos­i­tion=&ID=20375&CssClass=. have even banned its use.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Chief of Detect­ives Memo #3 (2012).

NYPD’s Facial Iden­ti­fic­a­tion Section (FIS) runs static photos obtained from vari­ous sources, includ­ing data­bases of arrest photos, juven­ile arrest photos of chil­dren as young as 11, and photos connec­ted to pistol permits, among others. foot­note6_n586y3n 6 See NYPD corres­pond­ence with Data­Works Plus, Docu­ment 020238–020312 at page 74–75 avail­able at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OxzGt­FuW­BU9PecG2cm­pE8QfVwZm9kr22. The system analyzes a photo against those data­bases and gener­ates poten­tial matches. foot­note7_laeh9ry 7 NYPD, Real Time Crime Center FIS Present­a­tion, avail­able at https://drive.google.com/open?id=18yVMS­MAblqcE_nAlGf9XRlUnik8x­WOh_. The system will return a list of 200+ poten­tial matches from which an FIS invest­ig­ator selects one. foot­note8_yi5h7oz 8 See id.

Where the foot­age is blurry or other­wise unus­able, the NYPD can use photo edit­ing tools to replace facial features in a refer­ence photo so it more closely resembles those in mugshots. foot­note9_xn3amsj 9 See id. The NYPD has also run photos of celebrit­ies through its facial recog­ni­tion system to try to identify suspects that resemble the celebrity where the original photo returned no matches. foot­note10_kbdqlkg 10 NYPD, Real Time Crime Center Facial Iden­ti­fic­a­tion Section (FIS), present­a­tion by Detect­ive Markiewicz (Sept. 17, 2018) (notes on file with Clare Garvie at Geor­getown Law Center on Privacy & Tech­no­logy). The effect­ive­ness of these tech­niques is doubt­ful.

End Notes

III. Video Analytics

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

These systems analyze surveil­lance camera foot­age and attempt to isol­ate people and objects within the video feed. Video analyt­ics use algorithms to spot partic­u­lar articles of cloth­ing and luggage. Certain versions claim they can find people in surveil­lance foot­age that match a partic­u­lar hair color, facial hair, and even skin tone.

Impact

Video analyt­ics raise the follow­ing concerns:

False Posit­ives. Inform­a­tion from video analyt­ics can be incor­rect and lead to unne­ces­sary and poten­tially danger­ous police encoun­ters.

Free Speech. Video analyt­ics, like facial recog­ni­tion, can chill First Amend­ment activ­ity by expos­ing indi­vidu­als to persist­ent surveil­lance as they move about the city.

Racial Bias. Without adequate controls, target­ing indi­vidu­als based on their perceived ethni­city has the abil­ity to exas­per­bate racial dispar­it­ies in poli­cing.

Privacy. Video analyt­ics allow for persist­ent surveil­lance as indi­vidu­als move through­out the city, chal­len­ging tradi­tional expect­a­tions of privacy.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

No stan­dalone NYPD policy is avail­able, though video analyt­ics may fall under the Public Secur­ity Privacy Guidelines that govern the NYPD’s Domain Aware­ness System. These guidelines make no mention of video analyt­ics, however, and they do not include stand­ards govern­ing the use or stor­age of analyt­ics inform­a­tion.

IBM developed object iden­ti­fic­a­tion tech­no­logy through a part­ner­ship with the police that gave the company access to the depart­ment’s camera foot­age. foot­note1_60pmj38 1 See George Joseph and Kenneth Lipp, “IBM Used NYPD Surveil­lance Foot­age to Develop Tech­no­logy That Lets Police Search By Skin Color,” The Inter­cept, Septem­ber 6, 2018, avail­able at: https://thein­ter­cept.com/2018/09/06/nypd-surveil­lance-camera-skin­tone-search/; see also IBM Present­a­tion to NYPD “IBM SVS 4.0 Research and Devel­op­ment Status Update 6 for NYPD,” (here­in­after “IBM Present­a­tion”) Octo­ber 16, 2012, avail­able at: https://www.docu­mentcloud.org/docu­ments/4452844-IBM-SVS-Analyt­ics-4–0Plan-Update-for-NYPD-6.html. The NYPD then acquired IBM’s object iden­ti­fic­a­tion system to incor­por­ate it into the NYPD’s Domain Aware­ness System. foot­note2_y270yxu 2 See Vexcel Present­a­tion “Vexcel – NYPD: Domain Aware­ness System; IBM Deliv­ery Trans­ition Review,” at slide 3, avail­able at: https://www.docu­mentcloud.org/docu­ments/4452846-Vexcel-NYPD-DTR-02–04–10.html.

As of April 23, 2019, IBM stopped market­ing certain versions of its Video Analyt­ics program to addi­tional cities. foot­note3_ptxh­hkk 3 IBM, Soft­ware with­drawal: IBM Intel­li­gent Video Analyt­ics, April 23, 2019, avail­able at: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/Show­Doc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/2/897/ENUS919–092/index.html&request_locale=en. It is not clear what this means for IBM’s exist­ing custom­ers.

Accord­ing to the NYPD, the analyt­ics system is inten­ded to auto­mat­ic­ally alert NYPD offi­cials to activ­it­ies, such as “suspi­cious pack­age was left” or “loiter­ing.” foot­note4_xy8dolt 4 See State­ments of NYPD Inspector Salvatore DiPace, “New York City’s Hidden Surveil­lance Network Part 2 – by Scientific Amer­ican,” Septem­ber 16, 2011, avail­able at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSf4YCB3Hi0l; see also IBM Present­a­tion at slid 22–50.

A version of IBM’s Intel­li­gent Video Analyt­ics 2.0, which allows users to search based on ethni­city tags, was allegedly tested but never incor­por­ated into the NYPD’s broader surveil­lance infra­struc­ture. foot­note5_xsw3p8a 5 George Joseph and Kenneth Lipp, “IBM Used NYPD Surveil­lance Foot­age to Develop Tech­no­logy That Lets Police Search By Skin Color,” The Inter­cept, Septem­ber 6, 2018, https://thein­ter­cept.com/2018/09/06/nypd-surveil­lance-camera-skin-tone-search/.

End Notes

IV. Social Media Monitoring

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

Social media monit­or­ing can be divided loosely into three categor­ies:

(1) Monit­or­ing or track­ing an indi­vidual, a group, or an affil­i­ation (e.g., an online hashtag) via publicly avail­able inform­a­tion;

(2) Using an inform­ant, a friend of the target, or an under­cover account to obtain inform­a­tion from a protec­ted or private account; or

(3) Using soft­ware to monitor indi­vidu­als, groups, asso­ci­ations, or loca­tions.

Police officers can also obtain warrants or use other legal processes to direct a social media plat­form to provide inform­a­tion, such as direct messages, metadata, and subscriber inform­a­tion.

Impact

Social media monit­or­ing raises the follow­ing concerns:

False Posit­ives. What people say and do on social media are diffi­cult to inter­pret, and connec­tions on social media can be given undue import­ance or misun­der­stood completely.

Privacy. Social media monit­or­ing is intrus­ive, chal­len­ging indi­vidu­als’ reas­on­able expect­a­tions of privacy in online commu­nic­a­tions.

Racial Bias. In the context of gang invest­ig­a­tions, communit­ies of color (espe­cially chil­dren) are more likely to have their online activ­ity surveilled.

Free Speech. Surveilling social media also has the poten­tial to chill free expres­sion, includ­ing by caus­ing indi­vidu­als to self-censor and by monit­or­ing lawful protest activ­it­ies and other forms of protec­ted asso­ci­ation.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

NYPD Detect­ive Guide (2013) and Oper­a­tions Order 34: Use Of Social Networks for Invest­ig­at­ive Purposes – General Proced­ure, New York Police Depart­ment (2012). Policies permit officers to monitor social media for inform­a­tion and invest­ig­at­ive leads.

Hand­schu Guidelines (2017). These guidelines are the result of a settle­ment arising out of the NYPD’s uncon­sti­tu­tional surveil­lance of protest­ers and reli­gious minor­it­ies. The Hand­schu Guidelines allow officers to carry out general topical research, but they prohibit them from search­ing for indi­vidu­als’ names. foot­note1_bjjd36f 1 2017 Hand­schu Guidelines at Section IX(B)(1), avail­able at https://www.aclu.org/sites/all/librar­ies/pdf.js/web/viewer.html?file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aclu.org%2Fsites%2Fde­fault%2Ffiles%2Ffield_docu­ment%2Fraza_exhibit_a_to_order_approv­ing_stip­u­la­tion_of_settle­ment_revised_hand­schu_guidelines.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,-14,800

However, to develop intel­li­gence inform­a­tion or to detect or prevent terror­ism or other unlaw­ful activ­it­ies, the NYPD is also permit­ted to conduct online searches in the same manner as any member of the public, which would permit the police to access popu­lar social media plat­forms. foot­note2_lflrlu3 2 See id. at Section IX(B)(2).

Vari­ous NYPD units engage in social media monit­or­ing, includ­ing the Intel­li­gence, Juven­ile Justice, Coun­terter­ror­ism, Gang Enforce­ment, Internal Affairs, Exec­ut­ive Staff Iden­tity Protec­tion, and Threat Assess­ment divi­sions. foot­note3_2rjrtlc 3 See Office of Community Oriented Poli­cing Services, U.S. Depart­ment of Justice and Police Exec­ut­ive Research Forum, “Social Media and Tactical Consid­er­a­tions” at 13 (2013) (identi­fy­ing NYPD units that engage in social media monit­or­ing, and explor­ing use by Intel­li­gence and Juven­ile Justice as case stud­ies), https://www.police­forum.org/assets/docs/Free_Online_Docu­ments/Tech­no­logy/social%20me­dia%20and%20tactical%20con­sid­er­a­tions%20for%20law%20en­force­ment%202013.pdf.

The full extent of social media monit­or­ing by the NYPD is unknown, but it has been used in invest­ig­a­tions ranging from track­ing alleged gang activ­ity foot­note4_yx12ujc 4 See David Uberti, “How Social-Media Surveil­lance of Teen­agers Led to a New King of Poli­cing,” The Nation, April 19, 2019, https://www.then­a­tion.com/article/jeffery-lane-digital-street-book-review/. to surveilling Black Lives Matter protest­ers. foot­note5_1k5lt0b 5 See id. at 13–16; see also George Joseph, “Years After Protests, NYPD Retains Photos of Black Lives Matter Activ­ists,” The Appeal, Janu­ary 17, 2019, https://theappeal.org/years-after-protests-nypd-retains-photos-of-black-lives-matter-activ­ists/.

End Notes

V. Criminal Group Database, aka the “Gang Database”

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

Gang data­bases contain inform­a­tion about indi­vidu­als who police regard as confirmed or suspec­ted gang members. The criteria for inclu­sion in the data­base are not always known, but can include poorly-defined activ­it­ies such as asso­ci­ations with suspec­ted gang members, vari­ous styles of dress, numer­ous cloth­ing colors, and certain tattoos.

In some instances, activ­ity far removed from gang connec­tions, such as draw­ing a high school mascot foot­note1_pf77riq 1 See Hannah Dreier, “He Drew His School Mascot – and ICE Labeled Him a Gang Member,” ProP­ub­lica, Decem­ber 27, 2018, https://features.prop­ub­lica.org/ms-13-immig­rant-students/hunt­ing­ton-school-deport­a­tions-ice-honduras/. or simply frequent­ing an area where gangs are known to assemble foot­note2_73jd­hqc 2 See Ali Winston “Vague Rules Let Ice Depoart Undoc­u­mented Immig­rants as Gang Members” The Inter­cept, Febru­ary 17, 2017, https://thein­ter­cept.com/2017/02/17/loose-clas­si­fic­a­tion-rules-give-ice-broad-author­ity-to-clas­sify-immig­rants-as-gang-members/. has landed indi­vidu­als in a gang data­base.

Impact

Gang data­bases raise the follow­ing concerns:

Racial Bias. The vague and broad criteria for inclu­sion, open the door to racial bias. NYPD offi­cials have acknow­ledged that as many as 95 percent of the people in its gang data­base are Black or Latinx. foot­note3_23yqu9b 3 See Jeff Coltin, “Why every­one is suddenly talk­ing about the NYPD gang data­base,” City & State New York, June 13, 2018, https://www.cityand­stateny.com/articles/policy/crim­inal-justice/why-every­one-suddenly-talk­ing-about-nypd-gang-data­base.html.

Impact on immig­ra­tion status. A gang affil­i­ation can have negat­ive consequences for an indi­vidu­al’s inter­ac­tions with federal immig­ra­tion author­it­ies. Immig­ra­tion and Customs Enforce­ment (ICE) agents have been known to target indi­vidu­als that have been iden­ti­fied as gang members in police data­bases. foot­note4_9hhq1r0 4 Emmanuel Felton, “Gang Data­bases Are a Life Sentence for Black and Latino Communit­ies,” Pacific Stand­ard, March 15, 2018, https://psmag.com/social-justice/gang-data­bases-life-sentence-for-black-and-latino-communit­ies. The extent of inform­a­tion shar­ing between the NYPD and ICE is not prop­erly under­stood.

False Posit­ives. Gang data­bases are notori­ously inac­cur­ate and over-inclus­ive. Indi­vidu­als gener­ally do not know if they are in the data­base, and there is not always a mech­an­ism for chal­len­ging their inclu­sion.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

There is no public NYPD policy. The inform­a­tion we know about the NYPD’s use of the gang data­base comes from NYPD’s testi­mony during city coun­cil proceed­ings. Accord­ing to the NYPD, there are two ways indi­vidu­als get added to the Gang Data­base:

(1) Self-admis­sion of “gang member­ship” to a member of the NYPD foot­note5_gy357sa 5 See State­ment of Chief Dermot Shea, Chief of Detect­ives, New York City Police Depart­ment, Before the New York City Coun­cil Commit­tee on Public Safety, Commit­tee Room, City Hall, June 13, 2018, at 4. , being iden­ti­fied as a gang member by two “inde­pend­ent and reli­able sources,” or “social media posts admit­ting to member­ship in a gang.” It is unclear whether NYPD requires a clear declar­a­tion of member­ship, or if vague asso­ci­ations perceived by invest­ig­at­ing officers will do.

(2) If any two of the follow­ing circum­stances are true: (a) Frequent pres­ence at a known gang loca­tion (this criteria may capture huge numbers of people who have no asso­ci­ation besides resid­ing in an area with active gang members); (b) Posses­sion of “gang-related docu­ments” (without more inform­a­tion, it is diffi­cult to determ­ine what kinds of “docu­ments” are being referred to and whether there may be innoc­u­ous reas­ons to possess them); (c) Asso­ci­ation with known gang members (it is possible to have friends and family who are gang members without join­ing it); (d) Social media posts with known gang members while possess­ing known gang paraphernalia, such as beads, flags, and bandanas (there are many reas­ons to pose with known gang members for social media, includ­ing for safety or familial ties); (e) Scars and tattoos asso­ci­ated with a partic­u­lar gang; or (f) Frequently wear­ing colors and frequent use of hand signs that are asso­ci­ated with a partic­u­lar gang.

As of June 2018, the NYPD’s gang data­base contained around 17,600 indi­vidu­als, down from a high of 34,000. foot­note6_nrecjso 6 See id.

End Notes

VI. Predictive Policing

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

There are two types of predict­ive poli­cing programs: place-based and person-based.

Place-based predict­ive poli­cing uses algorithms to analyze data sets in order to try to predict where certain crimes are likely to occur. These estim­ates are used to inform where police officers are deployed.

Person-based predict­ive poli­cing analyzes data sets in order to gener­ate a list of indi­vidu­als an algorithm believes are likely to commit a crime.

Impact

Predict­ive poli­cing raises the follow­ing concerns:

Racial Bias. Predict­ive poli­cing tools incor­por­ate histor­ical poli­cing data to gener­ate predic­tions. This makes it likely that these systems will recre­ate biased poli­cing prac­tices that have resul­ted in the over-poli­cing of communit­ies of color or data that has been manip­u­lated to reflect higher or lower incid­ences of crimes. For example, histor­ical NYPD arrest data may be tain­ted by its uncon­sti­tu­tional stop-and-frisk program or by data manip­u­la­tion tactics such as falsi­fy­ing arrest records to meet arrest quotas.

Privacy. Predict­ive poli­cing tools under­mine consti­tu­tional require­ments that police should target indi­vidu­als based on indi­vidu­al­ized suspi­cion, not stat­ist­ical prob­ab­il­ity.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

There is no public NYPD policy, but the depart­ment has stated that its Public Secur­ity Privacy Guidelines for the Domain Aware­ness System govern predict­ive poli­cing. These guidelines do not refer to predict­ive poli­cing systems, and they describe the Domain Aware­ness System as a system to “monitor public areas and public activ­it­ies,” which does not describe predict­ive poli­cing.

The NYPD uses its own propri­et­ary system that tries to locate hotspots for a partic­u­lar crime based on an unknown number and type of data inputs. foot­note1_q049k83 1 See E.S. Levine, Jessica Tisch, Anthony Tasso, and Michael Joy, “The New York City Police Depart­ment’s Domain Aware­ness System,” Informs Journal on Applied Analyt­ics, Janu­ary 18, 2017, avail­able at: https://pubson­line.informs.org/doi/10.1287/inte.2016.0860 (subscrip­tion required). Much of what we know about the NYPD’s system comes from the Bren­nan Center’s three-year legal fight with the NYPD over our public records request for docu­ments about the devel­op­ment and use of the system.

We do not have a complete picture of the system’s inputs and outputs, but the NYPD says that its system “was not designed to store, main­tain, or archive output predic­tions.” foot­note2_5opze4p 2 See Affi­davit of Lesa Moore, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, Index No. 160541/2016 at Page 2, avail­able at: https://www.bren­nan­cen­ter.org/sites/default/files/Lesa%20Moore%20Af­fi­davit%20in%20Com­pli­ance%20-FINAL%20-%20%28%23%20Legal%209761080%29%20%281%29.pdf. The fail­ure to archive predic­tions frus­trates the abil­ity to study or audit the system for bias and related concerns.

NYPD corres­pond­ence with poten­tial vendors suggests an open­ness to using data inputs that could func­tion as racial prox­ies, though it’s not known if these inputs are incor­por­ated into the NYPD’s system. These include demo­graphic data, school enroll­ment, educa­tional attain­ment, income levels, jour­ney to work, poverty levels, median income, and popu­la­tion under age 18. foot­note3_i622gqi 3 See Predict­ive Fore­cast­ing of Crime, a KEYSTATS pres­id­e­na­tion for the New York City Police Depart­ment, at 2–7, avail­able at http://www.bren­nan­cen­ter.org/sites/default/files/Keystats%20Desired%20Data%20Ele­ments.pdf.

End Notes

VII. Cell Site Simulators, aka “Stingrays”

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

Cell site simu­lat­ors, also known as Stin­grays or IMSI catch­ers, are devices that trick phones within a certain radius into connect­ing to the device rather than a cell tower, thus reveal­ing their loca­tion to the oper­ator of the device.

Police depart­ments use cell-site simu­lat­ors to pinpoint the loca­tion of phones of targeted suspects. Cell-site simu­lat­ors can also log IMSI numbers (unique identi­fy­ing numbers) of all mobile devices within a given area.

Addi­tion­ally, while there is no evid­ence NYPD has used this func­tion­al­ity, some cell-site simu­lat­ors can inter­cept commu­nic­a­tions that a phone is send­ing or receiv­ing, and they can even change the content of those commu­nic­a­tions. foot­note1_unwqj2i 1 See Promo­tional Mater­ial from GammaGroup, “3G-GSM Tactical Inter­cep­tion & Target Loca­tion,” avail­able at: https://info.publicin­tel­li­gence.net/Gamma-GSM.pdf.

Impact

Cell site simu­lat­ors raise the follow­ing concerns:

Privacy. Cell-site simu­lat­ors can locate and track indi­vidu­als as they move through­out public and private spaces, includ­ing when they are within a loca­tion that would require a warrant to enter. They are also indis­crim­in­ate, trick­ing every phone within their radius into provid­ing identi­fy­ing inform­a­tion. In a dense city like New York, this means numer­ous bystander devices will be picked up along with the targeted device.

Free Speech. Without appro­pri­ate safe­guards, cell-site simu­lat­ors can be used to identify the indi­vidu­als who attend protests or partic­u­lar houses of worship.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

There is no public NYPD policy.

In 2017, a Brook­lyn judge held that police use of Stin­grays requires a warrant suppor­ted by prob­able cause. foot­note2_ha3i7hn 2 See New York v. Gordon, 58 Misc.3d 544, 550–51 (2017), avail­able at http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dser­ies/2017/2017_27364.htm. Prior to this ruling, NYPD stated that its prac­tice was to obtain a pen-register order — an order issued by a judge — so long as police can show reas­on­able suspi­cion. foot­note3_3smnhhh 3 See id, see also NYPD FOIL Response to Request #15-PL-3861 at 4, avail­able at: https://www.nyclu.org/sites/default/files/releases/NYPD%20FOIL%20Ap­peal%20Re­sponse%20St­in­grays.pdf.

Between 2008 and 2015, NYPD used Stin­grays in over 1,000 invest­ig­a­tions. foot­note4_6hfqczi 4 See NYPD response to NYCLU FOIL Request, avail­able at: https://www.nyclu.org/sites/default/files/releases/NYPD%20St­in­gray%20use.pdf. There is no publicly avail­able inform­a­tion on whether the police purged extraneous data.

End Notes

VIII. Automated License Plate Readers

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

Auto­mated license plate read­ers (ALPRs) are devices that are attached to police cars or fixed on poles to capture the license plates of all cars passing by. License plate reads are also frequently run against a “hot list” of, for instance, stolen cars or AMBER Alerts.

In addi­tion to license plates, ALPRs can capture photo­graphs of cars, along with photos of the driver and passen­gers. This inform­a­tion is uploaded to a data­base where it can be analyzed to study move­ments, asso­ci­ations, and rela­tion­ships to crimes

Impact

ALPRs raise the follow­ing concerns:

False Posit­ives. Inform­a­tion from ALPRs can be incor­rect and lead to unne­ces­sary and poten­tially danger­ous police encoun­ters.

Privacy. ALPR data can provide a detailed account of an indi­vidu­al’s move­ments. It can be used to target people who visit sens­it­ive places, such as immig­ra­tion clin­ics, protests, or houses of worship.

Impact on Immig­ra­tion Status. Police agen­cies can choose to share their ALPR inform­a­tion with federal immig­ra­tion author­it­ies. Accord­ing to a public records request, ICE has received ALPR data from 80 differ­ent police depart­ments, includ­ing Fair­field, CT; San Diego, CA; Orange County, Texas; and Athens-Clarke County, GA; among others. foot­note1_5bdby35 1 See Vasudha Talla, “Docu­ments Reveal ICE Using Driver Loca­tion Data From Local Police for Deport­a­tions”, March 13, 2019, https://www.aclu.org/blog/immig­rants-rights/ice-and-border-patrol-abuses/docu­ments-reveal-ice-using-driver-loca­tion-data.

It is not known whether the NYPD shares ALPR data with ICE, but the Public Secur­ity Privacy Guidelines permit the shar­ing of ALPR inform­a­tion with govern­ment entit­ies.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Public Secur­ity Privacy Guidelines (2009).

License Plate Reader Devices Oper­a­tions Order (2013).

The NYPD oper­ates nearly 500 license plate read­ers as part of its Domain Aware­ness System, and as of 2013, the depart­ment had a data­base of 16 million license plate reads. foot­note2_q9fl35a 2 See Joseph Gold­stein, “Weekly Police Brief­ing Offers Snap­shot of Depart­ment and Its Leader,” The New York Times, Febru­ary 10, 2013, https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/nyre­gion/weekly-brief­ing-provides-lengthy-snap­shot-of-kelly-and-nypd.html?_r=0.

The NYPD has used license plate read­ers to collect inform­a­tion about the cars parked in mosque park­ing lots. foot­note3_xfzhyql 3 See Adam Gold­man and Matt Apuzzo, “With cameras, inform­ants, NYPD eyed mosques,” Asso­ci­ated Press, Febru­ary 23, 2012, https://www.ap.org/ap-in-the-news/2012/with-cameras-inform­ants-nypd-eyed-mosques.

Through its contract with the vendor Vigil­ant Solu­tions, the NYPD now has access to a data­base that contains over 2.2 billion license plate reads foot­note4_rbieyn9 4 See Mariko Hirose, “Docu­ments Uncover NYPD’s Vast License Plate Reader Data­base,” ACLU, Janu­ary 25, 2016, avail­able at https://www.aclu.org/blog/privacy-tech­no­logy/loca­tion-track­ing/docu­ments-uncover-nypds-vast-license-plate-reader-data­base. . Vigil­ant Solu­tions has a national data­base of license plates, a national network of private ALPRs, and analyt­ical tools that allow police to “stake out” areas, predict where certain indi­vidu­als may be, and track indi­vidu­als outside of New York City. foot­note5_diju4j7 5 See Agree­ment Between New York City Police Depart­ment and Vigil­ant Solu­tions for License Plate Recog­ni­tion Data & Law Enforce­ment Archival & Report­ing Network, dated as of April 9, 2015 at Exhibit 1 (Contractor Scope of Work), avail­able at: https://www.nyclu.org/sites/default/files/20150409_NYCC_ALPR_foil.pdf

We do not currently know if NYPD shares the data it gets from its own ALPRs with other clients of Vigil­ant Solu­tions as well as other law enforce­ment or federal immig­ra­tion agen­cies, as some cities do.

End Notes

IX. Domain Awareness System

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

The Domain Aware­ness System (DAS) is a network of cameras, soft­ware, sensors, data­bases, devices, and related infra­struc­ture that provides inform­a­tion and analyt­ics to police officers for the purposes of “public safety” and to “detect, deter, and prevent poten­tial terrori­rst activ­it­ies.”

Impact

DAS raises the follow­ing concerns:

Privacy. DAS creates a system of persist­ence surveil­lance that covers vast swaths of New York City, which can be used to monitor the move­ments of New York­ers as they move through­out the city.

False Posit­ives. False matches from vari­ous compon­ents, such as auto­matic license plate read­ers, can place inno­cent people at risk of danger­ous police encoun­ters. foot­note1_1caoic9 1 See Colin Lecher, “Privacy advoc­ate held at gunpoint after license plate reader data­base mistake, lawsuit alleges,” The Verge, Febru­ary 21, 2019, https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/21/18234785/privacy-advoc­ate-lawsuit-cali­for­nia-license-plate-reader.

Data May be Shared. The extent to which inform­a­tion obtained from the DAS is shared with federal agen­cies, such as immig­ra­tion author­it­ies, remains unknown.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

The system’s Public Secur­ity Privacy Guidelines (2009) specify that the purpose of the DAS is to detect and prevent terror­ist attacks, but the NYPD may use these tech­no­lo­gies for ordin­ary police invest­ig­a­tions, includ­ing the detec­tion of loiter­ers. foot­note2_gus6nrz 2 See NYPD Public Secur­ity Privacy Guidelines, April 2, 2009 at Pages 2–3, avail­able at: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/nypd/down­loads/pdf/crime_preven­tion/public_secur­ity_privacy_guidelines.pdf The guidelines fail to cover tech­no­lo­gies, such as video analyt­ics, that have been incor­por­ated since they were issued.

The NYPD’s DAS collects and analyzes data from a vari­ety of sources in lower and midtown Manhat­tan, includ­ing approx­im­ately:

End Notes

X. Drones

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

Drones are remotely oper­ated aircraft — ranging in size — that can be equipped with vari­ous cameras, sensors, and other devices. For example, they can deploy cameras capable of facial recog­ni­tion, and can also contain GPS track­ers and Stin­gray devices.

Impact

Drones raise the follow­ing concerns:

Privacy. Without proper over­sight, drones can engage in forms of surveil­lance that can redefine reas­on­able expect­a­tions of privacy. Drones can also be used to collect inform­a­tion about bystand­ers who are not connec­ted to a law enforce­ment invest­ig­a­tion. These risks are largely invis­ible, as drones can be diffi­cult for ordin­ary persons to detect or protect against depend­ing on their size or alti­tude.

Free Speech. Without proper over­sight, drones can be deployed to surveill indi­vidu­als in ways that chill free expres­sion.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Patrol Guide: Use of Unmanned Aircraft System (2018).

The NYPD’s policy specifies that it will not equip drones with facial recog­ni­tion, but it contains a large carve-out for situ­ations where there is a “public safety concern.” foot­note1_zmlr348 1 See William Alden, “There’s a Fight Brew­ing Between the NYPD and Silicon Valley’s Palantir,” BuzzFeed News, June 28, 2017, https://www.buzzfeed­news.com/article/willi­amalden/theres-a-fight-brew­ing-between-the-nypd-and-silicon-valley; see also NYPD Patrol Guide: Use of Depart­ment Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/nypd/down­loads/pdf/public_inform­a­tion/public-pguide2.pdf#page=687. It is unclear if there are any restric­tions on running histor­ical drone foot­age through a separ­ate facial recog­ni­tion system.

The policy also specifies that drone foot­age will only be retained for 30 days, but it contains a carve-out that allows this period to be exten­ded for vari­ous types of legal invest­ig­a­tions. foot­note2_7qc2l59 2 See id.

Accord­ing to the NYPD, the depart­ment deploys drones for uses such as crowd control, host­age situ­ations, and reach­ing remote areas. The NYPD says drones will not be used for routine police patrols, to enforce traffic laws, or for “unlaw­ful surveil­lance, foot­note3_im5yarm 3 See Ashley Southall and Ali Winston, “New York Police Say They Will Deploy 14 Drones,” The New York Times, Decem­ber 4, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/04/nyre­gion/nypd-drones.html. but the NYPD has deployed drones to monitor protest­ers at least once during the 2019 NYC Pride March. foot­note4_aqxn9q2 4 Noah Mans­kar, “NYC Pride March Will Be Espe­cially Huge for Stone­wall Anniversary,” Patch, June 25, 2019, https://patch.com/new-york/new-york-city/nyc-pride-march-will-be-espe­cially-huge-stone­wall-anniversary.

End Notes

XI. X-ray Vans

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

These vans use “Z backs­cat­ter” x-rays that bounce off objects, allow­ing the police to see into vehicles and behind walls as the van drives by.

Impact

X-ray vans raise the follow­ing concerns:

Privacy. X-ray vans raise privacy and consti­tu­tional concerns, as they poten­tially allow police to exam­ine intim­ate details of human bodies, private vehicles, and even inside homes.

Health. X-ray vans raise health concerns as they may expose indi­vidu­als to doses of ioniz­ing radi­ation.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

There is no public NYPD policy.

The ways in which the NYPD uses x-ray vans and for which types of invest­ig­a­tions remain largely unknown. foot­note1_mhlos8b 1 See In the Matter of Grabell v. New York City Police Depart­ment, 139 A.D.3d 477, 479 (2016).

End Notes

XII. Gunshot Detection System (ShotSpotter)

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

The privately developed Shot­Spot­ter system uses sensors to pick up sounds that appear to be gunshots. Audio snip­pets are auto­mat­ic­ally sent to vendor employ­ees who attempt to verify whether the sound repres­ents a shoot­ing. The vendor employee then trans­mits inform­a­tion about the poten­tial shoot­ing to police depart­ment clients.

Impact

Gunshot detec­tion systems raise the follow­ing concerns:

False Posit­ives. This system can make mistakes and confuse ordin­ary back­ground noise as gunshots.

Privacy. Record­ings of ambi­ent noise can be misued to target voice surveil­lance by record­ing audio from selec­ted Shot­Spot­ter devices.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

There is no stan­dalone NYPD policy, but it may be subject to the DAS’s Public Secur­ity Privacy Guidelines, since gunshot detec­tion systems are incor­por­ated into the NYPD’s Domain Aware­ness System.

The NYPD’s Shot­Spot­ter system uses sensors that trian­gu­late the loca­tion of sounds that may be gunshots. If a Shot­Spot­ter employee believes a shoot­ing occurred, the system then sends data, includ­ing audio of the incid­ent, to the Domain Aware­ness System. foot­note1_zs4miha 1 See NYPD Tech­no­logy: Help­ing the Finest Keep NYC Safe,” Febru­ary 17, 2017, http://nypdnews.com/2017/02/nypd-tech­no­logy-help­ing-the-finest-keep-nyc-safe/. Cameras within 500 feet are programmed to capture foot­age before and after the suspec­ted gunshot. foot­note2_98bz3yl 2 See Rocco Para­s­can­dola and Oren Yaniv, “De Blasio, NYPD Unveil $1.5M Shot­Spot­ter system, detects gunshots via sensors around city and alerts police auto­mat­ic­ally,” New York Daily News, March 16, 2015, https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-unveils-1–5m-shot­spot­ter-system-bronx-article-1.2151679. Invest­ig­at­ors at the NYPD Domain Aware­ness System then trans­mit relev­ant data to field officers. foot­note3_yq8h9k4 3 See NYPD Tech­no­logy: Help­ing the Finest Keep NYC Safe,” Febru­ary 17, 2017, http://nypdnews.com/2017/02/nypd-tech­no­logy-help­ing-the-finest-keep-nyc-safe/.

End Notes

XIII. DNA Database aka the Local DNA Index System

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

DNA data­bases contain genetic inform­a­tion about indi­vidu­als, which can be analyzed against a suspect’s DNA for a poten­tial match. Accord­ing to media reports, the NYPD’s DNA data­base contains as many as 82,473 genetic profiles, includ­ing samples obtained from chil­dren. foot­note1_7drrp6q 1 See Jan Ransom and Ashley Southall, “N.Y.P.D. Detect­ives Gave a Boy, 12, a Soda. He Landed in a DNA Data­base,” The New York Times, August 15, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/15/nyre­gion/nypd-dna-data­base.html.

Impact

DNA data­bases raise the follow­ing concerns:

Privacy. Biomet­ric samples for DNA data­bases can be collec­ted without appro­pri­ate stand­ards that respect indi­vidual privacy. Indi­vidu­als are not always given a full and accur­ate repres­ent­a­tion of how their genetic profile will be used, and there are often no proto­cols for dele­tion.

In addi­tion, volun­tary samples can be collec­ted from chil­dren that are incap­able of giving informed consent. Finally, the secret collec­tion of “aban­doned” genetic samples means that many indi­vidu­als have no notice that their genetic inform­a­tion was collec­ted and added to a city data­base.

Racial Bias. Communit­ies of color are likely overrep­res­en­ted in DNA data­bases result­ing from over­poli­cing of specific communit­ies.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Detect­ive Guide (2013) contains redac­ted instruc­tions for collect­ing “aban­doned” DNA samples in both “controlled” and “uncon­trolled” envir­on­ments.

Chief of Detect­ives Memo #17 (2010). The memo contains instruc­tions for how to collect “aban­doned” DNA samples from objects such as water bottles, bubble gum, and apples for submis­sion to Office of the Chief Medical Exam­iner (OCME) for exam­in­a­tion.

Many indi­vidu­als in DNA data­bases have never been accused or convicted of any crime, and there are limited aven­ues for impacted indi­vu­di­als to request dele­tion.

There are three meth­ods for the NYPD to obtain biomet­ric samples for DNA analysis:

1. Volun­tary sample. Officers can ask indi­vidu­als to provide a biomet­ric sample for DNA analysis, but they are not neces­sar­ily required to disclose that it may be used for an unlim­ited number of invest­ig­a­tions and that the sample will be retained indef­in­itely. They are also not required to tell indi­vidu­als that they are allowed to refeuse consent. At times, police collect biomet­ric samples from chil­dren without a lawyer, parent, or guard­ian present.

One New York State court ruled that the NYPD viol­ated a minor’s Fourth Amend­ment rights against unreas­on­able search and seizure when they collec­ted a genetic sample for DNA analysis where they received a writ­ten consent from the minor without the pres­ence of his parent, guard­ian, or attor­ney. foot­note2_w3yp35x 2 See People v. K.M., 2018 N.Y. Slip Op. 28363 at *6

2. Secret collec­tion of “aban­doned” samples. NYPD officers will obtain “aban­doned” genetic samples from discarded objects, such as water bottles, chew­ing gum, and apples. For example, police officers bring suspects into inter­rog­a­tion rooms, wait for the suspect to take a drink or smoke a cigar­ette, and collect the sample once a suspect throws the object away. foot­note3_j5f2mp5 3 See, e.g. People v. Blank, 2018 N.Y. Slip Opp 28274.

3. Court-ordered collec­tion. A court will order a suspect to provide a sample for DNA profil­ing where the prosec­u­tion can estab­lish: “(1) prob­able cause to believe the suspect has commit­ted the crime. (2) a ‘clear indic­a­tion’ that relev­ant mater­ial evid­ence will be found, and (3) the method used to secure it is safe and reli­able.” foot­note4_mf31aer 4 See Matter of Abe A., 56 N.Y.2d 288, 291 (1982).

End Notes

XIV. Body Cameras

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

Body cameras are used to record an officer’s inter­ac­tions with the public and store the video for future review or use in crim­inal or civil proceed­ings.

While body cameras have been promoted as a tool for police account­ab­il­ity, they have largely func­tioned as evid­ence-gath­er­ing devices.

Impact

Body cameras raise the follow­ing concerns:

Effect­ive­ness. As part of the settle­ment related to the NYPD’s uncon­sti­tu­tional stop-and-frisk program, a federal judge ordered the NYPD to develop a mech­an­ism for officers to elec­tron­ic­ally record certain police encoun­ters. foot­note1_xtekle1 1 See Floyd. v. City of New York, Case 1:08-cv-01034-AT, Docu­ment 619 “Order Regard­ing Docu­ment­ing Police-Citizen Encoun­ters,” July 19, 2018, avail­able at https://www.naacpldf.org/wp-content/uploads/Order-re-lower-level-doc-pilot_0.pdf.

However, the cameras remain under the control of police, who can decide when to activ­ate them. Even when the cameras are rolling, police officers can add audio comment­ary that skews public percep­tion of an incid­ent (e.g. yelling “stop resist­ing” to a cooper­at­ing person).

Privacy. Absent safe­guards, body cameras can func­tion as mobile surveil­lance devices, record­ing inform­a­tion about people and places that officers encounter while on patrol, regard­less of their rela­tion­ship to a suspec­ted crime.

Future iter­a­tions of body cameras may be equipped with facial recog­ni­tion tech­no­logy, foot­note2_311czrp 2 Axon, a lead­ing manu­fac­turer of body cameras, has said it will ban the use of facial recog­ni­tion in its products because the “tech­no­logy is not yet reli­able enough.” See First Report of the Axon AI & Poli­cing Tech­no­logy Ethics Board, avail­able at: https://www.poli­cing­pro­ject.org/axon. rais­ing addi­tional concerns about privacy, effect­ive­ness, and racial bias.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Body Camera Patrol Guide (2018). All uniformed patrol officers in New York City are equipped with body-worn cameras. foot­note3_zj6a313 3 New York City Police Depart­ment News­room, “NYPD Completes Rollout of Body-Worn Cameras to All Officers on Patrol,” March 6, 2019, https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/news/pr0306/nypd-completes-rollout-body-worn-cameras-all-officers-patrol#/0.

In New York City, members of the public can request video under the Free­dom of Inform­a­tion Act, but when it relates to evid­ence in a crim­inal case the video is turned over to the prosec­utor’s office. If a camera records an officer-involved shoot­ing or other high-profile incid­ent, NYPD works with “relev­ant author­it­ies” to determ­ine if video can be made public. foot­note4_kblx­wa0 4 See Body-Worn Cameras, What you need to know, avail­able at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/about/about-nypd/equip­ment-tech/body-worn-cameras.page.

End Notes

XV. SkyWatch & TerraHawk Surveillance Towers

How It Works

Impact

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

Further Read­ing

How It Works

Surveil­lance towers allow officers to monitor areas from several stor­ies above street level as well as record move­ments within a targeted area.

Each SkyWatch tower contains flood lights, a command desk, devices to detect vehicle speeds, tinted windows, digital video record­ers, and custom­ized surveil­lance cameras. foot­note1_qli0llc 1 See FLIR SkyWatch Options, avail­able at: https://www.flir.com/glob­alas­sets/impor­ted-assets/docu­ment/skywatch-options.pdf.

The stand­ard equip­ment placed on TerraHawk towers is unknown, but their paten­ted tech­no­logy contem­plates the use of surveil­lance cameras along with infrared detect­ors, motion detect­ors, and a thermal imaging device. foot­note2_noqdkoh 2 See TerraHawk, LLC patent for “Vehicle for deploy­ing a mobile surveil­lance module,” avail­able at: https://patents.justia.com/patent/9669690.

Impact

Surveil­lance towers raise the follow­ing concerns:

Privacy. Surveil­lance towers impose a feel­ing of persist­ent monit­or­ing, chal­len­ging reas­on­able expect­a­tions of privacy. Surveil­lance towers can also be used to collect inform­a­tion about bystand­ers who are not connec­ted to a law enforce­ment invest­ig­a­tion.

Free Speech. Persist­ent monit­or­ing from surveil­lance towers can chill asso­ci­ations among indi­vidu­als.

NYPD Policy & Scope of Use

SkyWatch Detect­ive Guide (2013), redac­ted.

TerraHawk Detect­ive Guide (2013), redac­ted.

NYPD may deploy surveil­lance towers in response to a rise in crime within a partic­u­lar area, foot­note3_9ii1gti 3 See e.g., Jen Chung, “After Bloody Week­end, NYPD Beefs Up Patrols, SkyWatch Towers,” Gotham­ist, June 4, 2013, https://gotham­ist.com/2013/06/04/after_bloody_week­end_nypd_beefs_up.php. but they have also been used to monitor protests, such as Occupy Wall Street. foot­note4_7kw5r6g 4 See Tana Ganeva, “Is all that NYPD surveil­lance legal?” Salon, Novem­ber 4, 2011, https://www.salon.com/2011/11/04/is_all_that_nypd_surveil­lance_legal/. The current number of towers deployed by NYPD is unknown.

Surveil­lance towers are also used to collect “probat­ive” and “poten­tially probat­ive” images, accord­ing to patrol guides, but the mean­ing of these terms is unclear.

Accord­ing to media reports, TerraHawk Towers have been deployed in Staten Island, Far Rock­away, Coney Island, and Howard Beach. foot­note5_yeaq­grw 5 See Andy Cush, “Here’s the Newest Tool in the NYPD’s Surveil­lance Arsenal,” Animal New York, Novem­ber 15, 2012, http://anim­al­newyork.com/2012/heres-the-newest-tool-in-the-nyps-surveil­lance-arsenal/. SkyWatch have also been deployed in Harlem foot­note6_ryga37i 6 See “NYPD Installs ‘Sky Watch’ in Harlem Neigh­bor­hood,” Crown­Heights.info, Novem­ber 23, 2006, http://crown­heights.info/crime/3780/nypd-installs-sky-watch-in-harlem-neigh­bor­hood/. , Crown Heights , down­town Manhat­tan (Zuccotti Park) foot­note7_hn2t­npq 7 See Nick Turse, “What Happened When I Tried to Get Some Answers About the Creepy NYPD Watchtower Monit­or­ing OWS,” Alter­Net, Novem­ber 6, 2011, https://www.alter­net.org/2011/11/what_happened_when_i_tried_to_get_some_answers_about_the_creepy_nypd_watchtower_monit­or­ing_ows/. , Bedford-Stuyves­ant Brook­lyn foot­note8_uyer­s74 8 See Orsianmi Burton, “An encounter with “SkyWatch” on a block in Bedford-Stuyves­ant, Brook­lyn, Anthro­pol­iteia, May 8, 2014, https://anthro­pol­iteia.net/2014/05/08/an-encounter-with-sky-watch-on-a-block-in-bedford-stuyves­ant-brook­lyn/. , and the Lower East Side of Manhat­tan (Tomp­kins Square Park) foot­note9_0dklol7 9 See Cath­er­ine Rafter, “NYPD Removes Contro­ver­sial Surveil­lance Tower from Tomp­kins Square Park, The Observer, July 28, 2015, https://observer.com/2015/07/nypd-removes-contro­ver­sial-surveil­lance-tower-from-tomp­kins-square-park/. .

End Notes