Los Angeles police are collecting social media information of detainees


Los Angeles According to reports, the Police Department (LAPD) instructed the police to collect social media account information and email addresses when interviewing detainees. document Obtained from the Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law.

The Brennan Center filed a request for public records with the Los Angeles Police Department and police departments in other major cities, in which it was discovered that “The Los Angeles Police Department instructed its officials to use on-site interview (FI) cards to collect extensive social media accounts from people they met in person. Information.” LAPD initially refused to provide documents, but provided more than 6,000 pages after the Brennan Center Sue the department.

One such document, one memorandum In May 2015, Charlie Baker, then chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, said: “When completing an FI report, a police officer should ask for a person’s social media and email account information and include it in the’additional information’ box.” The memo stated , This includes Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook profiles.

Although the Los Angeles Police Department has been doing this for years, it may be an unusual policy. “Obviously, nothing prevents the police from filling out the FI card for every interaction they have on the patrol,” wrote Mary Pat Dwyer is an attorney and researcher for the Brennan Center’s Freedom and National Security Project. “It’s worth noting that our review of FI card information in other 40 cities did not reveal any other police departments using the card to collect social media data, although the details are scarce.” Dwyer told Ars on Friday that the center reviewed “Public documents, trying to determine whether other police departments often collect social media during field interviews,” but found that “most people’s practices are not very transparent.”

Dwyer told Ars that although people can refuse to provide officials with their social media account details, many people may not know their rights and may feel pressure to provide information. “The court found that blocking individuals and requesting voluntary information does not violate the Fourth Amendment, and people are free to not respond,” she told us. “However, depending on the parking situation, people may not feel free to walk away without responding. They may not know their rights, or they may want to quickly end the encounter by providing information to ensure it does not happen” escalated. “

Since January 2020, the Brennan Center has also been seeking police records from Boston, New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., but Still fighting Get all requested information.

Data makes “large-scale surveillance” possible

According to the International Association, an on-site interview is defined as “a brief detention of an individual based on reasonable suspicion, whether on foot or by car, in order to determine an individual’s identity and resolve officials’ suspicion of criminal activities.” The Chief of Police Model policy for field interviews and searches. Field interview cards can play an important role in investigations.

Dwyer wrote: “These cards facilitate large-scale surveillance of the individuals who collected them, their friends, family members, and colleagues-even those who are not suspected of committing crimes at all.” “The information from the cards is entered into Palantir, A system through which the Los Angeles Police Department aggregates data from a wide range of sources to improve its surveillance and analysis capabilities. “

Officials obviously have a lot of discretion in choosing who they record information, and in some cases they falsified the entered information. last year, Los Angeles Times Established The Los Angeles Police Department “The department that censors officials suspected of forging on-site interview cards to portray people as gang members played a huge role in the production of these cards.” The Los Angeles Police Department’s “Metropolitan Department accounts for approximately 4% of the troops. But it accounts for more than 20% of the field interview cards issued by the department in the last 18 months,” era Write. The report also stated that the police could fill out these cards to “record their encounters with anyone they asked in the beat.”


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