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News & Press Releases

Apr
7
2015
Erie County Sheriff Records Reveal Invasive Use of “Stingray” Technology

The New York Civil Liberties Union released today records it received from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office on its use of ”stingrays,” devices that can track and record New Yorkers’ locations via their cell phones. The records showed that of the 47 times the Sheriff’s Office used stingrays in the past four years, it apparently only once obtained a court order, contradicting the sheriff’s own remarks.

Mar
19
2015
NYCLU and ACLU Sue TSA for Records on Discredited ‘Behavior Detection’ Program

The NYCLU and the American Civil Liberties Union took the Transportation Security Administration to court today in an effort to uncover documents about a controversial passenger screening program used at airports nationwide. The program is called Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT. TSA “behavior detection officers” watch passengers in airport screening areas for behaviors that the TSA associates with stress, fear or deception – sometimes also engaging travelers in casual conversation. The officers then flag certain people for additional inspection and questioning.

Feb
9
2015
Fight Continues for Transparency in Sheriff’s Use of Stingray Surveillance Device

The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a brief in a lawsuit against the Erie County Sheriff’s Office for its continued refusal to disclose public information “stingrays,” devices that can track and record New Yorkers’ locations via their cell phones.

Jan
19
2015
Ulster Sheriff Agrees to Stop Running Stigmatizing Warrant Checks on People Seeking County’s Help

The New York Civil Liberties Union has confirmed that the Ulster County Department of Social Services (DSS) and sheriff entered into an agreement to stop running warrant checks on every person who enters the DSS building to apply for help, ask a question, report a problem or accompany someone else seeking help. The NYCLU was one of the organizations advocating against the policy.

Nov
19
2014
NYCLU Sues Erie Co. Sheriff for Information on Surveillance Device

The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging the Erie County Sheriff’s Department’s failure to follow the law and make public information about how it uses mobile devices to track and record New Yorkers’ locations. The NYCLU first filed a Freedom of Information request in June after local media reports revealed that the Sheriff’s Office was using mobile devices known as ‘stingrays’ to pick up signals from all cell phones and wireless devices within a given area, collecting information on the comings and goings of innocent people in the process.

Aug
8
2014
NYCLU Objects to Manhattan DA’s Grab of Facebook Users’ Activity in Court Brief

In response to the Manhattan district attorney’s sweeping warrants forcing Facebook to turn over the contents of 381 Facebook accounts, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union today submitted a friend of the court brief in support of Facebook’s appeal challenging the constitutionality of these warrants.

Jun
17
2014
NYCLU Demands Information on Sheriff’s Use of Cell Phones to Track Innocent People’s Locations

The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed formal legal requests for information about the Erie County Sheriff’s Office’s use of mobile devices to track and record New Yorkers’ locations. Recent media reports reveal that the Sheriff’s Office is using mobile devices known as “stingrays” to pick up signals from all cell phones and wireless devices within a given area, collecting information on the comings and goings of totally innocent people in the process.

Apr
15
2014
NYPD Shuts Unit That Mapped Muslim Communities

The New York Police Department has shuttered the unit that created maps and collected other information on Muslim communities in the New York City area, according to a report today by The New York Times. "The NYPD's disbanding of a unit that targeted New York Muslims and mapped their everyday institutions and activities is a welcome first step for which we commend Commissioner Bratton," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "We hope that the Demographics Unit's discriminatory activities will not be carried out by other parts of the NYPD."

Jan
7
2014
NYCLU Demands NYPD and DOT Records on E-ZPass Readers

The New York Civil Liberties Union today sent the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York City Department of Transportation and the NYPD formal legal requests for information on how they use E-ZPass readers to track and record New Yorkers’ movements. The request was filed after several recent press reports documented the use of E-ZPass readers to collect information on law-abiding New Yorkers far from toll plazas.

Sep
30
2013
Argument before Federal Judge to End NYPD Surveillance of Muslim Community; Advocates Call for Court to Appoint a Monitor

Tomorrow, Federal District Court Judge Charles S. Haight will hear arguments in the long-running class action lawsuit governing New York City Police Department surveillance of First Amendment activity, asking him to enjoin the NYPD’s program of surveillance of Muslim communities in New York and elsewhere in the absence of suspected criminal activity. The motion, made in February 2013, contends these NYPD activities violate court-ordered guidelines, and asks the court to appoint a monitor to ensure compliance with the guidelines.

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