Fighting for justice shouldn’t put people under a government microscope. But many New Yorkers, especially those from over-policed communities, find themselves targeted by law enforcement for their activism. Across our state, New Yorkers engaged in lawful political activity are undermined, harassed, and abused by police. Authorities sometimes covertly deploy powerful surveillance technology to spy on activists without their knowledge or consent and without any legal right to do so.
The New York Civil Liberties Union is dedicated to preventing police from surveilling New Yorkers based on characteristics like ideology or religion. The NYCLU was at the forefront of a successful effort to curtail warrantless surveillance of Muslim communities in New York City and we continue to monitor to make sure this type of spying does not crop up again. We also put the brakes on an attempt by the NYPD to use the threat of jail time to coerce protesters into dropping their abuse claims against police. And we are leading efforts to bring the use of military-grade surveillance technology into the light so the public is aware of what tools police are utilizing to snoop on New Yorkers.