The Brennan Center for Justice and the Policing Project teamed up to host policing experts at a day-long conference, Policing and Accountability in the Digital Age, at NYU Law. The series of panels discussed the opportunities and challenges presented by rapid advances in policing technology.
Videos of the sessions are now available.
KEYNOTE: TECHNOLOGY AND THE CHANGING FACE OF POLICING
William Bratton, Police Commissioner, New York City Police Department & Member; Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration.
MIND THE CONSTITUTIONAL GAP: SURVEILLANCE, SPEECH, RACE, AND RELIGION
Although some federal and state statutes regulate the use of technology by law enforcement, much of the regulation has been left to the courts. Yet as anyone familiar with the judicial decisions would be quick to point out, not only do those court decisions leave significant gaps in how technology is regulated — primarily because much technology may not qualify as a “search” under Supreme Court precedent, but also because the courts have failed to offer sufficient protection to particular groups that are or may be subjected to law enforcement technologies.
Mariko Hirose, Senior Staff Attorney, New York Civil Liberties Union Rachel Levinson-Waldman, Senior Counsel, Liberty & National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
Ben Rosenberg, General Counsel, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Katherine Strandburg, Professor, NYU Law School
Moderated by Maria Ponomarenko, Deputy Director, Policing Project
TWEETS, LIKES, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
The widespread use of social media has provided new avenues of communication and expression for all of us, including those seeking to organize politically. At the same time, social media — like other methods of communication — can be used to broaden the reach of people who are inclined to do harm to society. As a result, law enforcement naturally views social media as a rich source of information for tracking wrongdoers and unraveling potentially criminal networks. The government also applies pressure on private companies to shut down social media accounts and delete content that it believes promotes terrorism, and there has been increasing reliance on use of social media in material support and other criminal indictments.
Jumana Musa, Senior Privacy and National Security Counsel, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Amie Stepanovich, U.S. Policy Manager, Access Now
Rebecca Ulam Weiner, Assistant Commissioner of Intelligence Analysis, New York City Police Department Intelligence Bureau
Moderated by Liza Goitein, Co-Director, Liberty & National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
UNEASY PARTNERSHIPS: PRIVATE INDUSTRY AND THE PUBLIC TRUST
The use of technology in policing increasingly requires cooperation between law enforcement and private industry. This is evident in debates about encryption, the use of Stingray technology, the deployment of predictive policing software, and the arrangements between telecoms and law enforcement to obtain location tracking information. This cooperation raises difficult questions concerning private industry’s influence in policing — for instance, whether the profit motive is skewing choices that law enforcement or the public otherwise would make. It also has posed challenges to ensuring that law enforcement policy is transparent to the citizenry — for instance, when private companies raise claims that their technology must be kept secret on intellectual property grounds.
Julia Angwin, Senior Reporter, Pro Publica
Jim Bueermann, Executive Director, Police Foundation Jeremy Heffner, Product Manager, Hunchlab
Aliya Rahman, Director, Movement Technology, Wellstone
Moderated by Michael Price, Counsel, Brennan Center
HOW DOES SURVEILLANCE IMPACT MINORITY NEIGHBORHOODS
Conversation with Anika Navaroli, Senior Campaign Manager for Media & Economic Justice, Color of Change, Dante Barry, Executive Director, Million Hoodies Movement, and Linda Sarsour, Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York, on impact of surveillance on minority neighborhoods.
Moderated by Faiza Patel, Co-Director, Liberty & National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Given the issues articulated in the discussions during this symposium, what would a path forward look like? How do we preserve law enforcement access to cutting-edge technology while also ensuring democratic accountability and oversight? What models have been tried so far, and which ones have the most promise for the future?
Hassan Aden, Senior Executive Fellow, Police Foundation
Larry Byrne, Deputy Commissioner Legal Matters, NYPD
Philip K. Eure, Inspector General for the NYPD, New York City Department of Investigation
Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Faiza Patel, Co-Director, Liberty & National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Moderated by Barry Friedman, Director, Policing Project; Professor, New York University School of Law