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FBI sued over secretive mass surveillance program — RT USA


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“Defendant has failed to comply with statutory deadlines, has failed to grant expedited review of EPIC's FOIA Requests, and has failed to disclose a single record. EPIC asks the Court to order immediate disclosure of all responsive records and to provide other appropriate relief as it may determine,” EPIC attorneys McCall, Marc Rotenberg and David Brody write in the complaint, dated April 8, 2013.

“It’s very problematic from a privacy standpoint and a freedom of expression standpoint,” McCall told Hartmann in 2011. “There’s a real chilling effect on freedom of expression when you feel that you’re constantly being surveilled by the government.”

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The FBI doesn’t want NGI to pull data from just criminal databases, though. Because the agency wants NGI to work with public and private surveillance cameras around the country — of which EPIC estimates there are around 30 million in use at this time — the targets of investigation might not necessarily be the bad guys.

“The Department of Homeland Security has expended hundreds of millions of dollars to establish state and local surveillance systems, including CCTV [closed-circuit television] cameras that record the routine activities of millions of individuals,” EPIC writes. “The NGI system could be integrated with other surveillance technology, such as Trapwire, that would enable real-time image-matching of live feeds from CCTV surveillance cameras.”

Trapwire, a spy system uncovered by RT last year while analyzing emails hacked emails obtained from the Stratfor private intelligence firm, has already been sold to cities across the US including Washington, DC and New York, and lets customers scan the faces of people caught on surveillance cameras in only seconds. “TrapWire is a technology solution predicated upon behavior patterns in red zones to identify surveillance. It helps you connect the dots over time and distance,” the company said.

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