US Federal Agencies Sued over Facial Recognition Surveillance

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the FBI, the DEA, and the Justice Department in an effort to unveil the agencies’ secretive use of facial recognition technology.

“Face recognition surveillance technology has already made that frightening world a reality in Hong Kong, and it’s quickly becoming a scary possibility in the United States,” the organization said in a statement. “The FBI is currently collecting data about our faces, irises, walking patterns, and voices, permitting the government to pervasively identify, track, and monitor us. The agency can match or request a match of our faces against at least 640 million images of adults living in the UaS. And it is reportedly piloting Amazon’s flawed face recognition surveillance technology.”

“That’s why today we’re asking a federal court to intervene and order the FBI and related agencies to turn over all records concerning their use of face recognition technology,” ACLU explained.

“Since at least 2010,” the organization adds, “the FBI has monitored civil society groups, including racial justice movements, Occupy Wall Street, environmentalists, Palestinian solidarity activists, Abolish ICE protesters, and Cuba and Iran normalization proponents. In recent years, the FBI has wasted considerable resources to spy on Black activists, who the agency labeled “Black Identity Extremists” to justify even more surveillance of the Black Lives Matter movement and other fights for racial justice.”