Activists sue San Francisco over use of private surveillance cameras in protests


Over 2020, EFF supported the right to protest without being surveilled by bringing lawsuits, offering protesters legal support, teaching protesters surveillance self-defence, and providing tools for people on the ground to use to determine what equipment their local police departments are using to spy on activists. Via public records requests, EFF discovered that the San Francisco Police Department gained access to over 400 cameras belonging to the Union Square Business Improvement District to spy on protesters. Since a San Francisco ordinance prohibits police from gaining access to new surveillance equipment without first getting approval from the Board of Supervisors, EFF is representing activists in a lawsuit against the city that may be the first-ever test case for enforcing a municipal ordinance giving control of the police to the community (CCOPS). CCTV, Drones, SOCMINT

Writer: Matthew Guariglia

Publication: EFF blog