FBI uses digital surveillance to identify January 6 participants


The FBI is using databases of location data and facial recognition technology to automate finding and charging participants in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol who have so far escaped identification and arrest. Few legal protections stand in the way of this type of digital surveillance. The first of the more than 1,200 insurrectionists charged to date were those whose social media postings or tips from third parties made them obvious suspects. More recently, the FBI has found new suspects by searching databases of reference images from not only social media and CCTV, but passports, driver's licences and news media. Some suspects have been arrested and charged without ever being interviewed by a human.


Publication: IEEE Spectrum
Writer: Mark Harris

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