Freedom of assembly

Ukraine and Russia are both weaponising facial recognition - but Russia is using it to hunt down anti-war protesters, holding and sometimes torturing anyone who refuses to be photographed, while Ukraine is using software donated by Clearview AI to help find Russian infiltrators at checkpoints
01 Mar 2021
Hundreds of pages of Myanmar government budgets for the last two fiscal years obtained by the New York Times show that the Myanmar military who staged a coup in February 2021 had new and sophisticated tools at their disposal: Israeli-made, military-grade surveillance drones, European iPhone cracking
18 Feb 2021
The internet, mobile, and social media shutdown in Myanmar left protesters vulnerable to rumours and at a disadvantage in organising opposition to the 2021 military coup. Coordination was done via phone, word of mouth, and the Bluetooth-based messaging app Bridgefy, which was downloaded more than 1
15 Mar 2021
The Belarusian government is using the "Kipod" facial recognition software developed by the local software company LLCC Synesis to track and identify dissidents. Synesis was previously sanctioned by the EU for providing authorities with an AI surveillance platform capable of tracking individuals
11 Aug 2020
In August 2020, controversial Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko cut off most of the nation's access to the internet in hopes of disrupting the protests against the vote-rigging that saw him installed as president. Online news sites were left largely offline from election day onward, and
06 Oct 2020
Despite its indications of support for the pro-democracy protesters, in October 2020 the EU bought the Belarusian authorities 15 surveillance drones, raising concerns that the video equipment they carry would be used to identify and arrest individual pro-democracy protesters. The EU foreign service
08 Feb 2021
The 2020 Belarus protests were the largest in the country's history and brought an unprecedented crackdown, in which protesters nationwide were tortured and criminally prosecuted as a means of repressing peaceful assembly. A report finds that these cases became political as the government violated
22 Oct 2019
In 2019, interviews with Hong Kong protesters destroying smart lampposts revealed that many distrusted the government's claim that they would only take air quality measurements and help with traffic control, largely because of the comprehensive surveillance net the Chinese government was using to
30 Aug 2019
In 2019 Hong Kong protesters cut down 20 of the city's smart lampposts, which are streetlights equipped with sensors and cameras, in order to counter the threat that they were vectors for surveillance technologies such as facial and licence plate recognition. TickTack Technology, which provided the
23 Oct 2019
During 2019, Hong Kong law enforcement authorities had access to AI facial recognition software provided by Sydney-based iOmniscient that can match faces and licence plates from video footage to police databases, but chief executive Carrie Lam's administration and police did not confirm whether they
22 Oct 2019
As police began treating every 2019 Hong Kong protest as an illegal assembly attracting sentences of up to ten years in jail, facial recognition offered increased risk of being on the streets, as protesters could be identified and arrested later even if they were in too large a crowd to be picked up
14 Feb 2021
UK police have used unmanned drones to monitor political protests for animal rights, by Extinction Rebellion, and against HS2, an extreme-right demonstration, and those held peacefully by Black Lives Matter, according to the campaign group Drone Watch. The Surrey, Cleveland, Staffordshire
02 Jul 2020
A British freedom of information tribunal ruled that for national security reasons police in England and Wales may refuse to say whether they are using Stingrays, also known as IMSI-catchers, which are capable of tracking thousands of mobile phones and intercepting their calls, text messages, and
19 Nov 2020
On November 9, 2020, after a year of escalating tensions, Peruvian president Martín Vizcarra was impeached on the grounds of "moral incapacity" by lawmakers threatened by his anti-corruption investigations and the policy reform he led. The street protests that followed all over the country were
19 Jun 2020
US Customs and Border Protection Data show that the Department of Homeland Security deployed helicopters, airplanes, and drones over 15 cities, including New York City, Buffalo, Dayton OH, and Philadelphia, where demonstrators assembled to protest the killing of George Floyd and collected at least
27 Jul 2020
According to records obtained under a freedom of information request, the San Francisco Police Department used the camera network belonging to downtown Union Square Improvement District to spy on protesters during the end of May and early June 2020. The high-definition cameras, manufactured by