Boston law sets rules for city surveillance tech, school info sharing – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-10-21 12:45:07 –


“This is about transparency.”

Surveillance security cameras installed on Devonshire and Franklin streets are looking at multiple points at the downtown intersection in October 2019. Lane Turner / Globe Staff

On Wednesday, the Boston City Council endorsed an ordinance aimed at authorizing the city hall to monitor the surveillance technology used by the government and setting limits on when Boston public schools could share student information with authorities.

Laws enacted over the years require that all surveillance techniques required by the Boston Police Department be pre-approved by the council. Authorities also need to obtain council approval to use technology they already own for new purposes.

“This is about civil liberties. It’s about transparency. It’s about recognizing what the government is using to monitor all of us (tools, surveillance techniques). That’s it.” Said Councilor Lydia Edwards, chairman of the Council’s Government Steering Committee. “We also make sure that we are aware that when new technologies emerge, we will remain transparent about what the government is using.”

The ordinance co-sponsored by councilors Ricardo Arroyo and Michelle Wie Praised by the American Civil Liberties Union in Massachusetts, Provided information on regulations.

According to the ACLU, Boston will join 20 municipalities across the country, including Summerville, Cambridge, and Lawrence, if Mayor Kim Janey signs the law, and enacts a book law that gives the community a say in government oversight. Will be done.

The law covers technologies such as video surveillance, social media surveillance software, and automatic license plate readers, among other gadgets.

“We need to take clear protective measures to ensure that the surveillance technology used by the city is deployed under transparency, public accountability and democratic surveillance,” said Mayor candidate Wu. Said in a statement from ACLU.

However, the latest legislation is not the first time the council has targeted surveillance technology for stricter surveillance.

Last year, the councilor unanimously passed Ordinance that seeks to ban the technology of automatically identifying and tracking people using their faces — Accusations guided by evidence that the current system misidentifies a disproportionately high proportion of people of color.

“Surveillance in Boston, as well as its own crackdown, disproportionately targets blacks and browns,” Kade Crockford, program director of the Technology for Liberty program at ACLU, Massachusetts, said in a statement. .. “The (Community Management for Police Surveillance) Act provides relevant residents and community organizations with a meaningful opportunity to discuss and oppose the deployment of surveillance technology in the neighborhood.”

A law unanimously endorsed by the council on Wednesday also restricts schools in Boston from sharing student information with police except in emergencies.

Legal provisions “ensure the safety of children while ensuring that they are in the past, that is, people have been criminal records or deported in school cases. About the school case report — those loopholes are covered, “Arroyo said.

Nora Paul Schulze, Boston Teacher and Co-Chair of the Boston Teachers Union Fearless educatorIn a statement provided by the ACLU, the lack of oversight could lead to prosecution of students for “typical teenage behavior.”

“Doing so had devastating consequences for those young people and their families,” said Paul Schulze. “We hope that this ordinance provides an important guardrail to protect students from crime at school.”

Read the ordinance:

Modified Docket 0397 Final NS Christopher Gavin With Scribd

Boston law sets rules for city surveillance tech, school info sharing Source link Boston law sets rules for city surveillance tech, school info sharing

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