Surveillance

The big picture

The coronavirus is ushering in a new era of surveillance at work

The pandemic is normalizing increased surveillance and data collection at work.

Jul 7, 2020
Protest responses raise domestic surveillance concerns

Federal law enforcement agencies were deployed to police demonstrations throughout the U.S.

Jun 10, 2020
China's move on face-recognition standards

China will likely use technical standards to claim a UN seal of approval for its use of its products.

Dec 5, 2019
Deep Dive: The end of anonymity

Data that might once have gone unnoticed can now be detected, analyzed and logged in real time.

Sep 7, 2019
The steady erosion of privacy at home

IoT devices can pick up your voice, interests, habits, TV preferences, meals and all sorts of other sensitive data.

Jun 24, 2019
AI is "awakening" surveillance cameras

New technology can constantly watch for "anomalies" in live feeds.

Jun 14, 2019

All Surveillance stories

Indian government bans 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok

Rickshaw driver in New Delhi wearing a TikTok sweatshirt. Photo: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Indian government announced Monday it would ban 59 apps developed by Chinese firms, citing national security and privacy concerns.

Why it matters: The applications blocked include ByteDance’s TikTok, a massively popular short-form video app that has come under scrutiny in the U.S. and elsewhere amid growing concerns about Chinese technological threats. India is TikTok's largest market, according to TechCrunch.

NYT: Black Lives Matter protests in over 15 cities were under surveillance by DHS

Protestors march across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan on June 19. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security monitored Black Lives Matters protests in more than 15 cities with airplanes, drones and helicopters, according to Customs and Border Protection data obtained by the New York Times.

Driving the news: The Air Force inspector general said on Thursday it plans to investigate the use of a military reconnaissance plane used to surveil demonstrations in multiple cities held in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Amazon to halt police use of its facial recognition technology for one year

Amazon logistics center on April 21 in Bretigny-sur-Orge, France. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Amazon announced on Wednesday it would stop supplying U.S. police officers with its facial recognition technology for one year amid a nationwide push for police reform.

What they're saying: "We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge. We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested."

House Democrats call for investigation into DEA protester surveillance

Protesters walk across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan on June 6. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats on the Oversight Committee called Saturday for the Department of Homeland Security to explain how it has surveilled people protesting the killing of George Floyd.

Driving the news: The committee's probe follows a Drug Enforcement Administration memo, first obtained by BuzzFeed News, that granted the agency temporary heightened powers to "enforce federal criminal laws in the wake of protests arising from the death of George Floyd."

Lawmakers want to encrypt Congress' network

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

In a letter released last month, an ideologically diverse group of senators and congressmen, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), wrote to the Senate’s sergeant at arms and the House’s chief administrative officer requesting that all calls on unclassified lines between the House and Senate be encrypted, in order to prevent foreign spying.

Why it matters: According to the letter, first reported by The Verge, calls within the Senate were not encrypted until August 2018, making them “vulnerable to interception by any hacker or foreign government that gained access to the Senate’s internal network.”

Jun 3, 2020 - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

Jun 2, 2020 - Technology

Twitter acts against violent messages

Screenshot: Axios

As Facebook employees criticized the company for not moving against Trump's posts, Twitter took more action Monday against those using its platform to promote violence.

Driving the news: The company suspended a fake Antifa account linked to a white nationalist group and also flagged a tweet from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that it said glorified violence.

Border Patrol recalls drone from Minneapolis protests

Police and State Patrol officers in Minnesota, Minneapolis on May 29. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Customs and Border Protection sent a drone into Minneapolis on Friday to take live footage of protestors at the request of federal law enforcement, a CBP spokesperson told Axios.

What's happening: Demonstrations have surged in the city for three days as people protest and mourn the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after at least one police officer knelt on his neck on Monday. Protestors set fire to a Minneapolis police station on Thursday night.