cyrus farivar

Law Enforcement Monitors Protesters, Reporting Shows

With hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in recent weeks to protest police killings and racism, the law enforcement response has been highly visible. But in less obvious ways, law enforcement officers also gather information about protesters both online and in public. Cyrus Farivar, a reporter on the tech investigations unit of NBC News in San Francisco and author of “Habeas Data” has covered some recent cases in which law enforcement surveillance of social media posts about protests has resulted in real life enforcement actions, including arrest by the FBI. Read Farivar’s reporting at NBC News. “I think for most of us we understand, like, OK: The police are looking for one criminal mastermind and they’re taking extraordinary measures to go after one person.

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Consumer Reporting Firms Fought for a Year to Exempt Data From California Privacy Law

Even though federally regulated consumer reports were already exempted from California’s ambitious new privacy law, the companies that sell them spent much of the last year engaged in an as yet unsuccessful lobbying effort to prevent individuals from opting out of sharing their own data from the firms’ databases. That’s in part because they have diversified beyond consumer reports and credit scores and into the creation of personal profiles based on online information that is less well regulated and critics of the industry call intrusive.

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Testing Online Privacy Limits, OKCupid Lets Strangers Read Intimate Messages

Users on the popular dating site OKCupid.com might not be aware of it, but fellow participants have been tapped to be community moderators, who have access to private correspondence. Those with access to the “moderation” button often are checking accounts that have been flagged for possible terms of service violations. But they also get to eavesdrop on what many users assumed to be private conversations.

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S.F. mayor signs civil rights ordinance into law

San Francisco civil rights advocates concerned about what they call domestic spying on the city’s Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities are celebrating new legislation signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee. The Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance requires San Francisco Police Department officers working with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force to be bound by local and state laws strictly governing intelligence gathering of First Amendment protected activities like religious worship.