Above, "The Bravo 300," a tactical drone manufactured in New Orleans by Crescent Unmanned Systems. Weeks after New Orleans local investigative paper The Lens began digging into city officials’ plans to use a U.S. Homeland Security Department aerial drone to monitor crowds at the upcoming Super Bowl, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the city is no longer pursuing those plans.
Spokesman Ryan Berni offered no reason for dropping the eye-in-the-sky technology, telling a reporter to submit a public-records request. In a brief phone interview, he would say only that the decision to ditch the drone was made “over the past several days.” In a follow-up email, Berni said Homeland Security would be providing a manned helicopter, equipped with a camera, and that “the City learned by phone in the last few weeks” about the switch.
Read more: City cancels plans for Super Bowl drone despite enthusiasm and interest from NOPD, others (TheLensNola.org).
Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX, @JohnCornyn, +1 202-224-2934] introduced the Building America’s Trust Act as a “long-term border security and interior enforcement strategy” but refused to release the bill’s text, which has now leaked.
A group of researchers from Oxford and TU Berlin will present their paper, White-Stingray: Evaluating IMSI Catchers Detection Applications at the Usenix Workshop on Offensive Technologies, demonstrating countermeasures that Stingray vendors could use to beat Stingrays and other “cell-site simulators” (AKA IMSI catchers).
This summer, two of the west coast’s largest metropolitan areas—Seattle and California—took major steps to curtail secret, unilateral surveillance by local police. These victories for transparency and community control lend momentum toward sweeping reforms pending across California, as well as congressional efforts to curtail unchecked surveillance by federal authorities.
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