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Civil Liberties Groups Ramp Up Opposition to Drone Expansion

Civil liberties groups are fighting back against proposed legislation in Springfield that would allow police to surveil crowds with drones equipped with facial recognition technologies. On Friday, lawmakers in the House rejected legislation which amends current limits to drone surveillance that would’ve allowed police to use them without obtaining a warrant at any public or private event that has more than 100 people in attendance. “This is a disturbing extension of surveillance, it can be misused in so many ways,” Democratic state rep Kelly Cassidy” said on Friday. On Monday, two separate amendments to the legislation were introduced that would increase the crowd size required, put limits on facial recognition software, and add requirements for reporting on the usage of drones, or set a time limit on how long the footage could be kept before being destroyed. “The Chicago Police Department’s long history of violating the rights of protesters is well known and includes unlawful surveillance and targeted abuse of people working to make this a more just city for our most marginalized residents,” wrote the Chicago National Lawyers Guild, one of many groups opposing the legislation, in a statement. (Chicago Reader)

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