NYPD to send drones to spy on Labor Day barbecues

New Yorkers relaxing with beer and burgers this Labor Day weekend may have an unexpected guest hanging out in their backyard. Starting on Friday, the New York Police Department It says it will begin deploying drones to monitor potential disturbances at parties or other large gatherings. Privacy and civil liberties experts told Gizmodo that the practice is a bridge too far and could violate local surveillance laws.

„If a caller says there’s a big crowd, a big party in the backyard, we’re going to use our resources to get up and look at the party,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Cas Daughtry said. Thursday.

Daughtry said the drones will respond to both „non-priority calls and priority calls.” That means drones won’t just be used for critical 911 emergencies, but instead, the flying devices could be used to respond to a 311 call where the caller describes a disturbance at a large party or on the back patio, Tati explained. The drones will begin their search Friday afternoon and continue through the Labor Day/West Indies Day weekend.

„We’re going to use our assets to go up and go to the party and make sure the call is established. Or not, we’ll be able to determine how many resources we need to send to that location by the end of this week,” daughter. Evaluation.

New York Mayor Eric Adams supported it

Drones „aren’t going to look at somebody’s grill,” he said at a press conference on Friday. The mayor said the drones will respond to complaints of loud music and fly overhead to survey the area and determine whether or not it is necessary to send police or crisis management teams to the scene.

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„Now we’re going to become leaders in how to use drones properly,” Adams said in the press room. When asked to respond to privacy concerns, Adams responded that „we need to push back on the science fiction aspects of drones.”

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks conducts a public safety briefing in New York CityThe NYPD did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment. The New York Deputy Commissioner of Public Information referred us to the press conference Past statements

About the NYPD’s use of drones.

Privacy advocates raised alarm bells following Daughtry’s comments, charging that the NYPD’s sudden drones violate privacy and could conflict with newly authorized surveillance. Laws.

„This plan won’t work,” Albert Fox Kahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Program, told Gizmodo. „Even before these drones landed, the NYPD had already violated the law, the POST Act of 2020, which requires public notice and comment before beginning new surveillance. programs.” Fox Cahn se refere a la Law on General Supervision of Surveillance Technology, The 2020 law aims to increase police transparency in surveillance technologies. The law was passed months after some NYPD officers discovered it was being used Controversial facial recognition tool to him Private company Clearview AI Helps identify potential criminals. Drones go a step further and are capable of responding to domestic remote complaints. Neither the NYPD nor the mayor’s office responded to Gizmodo’s questions about whether the practice would continue after Labor Day.

„Spying on backyard barbecues is a step too far for most New Yorkers,” added Fox Kahn. Daniel Schwarz, privacy and technology expert. A strategist for the New York Civil Liberties Union, he agreed with Foxconn’s assessment in a recent report. Interview The Associated Press compared the NYPD’s deployment of drones to a „science fiction-inspired scene.”

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Eric Adams embraces police technology

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police captain, has embraced the New York Police Department’s use of new surveillance technologies to implement its tough-on-crime program. Since taking office in January 2022, Adams has been promoted 6,500 surveillance cameras will be added to subway cars Y Police use controversial facial recognition software. Adams has publicly described privacy concerns about these technologies. is reported The increase was nearly 24% in the first year of the Adams administration.

„I’m surprised by how much we haven’t embraced technology, and part of that is because so many of our elected officials are afraid.” Adams said in A Interview with politics. „Anything, technology, they think, 'Oh, he’s a boogeyman. Big Brother is watching you.’ No, Big Brother is protecting you.

Drones are a big part of the high-tech policing envisioned by Adams. last year, According to According to the Associated Press, the NYPD used drones 124 times this year for emergency or public safety purposes. It has only been reported four times in the past. year. Mayer way Green light to buy more dog-like robots from Boston DynamicsAlthough these same robots have garnered waves of public criticism Two years ago.

UPDATED, 1:55 PM EST: Added report from Eric Adams.

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