Is Big Brother or the Seattle Police Department Watching You? – 19 year old guest blogger

The Seattle Police Department broke at least one Seattle law when they purchased and used Geofeedia, a CIA funded Surveillance Company that tracks social media posts and can tell users what you said, where you posted from as well as find other posts in your area. Secretly buying this software violated a Seattle law that requires an outside official to be notified when the police department makes a move like this.


The Seattle surveillance ordinance may have also been broken, as it requires city council approval before obtaining surveillance equipment. The SPD has not denied breaking these laws, instead they have apologized and claim to no longer be using Geofeedia. Additionally, the SPD stated that they only ever used Geofeedia to aid in ingoing investigations and never used it to monitor the general public.


The SPD acquired Geofeedia in 2014 and have been using it to monitor the city ever since. The SPD is not alone in this acquisition; other police departments in major cities such as the Philadelphia and Chicago also utilize this technology.

The department is currently catching a lot of criticism for not being transparent even though that is something that they repeatedly claim to pride themselves to be. Personally, I can see how these acts by the SPD warrant a certain amount of distrust but I don’t think that this social media surveillance is as big a deal as some would make it seem.


As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t put anything illegal or overly disruptive on social media. If your social media accounts are of interest to the police, that’s on you. Everyone from potential employers to colleges and universities and now apparently the police are monitoring the public’s social media content so it only seems logical to not put anything on there that is going to come back around and bite you later. Having lived in cities all around the US, I have experienced the SPD operating with a lot more respect and general decency than other departments and I don’t think we should be too quick to condemn them for a small discrepancy.


http://www.thestranger.com/news/2016/09/28/24585899/how-the-seattle-police-secretlyand-illegallypurchased-a-tool-for-tracking-your-social-media-posts

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

The holidays can look much different during a divorce than they did only a year earlier, and the changes can take some getting used to. The challenge is that you have to start somewhere, and in these “newer” moments, it…

You can use Collaborative Law to support your process of creating and negotiating a prenup with your partner.

In Washington state, if you are involved in a custody dispute, which involves difficult questions related to specific needs for your children or serious parenting deficits (such as mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence), an evaluation service may be…

Apologizing can be hard, especially if you have a contentious relationship with the person you are apologizing to. If you want to have a polite (even friendly) relationship with your ex in the future, though, owning up to and apologizing…

In the same way that every divorce is different, so, too, is every divorce lawyer and the law firms where they work. From lawyers’ individual personalities, expertise, and experience to law firms’ varying cultures and values which provide the framework…

As a divorce and family law attorney, I have yet to hear of anyone getting married and opening a savings account for divorce fees should they need such an account down the road. I also do not know of anyone…

Divorce can be an emotionally grueling process, especially when you have children. In addition to coming to terms with how your own day-to-day is going to evolve, your children, too, will have to get used to seeing their lives change,…

Divorce can be a time of confusion and complexity. In addition to any emotional or other stress, your divorce can impact both your and your ex’s will. Therefore, it is important to understand what that impact may be and what…

While software developers are among the professions with the lowest divorce rates, coming in at 20.3%, workers in the technology sector who divorce face specific challenges during the divorce process. From how to locate and divide assets to determining parenting…

For parents, divorce often raises many questions surrounding extracurricular activities. These questions usually include whether the children will get to participate in the extracurricular activities (sports, performing arts classes, music lessons, art classes, etc.) they did before the divorce, expanded…