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  • 05.18.16

How to find out if your local police department is tracking your use of social media

From Philadelphia to San Jose, police departments around the country are monitoring and tracking posts on social media. Last year, the Baltimore Police Department paid a company called ZeroFOX to help it track #BlackLivesMatter protesters, including former mayoral candidate DeRay McKesson, whom it labeled “threat actors.”

Now, watchdog group LittleSis is partnering with MuckRock, a collaborative news site that requests and shares government documents, to investigate how police are surveilling social media posts. Through a link on their site, you can file a freedom of information (FOIA) request with your local police department. They’ve also researched at least eight companies, including Geofeedia and Brightplanet, that have been contracted to perform these services for law enforcement, and filed FOIA requests on the issue with 20 police departments. MB