LFI Course Materials/Week 3: Surveillance tech

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Week 3: Surveillance technology in our local communities[edit]

  • Real time lecture: June 7th 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern


In the last few years, increased attention and scrutiny has been paid to local governments and law enforcement around their use of surveillance technology, thanks to the efforts of movements like Black Lives Matter. What we've learned from this work is that police now have access to an unprecedented amount of new surveillance equipment that is often acquired and used without democratic oversight, and is disproportionately deployed against people of color, immigrants, and political dissidents, often for protected free speech activities. Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts will take us through this landscape, detailing how this surveillance technology is funded and used, and how we can create accountability processes to curtail the dystopian aspects of this new tech.

Learning objectives[edit]

  • What surveillance technologies local governments and law enforcement have and how they fund them
  • Who is impacted by the use of these technologies
  • How to bring greater transparency and accountability to the use of these technologies


Guest lecturer[edit]

Kade Crockford is the Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts and MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow. Kade works to protect and expand core First and Fourth Amendment rights and civil liberties in the digital 21st century, focusing on how systems of surveillance and control impact not just the society in general but their primary targets—people of color, Muslims, immigrants, and dissidents.


  • What do you see as the main issues raised by this week's lecture and readings?
  • What are the implications for our rights?
  • What kinds of democratic interventions are possible and how can librarians work towards such interventions?


  • Lecture, readings, discussion forum, and small group work
  • Submit small group project responsibilities outline to Alison