According to an article published in April in the East Bay Express, the San Jose Police Department is using a software surveillance tool that monitors social media posts in real time. “Geofeedia software allows the police to search Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr and Weibo for key words in real-time, geographically locating people as they communicate with each other on the go, reading their posts, viewing their pictures and videos, and tracking who they interact with.”
The article revealed that San Jose bought a Geofeedia software license for $9,999 on September 25, 2015, just before the Super Bowl. They used it in the run-up to the Super Bowl and during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi to identify a “die-in” protest near the arena where Modi was speaking.
There has been absolutely no transparency around the purchase of this spying tool and how it is being used.
The ACLU of Northern California has a campaign for community control in decision-making around policing, including surveillance technology. About the police use of the social media spying software like Geofeedia , they say that it’s putting activists in the digital crosshairs.
Graphic courtesy of East Bay Express