The NYPD Says It’s Going to Spy on Labor Day Parties Using Drones

Uninvited Guest If you’re planning to host a Labor Day party in New York City this weekend, you might want to keep one eye on the skies. As the Associated Press reports, the NYPD plans to use its drone fleet to surveil large crowds this weekend, including those congregating at private backyard events. Per the AP, the news was announced during a press conference regarding safety at the Caribbean J’Ouvert celebration and the West Indian American Day parade, two converging events taking place in Brooklyn over the holiday weekend. “If a caller states there’s a large crowd, a large party in a backyard,” said Kaz Daughtry, the assistant NYPD Commissioner, according to the AP, “we’re going to be utilizing our assets to go up and go check on the party.” Barbecue with a side of dystopian surveillance, anyone? Pushback The announcement has unsurprisingly been met with swift backlash from civil rights advocates, who argue that the skyborne surveillance action infringes on residents’ privacy rights. “It’s a troubling announcement and it flies in the face of the POST Act,” Daniel Schwarz, a privacy and technology strategist at the New York Civil Liberties Union, told the AP. (The POST Act, as referenced by Schwarz, is a city law passed in 2020 necessitating that the NYPD makes its surveillance practices public knowledge.) “Deploying drones in this way,” he added, “is a sci-fi-inspired scenario.” Elsewhere, Schwarz emphasized the fact that the surveillance effort is specifically targeting events celebrating racial minority communities — a detail, he…The NYPD Says It’s Going to Spy on Labor Day Parties Using Drones

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