NYC Bill Would Require NYPD Reports On Surveillance

Under the POST Act short for Public Oversight of Police Technology the NYPD would need to publicly disclose each item’s current and future “impact and use policies,” seek public feedback, and explain whether court permission is needed for deployment.

The NYPD opposes the bill, saying it would provide a “road map for terrorists.” Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller called it “insane.”

“It would require the police department to list them, all in one place, describe how they work and what the limitations we place on our use of them,” Miller testified. “In effect, it would make a one-stop-shopping guide for understanding these tools and how to thwart them.”

Garodnick said the bill sought only general, not operational, details.

The NYPD said the transparency bill was unnecessary. NYPD brass testifying Wednesday pointed to oversight already provided by the department’s existing inspector general, a court monitor under a settlement catalyzed by the NYPD’s past monitoring of Muslims, the patrol guide posted online and decades old Handschu guidelines, which constrain when and how the NYPD may conduct surveillance.

The NYPD had once opposed these, Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) noted.

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