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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  April 25, 2016 1:00pm-7:01pm EDT

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n overall reduction in safety. that's our concern. on the question of innovation now that it came up mr. merry field just pointed out that many of the reactor types that have been -- that are currently being considered were developed by the atomic energy commission decades ago. we agree with that. actually there's less of an organization today than meets the eye. i would submit that that argument could also be used. nrc has considerable expertise and experience in the reactor types. we think the concern that the nrc is not ready to license the reactors is somewhat he exaggerated for that reason. for the most part these are all technologies. >> if i may respond quickly. when i was on the commission we did create a -- 5 million in funding to better understand the bed reactors but the salt
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reactors and led and some of the others being proposed are sick cantlie different. they do need additional funding and resources to bridge that gap. >> thank you. i know that we've opened up some issues that everybody would like to jump into more and i would, too, but i believe we just had a vote called or will shortly have a vote called and so we're going to have to wrap this up. i do want to remind all of the witnesses that senator whitehead had asked you to each respond -- whitehouse asked you each to respond in writing to this question about the safety implications of the legislation on the nrc's capacity to protect safety in its regulatory structure, and i would encourage you to do that and respond to these issues. each of the senators may have further questions and it's customary for them to submit them in writing. since this is a legislative hearing and we expect committee action on senate bill 2795 next
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week i am asking our senators and the committee staff to provide those questions regarding this bill to the majority office by 4:00 p.m. tomorrow on friday and i'm asking the witnesses to be sure to respond in writing by 5:00 p.m. on april 25th monday april 25th. i know that's short time but we are going to be moving ahead. if you can respond to those questions quickly, we would appreciate it. all questions for the record regarding the general topic of advanced reactors will be due within the usual two-week deadline. to our witnesses, i want to thank you all for coming and sharing your views and this hearing is add journtd. >> thank you, senator.
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we had hoped to bring you the forum on military sexual violence however, we're having difficulty with our live signal. we're recording it and we'll show it to you later on the cspan networks. senator ted cruz campaigns in indiana today and we'll have live coverage of the rally in franklin indiana. indiana holds its presidential primary on may 3rd. and donald trump holds a campaign rally in wilkes-barre pennsylvania live 7:00 p.m. and
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cspan will have live coverage of that as well. pennsylvania holds its presidential primary tomorrow. >> madam secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states -- [ cheers and applause ] next local leaders and utility officials testify about water safety and infrastructure affordability and the challenges of modernizing deteriorating
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water systems and financing challenges of unfunded mandates by the federal government. also the flint, michigan water crisis the challenges of increasing water resources to rural communities and the role of the e.p.a. to help communities comply with federal mandates. they held a hearing earlier this month. the meeting will come to order. i've been talking to some down there. we have one from oklahoma. >> wonderful. >> the epa has identified $384 billion in drinking water needs and 271 billion in wastewater needs over the next 20 years. based on capital improvement plans developed by local utilities. according to the u.s. conference of mayors the -- which i really enjoyed visiting with the u.s.
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conference of mayors. i'm really glad to have you here to represent them. that was, what about three weeks ago. anyways, your meeting. nice to see some of the people are still in the u.s. conference of mayors when i was mayor, that's a long time ago. but according to the u.s. conference of mayors through 2013 local governments have invested over $2 trillion in water and sewer infrastructure and continue to spend $117 billion a year. these local expenditures represent over 98%, 98% of the cost of providing services and investing in infrastructure. these costs are paid by you, by me and by our ratepayers and as a general rule this is an appropriate thing to have the users pay, but water and wastewater is funded by the taxpayers who receive these services. that's fine. unfortunately, however, we are no longer just paying for
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services we are also paying for unfunded federal mandates as i mentioned, and as federal mandates pile up the bills paid by individual homeowners get bigger and are becoming unaffordable for many americans. federal mandates also force local communities to change their priorities in the water and sewer world, this pushes basic repair and replacement to the bottom of the list when we force communities to chase mandates that may have very small incremental health and environmental benefits we risk losing both basic public health protections and the economic foundations of our communities. there is a federal interest in maintaining these health protections and economic benefits and there are a variety of ways we can help. first, we have to continue to support the clean water and safe
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drinking water state funds that provide the low cost loans for infrastructure improvements. the president's fiscal year '17 budget proposed cutting the clean water fund by 414 million and providing 197 million increase in the drinking water fund. this is robbing peter to pay paul so it really doesn't make that much difference. the net is a loss. second we have to find new ways to increase investment and infrastructure. we took action to add the water innovation to the warner bill. epa is finally requesting funding to start up the program although they are only requesting 15 million. in our proposal to help flint and other communities around the country, we are planning for them to provide 70 not 15 but
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70 million to capitalize wifra. third, we need to look for ways to encourage even more private investment in water and wastewater infrastructure. wifra loans provide only 49% of the project costs so where does the funding for the other 51%? it's a 50-50 thing if it can't be raised through municipal bonds, where is it going to come from? fourth we need to increase support for small rural communities who simply can't afford the investment that epa wants them to make and keep up with all of the federal mandates. robert moore will offer testimony on this. finally, we have to make sure that federal mandates don't force communities to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for projects that may have little impact on water quality
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while delaying other critical programs the u.s. conference of mayors has spent a lot of time to work with the epa on this issue despite the rhetoric on integrated planning. they're being threatened with penalties as they are trying to negotiate with the epa. i strongly believe that investment in infrastructure expands our economy. the conference of mayors reports that each public dollar increases private long term gross domestic product by 635. the -- to date the joint tax committee has not been persuaded by these numbers. the joint tax committee assumes these programs increase the use of tax exempt bonds creating a loss to the treasury and we need to offset. this is exactly a barrier to increasing funding authority for the state revolving funds and
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loan programs and pwifra also. the water environment association is represented here. they're measuring the increases in personal and corporate income tax paid into the u.s. treasury attributable to water infrastructure investment. in other words, more money is coming into the treasury as a result of this and this type of investment so this hearing is to lay the foundation for legislation on water and wastewater infrastructure and hope they'll be ready to move the same our water resources act, werda, is ready to take place. senator boxer. >> can my clock go back to zero? thank you so much. i am very pleased that we're having this hearing, and i think it's important to look at this issue of mandates where the parties do have some significant differences.
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to me useless mandates are ridiculous. they make zero sense. but common sense mandates based on science are critical. for example, yesterday we had a hearing on nuclear power plants. we could say, you know let's not spend any money worrying about the safety but then we'd have more problems like we had at three mile island god forbid fukushima. we have a law that says we're going to set standards and regulate these power plants. we may have a disagreement on how far that goes back. that's fair. the fact is we do something important for the american people. it's called protecting them. that is critical. so as we discuss the federal loans supporting our water infrastructure, safety should be prominent in our minds. aging drinking water pipes and waste treatment systems are a nationwide problem and the
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society of civil engineers, they're not republicans or democrats, they're everything they give us a d, a d for our drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. it's unacceptable. it doesn't mean throwing a ton of money at it is going to change it. we have to be very smart the way we do it but we have to do it and i believe it's a national problem. i don't think it's fair that in one city in the con try our kids are getting poisoned water, and we've got that examples of that all over including in my state of -- because we've had some disposal of dangerous led. we have it in mississippi in certain parts, we have it in flint, michigan we have it in ohio. it's not fair that the child born there just by circumstances of their birth have less of a right to clean water. so the american people have a right. now these meaningless standards also expand of course to our water infrastructure. i was so proud to join by our
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colleagues in a rare moment of comedy on the environment where we said there was too much led in faucets and the facilities that deliver our water. we changed that based on our environment. i'm so happy to see eric olsen. eric's an expert in protecting kids from dangerous toxins and we worked on these. we know now from the american water works association that 7% of homes -- this is a new study, 7% of homes, 15 to 22 million americans have led service lines. now it doesn't mean that that led is leaching but some of it could be and a lot of it could be in the future. as parents in flint know there is no safe level of led in
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children. it affects their brains their nervous systems in the fetuses. the children poisoned in flint will be dealing with the harmful consequences all of their lives. so we have a long way to go. we also have cities across the u.s. with sewer systems that discharge raw, untreated sewage to waterways where our children swim. despite enormous success since the passage of the clean water act, there's much more to do. we know the tragedy in flint was due in part to the decision to switch to the polluted and highly corrosive flint river as a source of drinking water, but the flint river is not alone. just last month epa released a months showing nearly half of u.s. waterways are in poor condition and one in four have levels of bacteria that fail to meet human health standards. now i know some testifying have expressed concerns about the affordability of meeting the standards or protecting their own people. i understand the concerns.
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i was a county supervisor like many of us that started there. i dealt with those mandates. but what we have to do is hear you. if you think something is totally useless and won't have a benefit, tell us. but if it's going to have a ben fill the -- benefit, we have to work together. you want to do it as much as any one of us. we need increased investment. it's very very clear. we should fund existing projects stuff as the state revolving lone loan fund. we should reform our programs. the clean water council states that $1 billion invested in the infrastructure creates 27,000 jobs. i believe there is broad bipartisan support for the need
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for federal investment in water infrastructure and the next werda which i'm very excited about, working with my colleagues on both sides, we have an opportunity to address the aging drinking water infrastructure and wastewater infrastructure. the health and safety of our groups is important. can i put my full statement in the record? >> sure. without objection. thank you, senator boxer. what we're going to do. we normally don't have this many people on a panel so we're going to be trying to keep within the five-minute limit that we have. we' start with mayor burger.
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>> my name is david burger and i'm in my 27th year as the mayor of lima ohio. i spent nearly 20 years with ohio epa and u.s.epa over long-term control plans. i also participated in five years of discussions with epa concerning integrated planning green infrastructure and affordability. this i believe, makes me a reluctant expert in the field. local government not the federal government is where the job of providing water and wastewater services gets done and is paid for. local government has invested over $2 trillion in water and sewer infrastructure and services since the early 1970s and 117 billion in 2013 alone. at the conference we have unanimously adopted policies to this issue.
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one is to the congress and the administration give us money or give us relief. the mayors of happy to implement any rules but you have to provide at least half the resources. i'm talking real money, not authorization levels that never get funded. i'm talking about grants not loans that must be paid back.unfunded mandates are paid for by our customers and citizens many of whom are residential households and the cumulative costs of these mandates have reached or exceeded thresholds of clear economic burden on low and fixed income households. let me give you a few examples. in lima more than 1/3 of my residents live under the poverty threshold. epa demanded that i spend $150 million for thresholds in a community with 38,000 residents.
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projected average annual sewer bill will be over $870 a year. this means 46% of lima households will be spending 40% of their incomes on sewer bills with 14% of my residents spending nearly 9% of their household income on their sewer bill. in the conference of mayor's study of just 33 california cities 23 cities report that more than 10% of their households are paying 4.5% of their income on water, sewer, and flood control costs. with 10 of those cities having more than 20% of their households spending 4.5%. please keep in mind that these -- that many of these cities have not yet factored in the costs for tmdls which now are estimated to put just the
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cities in los angeles county up to $140 billion, one county $140 billion. how did we get here? when the clean water act and the safe drinking water act were first established, congress set lofty aspirational goals. congress put skin in the game and provided grants to local communities and that investment fostered a reasonable attitude about how to accomplish those goals together. that is not the case now. congress retreated from the grant program primarily because of the high costs, but the implementation of the water policies by successive administrations did not retreat with congress's retreat from funding. quite the contrary the administrations transformed the aspirational goals into unfunded mandates involving hundreds of billions of dollars of costs imposed on local communities.
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let me give you some examples. in cso consent dekraescreesdecrees, they can have no more than four overflows per year. there is no science substantiating the need for that. in some cities they're allowed 14 while in some cases zero overflows engineering a system that could handle any type of storm event with zero overflows is almost impossible needlessly expense sf and wasteful of local resources. in my own city i have a river labeled fishable and swimmable. it dries up in the summer to 4 inch pools of stagnant water. i can safely say no one is ever going to swim in that river, yet we're held to that standard of compliance. bottom line epa is dictating our priorities and where our taxpayer money is spent. i do not want to give any impression that mayors do not care about clean water, we do.
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we care passionately and our actions and investments speak loudly. we need federal, state, government to once again be our partners. we fundamentally believe that change must take place and we're asking congress tohe following. codify integrated planning define affordability, develop reasonable and sustainable goals, allow for additional time and establish a review process to appeal decisions made at the regional level. i thank you for the opportunity to speak here today. >> thank you, mayor. mr. chow is the director of the department of public works in the city of baltimore. mr. chow. >> good morning, chairman ranking member boxer and members of committee. my name is chow. it's my honor to be here today on behalf of the city of baltimore, the water environment federation and the water reuse
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association to discuss the importance of the federal rules in keeping water and wastewater infrastructure affordable. i have over 30 years' experience in working in the water and wastewater field. today you are examining a very important national issue that is near to my heart, how we can address the burgeoning need for investment in our water infrastructure. my boss mayor rollins blake, appeared before this committee's subcommittee back in 2012 to talk about financing water infrastructure using baltimore infrastructure. baltimore is faced with the massive infrastructure mandatory requirements. coming up our open finish water
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reservoirs. this is just a snapshot of the project that we must undertake to upgrade and to meet the -- today's standards. we consider ourselves to be good stewards and the chesapeake bay watershed and take these tasks seriously. how do twee pay for all of these? to say that baltimore is not a wealthy city is a gross understatement. the median household income 40% of the population falls below that national median household income level and 35% falls below the poverty line. this is proportionately impacted by water bill rate increases to pay for the infrastructure.
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my yiten testimony talks about what other organizations are undertaking to identify policy changes and programs that will assist communities and ratepayers dealing with affordability issues. i urge you to review these items in the testimony. senator cann's legislation to reauthorize increased funding in the clean water srf program is an important first step. congress should reauthorize both srf programs to increase the funding to r for them. we know they work well. we have gotten in the last three years over $168 million in low interest loans from the maryland srf program and $4.5 million of principal forgiveness loans. additionally congress should support increased funding from other existing financing grants.
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all these programs are vital to help communities make needed and wise investments in their infrastructure. i speak about the water infrastructure i use the word investment. those of us that are familiar with our federal infrastructure funding programs have long known that the congressional budget office scoring for the program does not fully reflect the complete economic benefits of these programs. for this hearing, wep and water resource association contacted a team of economists to conduct the quick analysis of the economic benefit. although the analysis was not completed, we'll submit that for the record. the analysis estimated that economic impact of srf's spending in four example states
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namely california maryland ohio and oklahoma which represent good cross sections of states across the nation. representatives of geographic size population size as well as rural versus urban population and general age of infrastructure. the model of the analysis was based on the model to estimate the impact of srf spanning output favor income jobs federal tax revenues in the four states. it captures the effects of spending as it ripples through the economy. so for example, utilities spend srf will result in what we call a direct impact which is the construction contractor. when the construction contractor reused that money to buy goods and services that's why we call it indirect effect and then the fact that the indirect spending
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generates employment creating additional incomes for households which result in what we call induced effect. so the total economic impact is the sum of the direct indirect and induced effect. the results of the analysis show that federal investment in water and wastewater through the srf program have meaningful benefits to the economy, u.s. treasury and how holds across the nation. so for starters analysis found the srf spending generates federal tax revenues totals state and federal annual srf spending in the four states average about 4.4 -- 1.46 million. thank you. and so in other words, every million dollars of srf spending is estimated to generate about what we call a 2.25 total output
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for the state economy on the average. i urge the committee and congress continue to support our efforts in the local levels to invest in water infrastructure. the investment we make with your support delivers environmental, public health and economic benefit to our country. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chow. robert moore is from dill oklahoma. he's representing the national rural water association. robert. >> good morning, senator and members of the committee. i am robert moore from rural oklahoma. i am a general manager of the marshall county water corporation. i am representing all small and rural community water suppliers today through my association with oklahoma and the national rural water associations. a member of communities have the public responsibility of
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complying with all federal regulations and for supplying the public with safe drinking water and sanitation every second of every day. most all water supplies in the u.s. are small. 94% of the country's 51,000 drinking water supplies serve fewer than 10,000 people. i want to acknowledge that rural america is very appreciative of you, senator enhoff for standing up for rural communities on environmental issues. your actions have improved the lives of all rural families and the environment and public health. small and rural communities often have more difficulty providing safe affordable water provided for our limited economies of scale. we are regulated to the exact same manner as large communities. in 2016 there are rural communities in the country and
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my county that still do not have access to safe drinking water or sanitation due to the lack of density or the lack of funding. i am what you would call a working general manager. much of my day is spent in the field repairing waterlines operating backhoe, dump truck, helping maintain routine maintenance. if someone loses water in the middle of the night, the emergency call gets forwarded to my cell phone at home. marshall county water has a similar story to tell. many other rural and small -- such as many other rural and small water suppliers. we were starting to provide the first water service to rural communities that had limited access to water or marginal water wells. in 1972 we began operations to supply water to about 800 farms and ranches. the federal government provided that funding to begin and later
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expand our water service through low interest loans from u.s.d.a. we have approximately 15,000 customers to a little over 6,000 towns. in crafting the policy we urge congress to consider the following, first, local communities have an obligation to pay for the water infrastructure and federal government should only subsidize water infrastructure when the local community can afford it and there is a compelling federal interest such as public health compliance or economic development. we have recently been denied a $3 million usda low interest loan for 15 million raw waterline. usda determined that we could afford a commercial loan from the bank and did not need the federal taxpayer to subsidize our water infrastructure.
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the spending programs achieve this principal objective which requiring the programs. is it needs space targeting credit elsewhere, means testing or focus on compliance issues. this year's epa budget decreased spending for srs and substantially increased funding requests for the wifia program. this gives the appearance that limited federal water subsidies are being moved from programs targeted to the neediest communities to the communities with less need. second all epa water funding programs primarily be dedicated to the compliance issues with epa federal mandates and standards. third, profit generating water
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companies should not be eligible for federal taxpayer subsidies. in closing, please know that the sfrs have no limited size -- limitation on size or scope of a water project and can currently leverage federal dollars to create a much larger loan portfolio. oklahoma currently operates a leverages dollars at a one to ten ratio. according to the epa, most srf funding is allotted to large communities. a simple review of projects funded by the sf included in my testimony show numerous projects funded that cost over $50 million and some over $1 billion. thank you all for your assistance and for this opportunity. i'll be happy to answer questions. >> thank you very much, mr. moore. mr. arnt from pennsylvania is here representing the american water works association.
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>> good morning, mr. chairman ranking member boxer and members of the committee. i want to thank you on behalf of the 50,000 plus water professionals that make up the membership of the american water works association or awwa for this opportunity to provide comments on the critical issue of affordable financing for our water infrastructure and in particular what the federal role should be. awwa has had two long standing policies which bear on infrastructure financing. first, that water service should be provided by utilities that are self-sustaining from local rates and other charges and, second that water infrastructure can best be financed with a multi-faceted toolbox recognizing that there is significant diversity among water systems in our country and their infrastructure needs also differ widely. i'd like to provide some context
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for these suggestions that i'll make in a few minutes because i think they're important to set the stage for the circumstances that we face. there are many studies and reports out there which attempt to analyze or estimate what our country spends on average annually for water infrastructure. and those results vary widely however, most of the results seem to hone in in the vicinity of 30 to $50 billion a year and it's important to recognize that that number fluctuates widely from year to year based on circumstances such as the general economy, interest rates, the regulatory requirements that are imposed and also competing local demands in many of our communities. what is very clear, however, is that the annual need for investment in our water infrastructure is going to grow dramatically in the coming decades.
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by most estimates it will at least triple and possibly even quadruple by 2040. in 2012 awwa produced a report that's called buried no longer confronting america's water infrastructure challenge. that report addressed one narrow area of our water infrastructure specifically it looked at our aging water mains. and what that report concluded is that we will require an investment of 1 trillion dollars over the next 25 years just to replace the water mains that will become obsolete during that time frame. that has -- that number includes nothing for other growing drinking water needs nor for cso or fso or other wastewater types of issues. clearly significant numbers when you compare to what we're currently spending. another important feature to recognize that water services are the most capital intensive
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that we provide in our country. what this means is when we invest bigger dollars, more dollars in that water infrastructure it is going to have a big impact on rate and, in turn will have a big impact on the affordability of those water rates to the consumers. we believe given these circumstances that we have to do two things and we have to pursue these efforts relentlessly. first, we need to preserve existing sources of water infrastructure capital and add new sources to the toolbox to address those needs that are unmet by current tools. we also need to find ways to reduce the cost of the capital that is available for water infrastructure. in our written testimony we identify four areas where we believe that the federal government has an important role. specifically they include tax
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exempt bonds, the water infrastructure finance and innovation act, the state revolving loan funds and private activity bonds. in my comments -- remaining comments i'm going to address the first two, not because the other two are unimportant but i believe others - those other two will be addressed by other panelists here today. with regard to tax exempt bonds, it is important to recognize that tax exempt bonds are currently the largest source of funding for water infrastructure. between 75 and 80% is currently funded funded by that vehicle. tax exempt bonds are used by 70% of the utilities across the country. we acknowledge that the concerns and the scrutiny on tax exempt bonds that is currently under discussion but we believe that concern is wholly inappropriate considering that they are used
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in the case of water infrastructure to finance essential public services. as water utilities, we need billions of dollars annually for water infrastructure and we need to have lenders who can provide those billions of dollars. recognizing -- recognizing the tax treatment, a steady stream of revenue and the security of the investment investors willingly accept a below market interest rate and that interest rate is passed along to the utilities who use those tax exempt bonds. in turn those savings on to financing are used to or maintain the rates to customers and improve the affordability of rates. if we take away this financing, the cost of capital and the customer rates that follow will rise to unprecedented levels and create unprecedented difficulties for affordability, particularly in our older cities. with regard to wifia, i first of
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all want to thank the committee for their role in enacting wifia as part of the werda bill in 2014 and more recently removing the bill to provide the local match for wifia loans. we think that is a great step forward. wifia is clearly one of those tools -- >> you're quite a ways over your time. please wrap up. >> i'm listening to what he's saying. >> i will wrap up quickly. >> that's been another one of our mutual projects by the way so -- >> very proud of that. >> we have four recommendations with regard to wifia and they're in our testimony. most importantly, we need an appropriation so that program can be launched and that money can be put to work for water systems across the country. thank you for your attention. >> that was excellent. mr. guyser was here from phoenix, arizona, representing the national association of
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water companies. >> good morning, chairman enhoff ranking member boxer and members of the committee. i'm the president of ep core water and serve as the current president of the national association of water companies representing the regulated private water industry. i'm pleased to join you today to talk about water infrastructure action the federal government can take to advance innovative and sustainable solutions in meeting the nation's needs. nawc members range in size from large national and regional companies serving millions of customers to serving less than a few hundred connections. they are regulated by state utility commissions and have one of the best track compliance records in the industry. collectively we serve $70 million americans. we believe that we can improve water infrastructure by investing in plant improving customer service and reliability
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and creating jobs. we applaud this committee for bringing water structure issues to the forefront and your leadership in advancing necessary changes to advance and preserve water infrastructure. i'd like to emphasize a few points regarding private water's role as part of the solution to our infrastructure and resource needs. it's unfortunate that our aging and deteriorating infrastructure threatens the viability and public health. communities nationwide faced with massive fiscal challenges and competing priorities to replace critical infrastructure such as in flint, michigan. we have a failing grade of d for the current funding gap estimated to be as high as 1 trillion dollars. addressing the needs requires the private sector as federal funding alone will not be able to bridge the federal funding gap. this will require congress to ensure that the private water industry is p solution. the private water sector
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continues to help communities with significant capital investment. newc's six largest members which serves about 6% of the u.s. population are collectively investing $2 billion annually in their systems. this is significant when compared to the latest federal annual water association of $2.25 billion. clearly the private sector has the financial capacity resources and expertise to deal with the challenges that plague many of our cities. sustainable water management requires long-term resource planning. we operate in multiple decisions. these range from water conservation programs to developing wastewater recycling and recharge facilities or long term regional agreements such as what epcore agreed to.
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first, support in the nation's water challenge can be achieved through public/private partnership. our member companies have experience with delivering superior water service while freeing up scarce municipal funds for competing priority projects. these same models can be provided to broader water augmentation to solve state water projects to address growing water scarcity requirements. unfortunately current rules and regulations create impediments for many municipalities from entering into cost saving agreements. congress the administration can act to remove various access to vast potential of private capital in much needed water infrastructure projects. we recommend the following volume acts for water projects allowing for success and the alignment of our critical success with airports
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high speed rail and disposal. clarify the internal revenue code to define the benefit of p 3s so long term concession agreements are no longer penalized. thirdly, expansion of state revolving funds so private water utilities are no longer limited in their use of clean water funning. in addition, fully implement the wifi ensure that private companies have equal opportunity to participate and fully leverage those same programs. finally, establish a final centralized offices providing central services to all municipalities with this model. mr. chairman and committee members, thank you again for the opportunity for the nawc to address you today. we're committed to work with you, our industry colleagues and stakeholders to meet the answer questions after. >> very good. thank you. mr. olsen is the director of the health program for the natural resources defense council.
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mr. olsen? >> thank you, chairman. thank you, senator boxer and other members of the committee. it's an honor to testify this morning on behalf of the 2 million members and activists at the natural resources defense council. i wanted to summarize, it's been more than 30 years i've been working on drinking water and water infrastructure issues and we've been talking about deferred maintenance, about the failure to upgrade treatment and upgrade technology steady deterioration of our water supply for many many years. and i found myself in agreement actually with several of the points that have been made earlier, that we really need to be making these investments. we've long known that wastewater and drinking water infrastructure are deteriorating. frankly, the chickens are coming home to roost. where we are now is what we've all taken for like rotten eggs, that
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it tasted awful.
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they switched back to tap water. unfortunately her family started to suffer from adverse health effects and in june of 2014 miriam had a miscarriage. she had never had a miscarriage before. she started getting skin rashes. clumps of her hair started to fallout. a doctor prescribed treatments for her hair loss which helped a little bit, but her skin rash continued. her husband also had skin rashes and hair loss. her son was 13 and had a bad outbreak of eczema sores across his back and this happened after the water changed. it got far worse than it had ever been. they stopped using the flint water for bathing and his rashes disappeared.
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miriam read that the contamination can be linked to miscarriages and complications in pregnancy and told us just not knowing whether lead exposure may have caused my miscarriage is really painful. she worried about the effects on iq of her children and their ability to learn. she is really worried about continuing to have to work and used bottled water for cooking and drinking. she takes her kids to her parents on a different water supply to bathe them which is quite an inconvenience and took an emotional poll on her family. it's really easy to forget that we are really dealing with really people who are adversely affected and unfortunately we have a widespread problem with lack of investment. i think a lot of utilities and improving the infrastructure
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but we have huge challenges. we do not want a water system where wealthy people get good water that is clean and safe and poor people get crummy water that is threatening their health. we have a backlog of investment and water infrastructure. we need to fix this problem fast. infrastructure investments, the good news is creates a lot of good jobs and we support as our testimony highlights investments in this area. i wanted to point out that there ways we can reduce the cost for citizens that are paying for water bills. i lay out several of them in the testimony including protecting the water before it gets contaminated. polluters are paying to clean up rather than consumers paying to take them out of the water. the council affordability group that i served on had several recommendations including a low income water assistance program.
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affordability rates for consumers and targeted compliance and increased funding. i realize my time is almost out and i will highlight the seven recommendations briefly. first we need to fix the infrastructure and bill 2579. second we need to invest in the water infrastructure and we support the senator's bill that would increase the funding. we need to fix our source water protections and we need to address small system regionalization to cut cost and fix the lead in copper rule and let citizenings act when there is endangerment to their health. thank you very much for the opportunity to testify. it's an honor. >> thank you, mr. oleson. 27 years, is that right?
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>> yes, sir. i'm a slow learner. you are here representing the conference of mayors and can you tell us why the epa planning policy is not sufficient to address the mayor's concerns about the affordability? >> first of all, i think part of our -- i can say for a fact because lima was the first city will be involved in planning. we would never have gotten to the point of actual agreement
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without the policy. it does give us the flexibility that we need to proceed and move forward. they have a champion in headquarters that created the policy and worked through with us the negotiations of the regional office. our concern is the fact that it is a policy. it should be cotified so that cities across the country have the opportunity to use it to do their long range planning and priority setting for their own systems. we are coming up on a process that we are in of electing a new president. who knows what happens to that policy under the next administration.
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we know of only four communities and we have evansville indiana and springfield, massachusetts and spokane, washington. our concern is that this is an opportunity that cities have but are not able to implement. it needs to be part of the law. that's a widespread experience.
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we are treated as polluters. we are not treated as stewards along with the state for the public environment for our systems it took us ten years and the attitude out of the seajs very real for most cities. >> and we also use integrated planning to try to manage our $4 billion worth of capital projects. we do experience that as we negotiate and we do get more
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favorable comments or support from the headquarters rather than from that. >> the the senator over here he introduced in the past and it is now law that establishes technical assistance for small and rural communities that you are representing. do you think that bill should include communities needing wastewater mandates? >> yes.
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>> in our state, there a lot of the teals around and a lot saying you are rep sending them well and things we can do in our committee. senator boxer? >> thanks mr. chairman. many say that in addition bread, water is the staff of life. you are dealing with something that is critical and i thank you for all your passion about it. i really do and dedicating your life to it. everybody takes it for granted. or a woman has a miscarriage. all of us together. we are in this together. it's not an us versus them situation. when something goes wrong or when a child we are focusing on
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things that i believe are secondary. let me you something. we have spent $2 trillion. to say we can't afford it is bologna. we can afford the war. not with my vote but we can afford the war. we can afford this. i appreciate all of you coming here to help us figure out how we can do this and not harm our people. i want to talk about a few of those things. i wanted to ask mr. oleson with overflows and sewage overflows. we are focused on what we should be.
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what about the overflows? >> this is definitely a concern. from a public health standpoint very often raw sewage is dumped into lakes and streams. that can cause massive contamination and we see beaches being closed and people getting sick and water-bourne disease from swimming and being exposed. >> it is a problem that should be addressed. >> definitely a big problem in hundreds of communities. >> that's what the studies are showing. it's disgusting and we have to fix it. we can argue over everything. we have to fix it. i want to be your partner. the first part of your testimony i agree with but the rest i found disturbing. you mentioned my state and you talk about what it costs. i want you to know that my state has tougher environmental laws in the federal government a. that's what the people there
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want. okay. b, no one in l.a. ever called me to complain. who is it you talked to that i can contact and say what are the problems? >> you mentioned los angeles. who told you they are upset about this? you do not represent l.a. you tell me who is complaining and i would appreciate it if you send it in writing. you complain that they resist flexibilities. we want to get it done as much as you do. maximum flexibility and insist on unrealistic time tables for meeting requirements. your consent provides the city 24 years to come into compliance
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with the clean water act. this consent comes after years of the city fails to comply with water quality requirements. it is also my understanding that you have one of the longest consent decrees in the country. is 24 years the:? >> it's not. >> it isn't. >> it took us years of negotiation in order to be able to deal with the agency. >> you didn't mention the fact that your efforts paid off. let the records show you have a 24-year consent to create. do you think it's appropriate for cities to make improvements to stop the disarnlgs into waterways used by our kids some. >> i believe it is appropriate for us whether it is combined sewer overflows to minimize those kinds of problems.
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there also instances and many instances where the requirements are not realistic. >> i understand. you said that. mr. chow would increased funding of the programs that are helping increase funding and help the communities facing the issues. we all care about that. >> he definitely would and the fact that we are forced to pay for the local money to pay for the rehabilitation of the infrastructures and starting with the federal dollars. >> i will close because i know my chairman wants me to. i will. i want to thank you for your kind statements. we are excited about it and we have to fix it. we have to fix the rural needs. we are very excited about it and we think it's a new tool and we think the leverage will be fantastic. thank you. >> thank you, senator and now that i teed you up with the legislation, you are recognized. >> thank you.
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so much to say and five minutes is inadequate. it is a fact that they used discretion to actually reduce the availability of technical assistance to small communities by 75%. this eliminated the writers in my state of mississippi and i appreciate the chair mentioning the legislation that they championed last year. the grass roots of small community act. this was signed into law by the president and they are in 2015. let me you what we are facing in mississippi. the town has 400 people. they are being told they have to spend $4 million. lawrence county water system would have 2,000 persons. the town 7y of population 400.
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the current permit. they have to spend another $1 million. the town of utica with 850 purposes is facing $1 million compliance upgrade. i don't know why anybody runs for city council or mayor in these small towns. my hat is off to them for trying to make small towns and local governments. the small town of shaw. 1900 people. because of a broken chlorinator. the city has approximately 2300 persons. $87 million to pay for a new sewer treatment facility that epa is mandating on them because
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of nitrogen and phosphorus discharges. they had hoped that i had a very minimum legislation that the president signed that would result in a return of circuit writers increasing regulatory requirements. sadly the circuit writers have not returned to my state with the assistance that they have provided to us. we see the unfunded mandates. is epa insisting on a cadillac
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for the communities when actually a used chevrolet would do all right? is there a little ground there? i'm very concerned about the horror stories that senator boxer mentioned. i think we are led in the water, completely unacceptable. children swimming in lakes polluted by raw sewage and unacceptable anywhere particularly in the united states of america in the 21st century. is there a balance there that the regulators would come in and treat you like the prosecutors? is there a balance that we are missing and what can you tell us? >> first i would say that even as a top priority to we would
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not put out water and comparing a cat look system or something that a big municipality would compared to us. we have to have the facilities that create that safe water. there is only so much you might say bells and whistles that go on the bigger water treatment plants that we don't i don't know what was the other? >> mr. burger how can the small communities and towns pay for the mandates? >> senator, i think part of it has to do with what the requirements are.
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i think the opportunity for technical assistance is essential to be able to make certain they have proper technical advice about what is appropriate. when it comes to the actual affordability issue, there is no question that federal government needs to become a major funder in the form of grants. grants are made to states and states turn around and loan the monies to cities. that impacts the and makes it unaffordable. the federal government needs to look back at the time of the clean water act first being implemented and the safe drinking water act and look at the successes that were achieved when the federal government had >> thank you very much.
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>> thank you, senator. >> i was at the wssc plant on monday and i am proud of the commitment that the local governments of maryland have made to make sure we have safe drinking water and we do. it's not a cadillac or a used chevy. we are rebuilding the model t. they are 100-year-old plants. it was state-of-the-art. state-of-the-art. we are modernizing it but it's still the 100-year-old facility. it's a struggle and we all want to make sure that regulations are done as efficiently as possible. bottom line is we must make sure
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there is safe drinking water for the people of our country. what happened in flint was outrageous i think we understand that. there was conscientious decisions there that should have been made. we have problems throughout this country. make no mistake about it. in washington, d.c. the early part of last decade they led to water for 42,000 children. we closed the drinking water fountains in all the public schools. the reason is not that the water is not safe coming into the community. it's the connections into the facilities that contain lead. they can't be used so we have serious modernizations. they communicated that your organization studies showed in 2012 that there was $1 trillion backed up in infrastructure
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improvements that could be spent and epa did a study that shows over $6 billion in the next 20 years to modernize. i was listening to each one of them. the rate payers can't burden that type of amount. the authorities that you all like to see, but you look at the state revolving funds, it's one third the level it was in 2009. i want to thank the chairman and ranking members because they are trying to do something about that. we will try to rhea authorize the fund at a level that i think reflects with the federal partnership and what they should be. they tried to make more predictable and a reasonable amount to deal with the needs
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out there. we will continue to try to make the investments and legislation and i thank the leadership for encouragements that we are pursuing. i wanted to give you an opportunity to respond to a point that you made in your statement. recent findings of benefit analysis on the state federal revolving fund and the way this is scored doesn't always reflect the economic cost and benefit of the federal investment. could you elaborate on that more? >> sure senator. >> it's traditionally when you are looking at the fund and we are looking at the money coming from the government or the state or that is one-sided. those state and federal, the four states in the study that we
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just showed the total state and federal investment for the years 2012 to 2014. it amounted to about $1.46 million. >> that is in terms of the tax from that investment. if we are looking at the federal portion of srf that is 23% of the total combined federal and state. every million dollars generated $695,000 in terms of the federal tax from the states. in other words, it's $695,000 in tax revenues generated boy a federal investment of $1 million. >> on obviously we are interested in clean safe drinking water and there is an
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economic impact and the committee understands that and i appreciate your testimony. >> thank you, senator. senator fisher. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i thank the witnesses for being here today. we need to discuss the real world implications of these unfunded federal mandates as well as the lack of flexibility and the communities are facing. the affordability of water and wastewater is a critical concern around the country. in my home state of nebraska the city is faced with the challenge of addressing a $2 billion unfunded combined overflow mandated from the epa. the cost to the 600,000 residents in omaha's service area is a burden. it's hart on our low and fixed income residents. mr. mayor, i would like to ask
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you a question. in your testimony you discussed the extensive and the costly process that your city endured to reach an agreement with the epa's requirement mandate. in your experience what are the necessary tools that congress can provide municipalities and communities to better equip themselves to comply with the mandates with the cso. >> thank you, senator. i believe that first of all, the critical element of integrated planning what they demonstrated had no health impact or environmental impact. that will cost us $30 million to eliminate. we were able to push those off to a later time while we took on
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much more serious issues relating to the csos. thatability is part of integrated planning and needs to be part of the law and shouldn't just be a policy. the second issue is around affordability. the conference of mayors developed proposals for how to in fact define affordability based upon not mhi because meeting household income masks the impact that these costs will have on low income households. we believe that a definition of affordability which absolutely respects the limits of a community resources is important to getting to solutions. and we think that additional time the clean water act.
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and what we have accomplished didn't happen overnight. what has been accomplished to the nation's water took 40 years to get to this point. things must be accomplished in 10 or 15 years as the norm. they are really not realistic. part of the challenge of dealing with affordability is allowing for the kind of time that communities need to accomplish within their budgetary means. >> right. could you speak more about the necessity to address those high priority control measures and specifically what impact does that prioritization have on public health and water quality. how can we have omaha be able to benefit from the prioritization
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flexibility? >> that comes back to any system. there places where things are happening at higher levels and more frequency and events there are places which do not have that frequency or impact. that's the key to getting to something that is reasonable in any given community. >> thank you. >> the mayor just spoke about the medium household income and in your testimony you spoke about the impact on epa when the agency looks at the communities's affordability to cover the unfunded mandates and you specifically mentioned that the benchmark that is used there, can you explain why the
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medium household benchmark is harmful to the low and fixed income families? >> sure. as i mentioned, baltimore is 40%. 40% off the populations in the cities are below median household income. they are below the poverty line. if you are looking at the median household income the curve is skewed. you are looking at that. >> what should they look at? >> at the low end meaning folks that are most vulnerable and that's the greatest economic impact to that population. we raise water rates, for example and across the board. what the locals end up having to do they come up with programs that will assist senior citizens as well as low income citizens to help offset. so looking at the low end is
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more practical and reasonable. >> thank you. mr. chairman we have a lot of low income residents and people on fixed incomes who are being hit right now with their water and sewer bills and anything we can do to provide the flexibilities. >> three quick points i would like to make. when you are talking about wastewaters, you are talking about real estate. location location location are the keys and very often what is reasonable is in the eye of the beholder. there is a conflict between the upstream and the downstream. i would say that there a bunch of municipalities in massachusetts who are up the black stone river from rhode
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island and they think they are doing what is reasonable for getting rid of their wastewater and their overflow into the black stone river and they rouged back hard trying to get them to clean it up. the black stone river leaves and comes down and flows through the municipalities and we have to deal with water that is not clean. they haven't bothered to do what steps. they have a different opinion. the second point that i would like to make is for all of the mockery and scorned conversations about climate change that are generated from that side of the committee. in rhode island they are at the door and this is not a hypothetical for us. what we are seeing is the things
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that are most clearly connected with climate change. from the weather point of view and from a general point of view it's sea level rise if they want to repeal that. the sea level will rise. they will get it and we are already seeing that. they have the flooding and our towns of west war and cranston have their sewage facilities flooded out by the rising river. they stop on a highway overpass when they were flooded and looking down into the war. they have the buildings and everything else. all the sewage was off and down and out of the people's yards. if you are talking about how individual communities should pay for that pretty tough to
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tell warwick and suddenly they have no cause with 15 to 20 years ago that they weren't anticipated are drowning out your system. on the coasts it's worth our sea grant program and our university of rhode island have identified ten at-risk coastal wastewater treatment facilities. the sea level rise and stronger storms mean flood zones and treatment plants were now there. who is going to pay to move that. you can pay and they didn't cause the sea level rise. it wasn't that years years ago was anticipated. i urge my colleagues to say what
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you want about the sea level rise. it hits home. they haven't seen these before but here's a pipe from the water and they have a hole in the middle because it has been filled up with sediments over the years. we have been removing the water suspect in the communities. we have a big, big catch up gap just in time that this ain't a chevy or a cadillac.
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this is something that we don't get the concerns we have experienced. the attention to this i think working on these infrastructure issues we appreciate his interest in it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you and the ranking member for the important one and i want to commend the witnesses today. i read through your testimony and really appreciate the first views and a lot of insights that
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that. a number of those in my state is a big difference. i'm sympathetic with communities that have to get rid of pipes and have to deal with old aging infrastructure. they have no running water and use honey buckets and trust me the honey buckets don't smell good. that's a euphemism. i will work with the committee and talk to the ranking member about this a little bit and try to address some of these urge end issues. as i mentioned, one in four rural homes lack running water
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and flush toilets and as you know particularly those from the rural communities can lead to those in america. i wanted to ask mr. moore you were talking about the small paradox. even if we did have infrastructure or tried to upgrade it in a lot of small communities. there is no ability to affordize with the lack of population base that hits critical mass. i top the open it up to anybody else. >> we want to try to reach out
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for those and they have wells that are water quality. and they have the ability to bond that you have a different step. >> as long as you know combined with the grant. >> onest things we need to look
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at closely. and they use a substantial part of their funding for the small system needs and the state of pennsylvania and certainly given the volume of dollars that are available through the state revolving loan funds, it's and there is a direct linkage there. there is no silver bullet but my authority over the last 40 years has acquired approximately 40 systems in pennsylvania. of those systems, all but two or three were small systems and what we were able to do is leverage the core system to solve problems in the smaller
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systems whether it's replacing supplies. that may not be practical. it's no longer a partner to local government that is it once was. the agency instead assumed the role of a prosecutor. even for small towns like you
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mentioned. and is there anything you should see from a standpoint of the epa. and what should we do to share that. >> in the consent to create process, you have not just the agency but you have the department of justice. this is a hostile set up. the principal fix that can change that is to take it and transform it to a permitted process. this set of arrangements made between the state and federal governments and locals doesn't have to be enforced and can be built into permits that will be
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renewed with a set of obligations that get attached to it overtime. i want to thank you for being here today. i want to talk to you about the issues that they have much greater land mass and fewer people than anybody else in the united states. those are particular challenges and i think we found that the places that have the least amount of resources are asked to comply at the same levels that it's difficult because you have to go to the rate payer to first try to see if you can have a public service commission and that's how it is regulated.
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to help rural people to get over the hump. >> and getting the ideas that hopefully can solve a problem rather than bringing in millions of dollars of new equipment because we can't afford that. >> when you are doing a replacement, what resources are
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you looking at? i don't know if oklahoma has a state infrastructure bank or anything of that nature. what if you enumerate them quickly. >> yes. we do have that. that's the administrative through the water resources. and then the usda will develop it. >> that's normally where your resources are. okay. >> i would like to talk about public-private partnerships because in the last bill we passed which we think has promise in terms of being able to access public and private dollars to maximize the availability of resources. how do you see that and are you familiar with it number one and it hasn't been funded yet and maybe we will have a better
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answer. what kind of promise do you think that has? >> thank you senator. we think it has a lot of promise with the fact that we feel it will go ahead. it allows for both of blending of federal funding as well as private money to come together and leverage that out properly. as we said in the testimony, the infrastructure gap is so great that we don't think that federal funding will be able to bridge the gap and bring in the other funding resources through public-private partnerships and a big part of the partnerships is not just the funding component, but the risk transference that happens between the municipality and the customer and the company taking on the risk. we feel that through what we accomplished through public-private partnerships they can generate the customer as a definitive delivery of a
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model for fixed price and fixed delivery over the life of the project. the infrastructure is very important and the life over the next 30 years of operations before you turn that infrastructure back to the client. >> i know the transportation that allowed a lot of ppps to move forward, one of the things we do through the rativity of our governor is to have the company forward fund the project and have the state reimburse over a longer period of time. you cut not just the initial dollar but you cut the timing and you can front end load it. do you see that as the same possibilities? >> very much so. >> the dollars will go further. >> they will. our company is in the process of building the largest p 3 project
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in regina canada. it's a treatment plant for compliance reasons and they have a 30-year ongoing operation maintenance program. the timeline you are correct. to crunch this down and turn the financing is critical in these value generations. >> i'm a big supporter with you. >> senator? they had the highest water bills and the worst water in terms of quality simultaneously. in a very poor community. they know communities that are poor or disproportionately
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harmed by this issue and other environmental issues. as we saw in flint, michigan the timeliness of reporting water quality issues to the residents and the problem, they took too long for the proper agencies to receive notification and of the extent of the pressure and too long for the information to be relayed to the citizens of flint. does anyone disagree that one way to get the epa information would be to require states to inform the epa about persistent violators or systems who have serious violations. does anyone disagree with that? >> senator, i believe they are already required to do that. >> they are already required? >> yes. >> none of you disagree with
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that and it's already a requirement. >> does drinking water quality increased if it was online and reported electronically instead of through annual paper reports? >> we agree and in fact our utilities are moving to the online reporting. >> would that be a reasonable requirement for them to do it online rather than the paper reports. >> that's what we are doing, yes. >> does anyone disagree? >> the only difficulty is for them to go to an electronic-based report. there elements that are not accessible to that kind of information, surprisingly. i think the best way is to do it in both fashions. >> you are saying that flint, michigan would not have the capacity to report that? a poor community would not be able to do it electronically as
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opposed to on paper? >> i think what he was saying is the customers may not have the ability to receive that electronic information. >> ultimately should a community have that capacity. even if the individuals have it within. even in a minority community you have well over 50% who have a digital access that would make it possible for them to report. >> i would think you would find general agreement in the waterworkses industry that electronic distribution is a preferred approach. you have to be careful so that you can reach every one of the customers. >> so that we are clear, communications issues between agencies with the flint crisis does anyone disagree that the cdc and state and local public health agencies should be immediately notified of drinking water violations are found that could have an adverse effect on
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public health so that the public agencies can help to detect and respond to the illness or evidence of exposure. >> we are pretty much doing that as part of the water quality program as is. >> does anyone disagree that encouraging realtime monitoring can ensure that the concerns that may have adverse effects on human health are handled in a timely manner. obviously that's not the case. that's not the situation. >> senator, realtime implies a huge sophisticated system for testing and evaluation. again, i think that what's now
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required is a timely report and think flint broke down not because of reporting, but because there were pretty bad decisions made deliberate human decisions made that with a variety of circumstances that just built on itself. my sense is that the regime in most places allows for the kind of notification and timeliness that you are seeking. >> yes, sir. >> senator, i think there was a combination of problems in flint that some of it was the lack of swift reporting and adequate testing. we certainly would strongly support immediate reporting of violations and reporting that to public health authorities in the case of health threats and frankly blood lead levels are not being reported to cdc and i
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know there is legislation for others who propose to address that. >> thank you. >> mr. moore, shortly after the clean water act in 1971 they are continuing to appropriate money to provide nonprofit organizations. experience with expertise in the water and wastewater industry. to assist in operations and training and management and regulatory compliance for the water in the wastewater systems. the epa over the last several years have shifted and provided that on the ground technical assistance in training to other methods that included funding entities with all the experience in the system with no established relationships with the utilities being served and things like webinars used as a
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primary tool to provide outreach and training for people on the ground. we want communities and utilities to use a website or webinar or call some university-automated help line to get help or is it better to have them rely on experienced boots on the ground technicians who can provide on sight training and technical assistance. i would appreciate your thoughts on that. >> i know that the circuit rider program has taken cuts and a lot of states have lost circuit writers. there is nothing wrong with the the webinars but we have many small systems that may have 100 users. they operate out of the office. and the webinars and they can
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come in and they see the infrastructure for the problem and they normally have that. >> they are there for that reason and they have seen other systems, the neighboring systems across the state. they gathered that information and they can bring that information that applies to the system in your testimony and you talked about the on site technical assistance that requires them to comply with the rules. the technical assistance to
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utilities that lack the expert cease to comply with the epa. >> yes it's critical that we fund these. they are on the very small cities. they rely on that technical assistance. >> the question that you might have insight into we have several small communities. southwest wyoming where they were in compliance with epa's arsenic contaminant level standard until that was changed from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion a number of years parts per billion years ago. they had levels in low 20s, but epa lowered the level from 50 to 10. for decades, 50 parts per
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billion was acceptable health level. suddenly it's changed. it's very expensive, very cost prohibitive to implement technology to get down to the 10 parts per billion. some engineering quotes in first years in the millions to get that um number down. for a community of 200, 400 people that money is out of reach when you think of other issues a mayor has to deal with other people clamoring for the same money, more bang for the buck. should we reduce regulatory burden on the acommunities to allow them to have funds to address the immediate safety and health challenges to give authority to make these decisions? >> sir, there's no question the technology of measurement changed dramatically over the last 40 years. who could have imagined we would
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be measuring things down to -- following the measurement, the regulations have become mandates to treatment levels the question becomes for any given circumstance when looking at a single regulation how does that compare to the other public health challenges that a community has? i think often they come in a siloed kind of way, charged with this particular mandate and ignore the rest of the mandate that a community might have. i think, again, integrated planning allows folks to be able to look at all challenges in front of them make choices and set priorities and that's why it has to become a part of the law.
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>> senator carper. >> thanks so much. i apologize for arriving late. we've had analgesia a classifya classified briefing on another session. thank you for being here. thank you for attending and responding to giving us your thoughts and responding to your questions. i'd like to ask a series of questions. i'm going to ask for each of you. yes or no answers, initially. and i'm not going to ask mr. olson, i'm not going to ask you to respond to these questions. really more for folks that are representing a utility or maybe city that has provides water for its residents. here's the first question. do you charge more for water when supplies are tight? >> no sir. >> no, sir. >> no, sir. >> okay. do you charge more for water use for, say, watering lawns or
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washing cars and for essential functions like drinking and bathing? >> no sir. >> no sir. >> no sir. >> we do have a tiered system that the water rights began $5 per thousand and when it gets over 10,000 it's $7 per thousand. >> okay. >> i think you may have answered this question for yourself. is it mr. moore? mr. moore? >> yeah. >> but do you charge more per person for water use as people use more water? >> yes, it is a tiered -- >> no for each of you. go ahead. >> we do not. >> okay. >> actually our is a declining rate. the more you use the lower the unit rates becomes. >> okay. all right. go ahead, mr. moore. >> new york i was -- i was saying ours is escalating tiered system the water cost goes up. >> the opposite of what
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mr. chow? >> yes. >> okay. and -- >> same question. >> county authority has multiple different rate schedules depending on service areas. some cases a flat rate the same rate is charged no matter what the use. in some cases declining rate where there are lower rates as consumption increases. >> okay. >> we have rates accelerated, so the largest tier is that much more of your bill as well. so not only increasing but increasing domatically. >> this is for all of you, including mr. olson, why can't or shouldn't we embrace time of use rates or price increases, prices increases demand
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increases, similar to what we do say, with electricity? if you just lead off for us is it mr. burger? why shouldn't we embrace time of use rates where price increases, demand increases like we do with electricity? >> i think it depends upon the stress of the system. if your system has plenty of water, then there's no need to impose those restrictions. we do have authority, under city ordinance that at the point of drought or other kinds of stress shortages, we do and can impose limits on consumption. >> thanks. >> briefly, please. >> no we do not have restrictions set. however, we do get into the drought situation that mayor burger spoke about. >> briefly, why couldn't we or why shouldn't we? not just do you, but the rational? >> well i think, first of all,
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water usages is really individual. individual household, individual residents within the household. usage pattering is different, so on. i mean to sort of set a standard per person how many gallons you can use per day, that may not be practical. >> thank you. briefly. >> especially on a residential rate i have no problem escalating that rate because they use a certain amount for domestic use and then everything above that goes on a lawn or you know something that type of use. >> all right. >> i think one of the issues that relates to technology the availability of the metering capability to do this in a practical way, the other part of it is that in our state we have what it is a uniformity clause you have the same -- charge the same -- the customer the same
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rate within a class so every residential customer needs to be treated the same. so if you have a customer who works night shift and therefore perhaps uses water differently than someone who works day shift, you're creating a disadvantage or discrimination in the rate structure. >> thanks so much. is it guysel? >> correct. >> briefly, same correction. >> sorry? >> very briefly, same question. >> yes. it's all about technology. we have metering that's going from fixed full metering to amr technology now moving to ami technology. we haven't advanced as far on technology side to measure the time of use, never mind to do the repository of all of the data required for 87 -- >> thank you. i have one more yes or no question for each of them if you'd give me an opportunity. >> yes. >> last question should water utilities consider invert the block pricing where prices
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increase with consumption should water utilities consider water block -- >> no. >> it depends -- really depends on the driver in terms of are you trying to stimulate economy and, and/or looking at residential. every community might be different. >> thank you. >> mr. moore? >> i do recognize the difference you know in municipal water and rural water. yes, i do think we have a right to set those rates. >> it should be an option but i think it is very much driven by the specific circumstances of each system whether it is workable or not. >> i would agree with the caveat that the structure -- the cost structures of utilities are
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usually inversely related to the revenue structures and what i mean 70% of costs are fixed but usually 70% of the revenues are at risk on consumption. if you have inclining or increasing block rates, that last block, it's large enough represents a threat to the utility recovering the true costs of delivering the water services. >> last word. >> i would agree that generally, it makes sense to increase the rate with more water use, it encourages conservation and helps low income people pay lower. >> thank you all. thanks very much. >> thank you, senator carper. we've had good participate today. i did -- would like to conclude -- first of all, recognizing there's very significant thing that came from oklahoma it's the wife of the speaker of the house. i want to recognize them. i'd like to also make a comment
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that you get mixed reports from the media as to what's going to happen i have every confidence i talked to the leadership on our side barbara's done the same thing on her side. i'm anticipating we will be able to do this get this out of committee, on the floor, during this work period. and i'd also acknowledge that there are a lot of problems that we have. but there are a lot of solutions for members of the committee. senator cardin's legislation and his proposal for grants to replace lead service lines senator booker's trust fund ideas, senator bozeman's alternative spy bill and in addition we are working on ideas. it's been very helpful to have you folks coming in from your different perspectives and levels give us a better idea from hometown what the problems are. senator boxer? >> thanks senator, so much.
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let me be brief, but take a couple of minutes to thank each and every one of you. thanks senator carper. those questions were fascinating. to the senator from california where we have a terrible drought. so for us to hear well you pay less when you use more it's like culture shock. but i completely understand that every district and every state is quite different from the next. and i think that's critical part of the discussion. but as we move to the water bill, i'm fol he loing the leadership of my great chairman here you don't know how bad it gets until you have a severe drought. then you don't have enough water. i'm going to be looking at desallenation and other ways to help. very briefly, you know all of you want to see more grants rather than loans. and i completely get it. i will work toward that best we can, given resources. if you look at the history of federal grants on water, it's very interesting, mr. burger when the program started, it was 100% grants.
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until 1987. ronald reagan worked with congress because they were putting pressure on federal spending and it changed to the state revolveing fund where there was mortgage of ae of a partnership in terms of funding. but what's important, we have the srf, it was added to drinking water later. the states have -- can come in to pick up the matching too. your states can help you as well. i want to make that point. and i think, as we look at public/private partnerships if it's done right, that's another level of funding we can count on. i want to koes with this and help you'll answer this in writing, all of you. we heard harsh words about the epa and the epa -- being a prosecutor -- what's interesting to me i look at flint. i wish the heck they had been. they were very soft. they wrote little notes behind
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the scenes problem, problem. they were quiet. they weren't aggressive enough. i still don't dismiss the point that you feel like they're prosecutors. but i hate those broad brush comments and i think what's very important is that you write to us and tell us the cases, specifically specifically where they were. now, some of you may not agree that they're prosecutors. but i know a couple of you do. so please give me that in writing because if that's going on that isn't good. so i will say to all of you, thank you very much thank you to my chairman. i'm so looking forward another water bill. we have dwindling time on our partnership here. you'll be here forever but i won't. so as lon as we're a team and proven we can do it i'm counting on you. any word of advice? >> we're going to be doing it. we don't agree on a lot of things? >> really. >> for example, one of the reason that i disagree with her last statement is that i sat on
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that side of the table for a long period of time and i know what bureaucratic intimidation can mean. and i've been suffering from that. but on things that government i believe government supposed to be doing, our highway bill we wouldn't have had a highway bill if she and i hadn't worked together to make this happen. i'd say the same with water bill. it's very significant what's coming up. we're working together. and we are adjourned. >> thank you, everyone.
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senator ted cruz campaigns in indiana today. live coverage of a rally he's holding in franklin indiana, outside indianapolis. it starts at 6:30 p.m. on c-span. indiana holds as presidential primary on may 3rd. donald trump holds a campaign rally in wilkes-barre pennsylvania live 7:00 p.m. and c-span will have live covererererer as well. pennsylvania holds its presidential primary tomorrow.
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>> madam secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states. tonight, on the communicators, safety and security of the u.s. electric grids a topic of a new book by ted koppel. the book "lights out, a cyber attack a nation unprepared surviving the aftermath," looks
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at what could happen how vulnerable the u.s. electric grid is to attack and the degree to which government agencies and electric companies are prepared to respond to an attack. >> the notion that you are going to give over control of the defense of your industry requires that you give up an awful lot of information that a lot of these companies do not want to give up. there was a bill passed last fall in the senate after years of rangeling that now has private industry willing to pass on information to the government. but only after they have sanitized it. >> watch "the communicators" tonight 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> sociologist, lawyers, technologists and researchers talk about surveillance of the african-american community and its effect on freedoms of black
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americans. georgetown law school hosted the event earlier this month. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to surveillance government monitoring of the african-american community, hosted by georgetown law on center of privacy and technology here at georgetown law. we have purposefully for the post-lunch hour scheduled one of the most interesting debates we have this conference. it is a debate about predictive policing and predictive sentencing. for the large majority of american history, police officers' decision to stop a citizen on the street was, in legal terms pred it kaed upon having reasonable suspicion. and up until very recent history, that was a very human decision. that was, of course in some
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cases driven by bias. what happens when a commuter makes that decision? what happens when a commuter not only makes a decision about who to stop who to arrest what happens when the commuter makes a decision as to what that individual's sentence should be? those are questions that are the heart of this panel and we have an extraordinary pan toll discuss them. we have chairing the panel, adjunct professor of law at georgetowning andrew ferguson, david a. clarke school of law sonja starr from michigan law, and christie lane scott, acting director of the private of civilian liberties at united states justice. welcome our panel on predictive policing and sentencing. >> good afternoon. very happy to be here.
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we've got four panelists, one moderator, 45 minutes. so let's get to it. sonja, you can get us started by talking about predictive sentencing. >> thank you. it's an honor to be here. i am not a surveillance expert so i'm learning a lot today. i'm here to talk about the use of actuarial risk assessments in the post arrest criminal justice process by which i mean data driven tools used to predict the future crime risk. these purveyed almost every step of the criminal justice process, bail sentencing corrections, parole decisions. and you'll hear from other panelists about similar methods that are being used for predictive policing. my work focused on critiqueing their use in sentencing and parole but many issues are similar across the board. so an actuarial risk assessment
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is one that bases prediction about the defendant's future crime risk on an algorithm that's grounded in empirical data about the recidivism rates of prior offenders that share the defendant's characteristics. some risk assessment instruments created by state corrections departments. the most popular are corporate products formulas are proprietary. we know something about the variables that go into. defendants done know how risk scores are calculated. what are the variables? the algorithms vary. all contain some variables related to criminal history. the rest vary but there are a few different categories. first, socioeconomic variables which include things like past and present employment housing situations financial stability, ability to pay bills, education, next variables related to one's family background and associates.
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do you have family members in prison were your parented incarcerated incarcerated? friends with criminal records? next demographic variables, particularly gender age, marital status. then there's some of the instruments include psycho social assessment variables, which are usually based on interview with a connections official and ask whether you have an oppositional attitude towards criminal justice system toward authority, toward social norms, et cetera. so race you may notice is not among the explicit variables. this was not true -- rather this was not always true. many parole boards up until 1970s, used risk predictions that were explicitly based on race. but modern instruments are race neutral on their face. most variables that i listed of course are quite strongly race correlated because they're indicators of poverty. and so we can expect these
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instruments to have a racially desperate impact. in my view many of the variables that go into the scores are simply inappropriate and possibly illegal factors on which to base the treatment of criminal defendants. so most of them as i said merely markers of poverty. and i'm not saying that those things are not correlated or predictive of recidivism risk right? crime is obviously correlated with poverty in our society. although we should remember that extent of that correlation may be exaggerated by the fact that what recidivism studies measure, they don't measure crime, that can't be directly observed. they measure getting caught right? so what you're saying is that people who had these characteristics are more likely to be arrested. and that arrest rate may reflect crime differences but also may reflect simply policing
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differences. so but even if we assume that all of those characteristics predict crime rates, that doesn't mean that we should use them to decide how much to punish a person. when we tell a judge sentence this person based on a risk score and we treat indicators of poverty or demographics, et cetera as risk factors in that score, we are explicitly basically telling judges we want to literally punish people for their poverty. that is their score is determined not by what they did in the case but by who they are, who their families are, how much money they have. so i have set forth a constitutional argument against the use of some variables. it's in allow review article. i don't have time to go through detail. it's not especially boundary pushing. there's quite strong existing supreme court precedent that says -- it comes from a case in
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which they -- the state tried to revoke the probation of a probationer who lost his job and the state tried to defend this in part saying look there's all of these studies that show people who have lost their jobs and poor people are more dangerous. and the court said look you can't lump all poor people together and say just because this person shares a characteristic with people who have committed an elevated level of crime in the past that this person is more dangerous, that is nothing more than punishing a person for his poverty. that's exactly how this supreme court described it. that is exactly what today's risk assessment instruments do and i think they run up against that doctrine as well as what should be our moral intuitions. it's somewhat surprising these risk assessment instruments have been embraced by what otherwise progressive advocates of criminal justice reform. risk assessment is a prong in many pending criminal justice
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reform pieces of legislation. and why is that? i think in part people hope that it will help reduce in incarceration allowing judges to identify low risk people who don't need to be incarcerated. my view is that you know that reducing incarceration is important objective, of course but that adopting it through measures that prevent the very people that have been the most disproportionately incarcerated that is people who face markers of disadvantage from taking advantage of it is not the way to go about it. all right. i have much more to say i'm getting a big stop sign. i'll stop. [ applause ] >> andrew's now going to briefly talk about predicted policing. >> in my opening, i'd like to make one major point, which is when it comes to predictive policing the color of
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surveillance is not white. it not black. it's not brown. it's dark. it's hidden. it's secret. it hard to figure out. predictive policing the idea that past crime data can allow predictive hot places hot spots or hot people persons, through algorithmic number crunching is not necessarily discriminatory. race is removed from all of the algorithms. the results has impacts on racial justice, communities of color. and that reason is simple and elemental, the police data comes from police. and all of the implicit and explicit biases policing in america today show up in that data. in this way, predictive policing may not be any worse than traditional policing the question is whether it could be better. i want to sketch out the reality, scope of objective policing give you terms and we will discuss it in the question and answer. to give you the sense of scale,
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predictive policing is only used in major cities like new york los angeles, miami, philadelphia seattle, santa cruz chicago, kansas city, and a host of smaller cities. place based predictive policing, pre predict where burglaries might be thefts from autos might be. violence place based violent crimes gang shoots retaliatory shootings, bars and clubs, we can identify people involve in criminal activity target them through public health models or surveillance. i want to sketch out what these look like and talk in question and answer what to do about them. placed based predictive policing past crime data three types of ideas, type of crime, location of crime, time of crime, are fed into a computer algorithm to forecast heightened risk in a location usually areas are 500 x 500 square foot areas, maybe a city block, and
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police are handed maps with these red boxes and go patrol them. the logic is not some algorithmic magic, it's really some crime is contagious. they tell friends, these are houses you can burglarize. some car theft rings take place in various parking lots because it's easy some environmental vulnerability. in is a contagious factor predictive policing, whos on that. look eighta line dividing the lanes. other programs add in time of day, weather, all of these things to forecast elevated risk in a particular neighborhood particular time. the result isn't a prediction of crime as much as predictions of risk factors in that area where police can patrol. secondarily, subject-based predictive policing, namely predicting people chicago's heat
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list top 400 people people to be victim of the violent crime or perpetrator of the violent crime. people on the heat list get a knock on the door by a detective, social worker maybe some community figure like a football coach. we know you're involved, you have two choices, go to the right, social services, go to the left go to jail. the idea of tar etgeting people is part of the targeting. i want to address how constitutional rights might be be -- unlawful searches seizures, stops frisks and searches. if you are in that box, a police officer has been told to be on look for specific behavior. one of most 400 people most likely to be involve in voo lent
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crime, are your fourth amendment protects changed? i it goes back to difficulty of and why the symposium is valuable. thank you all for being here. my time is up. >> shenary is going to talk about predictive policing and stens stens sentenceing at community level. >> i work for the center for media justice. i'm an organizer there. i'm also an organizer with our bay area. i'm from oakland, california. our bay area black lives matter chapter and direct action training through a couple of different groups across the country. i'm going to talk about three things when it comes to policing predictive policing. a little bit around the data that was talked a little bit
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earlier. the money. and the lack of accountability. and then what's happening on the ground right. >> so the first one is it was kind of brought up assumption that the data is neutral, which we know is not the case right? we know we have historical studies that have proven over and over again that various communities might predict, might do more crime, yet other communities are policed for that crime, right? if that's the case that's the data going into these maps and studies, and it's only going to continue to produce inaccurate information that relies on racist human assumptions. so that's number unand. the other one is that these -- there's an influx of money. it was discussed earlier in one of the panels -- i can't remember exactly which one -- the stingray one, around the amount of money coming in either from the seizure of assets from police departments, but also from the federal government.
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over the last 13 years there's been $23 million that's come in through the department of justice to grants to local community, local police departments for technological policing solutions and a lot of that has gone into predictive policing softwares that are unproven and at this point, there there are several departments saying don't work. because money comes in through grants they're not then given the same kind of accountability for the inflated police department budgets that we're seeing. we have community members that are fighting for community policing or other kinds of policing structures in their cities but millions are being funneled for technologies that don't have the same level of accountability. and the last one, really, around what's happening on the ground. so we have all of these algorithms that are used to really predict crime and to fight crime. but what that means, what's not
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discussed, it's a continuation of the militarization of our police departments. so having kole come from lapd earlier around the use of drones and militarization but these predictive policing practices and technologies were created for the military. they were created to be able to find hot spots in iraq and afghanistan and are now being used in our departments, and police departments across the country, because it can take public dollars into corporate -- into large corporations without the level of accountability and transparency that is required. generally for police departments. the other thing that i would say is there are a lot of different groups that are kind of starting to work on this right? you have, like a center based out of oakland working to produce technology around holding police accountable. we have technology earlier that
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brandon spoke around s.w.a.t. around police accountability and police transparency. there are ways in which community are responding using technological mechanisms to be able to uphold police accountable but don't necessarily know at much around these -- the ways in which predictive policing and predictive sentencing and big data is being used against us. i would say last thing that i've seen in conversations that i've had with activists and organizers across the country, in a lot of different communities, is really that we got to have a sense of it we know that there's money in it. we know that because of the work of organizers across the country, police are -- there's been a massive spotlight on policing in this country. we know that because of that the answer has been how can we use technology to be able to solve that and how can we take
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the human nature out of it and instead using technology to really reproduce historical harms and using the technology to really reproduce structural racism. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> we will conclude with christie. >> good afternoon. i want to thank alvero bedoya. >> predictive policing data an aliftics post 9/11 term of art that integrates approach cutting edge crime analysis crime fighting technology intel intelligence intelligence-led policing preventing crime prevention tactics. the types of detective work to
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solve crimes is not. there are enhanced technical capabilities there's a distinct need to have civil liberty predicts adequately protected. i want to sum up some of the points with respect to some of the funding. i do that in a minute. the term predictive policing data an aliftalytics raises fears, the police may overstep bounds and potentially use information in an intelligence way that abridges 4th amendment as well as 1st amendment and other privacy laws. simply put the term conjures up images of mineority support society. making predicteds is one half of prediction-led policing. it's important to understand and underscore the relationship between federal law enforcement and state and local government. the majority of crimes enforced
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at the state and local level. within the schematic it is important for the federal government to have strong policies considerations to make sure they're not negatively impacted or targeted on the basis of race. the need for clearly defined mission to understand what information collected is clear. in december 2014 eric holder updated the race use policy. it reaffirms the federal government's deep commitment to ensure law enforcement agencies conduct activities in unbiased manner. biased practices as the federal government long recognized including what mr. jim baker talked about today, perpetuate negative and harmful stereotypes. biases practices are ineffective from a law enforcement perspective.
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as former attorney general eric holder stated such practices are simply not good law enforcement. as privacy professionals and attorneys we seek to distinguish intelligence and information which determines what is and what is not protected under federal privacy laws. officials need to be engaged and vol poll policy developments what should be shared with other agencies. at the department of justice, the responsibilities are within various offices within the department and we take a multilayered approach protecting privacy, civil liberties and civil rights. as mentioned in 2014 the white house released a report big data, seizing opportunities, preserving values the result of president obama's 90-day big data report. this report called on the department of justice to examine and focus domestic use of predictive policing and specifically to focus on the more complex predictive technologies.
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for example, not merely mapping crimes that have occurred and searching databases for specific information. as we know data's only as valuable and as good as it is collected. if you're relying on older data and not raw data that is actionable you're not going to get resulted that law enforcement needs to work in their law enforcement mission. so one of the things that was important within the report and within the task was that the department established guidelines for the use of state and local law enforcement because, as we know a lot of this is targeted at their level. so although the federal government because of the federalism and other issues can't tell state and local law enforcement how to conduct their business we can't establish policies and standards of conduct that can be used as a milestone or model for future policing activities. thank you.
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>> thaink you, everyone. i'd like to ask a blunt question. are predictive policing and sentencing racial profiling by another name? i'd like to direct that question to chenyeri first. >> hello. so just a short answer i would say yes. if we arey -- there's two parts. first the fact it does rely on old data that is not neutral, right? that is really the crux of it. the other one is that very similar to what san jay said we have algorithms that are proprier to. we don't know what factors go into them and then how these maps are being created. because of that there's just a lot that's not there. so i would say between the two, it is it's being able to take communities that are already
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overpoliced and now finding new reasons and new neutral reasons to police them again and police them more. >> did you have a response? >> i think one thing that we haven't talked about is need for transparency. and when president obama took office one of the things he mandated open government open date tap one of the things that the governments can do in a real concrete way is to require within certainly required within the federal government but basically encourage the state and local law enforcements to have some sort of privacy policy, some sort of privacy impact assessment that lets public know how the systems are developed, whether or not the proprietary, what are risks in using that date to make sure there aren't tessdesperate impacts with different communities targeted or not communities. >> sonja and andrew would that assuage some of your concerns regarding sentencing and
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policing. >> in terms of transparency it's a key issue to focus. what happens with debates and discussions we can begin demanding that. there isn't transparency. there are certain predictive policing technologies that don't share information. and there's some that are recognizing they need to and they will. perhaps competitor advantage, those might win out. but the governments, police who control data are not giving it up. and i think because of that it's easy to label things as racial profiling where it's more complex. talking about loss of social economic factors, correlations and attempt to remove race but you can't remove race from policing or realities. without transparentcy we are left with those labels. it's incumbent on the federal government to lead that way to demandsparencies have data
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scientists pull it apart, look at consequences. we don't have that now and we need it. >> i think that transparency is certainly important. it's an outrage that defendants can be he sentenced, can have their parole denied can have bail denied on the basis of algorithms they don't have access to. that said i don't think transparency is enough. that's a procedural problem. there's a substantive problem with bases on which the decisions are being made and telling people what bases is part of being able to allow them to make the arguments about what's wrong with it. but there's still substantive problems with the factors being included. i think it's racial profiling? it's not literal racial profiling in the fact that race is not included in the instruments. it is certainly refiling and it's profiling on the basis of a bunch of factors that are
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inappropriate to use. i wish people would use the phrase profiling more often, whether you append the racial or not, because instead, when we talk about these predictive technologies what tends to happen especially when it's sort of in the discussion of potentially progressive policy reforms, is that we use euphemistic language right. >> we refer, for instance sentencing predictions as evidence-based sentencing right? that's almost orwellian euphemism. one thing that they're not based on -- >> it may be muted. tap it right there. >> did that work? >> yes. >> evidence-based sentencing is orwellian based ufeuphemism. it's not based on the evidence
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in the individual's case. it comes from a profile based on what past offenders have done. and i think we like to use sort of an know dine language. one of the attractionses they take a process that is discretionary, subjective people are uncomfortable with the subjectiveness and they make it scientific right? but you know the language of science shouldn't blind us to the fact that we are in fact like calculating these scores based on inpits pitpitutinputs if you hat a judge saying i was going to give you probation but youren parents went to prison and you only make minimum wage so i'm sending you to jail instead, there would be gas gasps in the courtroom. a risk score, we should have those gasps and i think it would
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help for us refer to it as profiling rather than with these sort of technical terms. [ applause ] >> can big data alone ever justify a stop? >> i've written an article on it. >> absolutely. >> i say no. i think that what has happened is that it will -- our 4th amendment standard of reasonable suspicion for a stop if there are articulate factors warrant the belief that criminal activity is afoot, is a loose standard, weak standard and you can take into account anything you want. imagine being that officer on the street right, you've been told to go to this block, be on the lookout for a burglary you go there, there's a person he's holding a bag, normally holding a bag is not a crime, no reason to stop someone.
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but the algorithm told you to be on the lookout for a burglary and burglars have bags. can you stop them? that's the question right? i think the answer is no. i hope the answer to that is no. but the courts are going to have to wrestle with it how do you conceptualize this algorithmic tip. it's based on some data it's not fanciful. but it also lacks a nexus to what you saw, it lacks a understanding, i'm sure the officer himself or herself does not understand basis of it. and yet it's going to be and -- it has been a justification for stopped, we haven't seen the case yet, but it will be a difficult question for the court to pull apart, is this enough and again, my hope when that judge reviews it they'll say no but they'd have to have read my article. so i don't know. >> one more question then we'll open it up. can big data be used for
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intervention? meaning, do we feel differently about it if it's used not by law enforcement but by social workers, mental health professionals, who are respondinging to public health issues as opposed to criminal justice ones? go ahead. >> sure. i think that it's still tricky to be honest. i think that it comes down again where's the data coming from? how is it being calculated? and i think that one of the things to remember is that there's a lot of information we already know. we are already know where poverty is in cities. we already know where there are bad schools. we already know where -- which communities need help in these services. we don't know big data in new algorithms to be able to figure that out, right. >> so the question then is why?
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to whose proffer are we using these tools to answer questions we already have answers to. that would be -- for me -- [ applause ] >> i don't necessarily -- can't speak to the benefit part of. i do know that one of the hopes of the big data group was to really challenge the federal government to come up with concrete benefits for the use of big data. as noted, there are some benefits whether it in the health context, social work in terms of understanding someone's medical history, someone's, you know educational needs, those sorts of things. i do think that a lot of times the discussion is cast in a negative. i think society will benefit. >> so in the correction system sometimes very similar
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algorithms or even the same algorithms are used for needs assessment in which they are -- it's basically like a more benign purpose in which, you know the profile of a person is used to match them to services they might need right? now, you know my problem with that is what chinyere says. you don't need to stamp a number, like a score, on a particular individual to know. if it's true for instance that unemployment is a substantial predictor of recidivism we can take that insight, which there's decades of research supporting some strength of relationship and say, yeah provide job training to people in prison or provide job placement serviceses on re-entry. those are things that you don't
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actually need to do to assign scores to people to do. likewise you know substance abuse treatment, it's probably the people who have addiction problems this is not rocket science. but there's obviously -- i'm not saying there's no potentially beneficial use of gathering data on people that can help for instance and prove re-entry process. i'm not hostile to the use of data. i'm like an empirical researcher on the criminal justice testimony. we need empirically tested things i'm not entirely sure that scoring people is really the way to go about it. >> i think that the public health approach to violence is not something that should be discounted. i think it been shown to reduce violence. certainly youth violence.
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i don't think it has to be connected with policing. i think the risk identification people most likely to be shot or to shoot someone can intervention can happen on a community level without police. i think that that's the difference. it doesn't have to go through the police, all tholethough that is where funding is and why it happens but you could not have the detective, social worker football coach knocken 0 the door. you can have the social work somewhere football coach knock on the door and try to reach the same place of identifying young men, primarily men, primarily men of color, most at risk of getting shot. in chicago, there are a lot of young men of color being shot too many. something needs to be done. if the identification process has to be the same as the remedy of involving law enforcement in that situation. >> we'll open it up to the audience.
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>> my question is what are the ethical concerns of allowing the state to essentially experiment on individuals, including things like these are people getting locked up right. >> what are the ethical concerns of actually doing social experiments? >> so i would actually say it really great. one of the things that came up as you were talking, sewnia, the use of like science and data right, and when we think about the history and especially as it related to black people and people of color, use of science and data has been used for hundreds of years to justify atrocities and used to justify like the continuation of white premise, so for me like this being able to take the people out of it and being able to make it more neutral by the use of data and big data and algorithms
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that are proprier to continues that process. does anyone else want to take on that? >> what's interesting, you can -- there are certainly ethical questions. police have been collecting data on individuals forever, right. >> trace it back to 18th century and see that. so there are ethical questions. there are real concerns at conferences like this should bring out. and i lope that the police and doj and folks take seriously some of the concerns because you can hear the visceral response of this idea as you said future minority report. it not a minority report. it something less sophisticated, i guess. but it causes concern in communities and probably for a good reason. >> so i think the question, when you phrase it as one of the
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implications of experimenting on people who have no choice but to participate, that sounds bad, right? it depends on what you're talking about. i think there's actually a role for experimentation in the criminal justice system when it comes to, you know say police trying some new method if there's nothing intrinsically objectionable about the method and the question is effectiveness, randomizing it across precincts or something to see how it works. it's like a pretty good way of testing effectiveness. likewise in corrections, for instance if you assign people to drug treatment year not sure which drug treatment program works better randomization is also a pretty good way to assess those things. and there's -- but those are, you know that for instance a service that's supposed to help people and presumably you'd have informed consent. so there's experiments and experiments i think. i don't think the fact that you
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are collecting data on something inherently means you are doing something bad. >> you mentioned biased in policing counterproductive and you want to avoid it. my question is what standard of bias how are you measuring it thinking about it? if you have algorithm or a police department has an algorithm that makes predictions correlated with rates, supposing for a second they are actually accurate is that category something that's buys aed or not, according to your metrics? what metrics do you use? >> that's a good question. i think one of the things underlying in your question is
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sort of this notion that use of race should be a factor and there's been policies for many years on the use of race was in some ways a misnomer because it's intended to not use race as basis for any particularized suspicion on an individual. i think one of the things in the department varies parts of the department there's the office of justice programs and bja and cops and those entities that give out grants. but they are interested in training and working in the same way that they do to deploy these technologies working especially in the aftermath of ferguson with police departments to specifically understand and identify that some of these officers whether or not they do it it intentionally or not, may have preconceived notions about particular groups of people especially those communities of
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color. so i think training is one way to address that issue. certainly any sort of system that is based primarily on race would be unlawful under the constitution. >> did you want to respond -- >> so thank you again. so i'm a data scientist. so forgive me if i get technical here. when you're talking about big data and methodologies, you mention coefficients. increasingly you're seeing more big data type things like random forests or neural networks for deep learning. they're designed to not be interpret interpretable. what does it mean to make something like that available to the public when even the professionals have a hard time interpreting what exactly is
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happening? and also is that enough of a reason not to do it? >> yeah, so i think that that does make it even harder. the existing methods that are being used in at least the post-arrest criminal justice process are -- do tend to be -- they're a little more old technology. they're not really big data. they're data based on studies of a few thousand prior offenders using very traditional regression methods which then get translated that show the effects, get translated into a risk score, often like rounded to the nearest whole number so a probation officer can easily assign a point or something to each risk factor two points or something like that. so that said there is a bunch of work now on how to get
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more -- better prediction using machine learning techniques. and for instance the pennsylvania sentencing commission has been -- has been working on a random forest faced approach. i think that at least you could -- it may be harder to achieve transparency on that. at least you could make it -- make available what -- like what the factors are that are included. i don't know. i mean i have to think more about it. to me because i'm particularly concerned with the substance of like whether the variables included are appropriate, to me it doesn't really matter whether you feed inappropriate variables into a regression based system or feed them into a machine learning based system. either way it's sort of like
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garbage in garbage out. en constitutional variables in unconstitutional risk score out. >> one more question or wrap up? wrap up? okay. thank you all. [ applause ] >> that was a really interesting panel. you know when we think about the struggle for racial justice and how advancements come sometimes they come through the law additional methods like bricking court cases, lobbying. and sometimes they come from taking it to the streets. and when you want to know how to take it to the streets in d.c. you ask eugene puryear. he's going to give us a tutorial. so let's say that chief lanier
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here is thinking about using some kind of predictive instrument and let's say that we don't like that. how could we make our chief abandon that? how could we make our mayor tell her to abandon that? again, in d.c. when you want the answers to that question you ask this brother over here. he is eugene puryear. he's a black lives matter activist. he's an author. he's had a number of successes in activism in disrupting city hall. now he's going to tell us how to do it. [ applause ] >> i don't know if my mike is on yet. is it on? can you hear that? okay. good. fantastic. thank you to professor butler to professor bedoya the georgetown university law center. that's a great opening example,
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because indeed chief lanier is looking to work on predictive policing here in washington, d.c. we're part of the black lives matter ecosystem. almost all folks would agree to some degree, why is it called business as usual? because we live in a capitalist society. we live in a society that needs a certain amount of stability to work. so our operative principle, if we really want to force change we have to push disruption that disrupts business as usual. the traditional political process which has its own realities to it and its own uses to it and certainly we've used it here in washington, d.c. but it's almost like a scalpel based approach. here is this issue and we have all these governing institutions that exist, how do we tweak them
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just a little bit, how do we use that scalpel to get in there, cut out that scar tissue take it out, and then it's going to be all good. one thing about quote, unquote black lives matter people in the movement have switched the framing to the movement for black lives, so much what's happening has taken us not beyond policing but the connections between disparityiesdisparities, housing, health care and so on and so forth. that the lived experience of most black people, these things actually aren't separate at all. they don't even seem separate because of the way they interact and create our reality. so we don't need a scalpel in some ways we need a meat cleaver. is the law itself -- and i don't just mean the particular legal code but the constitution itself even adequate to deal
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with. where, you know, you have civil rights guaranteed but not social and economic rights. is that even adequate in the 21st century. so these are the sort of questions we're asking. the only way to get answers to those questions are other big entrenched societal issues. we have to act as more of a blunt instrument that can disrupt business as usual. it can happen in a lot of different ways. you have what a lot of people i'm sure are thinking about, yesterday, bill clinton got into it with the black lives matter folks. this is something he never had to account for post-presidency. and now he's challenging it in a very direct way. so that's one. and i think in some ways it's the more acceptable one, so it's
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the easy one to talk about. disrupting politicians. we disrupted the mayor last summer. so on and so forth. there's also another layer of disruption. it exists sort of in a different universe. that's what we saw in ferguson and baltimore. baltimore, that really ultimately led to the inclusion of a lot of these other issues of socioeconomic realities. one is really a spontaneous movement of people it's not really planned, there's no necessary direction to it so the outcome is difficult to control. the second one though is a planned disruption that has a political disruption attached to it. when we disrupted the mayor, we didn't say we're mad and we're going to yell and scream even though that's how it was presented. we couldn't get the press to
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cover us. we have no ability to get ourselves in the conversation until we are able to disrupt her. we disrupted her and moved her to all these different elements. we knocked on doors. we had flyers, information, websites. so that the course of our disruption would be to cause conversations that we could enter in on the back end with our information and affect the outcome of political policy. the mayor's crime bill has completely died. now another crime bill has passed and it's all about the public health approach to criminal justice which was mentioned previously. [ applause ] finally before i wrap up here and take a couple questions, that in and of itself is just the beginning for us. we try to take a blunt instrument kind of approach. get in and find ways to be aggressive. yes, we did steal that from the
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police. it's about police terror. not regular terrorism. we're asking people to report to us, what they see, what happens to them. we're going to map it so we can push back against their narrative. we will help you if something happened to you. that's what they do in the anti-eviction movement in spain. so way we create a community where people aren't as dependent on the government but they're holding them accountable themselves and that we're starting to redefine what it means to even have police and have jails and criminal justice and all these other issues. it's not necessarily fully conceived this way, but it's not really a civil rights movement. it's a popular democratic movement acting in a way to raise questions that are very serious about the 21st century. so that's our approach. a blunt instrument approach to have conversations and have
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campaigns and political practices that allow us to come behind and engage in that conversation once it's already started to give it some direction and hopefully be able to organize people and organize themselves to succeed. thank you so much everyone for coming. i just want to open it up for folks to just throw, you know whatever you got. [ applause ] >> eugene thanks so much for breaking it down. i have a couple questions that reduce around a single theme. you're here at georgetown law school. people studying these questions from an academic perspective. what structural recommendations would you have to examine and better connect the policy arguments of elites to the lived out consequences of people on the ground more systematically
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beyond today? >> one way is that -- and maybe the question too is how much can an institution do this. what's interesting about the law for black lives collective is it's within the institution, but it's still without the institution. on their own initiative they're reaching out. how is it that faculty members, organization of students, give them the resources they need. help them make the connections, bring people in to start to create those organic connections between people. i think that's the only way it can really happen and how can the institution forward that. i think there are ways on the same token, sometimes the institution is going to be resistant and i think that's okay. the importance of understanding that that's okay and it can't all come from this and the connections are going to be more ground level is also important for us. >> hi how are you? >> fine thank you.
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>> what you say about the movement for black lives and how you're dealing with the totality of issues that are very deep complex, historic. my question for you is we're sitting here talking about surveillance of communities of color. many of us are thinking how can we actually make a difference in this area. in light of the totality of issues is working like on issue like surveillance helpful or is it small and trivial? i can see it potentially being one or the other and i don't know what the perception of that is and the big issues being dealt with. >> i would say it's extremely helpful. from the point of view of activist in general. one big thing you run into -- i live in ward eight in d.c. southeast. all the time people stop me on the street man, i love what
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you're doing, just don't get killed just don't let them kill you. the fear of it is very palpable because they remember what happened to dr. king and malcolm x and the black panthers and what's going on there. even when it's challenging to you, it's easier to deal with it is key. and two, pushing back on these practices which are clearly inappropriate. the government has surveilled the occupied movement. these people are completely non-violent. we actually have to surveil them even more because we have to prove that they're violent. we have this whole range of political surveillance that's happening right now and i think the work to try to push back on that understand that put spotlight on that, is key for us to do our work but to help people understand what they're going up against and make an informed decision about their
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own ability to get involved. one more? yes, sir. >> so for those of us working on surveillance at sort of a congressional level, i guess my question for you is like where are we failing to explain the nuances of this in a way that connects you know, sort of the 12333, 702 nsa stuff to the actual impact that it has on activists and how can we connect sort of those two spaces in a way that allows the activist to do their work more effectively and safely? >> i don't know if you are failing. most activists, real everyday down and dirty organizers
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actually know about that. they try to learn about what's going on in the patriot act. i think that there are connections that can be made and more information that needs to be put out there about what types of political surveillance are going on. i think we've scratched the surface. from where i'm from, they always talked about the patriot act against drug dealers. so that information is out there more but a lot of it is succeeds in getting out there. like every black lives matter activist on the planet now is using signal. because the acknowledge of encryption has gone way up giving people training about all these different things. i think there's a high level now of consciousness so i would say keep doing the work you're doing because it's getting to us. >> wow. how about a round of applause? [ applause ] >> so when activism movement for
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black lives are using encryption are they being paranoid? that's a question that we're going to take up now. we've heard a lot about the history. now let's talk about current events. let's talk about whether and what the fbi, the department of homeland security and your local police department is doing to activists like eugene. to start us in that conversation and it is a start because we've been talking a lot about data. later in the afternoon, we're going to have real data from people who've done freedom of information requests about black lives matter activists. but now, a history lesson. a history lesson that starts with september 11th and our professor will be a real life professor sahar aziz. he's an associate professor at
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texas a&m that teaches in the area of national security and tort. before she joined the academy she worked among other places at the department of homeland security. so she'll have lots to teach us. sahar. [ applause ] >> there we go. all right. thank you so much for inviting me today. it's great to be back in georgetown. i was actually an adjunct here. it's great to see so many other colleagues. and i'm really impressed with the turnout today, not only in terms of number of people but diversity in background. i'm glad we have advocates keeping us in check.
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what i want to talk about today much of it is in an article, so i can't go into the details which is why i cited it. i want to talk about the way in which the relationship between the war on drugs affected the war on terror and the war on terror is now boomeranging back into what i think is still a war on drugs and drugs implicitly is a war on blacks and terror implicitly is a war on muslims. i realize that's a very provocative statement. but if you look at the way these so-called domestic wars are being enforced the data is clear if you look at the names of the defendants and their identities. so after -- in britain, after they had experienced terrorist attacks, this is a quote that the americans then adopted and said let's see if we can copy the brits. they essentially said why don't you use the communities to
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defeat terrorism which then brings up ideas about community policing which was used often in the war on crime, war on drugs. so just to give you a very brief history and we had a previous speaker who talked about this the african-american community in my opinion, and if you look at derek bell's work and the black/white paradigm and critical race theory, there's a lot of true truth to it. it's the baseline for understanding race relations in america, discrimination in america. anyone who's working with civil rights needs to understand the history of discrimination against african-americans to see how discrimination against other communities are an offspring of. not necessarily identical, but certainly connected. we don't live in a vacuum. in the '60s and '70s, this was part of the surveillance against
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martin luther king and malcolm x and left wing political groups. so what we're seeing here is very connected. it's the same law enforcement agencies it's the same laws although they've been expanded after 9/11. i'll talk about that in a minute. but they are effectively the same infrastructure just targeting different communities. and just because they add a new community, does not mean as we see today, that african-american communities suddenly are immune from the same historical problems. we've also seen it expand to left wing political groups particularly with regard to surveillance. surveillance is the hook that leads to the prosecutions and leads to the encars ration and the chilling effect in terms of quashing political descent and engagement in activism. i put a question mark there because if you ask any police
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officer they've done studies and show that police officers at the local level have said that if you're -- if you want to know where the biggest threat to quote home grown terrorism is, domestic terrorism, more from right wing plilgolitical groups domestic militant groups, so people who are -- some of them are completely protected by what they do by the first amendment and some of them cross the line into violence. but ironically, that's not where the law enforcement resources are being targeted. in 2009 there was a report that essentially argued that home grown right wing extremism is a problem and it's something that law enforcement needs to focus on. if you go and look online, the response and the backlash was quite notable and dhs had to withdraw that report. and a lot of that is because of the politics of counterterrorism.
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what i look at specifically is counting violent extremism. i don't know how many of you know what that is. it's become a big term of art in d.c. when i wrote this paper, that wasn't the case. it means that the industrial complex has officially taken off and there are now financial interests in the ngo sector in the government and in the private sector. so it's something that you should be familiar with. although it facially appears to affect only muslim communities, it's connected to what's been happening in african-american communities and will continue to expand to african-americans and other minority communities. so you have a policing infrastructure -- i thought -- i was very glad to see the fbi general council here because i took note of the fact that the laws have changed to some extent. one could argue for the better some could argue for the worst. but just because the laws have changed to create more quote,
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unquote oversight, sometimes when you're doing is legalizing surveillance. they may have overstepped the law in the '60s and '70s. but be careful sometimes the response is to just legalize what they're doing. it is the same action. it is the same violations of one's privacy rights if you have high expectations. okay. so after 9/11 -- [ inaudible ] -- information sharing. 9/11 happened because there was no information sharing between all of the different federal agencies. now you have the complete opposite. and it's all very opaque and it's all very secretive. here are all the different agencies. fbi, dhs, daa, dod, you have the police departments involved, particularly the large police departments. they are now engaged in counterterrorism at the local
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level. at this point in time through litigation through freedom of information acts we're pretty confident they're focusing on muslim american communities. but again it starts with one particular group and then it expands. you also have an infrastructure with fusion centers these are state endties where the police departments produce suspicious activity reports. they're not necessarily related to criminal activity but they're just a form of spying and putting these suspicious reports. they ask businesses to do the same thing. so it's all a form of collection that's tied to national security. and many of the businesses are afraid to push back because they don't want to have any trouble with the government. the politics of counterterrorism is very fear-based. so businesses that get subpoenaed politicians and even members of the public they're told if you push back if you defend civil liberties and
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there's a terrorist attack, blood is on your hands. so everybody becomes very risk averse. joint terrorism task force is where you have police working with all these federal agencies to effectively counter terrorism. the problem again is it's very opaque. so there's very little oversight, it's very difficult to monitor, even those who issue requests transparency. they usually have to litigate for two years which requires a significant amount of resources. and you have local police engaging in counterterrorism that is highly racialized and stigmatized in communities which then creates distrust between communities and local police. so there are a lot of conflicts of interest and tensions in the role of the police. and the metadata collection
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this happened for drug cartels or assumed drug dealers. this is actually not as post-9/11 as we thought it was. these are some of the things that our police and our federal agents are doing. many of them are things that have been happening, continue to happen to the african-american community. the use of informants undercover agents sting operations. racial mapping has become institutionalized. the fbi will say this is not racial profiling, we're just trying to understand the community. we just want to know the beat that we police. the problem is when you look on the other end of that black box and you see the prosecutions and see that the identities are consistently of a particular racial and religious group, it's hard to take that statement as a good faith statement. then we've also seen through litigation -- there is litigation and the nypd just
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settled a case of mass surveillance of muslim communities where they sent in informants and undercover agents into mosques. many of them had been infiltrated and all that is going into intelligence databases. aside from the privacy issues and the chilling effect that is a way for them to start charging people and leads to adverse harms on people's rights. once you're on their radar, it's very hard to get out. and you don't find out until it's too late. the informant problem is a very big one. this is not unique to the post-9/11 counterterrorism context by any means. but this is just to show you how 9/11 has effectively put what was the war on crime paradigm put it on steroids effectively,
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and gave it new breath new money, and new energy. so you have in 2011 over 15,000 official informants. and all of these individuals, if they're particularly the ones that are paid have to get paid. the way they get paid is they find a plot. we've had cases -- it was in the media if you look up greg montel in california. he was an fbi informant. he officially converted at the mosque. he essentially went around trying to create a terrorist plot with the people in the mosque. the mosque reported him to the fbi. and said this guy is crazy, there's something wrong with him, i think he's a terrorist. and the fbi disregarded it and kept working with him and said have you found anybody, maybe you can have a relationship with a woman and find out if she can tell you something about people. i mean it was all kinds of very
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illicit activities. ultimately he ended upturning on them and he told -- he sued the fbi, but he also told the public exactly what he had been up to and how he had been paid over six digits and he wasn't the only one. so it's a very dirty game. the fbi will say that was an exception, but how many years can you keep saying that. and then of course we have the patriot act. this is literally it's own law class. it's three or four weeks of counterterrorism. but the patriot act changed and expanded the authorities particularly of the fbi significantly primarily by lowering the standards in which they can get these types of warrants. so instead of -- so you have things such as relevance or indicative of or some purpose rather than significant purpose. and for lawyers, that does mean a lot because it's a higher burden to have to meet if you're
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trying to get a warrant. you also have -- so just if you don't know, this is the business records if you go to the business to get your warrant. you go and get a warrant, but you don't have to tell the person that you're searching their home or car. you go search it, come back and later you tell them. which is an anomaly under the normal process. the wiretap, it's essentially not connected to a particular phone or device, but it roves allegedly with the person. you can see how that can become very broad if it's abused. then you have the national security letters which effectively are subpoenas, administrative subpoenas that existed before 9/11 but the patriot act expanded them so all they have to be a relevant to a terror investigation. they're usually issued to banks and businesses and thard parties. and the easiest way to persuade them that it is relevant to a
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terrorism investigation is to include the name of a muslim-sounding person on the subpoena. and they'll usually say, oh, yeah we'll cooperate with whatever you want. or south asian or arab sounding name. so there's a lot of racialization in the process. and then of course you have the fisa court. i appreciated the comments about the fisa court being a check. it is a far from perfect check. it is a secret court which is a complete exception in the american legal system. and so you have judges who are -- they get an application from the fbi or the department of justice and there are internal checks within the department of justice before it gets to the fisa court, but there's no adversary. there's no one on the other side to say on this warrant, i want
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to challenge it i want to -- so it's not an adversarial process. it's a secret court. you have the executive and the judiciary. some would argue it's too differential. again, you don't want the blood on your hands, judge. i'm not sure i'm convinced that the fisa court is a good check if that's what you look to as solving the problems of the 1960s and 1970s. you also have threat assessments which effectively allow the fbi to follow you physically to interview people and lie about who they are, the police can lie. it's legal for them to lie. and without any any relevant -- no reasonable suspicion. it can be essentially a non-criminal basis. so they're very very problematic in the way that they can start focusing in on you. there are tracking devices
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although we had jones that limited that a little bit. and then of course we all know about the militarization of the police. these are the ways in which the legal tools have expanded their powers. some will say what about the guidance on the use of race. now, this is just guidance. in 2003, which was under bush there was a very explicit exemption for national security. in other words, if it was related to national security the fbi and law enforcement could use race as a factor. not from an individualized perspective where you have this particular suspect. that's legal. but in general. now, holder changed that and said we will apply these guidelines to national security and intelligence he also expanded it to also include religion gender identity sexual orientation. but again when you -- if the hypothetical is isis or daesh is
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trying to recruit muslims that gives us a basis that we now need to keep an eye on the muslims and surveil them. we know they're usually between the ages of 15 and 25 and we know they're muslim and they're from a middle eastern country originally. that doesn't give those communities a lot of assurances that they will not effectively be spied on based on their identity as opposed to individualized action or suspicious activity. okay. so all the that is to say others who push back -- what i explained to you is what is called counterterrorism. it's the adversarial, prosecutorial, criminal law enforcement approach. it's not rehab taketive. it's punitive and receipt butive. there's a movement that's arguing, maybe we need more soft
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counterterrorism. that's where you get the language of community policing which was the same used in the war on drugs and war on crimes context. i think it's essentially a euphemism. it's a difference without a distinction. this is kind of from the d.o.j.'s policing if you already have a community policing program, just expand it. we already have the up infrastructure. there's a whole literature about community policing. a debate on whether it works. but this is the more traditional model. this is what i call traditional community policing, war on drugs, war on crime context, is it's often the communities working with the police to protect the communities against a third-party criminal. so it may be a gang. it may be drug dealers. it may be people who are in the community selling violence. they're working with the police
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with a common interest. in the countering violent ex- extreme extremism. the -- beg them not to infringe on their civil liberties. they go and say, could you please stop profiling me at the airport. could you please tell i.c.e. to stop deporting our religious leaders. i participated in these programs. it was called community engagement at the time and i'll talk about that in a second. so there's a whole different purpose and a conflict of interest. this is what i'm talking about with the distinction without a difference. i think all of this terminology all just goes back to counterterrorism. for that reason i tend to be a little bit suspect in term ones f the narrative that the government gives to the community which is let your guard down trust us, talk to us cooperate, and you'll be better off from the civil
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liberties percentspective. but, there are -- let me just go back here very quickly. the problem is that they talk partnership but they act adversarial. so if you look at actions -- those of us are lawyers, it doesn't matter what someone says. it's what they can prove and how they behave. so they go to these outreach meetings and gather information. we have no way to know who that goes to. they'll claim it doesn't do that. talk is cheap. why don't you prove it? are there laws that prohibit you from doing that? you have ausas at the table. i have witnessed situations in boston where you had an ausa in the outreach and the same ausa was prosecuting a muslim individual who used to participate in the outreach efforts. they nabbed him for some
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immigration information. so it was a huge conflict of interest. but they walk in with straight face and say, what's the problem with that. a huge at least legitimacy problem. and then you have false statement prosecutions. they will use the meetings to go and meet with people the way that law enforcement recruits informants they'll meet with people in a non-threatening environment, get to know them build an informant. then they'll give voluntary individuals thinking that they're trying to help the police. they'll make a false statement about something material that isn't necessarily related to terrorism. did you go to yemen? no. turns out he went to yemen to visit his mother, but he was stared to tell them. they use that false statement, that's up to five years in jail. if he's willing to be an informant, they'll drop the charges. it's a very dirty game. very high risk for the
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community. now there's a whole trend of denaturalization. we're starting to see a troubling trend, they've been here for 20 30 years and go back to see if they can find a false statement and they go after them hard. it's the al kacapone method. we'll find anything we can. it gives them the in into the community too find the bait. it's very problematic. okay. i have run out of time so i'm going to skip the civil rights implications because obviously with all the civil liberties from the government infringements it creates civil rights. but i'll talk a little bit about the assumptions. first is this entire program assumes that one, muslim home grown terrorism is a serious problem when the facts and the data show otherwise. the vast majority of those who have attempted to engage in
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terrorism on u.s. soil are either foreigners who have come are recently here or part of a sting operation. there's a small minority that in fact people born and raised here and they got involved in a terrorist act. that's in addition to the fact that there's more numbers of non-muslim i hate to use the word home grown terrorism, but terrorism 179 suspects that are actually not related to islam whatsoever. it assumes these terrorists are freely operating and talking within muslim kmientscommunities as if they're hiding them. when in fact for example, the youth who often are victims of sting operations who will go online and they'll try to get them to go to -- to the middle east and it's usually an fbi undercover agent doing that and then met them at the airport, their parents have no idea this
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is happening. so to go and ask the community, can you snitch separate from how problematic that is it's not even effective. and then as if the community is collectively responsible. so it's again the collective punishment. okay. sorry. i obviously -- i just want to end with the shared responsibilities committee which is now where the fbi is proposing for muslim communities to put together civilian committees to go and make interventions with youth that are radicalizing or being recruited online. there are absolutely no safe harbors. so what happens if you help a youth that you think is trying to be recruited by a terrorist group and that youth goes and engages in the terrorist act. you couldn't stop them. could you be prosecuted? what about the victims of the terrorist act?
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could they prosecute you civilly? what guarantees do you have that cooperation with the fbi in good faith doesn't end up putting you in jail? and do you think that the american society will stand up for your rights if they find out that the fbi betrayed your tres? they will not. they will not. so this is the apparatus. and it's very, very entrenched. so i would just end by saying this is something that you-all should get to know more about because it's coming to a neighborhood near you. and, you know first they come for them. then they come for us. and then we all lose. thank you. [ applause ] >> please join us in a round of applause. thank you. [ applause ] thank you, professor. i just want to say as we tran to our next panel, i think one of the really important things to reiterate is something i think people in this room know but it
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bears repeating. when you hear muslim we need to hear a very large number of african-americans. and so there is a significant overlap here. and my understanding -- i'm sure folks in the room will tweet out the right statistic, anywhere from a fourth muslims are african-american. i am tremendously excited about this next panel. as i mention in the morning, a lot of philosophers theorists, writers have done a lot of thinking about surveillance and about watching. and yet so few of this them have realized the racialized nature of that watching. i think it's -- it's always risky to talk about 1984 but i will for this purpose. the curious thing -- wif the
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many curious things about 1984 is that the area of that society -- what's the name of it? anyways, the name of that society, the least surveilled area is the area where the working class lives. i think that is one of the unfortunate aspects of that betray betrayal. we are joined by professor browne who has done powerful work in updating that old surveillance to account for that racial gaze and we're joined by professor obasogie. he asked a very interesting group to figure out how we see race, blind people. and chairing this is my co-host, professor paul butler. a round of -- >> thank you. [ applause ]
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>> thank you, alvaro. now time for another deep dive. we've heard from history toreians activists, scientists and technicians. we wanted to be a little creative and add some theory to the mix. we have two amazing scholars doing some of the best work on the subject of what we talk about when we talk about surveillance. i guess i've always thought of surveillance as a visual technology. i think a lot of us did until osagie had this brilliant idea. he asked a simple question that nobody had asked before how do the blind see race. in his book "blinded by sight" disrupts the way that we understand race and the way that
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we understand what it means to see. so he's going to tell us about what he's discovered. >> well, thank you, paul. it's really good to be here and i'm really excited to be part of this panel. in the aftermath of pearl harbor and the united states formally entering world war ii. [ inaudible ] -- but this created a bit of a problem for many americans. how can we tell the difference between chinese people who are our allies and japanese people who are now our enemy. two indistinct groups had to be separated. their bodies and movements had to be watched closely as a matter of national security. so life magazine stepped in to assist in this project of racial surveillance. life published a multi-page spread on how to scrutinize
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asian bodies to tell the difference between friend and enemy. you see various kind of detailed markings on a chinese person's face to tell the difference similarly with the bodily depictions. so this example highlights the deep and complicated relationship between race and surveillance. moreover it shows the political nature of seeing race. that is how racial bodies become seen as visually obvious because political circumstances change the way that we see. seeing and surveillance are often understood as mutual or natural engagements with the world around us. it is thought they are simply observing and collecting information about activities that are visually obvious. as this example from world war ii highlights seeing an observation may very well have little to do with visual perception. our ability to see race and the
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attention we paid to it may come from something other than the notion that race is something that visually obvious. to explore this idea i conducted a series of interviews with people who have been totally blind since birth and asked them about their understanding of race and racial experiences. this research is the first time that anyone explored the way that race is understood in the blind community. it is largely assumed that race much diminished significance to blind people. this assumption is the genesis of the popular color blind probe that we see in law and public policy where being blind to race is thought to bring a racial utopia. we think of blind people as folks that people that treat people according to character and not their skin color. they may be able to speak to the social practices that inform
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their understanding of race. since these are practices that similarly affect sighted people but are less accessible to them blind people's experiences can sharpen our understanding of how race becomes visual for all people. moreover, this can provide insight into the social conditions that make surveillance of racial bodies possible. so a quick note on methods. so the target population for this research were blind people who have been totally blind since birth. i also interviewed a small sample of sighted individuals to understand whether or not blind people's understandings of race are different from blind people. i interviewed the adults selected through snowball sampling. each interview was recorded with the respondent's consent. okay. so the first step in this project was to establish two
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common sense approaches to race within the sighted community. first, that sighted people have a visual understanding of race and second that sighted people think that blind people have a diminished understanding of race. these were established through my interviews. in the interest of tameime, it is clear that sight visually obvious. let's move onto the core research question. race is understood and experienced by blind people the same way experienced by those that are sighted. that is visually. they associated race with skin color and other visual cues. many of you may be thinking that any visual understanding of race that blind people might have reflects a general awareness of how the rest of the world operates. blind people's visual understanding of race profoundly shapes the way they think about it. it also affects their response to race at deeply emotional levels. the blind respondents i spoke
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with gave similar answers. one person said race is a way of dividing up human beings according to color of skin. another said race is skin color, color of one's pigmentation. another said race is color. even though i can't see it that's what i tend to think of. most blind respondents went in visual terms. to have a more sophisticated understanding of the range of visual cues. one blind respondent defined race as physical attributes that make people different from each other, skin color maybe some of the physical features that make people different from one another. another noted, it's not only skin color because it's also other characteristics. i know the black race has facial
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structure and body structure. i know that each race has its set of characteristics to go with it. race is not only based on color. these passages highlight how blind people often have a nuanced understand -- to signify race often as sophisticated as their sighted peers. what becomes apparent is that the ability to see the markings that define racial boundaries is neither necessary or sufficient in explaining the strong association of race with visual cues. if blind people define and react to race in visual terms, then the empirical evidence pokes holes in the assumption that race is visually obvious or self-evident. other sensory experiences also affirm the importance of race for blind people without displacing the visual significance. while no sighted respondents identified voice, over half of
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the blind responds did. this should not be surprising. what is surprising however is that these audible clues do not stand in for the visual do they become primary in how blind respondents conceive race. voice and accent remain secondary measures. so one said voice and accent doesn't mean anything to me except that i know they have different skin color. another said as i got older, i realized or learned that voice is not a very good way to identify swin because it's not reliable. okay. so blind and sighted people are part of the same social fabric that directs individuals to pay inordinate attention to visual cues that signify a racial difference. this process is effortlessly transparent for sight the people and makes the social experience
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visually obvious. but it takes a bit more work for blind people excuse me reducing race to visual cues. as a result blind respondents are capable of describing the social practices that give the visual cues associated with race a feeling of obviousness. one said quote, that's what people talked about when i was little and first introduced to people of races other than my own, they used terms that had to do with skin color. it became part of the respondent's racial vocabulary. it also shapes the underlying meanings given to racial labels that informs a visual sensibility given to blind people. another blind respondent notes, i was brought up to learn i was white of course. i learned that i was white so that white could be contrasted
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with black. i was driving with my father downtown and he said do you smell that smell. he said that's the smell of nigger town. then he began to describe all the stereotypes of being a negro. it didn't matter you still weren't a white person and that's the way it was. he would say, you know, what you smell is partly the way they keep their houses and yards and there's trash laying all around. then part of what you smell is just them they can't help it. he would go on they talk differently because they're less educated less capable of being educated. pretty soon you begin to develop a race identity that's wow, this is sad for them and sad for us too. visual differences can become vividly real even for those that cannot see.
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it informs differences that cannot be seen so that they feel like common sense. a belief system that race is visually obvious is being structured. the experience related by blind respondents are not unique to the blind community. rather they reveal how all individuals are trained to seek and give meaning to the visual distinctions that society seems important. win respondent provided an example, quote, we had a babysitter -- excuse me. we had a babysitter named ellen who was black. i came down and said to my mother what are you doing. she said i'm washing the counters. sme babysitter was here last night. i said that's interesting and filed that a way. ellen came back the next week and i walked up to the counter and sniffed it. she said what are you doing, i said i'm sniffing the counter
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because my mom said you guys smell and she was right. this illustrates how differences didn't make a difference until it was pointed out and racialized. it does not take a fantastic leap of logic to see how these social practices create a visual sense of racial difference among visual cues seem obvious boundaries. in many instances, race was socialized to not only take on a visual significance, but a deeply emotional one that impacts their everyday lives. one area that's particularly revealing is in dating and romantic relationships. one blind black respondent said quote, i just love african-american women. i don't know why. i had white friends that i hung out with and we went to class together and worked on projects together. i just never had a desire to do that. i think i did it about a week and i was like no i can't do
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this. this respondent explains some of the cultural barriers that make interracial dating difficult. cultural barriers can be difficult to transcend. by this interview revealed a difficulty with race as it plays out in physical differences, not merely cultural ones. other respondents voiced this hesitation as a to not disrupt social norms. it is nonetheless looked down upon in society. one respondent recalled a white friend's experience quote, he was going to college and started working with a reader. she was very attracted to him and he started seeing her. then somebody told broke off the relationship. he justified it by saying would not have worked in south where a white plan could be involved with a black woman. once he learned she was black, prejudice set in. how race becomes a primary
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filter for dating within the blind community. he said quote, a lot of my black blind friends have sort of a joke because when someone doesn't know our race especially males they'll find out a way to reach out and touch our hair. i go to conventions now, national conventions for blind and people trying to meet somebody to date. you can see they're pursuing somebody they find attractive and go for their hair and then change their mind. they're still friendly. i never known anyone who stopped talking to anybody altogether. they'll give themselves some time but, you're black. what does this mean? this project's empirical contribution can be summarized by one of the blind respondents who said quote, race is not a mystery to blind people was kind of sad. sometimes sighted people look at blind folks and think these team people can show us to a star trek race blind society. it be great if we can do that. but we're just as much a victim of racial prejudice, stereotypes and misconceptions as anyone else. the fact we're not clued into it
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directly by vision doesn't change that a bit. another blind respondent quote, race plays just as important part for blind people as it does for others. i wish we could be the societal model that would show every society who gives a damn how to be color-blind but i don't think we can. there's more to race than what's visually observed. we built race whether it's there or not. this highlights the project's key finding the presumption that race is obvious is part of a social process that produces a visual understanding of race at the same time it masks its own existence by making race seem obvious. these perceived visual distinctions are social practices that are so strong that even blind people see on organize lies around visualized race. rather than being obvious, seeing race is social rather
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than visual phenomenon. the salients of race is linked to social practices that produce visual understandings for race in blind and sighted people. i talk about this "blinded through sight, seeing race through the eyes of the blind," finding provide a basis from which to start questioning a key premise of surveillance policies and technologies. practices work from suggestion that visual surveillance is in a sense merely observation or neutral assessment of people's behaviors. this work shows how seeing and vision are inherently political processes constituted by social surveillance of marginalized people entails political process of creating avisible black and brown body that becomes a target. resent on race and blindness shows how visibility of black and brown criminal bodies is produced by broad political narratives rather than anything
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obviously seen in the community. by engaging expanding forms of surveillance the state creates suspicious bow halve yor it says it observes. this is why surveillance must be questioned and resisted as a project of racial jut. thank you. i look forward to your comments. >> thank you. >> thank you so much osagie. that was fabulous. look a negro, that famous line took simone brown on a journey that she details in her book "dark matters." how could you not love a book that has a chapter called "everybody got a little light under the sun?" everybody's got a little light under the sun, a famous song. another within called "what did the tsa find in solange's
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throat"? simone what did the tsa find -- [ laughter ] >> thank you. i don't have an answer for that one, but thanks for sharing it. i'm going to talk briefly, about a couple of moments to get us to a jumping off point to talk about how people often critique surveillance often using very tools of surveillance. some people call that a surveillance inversion of that. two instances. study came out on twitter yesterday, they -- a psychologist department at uva interviewed medical students to ask them these questions around if they think that blacks age more slowly do whites have larger brains than blacks are black's skins thicker than white. stereotype s stereotypes, the idea of the super predator these things i want to link it to another story that came out as well there is
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week. this is an image of a recording and the transcript of eatle easter she had gone to august complained about issues around hernia and she had gone to see a surgeon and she was really kind of disappointed the way that he talked to her. when she went to have the surgery two weeks later, what she did, so it gets back to solange, she hid within her braids a record erer about the size of a usb recording what they were saying while she was on the operating table. you see use of surveillance technologies to record. what came out of moments were quite shocking for her. they spoke about her being a queen, called her pejoratively precious in reference to the film film made reference to bill cosby, innuendos of unwanted
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touching and taking photographs. these are moments when she used technology to kind of turn a gaze on the medical model. we talked about the racial gaze earlier on mentioned it. you can see how the gaze takes on a particular medical dimension. look at one of my colleagues, sarah brain, using longitudeinal data, the ways if which they avoided places like hospitals, like other institutions and youf the link between that matrix of policing and also hospitals as well too. both of us use this image here i use it as a jumping off point. this is desi crier, he was a worker in a camping store at texas who tested out this technology h ptechnology, for to see if the camera would zoom, tilt and pan the way it was technically supposed to. but he found it wouldn't follow
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him. when his colleague, so he called himself black desi and colleague white wanda. when she would enter the frame, the camera worked properly able to adjust to her movements. it was unable to read dessy. i look at these movements, i think what happens to surveillance when we question conditions of blackness. when we look at how blackness enters the frame. some there are other moments in which you have this prototypical whiteness. i know the next series of questions will look at biometric technologies. the idea that this is also about automation as well too. i'm going to skip ahead i want us to have a conversation and i hope the other group will take up moments of the memiification of prototypical whiteness. a moment last sum, an intersection here intersection of river rock trail and dunes drive in the craig ranch development of mckinney, it.
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15-year-old was thrown, kneeled on and detained by a mckinney police officer. many saw the video to detain a girl in a bikini at the time. the original clip shot by a 15-year-old boy, brandon brooks. he says everyone who they were putting on the ground was black, mexican, arabic. the cop didn't even look at me. it was kind of like i was invisible. i'll close there. thank you. >> so get us started in the conversation and quickly invite your comments. please think of questions for this amazing group. we thought a lot about blackness
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and the white gaze. i'm curious about how the white gaze relates to white people. so some critical theorists said we don't define whiteness other than it not being of color. so we have lots of constructs of what it means to be black. not so many constructs what it means to be white. so i'm curious about whether the blind see whiteness, how they think about that. >> interesting question. so the blind white respondents i spoke to exhibited what was termed racial transparency in her piece from 1990s she talks about how whites are unable or unwilling to see race or their own race or whiteness as a race but see other people as racialized as black or latino. the same phenomenal i saw in the blind and white spoentds i spoke to they were able to talk about
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race as something other communities have but didn't see themselves as a race or whiteness as a racialized experience. so that's again another example of the kind of parallel racial experiences between sighted and blind people and how that stems from a similar social experience in terms how whites are racialized and socialized and think about race something other people have. >> you both have an idea that seeing is political. it not biological. it's not impure cal. it's value laden. so when we think about what we want to happen on the ground the kinds of transformation that we need what's the corrective? is there a need to be a corrective? are there glass that could help us see better? >> great question.
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one of the things that i try to do my work is to have a shorthand that we can talk about and i think technologies that -- this is why you asked me to move that -- yes. thank you. i looked at so many images i flew by quickly were biometric technologies. what changes we can have a critical understanding of how they're put to use, ask questions how they are stored shared sold. understand technology of something. when people say algorithm we understand what it is that they're talking about. we can question things like those moments. one of the things i went through was this last summer somebody using one of google's apps upload a photo and automatically tag that photo, a building or bicycle and this is a black man. when he would upload pictures of his friends it would tag them as gorillas he under stand what was happen training data that -- what kind of training data the
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technology being fed into this program to understand to read certain black faces as gorillas and there are long histories of doing that as we know. he called them out on twitter using the same technologies to question what was happening there. it's happening that space to call out and offer corrective for ways in which technologies seem to be designed or by design to put certain bodies around gender race able bodiness, they're not outside our understanding 0 of race. >> one or two questions from the audience? yes, sir. >> yeah thank you very much for talking about it. but i think, as we were doing that i hope this doesn't get lost being a white and black issue and the whole racial gaze as well because it's also something that while within the context of white supremacy all of the people of color are less
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than human, but i think we also need to separate what does people of color mean. i think it whitewashes a lot of hierarchy that is within the people of color community as well. i mean how muslims in south asians and arabs look at black people. how latinos look at black people. how asians look at plaque people as well. i'm hoping when we talk about surveillance and racial gaze it very much is apart of than earlier somebody said the muslims are in the new black. no they're not. it's like saying all lives matter. absolutelyithly not. then at least like just fight back the system as blacks have been doing. so i want to throw that in the mix we don't want to get lost in this thing and glaze over how other people of color look at black folks and what happens with that. thank you. >> time for one more question.
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anyone have a question. >> hello. i guess my question's related actually but it was in working with blind people and talking to them about race i was wonderinging if you had any findings where they expressed like different some understanding of the way people even within a given racial category are treat differently because of how say dark their skin is or what features they have or the way their hair is or how much they conform to the like societies arc typical idea of what a black person looks like or a white person looks like. is that level of nuance also there in their understanding or more like black and white as it were? >> yes, there was abit of nuance. themes such as hair texture or skin how skin feels in terms of
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roughness versus other, that was certainly there. it was one of those things present but was much more prevalent in the conversation where these kind of broad measuring sticks of who's black, who's white, who's latino who falls in the various categories. how human diversities can be put in the categorizations. >> actually i'm informed we have a couple more minutes. if people have other questions, while you're thinking of questions, when i was listen to osagie talk i was remembering a familiar question from my mom when i was a kid growing up in the old days when there were land lines and no caller i.d. someone would call want to speak to my mom. i'd say, ma someone's on the phone. she'd said black or white?
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black or white? and that was significant. the answer -- it gave her information that she needed. and holding that kind of coding when people of color do it it's sometimes a survival skill. >> hi. i just wanted to piggy back off of this gentleman's question. as far as when you, i guess, conducted your research on with the blind people did you find that some of them even had thoughts of other than you know texture of hair and skin did they have other types of stereotypes, i guess, what -- how certain people are, even though they have never seen you know these people? to me it's at least i work with a blind person i find some of the comments she makes she couldn't have known if someone didn't tell her this or it wasn't engrained in the way that she was brought up. did you find some people said
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things and you were like how would you know that if you can't see? >> right. that's an interesting question about the social construction of race, how do certain types of social meanings attach to certain kinds of body. that was prevalent in the community. that's a conversation how we're socialized to react to a certain type of racial bodies and that's something that happens outside a visual process. it's a learned practice and it's something, again, sighted individuals and blind individuals being part of the society, that's what we're getting. what my research gets at talking to blind people their ability to understand races of visual phenomenal that's the constituentive understanding of race. the question is how certain bodies become seen as visually salient to begin with. my resent shows even process of coming to see racialized bodies as distinct different, salient, that is a deeply social and political process, so much so
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blind people come to see race differently. they talk about race in visual terms though it's not something they can directly perceive. the work i've done shows how this is a parallel process. since blind people don't have access to vision they're more readily able to talk about the social and political experiences that produce that visual understanding of race but this is the same experience that we all go through. >> one of the things that you raise with you interview with the blind, the slide with the interviews of bleem are doctors or residents in the ways in which they thought about black people not being able to feel as much pain or healing quicker top biggie back off of that question the effects of that for sighted doctors people receive less painkiller medication improper care. those are the outcomes the material outcomes of these processes how blackness is
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understood in the hospital. >> what were the numbers representative of on the slide? >> let me bring it back up. >> percentages? >> while simone is accessing the slide, another question? >> i'll give you a a rate it was to bring out the questions that i wanted to, dt framing of the questions. i don't have the -- all of the data of how many people that they were -- the end number. >> hi. my question goes back to a lot of different things especially the recidivism risk the idea if it's model, it's inscientific. it goes back to whiteness and experience of being white, i'm sure you're familiar with la tanya sweeney's research and googled her name and the google ads were criminal record and she googled white sounding names and there were no such ads.
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part of the response of google is there is no response of google. there is no responsibility though we might call this a racist algorithm there's a lack of responsibility. i feel like that is directly tied and tell me if you agree to the fact that the people who work at google are almost entirely white. >> there's a woman allison bland or ali bland on twitter from princeton. she has a tweet, she knew there were no black engineers at google when it said right turn on malcolm x boulevard. critiques of satire. >> on that note please tell me thank our panelists. >> that was fantastic. thank you so much. so in the morning, i mentioned that i think one of the under
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explored -- not unexplored -- is the use of surveillance technology originally developed for national security surveillance for military surveillance in the domestic context. i want to take a running tally here. we've heard about two of the technologies. we've heard about predictive policing technology originally developed to detect hot spots in the battlefields of afghanistan in iraq. and is now used to detect hot spots in the inner city. we learned about stingray technology who thanks to freddie martinez of lucy parsons labs which you should all follow now, is using free dole of information act to finger out how stingrays is being used on the streets of chicago in predominantly low income black and latino communities. now hear from my wonderful colleagues from the center on privacy and technology claire garvey and jonathan frankel on a third technology that is being
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used in this manner facial recognition technology. >> thanks. alvero. so i want to set up this discussion about facial recognition technology which eight bit of a hypothetical. so imagine you're walking down the street in a town or a city something we do all day, or daily, heading home from work maybe, going to a doctor's amoint maybe attending a political rally. generally speaking when we engage in this activity we do so with the assumption that we're doing so anonymously. we have relative anonymity. sure we are presenting our face in public and may come across a co-worker or neighbor we'll say hi they'll identify us but we don't think that we're going to be singled out, identified and certainly don't expect to be tracked by just preventing our face in public. now, think about all of the cap
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razz you're probably passing by in larger cities. these are traffic cameras, personal security cameras, these are police cameras. and imagine that they are zooming in on your face extracting a template of that face and using that template to figure out who you are in seconds. this is being done for law enforcement purposes. so thanks to the vast improvements in facial recognition technology and in the use of facial recognition technology by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies this is no longer really a hypothetical. this is a reality. for example, this is already deployed in l.a. by the police where a couple of years ago they set up 16 cameras that could use facial recognition technology to surveil in real-time in northern
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l.a. capable of exing traing face template up to 600 feet away. this is not just limited to l.a. these are other police departments be chicago, for example, dallas west virginia others have acquired or actively considering choiring this exact capability. this is one type of facial recognition technology. there are others. mobile units that allow for field identification by police officers and then far more common desktop facial recognition systems where an officer can upload a facebook photo, a camera still from cell phone or cctv camera and these are very common throughout the u.s. now. so we're here to discuss how this technology runs the risk of disproportionately affecting african-american citizens. the center on privacy and technology now is conducting a widespread research project on how police departments, particularly at state and local level, are using facial
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recognition. what types of systems they're deploying and then in particular what policies if any, they have in place to constrain or to inform this use. alongside this we're also examining the biases that exist in facial recognition technology and risk that the deploiteployment of facial recognition by state and local law enforcement agencies will disproportionately affect african-american communities. so the study's based on a records request that we sent to more than 100 different agencies and we're in the process of reviewing over 10,000 pages of documents. we're in the preliminary stages but i want to share two initial findings that we have. the first is that there's very wide variation, how the systems are deployed at the state and local level. as i mentioned, there are mobile systems, desktop systems, there are cctv surveillance systems. another difference we find some
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of these systems are run against just mugshot databases, others run against entire driver license databases. if you have a license from that state, you're enrolled in a facial recognition database used by state and local law enforcement. anyone here have have a driver's license from ohio florida, maryland maybe? yeah. 0 okay. you're in a facial recognition database used by police. the second general finding that we have thus far, and did i mention we're in the initial stages of reviewing these documents? the other general finding that we are discovering is that there are very few constraints on how these systems can be used. we have yet to see an agency that requires a warrant be issued before they do this type of search. we have yet to see an agency that sets a standard severity of crime before they use this type
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of system such as wiretap act defense or felony. and then we have a fair number of agencies that actually have no policy on the book whatsoever even though they do have access to facial recognition system. they conduct no audits of how they use the system. they don't even keep logs. what we're finding is with some of the agencies not only do we have that much transparency as citizens as researchers into how they use the systems the law enforcement agencies themselves don't have that much knowledge about how they're using them. so i'm going to turn it over to jonathan to speak more how directly this ties into today's conversation about surveillance of the african-american community. >> so we've been taking a look recently about the connections between facial recognition research and today's theme, and i think there are a couple of different aspects i want to dig into. so the first is just the risk of discriminatory surveillance
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desperate impact in the way these systems are used and we have heard almost ad nauseam today african-americans receive disproportionate attention from the police and criminal justice system. one example, pin nellellas county florida, african-americans make up 8% of the population but 25% of the incarcerated population and what database does the facial system query? the mugshot database which is dis proportionproportionately african-american. this technology's likely to be disproportionately employed on groups already subject overpolicing. people of color 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely targeted than expected presence in the population. i think that tells you a substantial part of the story right there. now personally as a computer scientist i was interested in asking whether the technology
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itself can be discriminatory. two of my anecdotes got stolen by the previous presentation we heard about the hp webcam couldn't recognize a african-american and a connect issue where it couldn't recognize african-americans and also the google labeling of african-americans as gorillas. "consumer reports" followed up on the connect and hp webcam exams and couldn't validate the results. there are questions on those situations. but all three of the situations are a result of facial recognition algorithms the same technology that law enforcement is using. i was interested in taking a look at technical research literature to see if anybody studied the issue in a rigorous scientific manner to see if there were persistent issues going on in the technology. so the first study that i found was -- and the context is every four years nist performs a large scale study of facial recognition algorithms sold to
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research alalgorithms. in 2011 they took a pool to study and separated into two groups those develop in east asia and those developed in the united states. and they wanted to see how accurate thinkme were. take a look at graph on the left see that the black line higher is bet, higher is more accurate black line represents east asian algorithms and they were more accurate on the east asian faces than western europe and the united states. the graph on the right, the opposite is true. and this is actually a well documented psychological fen phenomenon phenomenon the other race effect people are better at distinguishing members of their own race. it seems like facial recognition al ga rim withes have a similar issue. it's a setting in which an algorithm is developed can affect its biases. knowing the american software
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development industry looks like me caucasian, male 20s 30s this raises concerns for the fact this technology's more likely to be employed on african-americans and other overpoliced demographics. look at another study which asks the question more directly. it sefted three commercial algorithms made by companies to who sell so law enforcement, tested on actual plug shots from pinellas county florida. in all three graphs take a look at gap between the between line, represents performance on caucasians and red line represents performance on african-americans. i wouldn't pay too much attention to the blue line there wasn't a ton of data on latinos. but you can see in this set of graphs that i'm showing a consistent gap between the green and red line which certainly raises concerns given this technology's focused on perhaps the communities on which it performs worst. what can we conclude from this information?
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as a scientist, i want to caution that this isn't enough information to convict, this isn't enough information to indict but certainly enough information to ask about how the algorithms work. i've shown you two studies, we were scraping the bottom of the barrel in the research literature. it's hard to say. are the algorithms being tested for bias? we've had a hard time finding studies and interviewed companies about the issue and neither of the companies we interviewed could point to a specific test they run specifically for racial bias. finally, where does this bias come from? you can guess perhaps demographic for the engineers, if testing on themselves. i'm skeptical of the conclusion. the composition of the training sets used to train algorithms but perhaps some people are harder to recognize than others which is a conclusion that certain studies speculated. one company speculated this might be the case due to color contrast in the face reduced for people with darker skin making
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it harder to distinguish features. i'm going to hand it back over to clear to talk more about her study. >> to sum up facial recognition challenge our assumptions or expectations of anonymity in public spaces. while it undoubtedly has positive implications it's a powerful policing tool and it's critical to understand risks that it poses particularly if it has this risk which we're finding in our research to disproportionately impact certain communities, particularly african-american citizens. we will be publishing a broad report on this hopefully this summer which will include recommendations to the federal government state and local agencies police departments, companies, and advocates on how to begin addressing this issue. thanks so ump in. i guess we have time for questions as well.
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>> [ inaudible ] -- particularly on the backs of the databases. the security communities initiative building the next generation identification database. i want to invite you to the extent you can draw conclusions with respect to latinos in the efficacy of facial recognition generally and no the extent to which it's been accurate but what extent immigrants in undocumented communities might be targeted with the use of technology similar to the disproportionate surveillance. >> technically speaking this particular study, these graphs look very clean but a lot of
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other graphs were all over the place for the latino component of the study, i wouldn't draw too many conclusions from this study. most studies i've seen showed it between asian-americans and caucasians because data was collected on college campuses and those are the two biggest demographics to collect from. studies between caucasians and african-americans, there were i think pretty much the one, there may have been one other pseudostudpseudo pseudostudpseudo pseudostudy. with latinos, this was pretty much it. nothing else i could find. >> this is an unsatisfactory answer, our research is focused on the state and local level, and the algorithms and the systems independent of the ngi system. there is a fair amount of research through eff and epic on the ngi system which i would point you to. this is a limitation of our study more than anything else. >> talk about what you mean when you say the al dpagorithm fails andi
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imagine this might be a benefit if the overpoliced communities are actually not being subject to as accurate tracking identification than maybe we should let it slide as long as possible? >> certainly. that's a fantastic question. two kinds of failures false accepts, where it says okay these two people are the same when they're not the same. might say this person is the same as the suspect when it's not, and false rejects, where it says says okay this person should be the same but actually not. and this particular study, typically the way studies are done look at x axis and see they fix the false accept rate and show the true accept right and how many times they get it right. what you want to contrast is the false act
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false accept rate. if you kind of turn the graph on its side you can see that the false accept right is probably going to be higher but typically the way the studies are structured it would be hard to draw that conclusion. you can certainly speculate this would be bet for it has a harder time matching african-americans in general but i think that would be a -- an overly simplistic way to look at study. >> to build on that we can hypothesize there are, depending on the purpose of the system itself there are different ways to set up the algorithm in the system so maybe sometimes you want to be overincluive and sometimes underincluive. i would hazard a guess, just a guess, being used as investigative tool they want to be overinclusive they have more fall accepts than false rejects. they don't -- if it's not a good law enforcement tool they're not going to use it. >> the other tiny thing i'll throw in i know we're out of time the way law enforcement
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actually uses algorithms they measure the similarity between pairs of photos and set a threshold above the similarity and consider it a possible match. the problem with if it's good at false rejecting for african-americans is that the particular african-american who is being targeted in the search might fall below the threshold but that means other people who are higher up in the rankings could get implicated instead. false rejects turn into false accepts depending how the system is figured with the similarity threshold. >> ladies and gentlemen, let me point your attention to the essay in the atlantic claire and jonathan ran yesterday with recommendations how to solve the problem. we are running behind. we'll take a continueten-minute coffee break. so 3:36. you will not want to miss professor chris henning's presentation. 3:36. see you soon.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce professor chris henning, a former public defender now leader of georgetown law's juvenile defense clinic. as i said in the morning i think it's a little misleading to think of surveillance only in the context of fancy gizmos basically, that are developed by engineers and that we really need to see that the surveillance techniques policing techniques used every single day on the street those two are surveillance. professor henning will talk about that and so much more.
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a round of applause for professor henning. [ applause ] >> so my 16-year-old african-american client may not know that his public benefits are being tracked or that he will one day be tapped by the fbi when he grows up to become a black activist. but he certainly knows that he is being watched, monitored, and regulated every single day in his school on his street on the beach, at the store, on his front porch, in the courtyard of his housing complex, in his car, and on his job. black boys are born suspect. they are born into a life of surveillance. and this is their story.
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imagine your elementary and middle school education surrounded by police officers. every day youen ter the front door through security through metal detectors and security cameras. every day you are greeted by a school resource officer who is likely in uniform which a gun, pepper spray, and a baton at his waist. and in the extreme, if you live in compton, california you're likely to see a school resource officer who is authorized to carry a military-grade assault rifle converting your school into a correctional facility or a military zone. and when you behave like you are 6 or 9 or 15 years old, you're not likely to be sent to detention but insteading likely to be pulled out of your class by the police interviewed and
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arrested for your normal childish and adolescent behavior. now, many people who support the presence of police in schools argue that police officers it more about -- it's less about surveillance and more about the relationship between police officers -- improving the relationship between police officers and youth. but let's look at this. consider the south carolina teenager who was dragged out of her seat after she sent a text and refused to get up. >> give me the hands.
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give me the hands. give me the hands. >> now, this was a high profile case right? but she's not alone. consider jefferson parish louisiana, where african-american students accounted for 80% of students who were arrested and referred to the police. although they made up only 41.5% of the students in the school. where delaware, where african-american students accounted for 67% of students referred to the police although they made up only 32% of students in the school system. so when we think about whether police are in schools for surveillance or whether in schools to police -- to improve relationships between youth and police officers we have to consider that police are always police. police dress like police.
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they talk like police. they interview like police and they investigate like police and they arrest like police even when they are in school and students come to believe their interactions with the police and schools will be representative of their interactions with police officers on the street. and numerous accounts of police youth, interactions we have black boys who complain about the sheer number of police officers in their neighborhoods. they complain about being stopped by police officers time and time again even when they are found with nothing on their person. they complain about being stopped based on ridiculously vague descriptions such as black boys running or black male in jeans and a hoodie, black males in athletic gear. even when the police officers know or the black boys flow that
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they have engaged in criminal conduct, they complain about the way that they are stopped by police. being pushed shoved kicked grabbed, choked and taled lele tackled to the ground. talking about police officers being rude hostile, antagonistic. they complain about profanity, racial slurs and terms like punk and sissy. now, black boys are treated like they are out of place. not only in white middle class neighborhoods but also in public spaces in their own neighborhoods at their own schools, on their own front porches. and we although about the arrest of skip gates as he was trying to get into the front door of his home in that wealthy cambridge neighborhood where so many harvard professors live. but what about tremendous main
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hawkins, the 14-year-old boy stopped on a miami-dade beach for playing and roughhousing with his friend and playing with his puppy? >> he got plaid. i said that's when they slammed me he got on the floor and started choking me. >> new at 6:00, teen abler's mother releases cell phone video of her son restrained by police memorial day. the question, did officers overreact? miami-dade police say the behavior and body language left them no choice but to act the way they did. >> what about the hundreds of black boys that i meet in my practice as a defense attorney who complain about walking while black, about two months ago we were appointed to represent a young man who was walking down the street with a frie and the police officers rode up next to him and they asked him if he had heard gunshots of which there were none.
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and when the -- my client said no we didn't hear anything and tried to walking the officer said lift up your shirt, let me see your waist. when the officers didn't sigh anything in the boys' waist they said well can we search you? which point either my client or his friend said yes. four officers jump out of the car, force the boys up against the wall, and search them. unfortunately they found a gun on my client. now, traditional reading of the 4th amendment would say that the police officers' conduct was completely legal, the boys consented from beginning to end, but is this voluntary consent. black boys are so afraid of of police today they do one of two things. they either do whatever the police officers say, or run like hell to get out of there. and i have to say if my client had run, traditional reading of the 4th amendment would say his flight was consciousness of
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guilt, justifying the officer's search. what was the basis. what was the basis other than racial profiling that led those officers to pull up next to those boys in the first place? some might be thinking wait this is a good thing because a gun was found. what about the hundreds of black boys and black men who were stopped every single day without any contraband at all? consider the story of the young boys age 7 to 8, stopped recently right here in the district of columbia while riding their bikes some time after there was a report of bikes being stolen from the walmart. the boys were forced off of the bikes, told to sit on the curb and interviewed for 45 minutes until one of the mothers came running up with the receipt for the bike she purchased for her son. only then were the boys let go. and what about the students from maya angelo public charter
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school here in the district of columbia who were repeatedly stopped and harassed a couple years ago by police officers sitting on the front steps, eating snacks talking and laughing as many children do as they have breaks between their classes? so the reality is that black boys are policed like no one else in society. the reality is society is uniquely afraid of black boys. consider the rhetoric of the princeton professor who coined the phrase back in 1995 juvenile super predator and he predicted that a new generation of street criminals would be upon us youngest biggest, baddest any generation has ever seen. and he racialized that theory
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when he wrote his now-famous "my black crime problem and ours" and predicted that as many as half of those young superpredators could be young, black males. now we know that that is a type of rhetoric that led to the full-scale attack and surveillance of black boys in 19990s. we know that surveillance has not stopped today. although delulio long since retracted his theory. consider the contemporary data from new york. data that reveals that more than 5 million new yorkers have been stopped and interrogated by police between 2002 and 2015. in 2014 new yorkers were stopped by the police 46,000 times. and of those 46,000 times, 82%
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of the persons were innocent. 53% were african-american. and 27% were latino. and in 2015 when new yorkers were stopped only a mere 23,000 times, 80% were still found to be innocent 54% were blacks. and 11% were latino. now, all across the country we also have to consider the hundreds of black men and women who were stopped in the complex -- excuse me in the courtyards of their housing complexes, questioned about drugs and guns and crimes they know nothing about. and in newark new jersey they call these field inquiries. explicitly acknowledging that stop and frichksk sounds too
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invasive. consider the hundreds of black men and women, like sandra bland, stopped for driving while black, and most of us have heard of the old 1995 study about the new jersey turnpike which found that african-american drivers were nearly five times more likely than others to be stopped, although they were only 13.5% of the area's population and only 15% of those found speeding on the road. but how many of us heard about the more recent study about arizona highways between 2006 and 2007 where it was found that african-american drivers were 2.5 times more likely to be searched in their cars than whites? and although african-americans were twice as likely to be searched the records show they were no more likely to have contraband. and how many of you have ever heard of photo books?
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photo books used by police departments to track black men and black boys who might one day cause trouble. a few years ago, i was appointed to represent a young man who had beened a been identified as a suspect in a robbery by a civilian who pointed him out in a photo spread. and i was confused because my client had never been arrested before so i didn't know why the police would have his photograph. i asked my client where did this photograph come from? and he said oh yeah six months ago a police officer approached me and said he was new to the neighborhood and wanted to get to know me. i wasn't doing anything wrong, and the officer said i wasn't doing anything wrong but he wanted to get to know me. he wanted to take my photograph so he could remember my name and my face. and it was only then that i realized as a public defender how much my clients were being
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trapped and being labeled and being followed in their everyday lives. now, this is a conference about the government surveillance of the black community. but i would be remiss if i did not at least note the ways in which the police and the government draw civilians into surveillance of black people. we live as been said multiple times today, we live in a see something, say something culture. if you see a sketchy-looking person suspicious looking person lurking around your neighborhood there is an app for that. consider sketch factor which allows its users to notify others when there's a sketchy person in your neighborhood in the district of columbia or in new york city. consider next door.com which allows residents of oakland, california to report suspicious
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activity about their black neighbors. consider ghettotracker.com, which allows users to rate neighborhoods based on whether they are safe or ghetto. now, these are civilian apps right? but they follow the lead of those created by police departments and government agencies like the san francisco bay area rapid transition system's bart watch app which allows its ride to report suspicious activity and crime instantaneously. and the data interest that app shows that in a one-month snapshot although only 10% of the riders were african-american 68% of the reports that included description involved african-americans. and consider operation group me, right here 4 the district of
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columbia launched february 2014 by the government -- excuse me the georgetown improved -- business improvement district who partnered with the metropolitan police department to launch real-time mobile messaging app that allowed business owns police officers and community members to exchange thousand of im. >> as and descriptions and photographs ser represent ss surreptitiously taken of customers they believed to be suspicious. consider american apparel employee sends out a message, suspicious shoppers in store, three female one male strong smell of weed all african-american help. please. true religion employee what did they look like? response ratchet. lol. it's an urban slang term for
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trashy that has heavy racial connotations. then my favorite, the hughes wear employee takes a photograph african-american man in distress the jeans, gray scarf and long brown coat. african-american male just left headed to 29th, 6 foot tats on neck and hand. very suspicious looking everywhere. the employee responds he was just in suit supply made a purchase of several suits and some gloves. ladies and gentlemen, this is the story of everyday surveillance. it's not just about the fbi. it's not just about the nsa. watching our tapping our phones or reading our e-mails. it is about the ways in which black boys are monitored and watched and regulated and
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marginalized in society by police officers who search them in their schools, follow them in the scores harass them on the street pull them out of their car, and solicit civilian tip ss that have a color of surveillance. this is a story of everyday surveillance. thanks. >> yeah it's on. i've thought about this several times today, and let me try it on you for a response and i say this as someone who presently lives in a city where the lack of black representation on the police force relative to the black population of the city is
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striking and know fornotorious. what degree is greater african-american recruitment in law enforcement agencies a solution to what we've talked about today? >> so i am extremely am bifb lent about it and probably come out on the side of concluding diversity alone is not enough. i do think that diversity is critical. it change the nature of the conversation hopefully opens doors to thinking about or rethinking how we police. but the reality is i live in a city right here in washington, d.c. that is black from top-down. from the mayor's office you mayor's office you know we've had black chief of police and the like over time. and the policing doesn't change. i think society has been socialized. you know a professor earlier talked about blind folks, you know. it is socialized throughout our society, you know implicit racial bias carries regardless
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of whether you are african-american or whether you're white. so i think that solution alone is just not enough. [ applause ] >> there was a time in washington maybe about a year ago when if you asked a roomful of conservative republicans and liberal democrats, you know who's for body cameras, and all their hands would shoot up. and i think there's a saying in the law where easy cases make bad law. and harlan yu of the technology consultant and public policy consultancy upturn has been leading the civil rights community's efforts to evaluate police body camera policies and figure out which ones are going to work for civil rights and for
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policy. please join me in welcoming harlan yu. [ applause ] >> thanks. >> surveillance video takes you back to 2014. >> so when we hear about body cameras in the public discourse, we often hear about their potential to bring transparency and accountability to community police interactions. but i'd like to begin this talk with a short video from marion county florida, from 2014, which some of you may have seen. jay stanley here from the aclu recently wrote about it a couple of weeks ago. but i think it's important for everyone here to see this video because i think it illustrates in a visceral and powerful way the potential peril that may come from the use of cameras. >> surveillance video takes you back to 2014.
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derek price, the man running in the white shirt, gets arrested on a drug warrant. he throws his hands up appearing to surrender, but that doesn't stop five marion county deputies from pummeling him with a flurry of kicks and punches. at no time do you see him put up a fight. >> stop resisting! stop resisting! >> video from another angle, the body camera footage from one of the deputies tells a different tale one that appears to be misleading. they scream at price to stop resisting and put your hand behind your back. and even cut the body camera off at one point. but back to that surveillance video. it makes a strong case that price was not resisting. marion county sheriff chris blair says the -- >> i'm going to stop that right there. so derek price was beaten by the
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police that day, and thank goodness for that fixed surveillance camera which helped to show the world what the body worn camera could not in particular and in particular because the officer turned on his camera too late to capture the entire department. indeed had we only had that body worn camera footage, it probably would have served as a compelling piece of evidence against mr. price. cameras have the potential to help everyone better understand how a particular incident unfolded unfolded unfolded and it can certainly be a good thing. but it's also important to remember that cameras are just one perspective. the perspective of the officer with cameras worn on the officer's body facing out toward the community, recording the community. and there are legitimate fears that rather than providing accountability that body worn cameras will just be another tool for government surveillance and control. that is to say this is going to be a tool where the surveillance system is concentrated where officers are most present, in heavily policed communities of
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color. so body worn cameras don't automatically bring about accountability. the policies that departments adopt to guide the use of this new technology is going to matter greatly. it's for this reason that last may, a coalition of 34 civil rights privacy, and media rights groups came together to assert a set of civil rights principles on body worn cameras. importantly, the groups recognized that without carefully crafted policy safeguards in place, there's a real risk these devices could become skrumtsinstruments of injustice rather than tools for accountability. the set of five principles was not an endorsement of body worn cameras. in fact many groups opposed cameras as a useful reform and certainly cameras are no substitute for broader reforms of policing practices. but given that police departments across the country have been rushing to adopt this new technology these principles were meant to ensure that cameras will be used by
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departments to help enhance rather than detract from people's civil rights. the principles demand that departments develop their policies in public in consultation with the community and to commit to a set of narrow and well-defined purposes for which cameras and their footage will be used. they require departments to specify clear operational policies for recording and retention and access as well as placing a strict limit on when officers may view their footage in the process of completing their written reports. and critically if cameras are to serve any accountability purpose at all, relevant footage must be made available, especially those who are seeking to file a police complaint or those who are defending themselves in a court of law. unfortunately, police departments across the country have a long long way to go. cameras are hitting the streets now, but in far too many cases, the policies may not serve the goals of transparency and
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accountability. last november my organization upturn together with the leadership conference on civil and human rights released a body worn camera policy scorecard which you can final online at bwc scorecard.org. it evaluates the policies of 25 local police departments including 15 of the largest departments in the country that have or will soon have body-worn camera programs. so here's a high-level overview of the ten largest departments we examined. as you can see, each row here represents one department in our analysis. and for each department we scored the department's policy using eight different criteria that were derived from the civil rights principles from last may. so the goal of our scorecard is to spotlight for both local advocates and for police departments themselves exactly where and how their departments could improve their policies from a civil rights perspective. so here's a summary, for example, of our analysis of the
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nypd policy. for each criterion, we scored the department on a three-level scale. a green check mark means that the policy fully satisfies our criteria and i'll explain in a second what each of the criterion mean. the yellow circle represents the fact that the policy partially satisfies our criterion, and a red x just means that the department policy either does not address the issue or actually runs counter to our criteria. in addition if you look at the scorecard website, you'll see it's rather extensive because for each rating we've extracted and provided an excerpt of the relevant policy language. the goal here is to highlight the policy language that we find most promising in hopes that it can serve as a model for other departments looking to adopt better policies. so just very briefly describe and walk through each of our civil rights evaluation criteria in turn. so the first criterion is most basic, about whether the department makes its policy
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publicly and redly available. in order to have any kpiend of communication with the rules of the road for cameras, departments need to at least make the draft policies available as they're being discussed and developed. the second criterion examines whether the department limits officer discretion on when to record. based on some early experiences with body worn cameras, when officers have had too much discretion about when to turn their cameras on and off, a large fraction of use of force incidents were found to have happened off-camera and were never recorded. on the flip side the third criterion looks at when cameras actually need to be turned off to protect the privacy of individual community members, especially for victims of crimes. departments need to be extremely thoughtful about the privacy implications that cameras will have because cameras are going to capture individuals in some of their worst moments of their lives. think about an officer who arrives on a call where they find a victim of a sex crime or
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a heated domestic dispute. in many of these cases, these vulnerable individuals should at least have the option of opting out of the recording. the fourth criterion we used is among the most hotly contested policy issues right now, and it's about whether officers are allowed to view footage during the process of writing their incident reports. now, there are arguments that allowing officers to review footage will make for more accurate reports. but the civil rights push-back here is this practice gives officers an undue advantage over other witnesses in a court of law. because by allowing so-called pre-report viewing statements from officers will always appear more accurate and more credible than other witness statements which would unnecessarily tilt the justice system even further against criminal defendants. put in a slightly different way, it's unlikely that any prosecutor or investigator would ever allow other witnesses to watch footage of an event before getting an unbiased or untainted
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statement from that individual and we believe that this should be no different for officers. in the worst case with e-report viewing, an officer could conform his or her report to match only what's seen in the video rather than what -- rather than giving an independent account of what the officer actually saw. fifth, we examined whether the department policy limits the retention of footage. as you can imagine, the vast majority of recorded footage is pretty mundane and doesn't really have or serve any accountability or investigative purpose at all. so such footage ought to be purged after a short amount of time. and doing so would actually save departments money because much of the cost of body worn cameras comes not from purchasing the cameras themselves but from the continued online storage of thousands and thousands of hours of unneeded footage. sixth, we looked at whether the department policy expressly protects footage from tampering and misuse. so the potential concern here is
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about officers deleting or otherwise modifying unfavorable footage, especially when it comes to police shootings and other uses of force. so it's important for these policies to expressly prohibit tampering and misuse of the footage. seventh, we examined the availability of footage outside of the department. officer accountability is only possible if those who need to see the footage actually have access to it. of particular interest we believe that recorded individuals who are seeking to file police misconduct complaints ought to have ready access to their own footage. finally, our eighth criterion, which looks at whether the department limits the use of biometric technologies like facial recognition, voice recognition, or even tattoo analysis which could be used to automatically identify individuals either in real-time as an officer walks the beat or in a search over all archival footage that the department has
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cleblthed. this is a very alluring prospect for many departments from an investigative perspective. if we're worried about cameras turning into a tool of police surveillance then limiting biometrics is going to be a very important part of that. so what's the overall picture here? departments across the country are very quickly deploying body worn cameras. the department of justice has been giving out millions of dollars of grants to help local police departments accelerate their body camera adoption. and many state legislatures are also looking into the issue. now, departments that we've seen are experimenting with a really wide range of policies in each of the dimensions that we studied. what we found is no department has a perfect policy. each one has its pros and cons and we found that every department has significant room for improvement. so across the board, i suggest three critical areas for advocates to focus on and it's unsurprisingly where a lot of
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red x's are on our scorecard. so first on officer pre-report viewing, which is the fourth column here many departments across the country allow or even encourage or even require their officers to view footage while completing their reports. second, on footage access which is the seventh column here where, for example, in all california departments, all footage is considered an investigatetory record and that the public thus has no right to see the footage at all. third, the eighth column on limiting biometric use, where baltimore, we found, was the only department in the country that sharply limits its own use of facial recognition together with cameras. so just to wrap things up as you can -- you can find the entire scorecard again and the principles at bwc scorecard.org. we're doing our best to bring the scorecard out into communities so local advocates can use the scorecard in their
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own advocacy. so at the moment this initial release only hits 25 police departments across the country, but we're actively working right now to expand that to many more major cities across the country. and so thanks and i'm happy to answer any questions. [ applause ] >> [ inaudible ] -- what if for example, a complainant wanted to show that a particular officer had a pattern of abusive behavior or wanted to look how that officer was dealing with other people or if an academic wanted to do some research generally about how the police department is working? is that something that anybody thinks about? >> these would be nice things for the public to know but with camera programs and the policies being developed around them right now that's certainly not
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going to be possible especially in states like california. >> this is really exciting. thanks for doing this work. i imagine that the argument they give for asking officers to look at the -- before they do the report is that they end up with a more accurate report. so i'm wondering if you have a different definition of success that you've put forward like around fairness or something that's actually quantifiable, which is what they love so much so you could advocate for not letting that happen. >> sure. i think accuracy of reports and independent nature of officer statements aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. i think one very promising policy going forward is actually a two-step process, which is probably just a best practice that should be used in video overall. and the way that this process would work is that the officer would write an initial report based on his or her independent
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recollection of the events and then have an opportunity to view the footage and then to write a supplemental report to reconcile any potential differences between the officer's memory and what was shown in the video. so at the end of the day, the whole package, what you have is something that is an accurate recollection based on the footage but at the same time we have the officer's independent recollection that could be used to better evaluate the actions of officers in a particular situation. [ applause ] >> thanks. >> right now if you visit the department of homeland security's website and you look under a tab that i think is called "mission," the first thing you will see is the statement that the department of homeland security is structured to combat terrorism. i am paraphrasing so i'm sure i'm off a little bit, but look
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that up. and then look up an article from the intercept revealing -- and it was the first of many pieces of journalism that would reveal this -- that the department of homeland security was conducting monitoring on the black lives matter movement including entirely peaceful activities. and i think one was a funk parade for example. we are lucky to have with us brandi collins from color of change.org. they're the organization that is leading the freedom of information act requests to dhs to figure out exactly what kind of watching was going on. please join me in welcoming brandi collins. [ applause ] >> thank you, everybody. i am from as alvaro mentioned, color of change. i want to talk a little about
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who we are for some folks who may not be familiar. we are a ten-year organization. we are started in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. our two founders van jones and james rucker like many of us were sort of sitting at home watching the television watching a lot of folks, mostly poor folks, mostly people of color and black folks in particular being sort of overwhelmingly abandoned and left to literally drown by our government. and what we felt from that was that there was no sense of accountability that nobody was sort of worried about the threat of letting black folks down. to that end, we created -- or they created. sorry, not we. i've only been there a year. color of change as an organization that is meant to build and change what power looks like in black communities. we want to change the written and unwritten rules that govern our systems and structures.
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we want to challenge the sort of profiteers of pain. so in other words, when our communities suffer who's cashing in? and we use a form of citizen lobbying so we have about 1.2 million members that we engage across the country in different activities to hold government and corporations accountable to us. and most recently we launched an initiative. it's been around for a while, it's called i'm color of change which allows different grassroots groups and organizers and folks to start their own petitions in order to scale up and build digital power around their movements, and it will be relaunched shortly as organized for -- and, again, it's a way to develop black leaders and digital organizers in the 21st century movement for black lives. so that's a little bit about us. some of the campaign work that we've done is around -- we did a campaign around the american legislative exchange council.
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we saw that they were sort of this -- this is an organization that drafts conservative model legislations that are meant to sort of hogtie or limit the part of government. we saw that they were behind a lot of really bad voter id laws around weakening labor unions and around some standard ground law enforcements as well as weakening environmental protections. this was a group that mainly operated in the dark had a lot of corporations that were a part of them. so we did a lot of work to kind of like bring them out into the light and to get, i think, around 50-plus companies to die vest from alec. another campaign that we are part of or some other work we're doing is around media accountability. so we do this work. we launched a report earlier last year called not to be trusted. it looked at the role of local news in perpetuating the myth of the super predator that we heard from dr. henning earlier, around
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the role of media as sort of functioning as a p.r. firm for police departments and not just condoning but building the case for overpolicing and surveillance in our communities. and what we found in new york is that we saw some of the stats that were presented earlier, but what we found in terms of reporting is that significantly by around 25 percentage points black crime was being overreported in the news and white crime was being significantly underreported. what we wanted to do in that report is to kind of show or illuminate you know how these different narratives get created around our community that then justify policies. so there's a couple of frames that we like -- or that we want to push back on through our news accountability work. one, we want to sort of disrupt this frame around black people being the problem, and we've heard that from a lot of folks discussed today so i won't go into detail about that. two, this idea that disruption is wrong, which we also heard
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about. and, three, this sort of frame that safety equals overpolicing. and so that's some of the stuff that we look at in our media accountability work. and then most recently we started pushing companies like coca-cola to divest from the republican national convention not because it's republicans, but because of some of the racist, misogynist rhetoric that we see being perpetuated and we believe that corporations have a responsibility not to provide oxygen to that space. so we recently were able to get coca-cola to divest. we work in this model which will come into play as i talk a little more about how we're thinking about surveillance. respond, build, pivot scale. so what this means is like in the moment when something happens, sort of responding to a movement moment. what is the change that we need to see? what is -- you know when we feel sort of anger or frustration at what we see happening in our communities, what are the ways that again,
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we can change the written and unwritten rules? how can we make sure these things don't happen again? so we offer a sort of rapid response action and ways for our members to engage. building. again, we leverage the sort of citizen lobbying. we also work inside and outside, negotiating with corporations at times, leveraging a sort of media strategy building mass action in order to make our communities and our fights unignorable by media, by corporations by government. pivot. looking for opportunities to make the case for change. another example going back tot alec example, when we were doing work around this we were actually focusing more on voter id laws and some of the stuff that was happening around weak knee labor unions. in the middle of us doing our campaign around alec is when tray von was murdered and we learned that the sort of laws that protected his killer, the stand your ground laws were also alec backed.
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so it was a moment for us to start a conversation about the role alec was playing in a new way, different from what we were talking about. finally, scale, how can we sort of scale up our movement and again move beyond this like one moment to a full-scale movement for change. so that's a little bit about what we do. so i want to talk a little bit how we think about surveillance in our work. i think it was kind of interesting. we heard a question earlier around how do we get this sort of information around encryption around other things? how do we get it to your communities? and what was said was that it's already in our communities and we're already thinking about it. and i would definitely echo that and say this isn't also a recent phenomenon. as we learned that the story of surveillance is not new, neither is the story of resistance to surveillance. recently over christmas break, i was with my family in savannah and we went to this church that was called the first african
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baptist church one of the oldest churches in the country from the 1700s. it also had an underground railroad underneath. when you went into the pew and you saw the different chairs there was like little sort of encryption. i believe it was a dink rub, but like carvings in the side of the pew, and it was a way of telling people the underground railroad was there. it was like the original encryption. even when we talk about songs that were used during slavery in order to talk about where people should go in brazil where you take a martial art and disguise it as a dance, again, these are different forms of original encryption are things that our community have done because we know we've lived under this veil of surveillance going back you know for a very long time. and so the question is not like how do we get people to sort of think about surveillance in our community but more like we're having these conversations. are you listening? you know are we having these
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conversations collectively? what does the conversation look like at the policy table versus at the kitchen table in our communities? and so the way that we think about surveillance again looks very different. so often in this community we hear -- and i was kind of surprised i didn't hear it more but we hear a lot around this sort of mass versus targeted surveillance. typically when you talk about targeted surveillance that's when often times it's talked about policing and black communities. and then mass surveillance is usually a conversation in which black folks are not often included. so i kind of looked up the traditional definition of mass versus targeted surveillance. so mass surveillance is the intricate surveillance of an entire or substantial fraction of a population to monitor that group of citizens. whereas targeted surveillance is the monitoring of preidentified events or people of concern or
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importance. last week when i was on a panel, it was said that mass surveillance is to be given the benefit of the doubt while targeted surveillance is operated under a presumption of guilt. and i think, you know for black folks and for people of color and for poor people that line between mass and targeted surveillance is not real because in either scenario we're disproportionately targeted. and also when you see the way that the media narrative and the police narrative is perpetuated around surveillance it's very much wrapped in this idea that your behavior triggers surveillance when what we've heard throughout the day and what's more real is your identity triggers surveillance. so you know some of the different triggers we've talked about over the course of the day, but again it's you know what's defined as probable
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cause. we see time and time again things that compose sort of collective identity and it's interesting because we heard someone say that there's like sort of more protocols around the government that they should have learned quite a bit from what happened when martin luther king and i'm sure they have but i think it's probably more around how to conceal what they're doing versus you know changing up some of the things they're looking at. but in any event, when we look at these different triggers whether you're talking again about mass or targeted surveillance again, the disproportionate impact is the same. i look at your mode of transportation. earlier this month or last month rather we found out that the maryland transit authority had been listening to audio of folks' conversations for three years and that this was also happening in i believe, san
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francisco and in another location. but really that most buses and public transportation are equipped to listen to audio. according to the sort of public transit authority or the national transit authority, 60% of the people that use public transportation are people of color. many of them are people that live at or below the poverty line. again, this is another example of mass surveillance that's very targeted in its impact. when you talk about monitoring people's cell phones black and brown folks, according to pugh are much more likely to use their cell phone to do all of their work to access the internet in every way possible. so again, who's caught up in that dragnet more often? it's those folks. it's poor folks. when you think about social media, again, black and brown folks are the faster adopters of modern technology. twitter has been particularly important in helping to organize around the movement for black lives. so when you go on there and that's where you're drawing your surveillance from who's coming up in that dragnet more often? it's black folks. so again and again, we begin to
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see that you know all of these different things that compose who we are and our identity are also essentially this sort of probable cause that leads to surveillance. so that brings us to the discussion and why we're here. so the surveillance of the movement for black lives. so alvaro said something interesting today. he said it was once illegal to be a black leader in america. i think, you know we still say that it's being treated as illegal, and we see that in a number of different ways. so we began to see incidences across the country of how that was playing out. and so we decided to take essentially one component of our identity that's being surveilled what you believe in and your habits and activities on social media, so two components really and focus in on that for the purposes of the project that we're launching that we'll talk about in a bit. part of this was driven -- we hadn't really done surveillance historically but we just heard
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too many incidences of what was happening across the country in terms of surveillance. we heard, you know out of chicago we heard about stingray usage earlier today. hi to step out, so i'm not sure if he talked about it or not. but there was an article where they also talked about how teachers unions were being surveilled. as they were planning around the chicago public school strike. we heard it in new york about, you know people being sort of identified and pulled out of line during protests with guns held to people's head people being -- mothers being torn away from their kids people being referred to across the country by their handle and not, you know their actual name. protesters in minneapolis being catfished by security guards or police at mall of america. we heard multiple stories in ferguson that sound like something out of the '60s of people being taken for night rides, sort of randomly picked
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up in one location dropped off somewhere else, someone while shopping in wall mortmart being singled out as a leader and harassed and arrested. so as we started hearing these stories and layered on top of that more media coverage which talks about, you know police officers referring to black lives matters and people in the movement for black lives as terrorists people you know talking about this so-called ferguson effect where the existence of activists fighting for equity has, you know prevented police officers from doing their job and caused crime to go up which again, you know these kind of like false stories. it began to feel clear to us that these things are not in isolation. you know and even though co-intel por has been dismantled what we're seeing is actually worse, and we think
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it's a very explicit form of surveillance that's happening in all different levels and that it's connected. so we wanted to work together to basically centralize all of the work that's happening in our communities and be able to protect activists and ensure that we can engage and ensure safe activism. so some of the things we're wonning is how are local police departments -- are they acting of theirs own volition or are they working in connection with federal government? if so how are these different governments collaborating? what does that look like? what are the tools that are being used and how can we protect ourselves? there's a number of other questions, but those are just some of some. so what we created was called the project for secure activism which is not a sexy name so we're taking recommendations. if you can find like an acronym for glow because i'm a fan of glow if you can make that into like a -- just let me know. holler at me.
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so through that sort of deploying national and local rapid response campaigns, i talked about our i am color change platform. we've launched campaigns supporting the mall of america activists, looking at targeted surveillance in the nypd the prosecution of activists in l.a. and oakland. and we've also launched a campaign around stingrays and calling for a public registry of stingray devices. we're also looking for opportunities to do campaigns based on facial recognition, license plate readers, et cetera. but basically what we want to do is again be again to like build this public narrative around what surveillance looks like while giving people an opportunity to intervene and take action. we're also engaging in this sort of collection and archiving of anecdotes and stories from activists as well as continuing to leverage research on tools of surveillance not being surveillance and practices. for phase two, we started to build and convene a network of attorneys of color to provide on the ground support to activists.
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we have a partnership with a joint analyst organization. we hope to gather more. groups then within this we've been doing submission of event and individual foya requests. so we've done you know specific events like protests across the country which i know a lot of other groups are also doing. but specifically working with different individuals, and our goal was not to just work with like individuals that are maybe well known, but those that are more sort of behind the scenes that are less known by the general public but that are on the radar of police. we're looking for folks that have been doing this work for a long time and then a short period of time. what we want to do is build this tapestry of what activist surveillance looks like in our communities. then for phase two, again, continuing to pivot and stay on top of changing events moving forward with our ongoing campaigns and we're actually working towards filing a lawsuit and exploring whether we can do sort of a class action one on
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behalf of the movement for black lives or what that potentially looks like against the government. all of this is sort of leading up to creating and launching the sort of public interest site. we know that different folks are doing some of this work out there. we really find that a lot of it is not focused on sort of racial justice or activism in the same way or a lot of stuff is not necessarily palatable. like i always think of that quote from denzel washington in philadelphia where he's like telling it to like i'm five. i often feel like i sit in these coalition rooms and i know i'm at least a semi-intelligent person and i can't understand what you're talking about. so how do we build these tools that are easily accessible in a variety of different languages so folks that are doing this work whether it's house sitting in solidarity efforts or whether it's in all different languages or production in some communities from surveillance how can we translate this into different languages so folks are able to engage in activism? again, sort of deploy actions
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and tactics towards driving larger systemic change and continue to push this narrative around what surveillance looks like in our communities. and we hope to basically -- we're hoping to sort of launch this. i'm not sure if it's going to happen but around the time to sort of commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the black panthers as well as the anniversary of the assassination of fred hampton, which was also another sort of by-product of co-intel pro-. so in terms of some of the information that we've been able to find and obtain like i wish i had all of this stuff to tell you guys. but unfortunately it's been this really hard-going process for us and super challenging, which is sort of the challenge behind you know the way foya is constructed and we suspect intentional by the government. so in the first round, dhs told us that they could only search e-mails if they had specific e-mail addresses. we were working with a journalist who said that was absolutely not accurate. so we were able to go back in and challenge that and say they
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should be able to look through e-mails using key words. we had key words like sort of black lives matter freddie gray. originally they said that those key words weren't coming up which to me sort of flagged that maybe it's one of those situations where even if they're not -- they're probably using another term for black lives matters is what i suspect but would love to hear from other folks that are doing foias. we've also gone back and forth with them and have received different notices around how they're trying to process. another one of our foia requests said it had to be referred to ice, and this was our foia request regarding chicago, st. louis and minneapolis, regarding the monitoring protesters and the use of stingray fusion and facial recognition technology. and we've heard different reasons around why it was referred to ice, so some say this is actually a good sign. it's them doing their due process, and others have said it's possible some of the people that are coming up under the dragnet are also on the radar of ice and that there's a
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connection there. so we're exploring that as well. and then finally we've heard regarding some of our requests on communications in minneapolis during the jamar clark protest on use of stingray that releasing that information would invite risk of circumvention, and we also received notes on some of our new york foia requests that we couldn't get the data because there were still open investigations. so we've been fortunately working with some really great lawyers that are helping us to refine these foia requests and put them back in and we sort of keep plugging away at this. and as we begin to put in requests on individuals, also making that data available to both them and the public. so that's a little piece of some of our work and i'm out of time. so i'm going to end. okay. one question. [ applause ]
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>> i was curious based on your experience and the experience of these people reporting to you what your experience has been with black police officers and more racially diverse police units. is that a laudable goal? does it help? does it help remove some of the inherent biases or do these folks tend to take on the institutional biases of who they work for? >> yeah, i mean i think that's an interesting question. there's definitely when you look at certainly police departments, there's huge disparities in you know the demographics of the police department versus the demographics of communities, and certainly that's a problem when you know 60% of the community is black, let's say, and 80% of the police force is white. however, i think it's still this sort of institution of power that we're targeting, and what that means, and as we saw in baltimore with those police officers it was, you know a very diverse group of police
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officers. and i think what it is is we're not sort of saying why people can't be police officers or that's the issue. it's what this sort of badge has historically meant in terms of sort of tormenting and targeting our communities and really challenging that. so i would say diversity of police departments could be a step but until there's some changes around the way the police departments do business we'll continue to see, you know more of the same regardless of what the faces look like. [ applause ] >> what a day. our last presentation is another teach from matt mitchell who runs crypto harlem.
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we've heard some ideas about the fbi versus apple encryption debate. we got to hear about it from the general counsel of the fbi this morning. now we're going to hear another version of that debate and how it relates to the concerns that have inspired this conference. so we're hearing from matt mitchell. matt thanks so much for being here. >> okay. [ applause ] >> hi everyone. thanks for sticking around okay? all right. i'm going to get my slides up and then we'll start. so just give me like five minutes of your precious time, okay? thank you.
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okay. is that looking good? just one second. one second. sorry. nope. this one. okay. all right. that looks better right? no, something's wrong. let me try.
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nope that's not it. sorry about that. let's try this again. >> control l. >> control l.? i did it. cool. okay. hey, it's working. i'm not going to move around too much. i promise. i'll try not to. let's rock okay? so i'm talking about apple, ios, and why that matters to us especially because this is called you know color of surveillance and a lot of times we think this issue has been
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kind of beaten to the ground. >> sorry. >> no worries. cool. all right. can you hear me? yeah we did it. okay. i can move around now. this is better than ever. hey, everybody, this is more my natural style. so some breaking news okay? so fbi explains to congress how they broke into the iphone. that's interesting. so the fbi worked with a third party to break into the iphone and originally people thought that it was this israel-based startup, you know called cell brat that i know from teaching people about technologies that can be used to read your phone, they make a box that you can use for forensics, and you can connect an android or an iphone and it will pull the information off of that. and very quickly make an image of a phone. so while you're sitting in your car with the headlights of a cruiser behind you on your phone can be copied and given back to you, and it can be used to look at who you call the most or pictures or whatever but not
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encrypted phones. but we found out that that company actually didn't -- you know it was good for their stock and good for their p.r. so i probably wouldn't say it wasn't me either. but it was them. but whatever method that this company used the fbi in trying to be more like hey, look nothing to hide here, are tellingtell tellingtell telling people in congress what the methods were which is kind of scary, because you don't want to even hint how you did it because it allows other people to follow and do the same thing, okay? and then boom today, right, a leaked copy of what may or may not be a draft proposal of a new encryption bill. it hit the internet like this morning, and all, you know nerdy crypto internet was up in arms freaking out about this but rightfully so. basically it says you're allowed to encrypt. we're not trying to take away end to end encryption from the world. u.s. companies, encrypt your
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hearts out, but you have to be able to unencrypt if we ask you to? what? that doesn't make any sense. that is what the interweb said as well. this is julian sanchez's post i thought was pretty awesome. we just needed a few more weeks to tweak our crypto legislation. ta-da. in case you don't know a woman was asked, you know to work on this painting to kind of fix it and that's what happened. it was like a -- instead of restoring the picture, it just got totally cartoonized or whatever. that's an internet meme. i mean yeah people were really hopeful that this bill would have some really intelligent things to say and change stuff, and it seems again this was just a leak and then a pdf a couple hours afterwards. hopefully this is a big april fools joke it's not actually a bill and someone from the hill uploaded it.
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but hopefully this is not the case. who is this person talking to you? that's me, looking handsome in a suit and tie there. i'm matt mitchell and i'm a security researcher and i'm a hacker and i'm also basically an activist because i work with activists. and i'm a journalist because i used to work in newsrooms all the time and i trained journalists on operational security and information security. information security is what tools to use to protect yourself. operational security is how to use those tools. i also do an event in my neighborhood which is harlem like my hat says. i've lived in harlem for almost two decades and i do an event every month. it's a clinic for your phone, your laptop. you got questions he we got answers kind of thing. i get hackers, i get govvies, i get the nerds and the folks from the communities to show up. whether we have a cross section of everyone. i also used to work in a bunch of newsrooms and do a bunch of other stuff but that was like a
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whole lifetime ago. so where are we now? the u.s. says that it may need apple's help to unlock -- sorry, may not need apple's help to unlock a phone and that was because, you know, we don't need your help. we got help from someone else. this is something we should all be worried about because this means another company, not the company that designed the phone, is trying to get in. so if you get locked out of your car, you go to the dealer and they're like we'll send someone over. the dealer can open your car, right? or you can ask me and i can smash it with a brick or hit it with my elbow. so there is no one who is not apple who is going to have a very delegate and fine-tuned approach to opening an apple phone. they're going to do it in a pretty crazy way, a dangerous way and hopefully a way no one finds out about because it can be replicated. apple has a reason to make sure no one finds out. as opposed to some third party company that just gets a
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contract and has been analyzing it from the outside. okay? so that was a dangerous situation. and there's another things that happening. so you see here it says fbi helped unlock an iphone in oklahoma. my daughter -- i think jam baker brought it up my daughter was murdered. we don't know who did it. you know she died on the operating table. we were able to save her baby and the baby died. it was a super dad, double tragedy. but she used to use her phone all the time as a personal journal. there's reason to believe we could find out who shot her from looking in her phone, can you please help? this is after apple unlocked the iphone in san bernardino. this is not like it's done. they use a third party. department of justice is not going to drop that case. they're still pushing apple to use their resources and their engineers to unlock this phone. and apple says i think that there's a list of like 100 law enforcement cases where they're like hey, we're queueing up
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these phones that need to be unlocked. so we're going to see a lot more of these type of headlines in the news. kind of like basically the same thing. apple won't sue the fbi to reveal what hack they used but the fbi is saying here director james comey said the iphone -- this 5 c that is older kind of like -- it's a new iphone but it's like a cheaper iphone. that iphone can be broken. that's the only iphone that can be broken right? so not the latest 5 s iphones but anything from a 5 c older, and we'll have to remember this later because it comes up okay? can be broken by the fbi's third party that unlocked it. so again, how did all of this apple ios versus fbi happen?
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there was a tragedy, a mass shooting in the united states and that occurred on december 2nd, i believe, 2015. and in it a holiday party was disrupted by two people one of them an employee where the holiday kind of festive partygoers were attacked ended in a shoot-out, and the two people were killed. it's kind of -- that picture over there, this is a picture of the crime scene. over there is a picture of the house of the suspected perpetrator. okay. and that's because the landlord let them in. this is like media running around reporters in the crime scene, in the home. okay. boom boom. timeline. going to keep moving. it's getting a little nerdy. so this is from the ios security document from september 2015. it's the latest one, and the iphone actually has two computers. it has a computer that runs the phone, and there's a secure
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enclave, a second computer that stores special data for the encrypto keys. the 5 c is not under this. the 5 c has an older processor. so you have a very very new iphone it has an armed v 8 processor they call the a 7. that one has the secure enclave. the fbi cannot hack this. this is a security researcher named morgan and he works on helping, you know human rights defenders, and he's the one i talk to all the time now because it seems like the human rights of americans are under attack. boom. this is dan guido who wrote a really good paper, possibility capabilities of apple to help the fbi, skpu could check that out later. boom. okay. that is -- okay. this is jonathan z. he basically wrote the book literally on hacking and securing iphones. these are people who have a lot of great things to say about
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this but i'm running out of time so i'm jumping quickly through these, okay? boom. this is tom cruise kind of like criminally insane hacker who has hoked almost every iphone that came out except for the -- he retired out of boredom. this is professor matthew green, and he's a crypto specialist from john hopkins. these are two security researchers who are always presenting new mobile phone problems and holes right? i put those up there because we are always finding problems and holes in mobile phones. the fbi's case was basically saying that only apple could unlock this phone, but actually there's tons of people that can unlock this phone. there's a whole industry of people who can unlock this phone. so what does that to do black and brown folks. this is a study that basically says african-americans over on technology use and mobile. when you look at smartphone
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ownership, african-american overindex. latinos as well especially when you look at the younger people yet, the more they have. if you look at the demographic differences between iphone and android, this is where you start seeing some interesting trends. iphones not so much. androids heavily owned by african-americans and latinos. this is important to remember. okay. on the other side here we have a chart showing how many -- you know basically black twitter. we know it exists. we understand that that's a thing and you know african-americans overindex on the use of twitter. this is a thing here on the other side which is a research study that focused on latinos. basically says that latinos own lots of cool tech and smartphones and more even than let's say the trend is growing higher than african-americans. so we see brown and black phone folks owning tons of smartphones, but they tend to be android phones because, you know it's just an economic
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issue. and this is a recent study that came out from pugh on smartphone use, the important thing to focus on is 12% of african-americans and 13% of latinos are smartphone dependent, so it's like i need my smartphone to live. but going back to this issue about what operating system and type of phone you use, this shows that a percentage of android users versus iphone users that encrypt their device. if you have an iphone that's running ios versions 8 or 9, your device is automatically encrypted. you should obviously move to 9-3. it's the latest and greatest especially if you turn on two-step verification. you'll get an encrypted icloud. you have to go into the menu and go to settings and go to security and encrypt your device. so we see that android users
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don't have encrypted devices and ios users basically do by default have encrypted devices. we see the brown and black folks tend to have these androids so their devices are easy to grab and they're not encrypted. then the iphones that we do see in communities of color are like the 5 cs and the older iphones and they're the ones that are susceptible to this new hack that the fbi have in their back pocket. but not the latest and greatest most expensive iphones, which you tend to see less of in communities of color. this is more stuff about operating systems and ethnicities. another thing you see is sadly when you do encrypt your android phone, it slows down the performance of the phone. so you have this population that loves to use this type of device but they're stuck with devices that are not secure and not looking out for their privacy as much as the most expensive versions. and if they do happen to learn to encrypt that device the
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device itself seems to run a little slower if it's not -- if it's not a google device or samsung or certain manufacturers, especially older android devices, you try to force them to encrypt and they're very slow to use. all right. going back to the case of this mass shooting, fbi found that the shooter's phone was destroyed. the shooter's wife's phone was destroyed. the only phone that was available was a 5 c which was a work phone. most people don't actually use their work phone for that much and why would you use your work phone to plan a horrible horrendous attack when even steve in it has access to everything going on in that phone. so it's just -- you know so during the course of this apple engineers were going back and forth. and if you look at jonathan z's twitter and he wrote a really good paper on this basically saying we've been working with
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apple -- i'm sorry -- with the fbi on this case from the beginning, and what we told them was this phone is automatically backing up everything to icloud, and as we get those backups, we're going to give you everything. but the engineer shared that the backups are pretty boring. there's almost no pictures there's like no notes, no e-mails, and this looks like the kind of person who doesn't really put much on their phone. the backups go back until october, i think, 18th of 2015, and the attack had been on december 2nd. so everything before october 18th the fbi has tons of data on. just a small window of time and why would the person suddenly change their and so it just seems like kind of not a sincere gesture to say, look we need to access this phone and apple needs to get it this phone has important information on it. other thing about the phone was the fbi -- the san bernardino police depart changed the password on the phone breaking the backups. that's why they didn't go until december 2nd. when asked why did you guys do that they were like oh the fbi
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actually asked us to here's the proof in this memo. they're like oh there it goes that broke the back yups. apple's like give us the phones we'll see what we can do. they turned off the phobe and that made it game over. so at that point the only way to access this phone would have been to guess the password and no one knows whether if you guess over ten times the phone would wipe itself which is an option you can turn on or not right? which is the whole why this whole case was brought. basically what i'm trying to say is it's suspicious to think or probably not genuine to think there's going to be a smoking gun, no pun intended of evidence, some cache of data in this phone. maybe just trying to create a legal precedent to have this company that creates great crypto and tech to open up this phone. for marginalized folks, people of color who are aggressively surveilled and overpoliced, it's difficult to find some kind of bastion of safety when the device in your hands are not
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encrypted by default, perform slower when you encrypt them and seems like there's just the kinds of phones able to bun locked by the fbi are the phones people of color use, the older iphones and so forth. studies written by a lot of great people including the really funny meme up there which is look are we really going dark, is encryption stopping us from having evidence we need on crime scenes on you know lost children you know murderers and things like that? and it's like actually no because we live in an amazing world full of computers and technology and facebook can serve you an ad you'll click on with 89% accuracy. some of them we're trying to solve crimes. if you think the only way to solve a crime is to get to the
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phone, itself you got to say, why, there's tons of data that says it's not true and this study shows it's not true as well. okay. so i'm done. hope i wasn't too fast. any questions? [ applause ] >> final questions from the audience? really? >> wow, i'm good. >> okay. >> so it appears that the there's an arms race going on that the apples of the world are trying to stay ahead of the hackers in the government. so far my impression is that the apples are winning. "a," is that true? and "b," is that likely to remain true? >> i would say that it's not actually true. we like for example, at the end of last month, there was a study done that showed that there's a hole in -- like for
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example, there was an update i think a couple weeks ago because there was a hole in i-message, anti-encrypted, professor matthew green and a few others found there was a big hole in there, could have been exploited and used for bad. they updated it and fix it. that's been i-message. found there was technology in i-message that uses javascript which makes it susceptible to a hole. there's always going to be people, tom cruises, gia mholts of the world who are going to find holes in your stuff. they're going to be ahead of the companies. hopefully you can buy their researcher a convince them not to use it for bad. hackers are always going to win.
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the government going to be last on the scene. it seems like that's where we're at. as consumers, people who care about our privacy, our best bank is to go with the companies and hope the government doesn't try to explain crypto how to lock things up. then it's going to change the arms race and the companies working to protect our data will be running with weights on them. >> the bill -- >> yes. >> what rwere you expecting to see? >> okay. how about what i wasn't expecting to see? okay. i didn't expect something like -- encrypto analysis, trying to break good crypto there's this idea of a trap door things only go one way. gravity will allow you to roll over a trap door and slide down 300 feet but it's not so easy to
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get back up, right? to say you can somehow reverse encryption shows a complete ignorance of understanding that you didn't speak to anyone in the field to write it. i thought maybe that kind of stuff wouldn't be in there because it's mythical and borderline crazy. you know again, we don't know who it real what that really looks like. the leak today, who knows what that is right? hopefully the new bill is going to come out tomorrow and will look awesome. >> please join me in -- >> okay. [ applause ] >> i am going to be brief.
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i -- part of i think, what -- why i was so excited to work with professor butler on this conference is to start a conversation about the color of surveillance. and i -- so very briefly, i think if there's one thing you an do if you care about these issues it would be to follow and collaborate with and reach out to the organizations, many of which were represented today, many of which were not represented here today, that are working on this issue. if you are on twitter, if you go to our twitter account, @georgetowncpv you'll see a follow list. you should reach out to cypto harlem and matthew mitchell reach out to brandon anderson at the swat app, reach out to colorofchange.org. you should reach out to the center for media justice where
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they're working to kick some butt. you should follow upturn's equal justice newsletter. show you should follow the aclu. follow stop lapd spying. and tomfollow lucy parson's labs. we're at google georgetown privacy center. i hope this has been useful for you. i'm so thrilled to see so-out you here. i want to pass it over to professor butler. before i do that i want to say thank you again to the folks who made this possible. ford foundation. open society foundations. media justice fund. and media democracy fund pardon me. all the folks here at
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georgetown. a lot of hours went into making this conversation a success on behalf of special events on behalf of av on behalf of facilities, on behalf of communications this was a lot of work. and so before -- i want you to join me in a round of applause for professor butler. a round of applause for everybody who made this possible back in the av and outside. [ applause ] i've been so lucky to work with professor butler. he is awesome. and without further adieu, professor paul butler to close us out. [ applause ] >> so, just wanted to send us out with a bit of hope and to do that i'm thinking about a number that professor henning had in her presentation that number was 45,000. that's the number of stops and frisks that the nypd conducted in 2014.
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the number of stops and frisks that they conducted in 2012 is 6 66 600,000. so they went from 600,000 in 2012 to 45,000 in 2014. professor henning is absolutely right, 45,000 is way too many since 90% of those stops are of innocent people. but it's also way better than they've done for most of that decade. so what happened? what happened is events like this. formations like this. act activism like this. so i think that he's right, if we stay in touch, if we day connected, if we're firm on what our ask is if we you know come together to argue, to disagree to plan, to strategize that we can create change. so i just wanted to go out with
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a kind of anthem because the first song my mother made me learn was "we shall overcome." that was the anthem of an earlier civil rights movement. and this new civil rights movement it has anthem as well. it's a lot more rambunctious than the stately "we shall overcome" but like "we shall

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