LA cops told to harvest social media handles from people they stop, suspect or not

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Los Angeles police are instructed to collect social media details from people they stop and talk to, even if those civilians aren’t suspected of breaking the law, according to documents finally revealed after a lengthy legal battle.

The Brennan Center for Justice, a non-profit institute at New York University, last year submitted a request [PDF] under the California Public Records Act for information on LAPD’s use of social media to monitor people and groups.

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The center hauled the police department into the US state’s superior court when its request was not fulfilled, and the cops relented.

Having at last obtained that information from LAPD, the center on Wednesday published all 6,000 pages of it.

It turns out LA police have for years [PDF] been told to collect social media information – such as usernames, email addresses, and profile page URLs – from people stopped and spoken to by officers, whether or not those people were involved in a crime.

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