Image via Shepard Fairey

NCAC has joined the Brennan Center, ACLU of Northern California, Free Press, and Media Justice, along with 50 other organizations, spelling out the civil rights and civil liberties implications of law enforcement monitoring of social media.

The unprecedented reach of social media makes it attractive to law enforcement and federal agencies, as well as law enforcement officers, as a tool to expand surveillance. Social media monitoring is used both in active criminal investigations and also as a broad net, which raises concerns about abuse and overreach.

According to the Brennan Center, “When agencies use social media to keep tabs on people they perceive as suspicious, it has a disparate impact on historically overpoliced communities, especially communities of color. It also leads to surveillance of and police presence at protests and other First Amendment–protected activities. These risks have a chilling effect on free speech and communications both online and off.”

The full statement can be read below. Click here for a full screen view: