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New York state legislators have just days to question phone hacking, forensics, and fusion centers before the budget passes.

Chris Gelardi The Intercept March 29 2022

IN JANUARY, when New York City Mayor Eric Adams released his highly publicized inaugural “blueprint” to combat gun violence, it set the stage for political commotion. His plans for ramped up policing — including new gun detection technology, increased patrols, and the redeployment of a notorious plainclothes unit — have drawn condemnation from advocates and activists, and praise from mainstream pundits, fueling the ongoing debate over cops’ role in communities.

Around the same time Adams released his plan, New York’s governor, Kathy Hochul, unveiled details of her own policing initiatives to crack down on gun crime — but hardly anyone seemed to notice. Embedded within the dozen bills and hundreds of line items that make up her plan for next year’s state budget, Hochul’s administration has proposed tens of millions of dollars and several new initiatives to expand state policing and investigative power, including agencies’ ability to surveil New Yorkers and gather intelligence on people not yet suspected of breaking the law.

Among Hochul’s proposals are a new statewide system of police intelligence gathering centers, which would engage in mass surveillance, and whose model hinges on the use of unproven forensic science. Other proposals include funds for new law enforcement social media surveillance personnel, the expansion of existing police intelligence gathering and sharing efforts, and most likely technology that downloads the full contents of people’s cellphones, on top of millions of dollars for more street policing.

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