'State of Surveillance' Investigates Use of Cutting-Edge Technology in Fighting Crime


SAN FRANCISCO and EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 2, 2014 – What happens when police track the movements of an entire city in real time? That's one of the questions The Center for Investigative Reporting and KQED answer in a new multimedia presentation, State of Surveillance. The segments, premiering Friday, April 11, will include a 30-minute television special on KQED 9, radio reports on KQED 88.5 FM and articles on KQEDNews.org and cironline.org.

The series looks at some of the new technologies police departments in California are using and the privacy concerns they raise. California is one of 10 states that guarantee a right to privacy, and the new tools pose a significant challenge: Where should law enforcement draw the line between safer streets and spying? The tools range from wide-area surveillance to facial recognition technology, and they greatly expand the data that officers have at their fingertips. Some systems already are in use in Los Angeles and were hotly debated in Oakland before being delayed, for now. Law enforcement agencies say the new technologies make it easier to solve – and even prevent – crime. But privacy advocates worry that these systems could become dragnets, filled with information about law-abiding citizens.

The multiplatform presentation includes:

Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m. on KQED 9
The 30-minute television special examines cutting-edge crime-fighting technologies that also raise concerns about privacy and the presumption of innocence.

Friday, April 11, on KQED 88.5 FM
Reports will be featured on “The California Report” at 5:50 a.m., 6:50 a.m. and 8:50 a.m. The California Report also airs on public radio stations statewide.

Articles on KQEDNews.org and cironline.org

State of Surveillance is the seventh special in KQED and CIR’s multimedia partnership. The two news organizations most recently produced Hunger in the Valley, which exposed the hunger epidemic in California’s fertile and agriculturally productive Central Valley. Previous specials include Life After War: California Veterans, which investigated the challenges veterans face upon their return home; A Church Divided, which took a close look at homosexuality and Christian doctrine; Prison Break, which examined the impact of Gov. Jerry Brown’s far-reaching efforts to overhaul California’s prison system; Republic of Cannabis, which explored California’s marijuana trade; and On Shaky Ground, an investigation into the seismic safety of public schools that prompted calls for change.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services, an award-winning education program and innovative interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration – exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

As other news organizations have shrunk, KQED has expanded its efforts to cover the issues and events that are important to the Bay Area. As the most trusted source of news in the Bay Area, KQED is a multiplatform operation with California offices and bureaus in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles. KQED News programs include “KQED NEWSROOM;” current-affairs specials produced in collaboration with The Center for Investigative Reporting; “The California Report;” “Forum;” 18 weekday news broadcasts on KQED Public Radio; and the popular blogs News Fix, State of Health, MindShift and The Lowdown. Stories from all KQED news programs are featured online at KQEDnews.org.

About The Center for Investigative Reporting
Investigative reporting is an essential pillar of a democratic society. For more than three decades, The Center for Investigative Reporting has relentlessly pursued and revealed injustices that otherwise would remain hidden from the public. Today, we’re upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to tell the stories that make a difference and reach diverse audiences of all ages, across the aisle and worldwide. CIR stories appear in hundreds of news outlets, including NPR News, PBS FRONTLINE, PBS NewsHour, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, The Daily Beast and American Public Media’s Marketplace. CIR stories have received numerous journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Award, Emmy Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Its reports have sparked state and federal hearings and legislation, public-interest lawsuits and changes in corporate policies. For more information, visit cironline.org.