Public Officials Criticizing NYPD’s Use Of Surveillance Tech, Including ‘Digidog’. They Say Department Isn’t Being Transparent Enough.

By Kristie Keleshian 

Public Officials Are Criticizing The NYPD’s Use Of Surveillance Technology, Including ‘Digidog’. They Say The Department Isn’t Being Transparent Enough About How It’s Using Tax Dollars. “Digidog” is leased by the NYPD for extra surveillance. It’s a robotic dog with a camera, lights and a two-way communication system that costs more than $74,000.

On Saturday, Rep. Ritchie Torres joined Council Member Vanessa Gibson to announce the introduction of federal legislation that would require state and local law enforcement agencies using federal dollars to disclose surveillance technology to the Department of Homeland Security and Congress. “The police surveillance state is largely invisible. The nature and scope of our mass surveillance state is largely unknown, not only to the public, but to their elected representatives,” Torres said. “The time has come for the federal government to step in.”

Gibson said lawmakers believe in the work of the NYPD but that New Yorkers have the right to understand the technology being used for surveillance. “$74,000 worth of robotic dogs is not what we believe keeps us safe,” Gibson said. Albert Fox Cahn, founder of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, called the technology, “digital stop and frisk, nothing less.”

“When we look at Digidog—this dystopian surveillance tool brought into New Yorkers’ houses—it hasn’t done anything to keep us safe,” Cahn said. The NYPD has said it is being transparent about Digidog and that the technology is being tested for certain emergency situations.

This news was originally published at MSN.