Breaking the Lock

Accessing Public Records to Map Systems, Algorithms and Data

Breaking the Lock: Accessing Public Records to Map Systems, Algorithms and Data is a new open records resource from the Center for Constitutional Rights, AI Now, and Northeastern School of Law CLIC.

This update to our guide "FOIA Basics for Activists" provides annotated templates, examples, and pointers for public records requests focusing on surveillance technology and databases, which have proliferated in use among law enforcement across the country.

The ongoing work of our Open Records Project and our partners has shown that these types of surveillance technologies have been especially focused on BIPOC-led activism and organizing in recent years.

We hope this resource provides new ideas and guidance for shining a light and pushing back on continued government and privatized surveillance.

Last modified 

March 18, 2022