Explore NYXT Content Partner New York Civil Liberties Union
Born from the American Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU is New York’s defender of civil rights. Frequently taking on issues from raising minimum wage, unjust labor practices to police brutality, the NYCLU is the Everyman’s Protector, including from unsecure Wi-Fi networks. LinkNYC, New York’s newest free citywide public Wi-Fi kiosks remodeled from old phone booths, has caused concerns from the NYCLU because users may be compromising their privacy. Open networks are at risk to hackers who can acquire a user’s data through their cell phones. Despite assurance from the Mayor’s office that networks were secure, NYCLU urges citizens not to use the network if they want to avoid breaches in privacy.
The island surrounding Manhattan are often an oasis outside the city. Places like Governor’s Island and Roosevelt Island are for weekend retreats on sunny days, picnicking on grassy fields. But not every island is so idyllic. Hart’s Island, a small tract of land off the coast of the Bronx, is a burial ground for many who go unclaimed after a month or can’t afford a traditional funeral. In 2015, the NYCLU recently won a settlement that would finally allow family to be able to visit the graves of their loved ones, a tradition that was previously impossible. Together with the Hart Island Project, the NYCLU has allowed loved ones to find closure and commemorate them in their final resting place.
Who's Watching You?
For New Yorkers, x-ray scans are not longer just for the doctor’s office and TSA, but are also being employed in our city streets. The NYCLU recently came forth with distress that x-rays being used in NYPD vans to scan for weapons and explosives during patrols is not only a concern for basic privacy but health as well. These x-ray machines, powerful enough to see through buildings, have yet only been confirmed for counterterrorism use, but as police delve deeper into drastic surveillance techniques, there’s no safeguard yet to prevent everyday usage. Short-term exposure to x-rays are not known yet to cause health problems, but long-term exposure can lead to deleterious health effects like cancer.