EFF Projects

Here a few of my favorite projects from the last few years at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Winner of the James Madison Freedom of Information Award for Digital Access.

The Atlas of Surveillance is a massive mapping and data journalism project that aims to show what police departments are using which surveillance technologies, from drones to face recognition to real-time crime centers.

The project is a partnership between EFF and the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. To date, more than 600 students and volunteers have contributed research to the crowdsourced project.

Press coverage:

The Foilies: Recognizing the Year’s Worst in Government Transparency

In 2015, I founded “The Foilies,” EFF’s annual tongue-in-cheek awards for public agencies and officials who violated Freedom of Information laws, ridiculously redacted documents, or otherwise stymied the public’s right to know what the government is doing in their name. Each year, I co-edit The Foilies, which is syndicated in alternative newspapers around the United States.

In its seventh year, The Foilies ran in more than 19 newspaper in more than 12 states, including Cleveland Scene, Orlando Weekly, DigBoston, Detroit Metro Times, and Charleston CityPaper.

Visit The Foilies archives 2015-2021.

Spot the Surveillance VR

Journalists at the Online News Association conference try Spot the Surveillance

A 2018 Journalism 360 Challenge Winner

Spot the Surveillance is a virtual reality experience that trains users on how to spot common police technologies in an urban environment. Using 360 photography, this cross-platform, open-source project transports users to the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco, where a young Black resident is having an encounter with police. There are 7 types of surveillance that users must find and identify.

Press coverage:

Protest Surveillance

One of the most distressing uses of police surveillance is to monitor First Amendment activity, particularly those engaged in the civil rights movement. In 2020, this work took center stage in the media due to the George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Black Lives Matter protests.

With my colleagues, we uncovered illegal surveillance of protesters in San Francisco, ultimately leading to a lawsuit and legislative action. I also recorded a training video (above) for legal observers attending protests and developed guidance for journalists covering protests.

Press coverage:

Automated License Plate Readers


When I started at EFF, I had no idea that I’d become an expert in one obscure, but particularly odious police technology called “automated license plate readers” or ALPRs.

ALPRs are cameras that police use to document our driving patterns. They use license plates at tracking codes. Sometimes these cameras are attached fixed locations like traffic signals, other times police attach them to patrol cars in order to document whole neighborhoods.

I have filed public records requests with hundreds of agencies nationwide, and my work has been cited in countless news articles and research papers. I have testified numerous times on this technology before the California legislature and my research has been cited in court briefs, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Research highlights:

Press coverage:

Dragon Con – Electronic Frontiers Forums

Inside the world-famous fandom convention, Dragon Con, there is a track that focuses specifically on EFF’s range of issues. For more than 5 years, I participated in panels at Dragon Con and engineered innovative tabling experiences.

Project Secret Identity: A photo booth for cosplayers to defend the need for online anonymity.

TARDIS Congressional Callbox: A full-sized TARDIS replica, where instead of calling the Doctor, attendees could use a phone to leave a pro-net neutrality message for their members of Congress.

Giant Diceware Passwords: We designed a system for attendees to create strong passwords using giant, inflatable 20-sided dice and words lists inspired by Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones.

Press coverage: