Oregon Sued for Unauthorized Surveillance of Law-Abiding Citizens
December 14, 2021
Cleary Gottlieb filed a lawsuit challenging the Oregon TITAN Fusion Center (TITAN).
Cleary, along with the Policing Project at NYU School of Law and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, represents a group of indigenous rights, social justice, and environmental advocates in Oregon who filed suit against the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 14, 2021. The Oregon DOJ operates TITAN, which collects and distributes “intelligence” on Oregon residents gathered from law enforcement agencies, federal and state intelligence hubs, and public and private partners.
TITAN was not authorized by statute, however, and it is therefore insulated from meaningful democratic accountability. TITAN has repeatedly abused its unchecked power to target law-abiding members of the Oregon public, including Cleary’s clients, who were subject to surveillance because they participated in peaceful protests. TITAN analysts have also used surveillance software to track the physical location of social media users posting the “Black Lives Matter” hashtag and have prepared “criminal intelligence” reports on the Women’s March and similar political demonstrations.
The lawsuit, filed in the Oregon Circuit Court for Marion County, seeks a declaration that TITAN’s operations are ultra vires and an injunction preventing TITAN from operating until it is authorized by law. To learn more, read the press release and complaint.