Lucy Parsons Labs Members in the Press

Written by Lucy Parsons Labs

Recent Press Releases

Click here to see any current press releases that the Lucy Parsons Labs has sent.



At Chaos Computer Club (32c3), Jennifer Helsby presented on the mass quantities of data being incorporated into predictive systems. While these algorithms operate in the dark their use has have many consequences, both intentional and unintentional. Her talk covered issues of fairness and accountability involved in controlling algorithms for media, policy, and policing. You can view the video here


At DEF CON 23, Jennifer Helsby presented in the Crypto and Privacy Village on the privacy implications of machine learning. Presenting in the same village, Freddy Martinez also presented on IMSI Catchers and practical counter-surveillance. You can view that video here.


At THOTCON 0x5, a Chicago-area infosec conference, Freddy Martinez gave a technical overview on IMSI Catchers, their modes of operations, and an overview of his work to uncover their use in Chicago.

The Color of Surveillance

With a diverse line up of speakers and topics this all day conference hosted by Georgetown Law focused on the policing and surveillance of black communities. Freddy Martinez, CEO, Lucy Parsons Labs gave a primer on Stingray devices, also known as IMSI catchers, and their role in the monitoring of the black community.

Community Meetings

Chi Hack Night is Chicago’s weekly event to build, share and learn about civic tech. Lucy Parsons Labs CTO Jen, and CEO Freddy presented on the recent deployment of “Black Rose” a Secure Drop system. The presentation was recorded and can be seen here.

The Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA) co-facilitated a workshop in Chicago in which nearly 100 people participated from across the city representing the Chicago GNU/Linux Users Group, Restore the Fourth-Chicago, and the National Lawyers Guild Chicago chapter. Our CTO Jen, presented on the current state of local police surveillance. The presentation was not recorded, but more information about the workshop can be read here.

TV / News

Freddy Martinez was featured in a story with Univision, a Spanish-language news station, speaking on hackers, hacking culture and hacktivism.

Freddy Martinez was featured in a sit-down interview with WGN where they asked him about his legal fights against Chicago Police over Stingray records.

The Washington Times ran an article on OpenOversight, the police accountability project that Lucy Parsons Labs has released.

Print Media

Lucy Parsons Labs, in collaboration with local journalist Joel Handley and the Chicago Reader, has published an investigation of the use of civil asset forfeiture by Chicago Police. In the story, which you can read in full on the Chicago Reader’s site, we show how Chicago Police seize millions from citizens not necessarily convicted or even charged with a crime. We also show how they use this money to fund the operations of their narcotics units and buy controversial surveillance equipment. We also invite you to view the full visualization of the results on the LPL website. Other publications that ran stories on our investigation include TechDirt and BoingBoing.

The Chicago Reader recently identified a Chicago Police Officer involved the fatal shooting of an unarmed woman. The identity was confirmed by public records requests created in collaboration with a journalist. Also in the Chicago Reader, members of the LPL were on a front-page article for contributing to Cryptoparty Chicago. Most LPL members are involved in teaching users security tools. As of 2015, LPL has been gathering documentation about the use of Cellebrite, a cell phone forensics company, in the Chicagoland area. Before the Apple vs FBI controversy renewed interest in this area North Star Post published an expose on Cellebrite which relied on documents obtained by LPL.


Lucy Parsons Labs obtained numerous documents about how police departments in Cook County monitor and shape social media by monitoring the public. These document were reported on in City Lab by journalist George Joseph who noted the slideshow in our records “explains that police can use “catfishing”—creating fake accounts—to get non-public social media data, even though such accounts are not permitted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.” Joseph also notes that “Cook County Sheriff’s Office records suggest that intelligence analysts are also compiling information on persons of interest for longer term retention, not just for “situational awareness” at public events.”

During multiple lawsuits it was discovered that CPD was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep FOIA records from the public. After this came to light, VICE sat down with Freddy Martinez, profiled his fight against CPD, tracked down the source of the money and discussed the ongoing legal fight.

After a lengthy battle with the Chicago Police Department in the summer of 2014 over the purchases of Stringray devices, also known as IMSI Catchers, Freddy Martinez sued the CPD a second time. This second lawsuit sought the process in which CPD uses the cell phone tracking devices. EqualFuture covered the early beginnings of Lucy Parsons Labs. The full story can be read here.

After a long court case for FOIA documents related to how CPD uses Stingrays, almost 300 pages were released to The Intercept which ran a lengthy piece, “How Chicago Police Convinced Courts to Let Them Track Cellphones Without a Warrant”.

Politico’s Natasha Korecki and Manuela Tobias on their tip sheet ‘Illinois Playbook’ mentioned Lucy Parsons Labs alongside other must-read stories of Illinois political news. You can read the rundown here.

After the launch of Black Rose Chicago based public media program Chicago Tonight published by WTTW Chicago covered Lucy Parsons Labs. The article can be read here.

Lucy Parsons Labs was featured in the EFF’s 2016: Year of Resistance blog post covering our work on OpenOversight and Civil Asset Forfeiture.


Lucy Parsons Labs’ Director, Freddy Martinez, was featured as a guest on NPR’s“On the Media”. During the discussion we profiled our work on surveillance, the war on drugs, asset forfeiture, FOIA, Stingrays, and policing in Chicago.

[0] Ars Technica story about Martinez’s second lawsuit
[1] Ars Technica story about Freddy’s first lawsuit