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Martin Kaste

Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy, as well as news from the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to general assignment reporting in the U.S., Kaste has contributed to NPR News coverage of major world events, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 uprising in Libya.

Kaste has reported on the government's warrant-less wiretapping practices as well as the data-collection and analysis that go on behind the scenes in social media and other new media. His privacy reporting was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 United States v. Jones ruling concerning GPS tracking.

Before moving to the West Coast, Kaste spent five years as NPR's reporter in South America. He covered the drug wars in Colombia, the financial meltdown in Argentina, the rise of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and the fall of Haiti's president Jean Bertrand Aristide. Throughout this assignment, Kaste covered the overthrow of five presidents in five years.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Kaste was a political reporter for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul for seven years.

Kaste is a graduate of Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota.

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5:09pm

Fri May 29, 2015
All Tech Considered

As Police Body Cameras Increase, What About All That Video?

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 6:09 pm

Taser International is now selling police departments the technology to store videos from body cameras.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg via Getty Images

You know what a pain it can be storing and organizing the millions of videos you've shot on your smartphone. Now imagine you're a police officer, and you wear a body camera every day.

Police cams have suddenly become a big business. In the months since Ferguson, share prices for the camera manufacturer Taser International have doubled. But in the long run, the real money is in selling police a way to store all that video.

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3:33pm

Wed May 27, 2015
All Tech Considered

Questions Remain About How To Use Data From License Plate Scanners

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 6:52 pm

License plate scanners have helped police locate stolen vehicles and have even assisted in murder investigations. But with their ability to track a person's every move, skeptics worry about privacy.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

License plate scanners have become a fact of life. They're attached to traffic lights, on police cars — even "repo" staff use them. All those devices have created a torrent of data, raising new concerns about how it's being stored and analyzed.

Bryce Newell's laptop is filled with the comings and goings of Seattle residents. The data comes from the city's license plate scanner, acquired from the police through public disclosure requests. He plugs in a license plate number, uncovering evidence of long-forgotten errands.

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2:29am

Thu May 14, 2015
U.S.

Police Rethink Tactics Amid New Technologies And Social Pressure

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 8:24 pm

Officers stand watch at the intersection of West North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue as protesters walk for Freddie Gray in Baltimore in April. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van.
Jabin Botsford The Washington Post/Getty Images

This week in Washington, thousands of sworn officers gathered for National Police Week, an annual commemoration of the lives of officers who've died on the job.

This year it was hard for participants to escape the shadow of the anti-police protests of the past nine months. One of the week's events, a memorial bicycle ride, even was rerouted away from Baltimore, to make sure the nearly 2,000 officers participating in the ride wouldn't become targets.

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5:35pm

Thu May 7, 2015
U.S.

What Happens When A Police Officer Doesn't Shoot?

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 9:15 am

Law enforcement officers have come under pressure over the past few months to rethink how they use deadly force, as a result of the string of videos of shootings by police.

But recently, police have been talking about another video — one that shows an officer not shooting.

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5:23pm

Fri May 1, 2015
U.S.

Law Enforcement Reacts To Baltimore Officer Criminal Charges

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 8:18 pm

A Maryland state trooper stands guard near a CVS pharmacy that was destroyed during rioting in Baltimore this week.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The surprise announcement of criminal charges in Baltimore Friday morning definitely got the attention of police officers. The decision has been welcomed by protesters, but it's causing dismay for law enforcement across the country.

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