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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


The city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, confirmed in a statement Feb. 10, 2023, that the City Hall security system includes audio surveillance.

According to the statement:

  • Following complaints from city staff and the public, the city enhanced the security system on the first and second floors of City Hall between winter 2021 and summer 2022.
  • City Hall has 14 surveillance cameras in public areas. Three, in the first- and second-floor hallways, can record audio.
  • Footage is not continuously monitored, but video and audio have been reviewed to gather information about accidents, altercations and damage to property.

The statement was posted “in the interest of sharing factual information and to correct any misinformation.”

The statement followed news reports about existence of the audio surveillance. One councilman called it “spying.”

An ACLU official in Washington said he had never heard of another city hall using audio surveillance.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Green Bay: Fact Sheet – City Hall Security

WLUK: Green Bay alder asks for surveillance policy after microphones installed at city hall

WLUK: ‘Very serious privacy invasion’: ACLU analyst on Green Bay’s audio surveillance

WGBA NBC 26 in Green Bay: Green Bay Common Council members reveal when they discovered about audio surveillance at City Hall

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for Milwaukee Magazine and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.