2019 Bay Area UASI Grants

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Every year, law enforcement agencies go to the Homeland Security till and ask for some new crime fighting gadgets. Here’s the list of what Bay Area law enforcement agencies want in 2019.

*Sonoma County wants an LRAD (long range acoustical device or sound cannon) and a mobile surveillance tower for “large events”.
*San Mateo County wants an armored tactical transport van for their SWAT team.
*Oakland wants an armored firefighting vehicle
*San Francisco’s Sheriff wants a drone and a mobile surveillance robot
*Santa Cruz wants a drone with an infrared camera.

Download the complete list.

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Taser Forum: San Mateo County

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Following community pressure after the October 3 death of Chinedu Okobi a 36 year old Black man who was tasered by San Mateo County Sheriffs after being stopped for “walking erratically”, San Mateo’s Board of Supervisors is convening a community forum on tasers.

The event will be held on the evening of Feb 11th at 400 County Center in Redwood City and will be preceded by a 5pm rally outside the County headquarters. Oakland Privacy (and one of our members as an individual) submitted comments to the Board, which can be read here.

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Contra Costa Judge Affirms Release of Police Misconduct Records

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In the first substantive ruling on whether Senate Bill 1421 applies to investigatory and disciplinary records on use of force and misconduct incidents that occurred prior to January 1, 2019, Contra Costa Superior Court judge Charles Treat ruled that it did, and resoundingly so.

The Oscar Grant Committee and Oakland Privacy joined families impacted by police violence in picketing in front of the courthouse prior to the Feb 8th hearing.

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Groups Call on Congress to Refuse Funding for Border Surveillance “Smart Wall”

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25 civil liberties and immigration organizations, including Oakland Privacy released an open letter to Congress calling on negotiators not to provide additional funding for border surveillance technologies as part of the “grand compromise” deal around border security. The letter specifies which technologies we are most concerned about, like algorithmic risk-assessment, facial recognition, and biometrics.



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‘Stop Secret Surveillance’ Ordinance Introduced in San Francisco

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On January 29th, San Francisco supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced the Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance in the City and County of San Francisco. The surveillance transparency measure follows the November 2018 passage of Proposition B, a “Privacy First” initiative approved by SF voters.

SF’s ordinance, which must sit for 30 days before a board policy committee can take it up, includes a total ban on the municipal use of facial recognition technology. If passed, it is believed it would be the first such ban in the nation.

Press coverage from The Verge, Metro UK, NBC, SF Examiner, Gizmodo, Mercury News, Ars Technica, SF Weekly, Wired, Slate, Atlantic

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