Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community. Sometimes, that means policing the police. Shouldn’t you have a say in deciding whether local law enforcement gets to deploy futuristic surveillance technology in your community?
The Oakland Police Department has the capability to spy on Oakland residents using surveillance cameras, automatic license plate readers, a ‘Stingray’ cellphone tracker, and social media monitoring software. Upwards of $2.5 million has been spent on these devices, which are capable of collecting data that can be shared with the federal government.
Donald Trump now has the keys to the surveillance state. He has inherited expansive powers and databases filled with information on millions of people. He has suggested this system could be turned on Muslim Americans and that NSA reforms triggered by Edward Snowden’s disclosures should be rolled back. While government spying is not new, the potential for abuse is greater than ever before.
But here in California, we have an opportunity to fight back.
A crucial Surveillance Technology Ordinance is currently being considered by the Public Safety Committee of the Oakland City Council.
This ordinance would give Oakland residents more control over how surveillance is acquired and used.
We need to act now. Surveillance tech—particularly when acquired or used in secret—can be deployed to silence dissent or target people of color and religious minorities.
We won’t stand by as we face unprecedented threats to civil liberties. Oakland residents should have a say in whether surveillance technology is necessary in our community.