Opting Out Of License Plate Scanning

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Update: SB 712 failed to pass the CA State Senate on January 30, 2018

A bill before the CA State Legislature, SB 712, would make it easier to exercise your legal right to opt out of automatic license plate scanning when your vehicle is parked. Californians can already cover their whole car, including the license plate, but are not currently allowed to cover just the license plate itself. Sensitive data can be exposed by geolocation at certain kinds of places including reproductive health clinics, worshipping at mosques, Sikh temples, synagogues or other minority religious institutions, oncolology or cancer treatment center, or purchasing cannabis. License plate readers located outside consulates can profile people who may be undocumented

If you’d like to make it easier to park your car somewhere without a picture of it sent to Homeland Security, use this easy action alert. 

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Inappropriate Actions Alleged by City of Oakland Investigator

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Signatories to the November complaint against Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick for untruthful statements relating to the August 2017 West Oakland ICE raid issued a letter on January 16 asking for City of Oakland investigator Joan Suape to be removed.

Privacy Advisory Commission chair Brian Hofer states that in a January 12 interview with Suape, the investigator asked questions regarding how the family of a 25 year old Oakland resident placed in deportation proceedings, got into the country and attempted to re-establish the discredited charges of human trafficking.

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Oakland Deports ICE

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By JP Massar. Originally published on Daily Kos

On the day Homeland Security announced planning for a major immigration raid in the Bay Area in response to sanctuary city laws

U.S. immigration officials have begun preparing for a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities in which federal officers would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people while sending a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state, according to a source familiar with the operation…

…and the Department of Justice confirmed that it was looking for ways to arrest Sanctuary City Mayors and other officials

the federal government announced plans on Tuesday to crack down on leaders of so-called sanctuary cities that provide a safe haven for illegal immigrants to the US.Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told lawmakers that her agency has asked federal prosecutors to examine ways criminal charges can be brought up against officials who protect immigrants from deportation.

…the City of Oakland raised its middle finger in defiance.

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In an 8-0 vote, the Oakland City Council voted last night, Tuesday, January 16, 2018, to eliminate any and all cooperation with ICE in both criminal and civil matters, except in a case of public emergency.

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No Coffee For ICE

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Oakland’s Public Safety Committee voted unanimously on January 9th to end all cooperation between the Oakland Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations/ICE; six months after cancelling a memorandum of understanding and five months after OPD assisted in a West Oakland immigration raid. Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission led an investigation into the raid that uncovered what really happened after IndyBay and this website asked some questions, an internal affairs complaint was filed and then city residents besieged the City Council in repeated charged public hearings on November 14 and November 28 to sever all ties to ICE. Council Member Kaplan summarized the resolution she co-sponsored as “we don’t even get ICE a cup of coffee”. January 16 for the full City Council vote. 

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What are the Practices of Those Concerned with Online Privacy?

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One of Oakland Privacy’s newer members created, posted and analyzed an online survey of privacy habits amongst those predisposed to have an interest in online privacy:

An anonymous, thirteen–question online survey was conducted over two days on Nov. 2–3, 2017. 328 people responded. The survey questions were written by @ThatPrivacyGuy, the creator of one of the best sites objectively evaluating Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), ThatOnePrivacySite. Invitations to participate were posted on TOPS.net and two Reddit forums focusing on privacy rights, r/Privacy (Dedicated to the intersection of technology, privacy and freedom in the digital world) & r/PrivacyToolsIO (PrivacyTools.IO provides knowledge and tools to protect your privacy against global mass surveillance). Respondents were self–selecting, not random. 

Among the more interesting findings:

  • More than 50% use PGP or a variant (Pretty Good Privacy, an email encryption methodology)
  • 28% use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  • By a five to one margin, they use Firefox over Chrome, and essentially no one uses Internet Explorer.

Check out the full survey results and analysis here.

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