It Took A Village To Stop A DAC

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by JP Massar

No one had a clue the thing even existed. Buried deep within the consent agenda of the Oakland City Council for years, appropriations for the Domain Awareness Center and the implications thereof had gone unnoticed.

Until, that is, @domainawareness caught it in July of 2013 and called it out at City Council. Oakland Privacy (nee Occupy Oakland Privacy Working Group) formed within weeks, outreach was done, protests began, marches were marched, City Council meetings spoken at en masse and eight months later the DAC, for all intents and purposes, was dead.

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An Open Letter To Those Who Have Nothing to Hide

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by Christoper Jasinski 

I love a good argument. Most that I have these days tend to focus on civil liberties, and the issue of government surveillance comes up frequently. Its usually during these debates, running on some soliloquy-within-a-soliloquy about the ever-increasing Orwellian surveillance state, that my counterpart will let this argument stumble out:

I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. I’ve got nothing to hide.”

Edward Snowdens revelations of the NSAs apparatus for collecting and indefinitely storing troves of innocent peoples’ internet activity and metadata sparked one of the most important conversations our society has had in a generation. Even the politically uninvolved started to wake up. The experience was visceral for many. There was something inherently wrong about an opaque government agency collecting some of our most personal information.

Simultaneously, another group of people emerged from this debate. I affectionately refer to them as The Panopticon Nihilists. These folks arent evil extremists. Theyre not a subversive cult who meets bi-weekly in an underground bunker. Theyre not even plotting to take over the world. Quite the opposite.

They’re probably your kindly neighbor who just bought an Amazon Echo for their kitchen.

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August 16 HSI/ICE Raid in West Oakland

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KPIX coverage of the August 16 Homeland Security Investigations (ICE) raid in the City of Oakland. The raid came less than a month after the Oakland City Council rejected a memorandum of understanding with Homeland Security Investigations and terminated it, saying they did not want the City’s police department cooperating with ICE. Oakland Privacy Commission chair Brian Hofer reflects on the bad optics of the Police Department’s decision.

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Internet Of Things; Things Like Walls, Blockades And Checkpoints

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By Christina Rosalita

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico. It was a popular political rally cry, but a physical wall spanning the entire border is, in reality; a boondoggle of an idea pushed by the fear mongering of propaganda politics. The false promise of the wall is to block border crossings, but it can’t accomplish this without an array of costly technological systems and personnel1. Estimated costs for just the wall range from $20 to upwards of $70 billion, with $150 million needed yearly for maintenance. This could easily become a wasteful testing ground to experiment with paramilitary surveillance technologies and brutally aggressive law enforcement tactics. There are already three drones2 in operation that are not yet weaponized and human rights violations of Mexican citizens are on the rise.

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Stopping STOPS: Urban Shield Vendor Vetoed Due To Racist Stereotyping

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Originally printed at: https://media-alliance.org/stopping-stops-urban-shield-vendor-vetoed-due-to-racist-stereotyping/

On August 1,the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, which has been under fire for several years over the police militarization expo Urban Shield, took its first action to enforce 12 reform principles the Board embraced in January of 2017, four months after two dozen people were arrested at the 2016 expo.

After being notified only hours before the meeting by MA executive director Tracy Rosenberg and American Friends Service Committee Wage Peace Coordinator John Lindsay-Poland of extreme racial stereotyping on the website of Urban Shield vendor Strategic Operations of San Diego, the board of supervisors refused to authorize the use of the vendor. Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern’s request to contract with Strategic Operations for $45,000 in “hyper-realistic training” for the 2017 Urban Shield event failed for lack of a motion, with none of the five supervisors willing to support the request. Supervisor Keith Carson removed the item from the board’s consent calender. Supervisor Richard Valle indicated he would not vote for it and Board President Wilma Chan also spoke in opposition. 

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