NYU Law Forum on “Privacy Localism” Features Oakland DAC Victory

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On November 4, privacy experts from around the country convened at the NYU School of Law to talk about “Privacy Localism” or how local communities can fight back against the encroaching surveillance state. Oakland’s fight against the Domain Awareness Center took center stage in several of the presentations. OPAC Chair and OP member Brian Hofer attended, and participated in a 2-hour roundtable discussing best practices across the country.

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Border Wall Contract Prohibition

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On November 7, the Oakland City Council will consider a municipal ordinance to prevent any new or amended city contracts with vendors building Trump’s 2,000 mile “border wall” on the US southern border with Mexico. The ordinance was proposed by District 2 representative Abel Guillen.

Oakland Privacy supports this ordinance and encourages passage. Our letter to the City Council is below.

Oakland Privacy Letter of Support for Border Wall Prohibition

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42 Civil Liberties Organizations Endorse USA Rights Act

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Oakland Privacy joined 41 other civil rights groups to endorse the USA Rights Acts which was introduced today to meaningfully reform Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The USA Rights Act creates a search warrant requirement that closes the “backdoor” loophole, permanently ends the “about” exception which had allowed for warrantless searches of communications that mentioned intelligence targets, requires the government to give notice when using information derived from Section 702 surveillance against US persons or on US soil, declassifies FISA court opinions, and sunsets in 4 years. More details available here. 

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Thomson Reuters $13M Contract With HSI

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A $13 million dollar proposed data broker contract running from 2015 to 2020 between the West Publishing division of Thomson Reuters and Homeland Security Investigations/ICE has come to light. This proposed contract is an additional one that predates a September 2016 contract between Thomson Reuters and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Thomson Reuters is a multinational corporation based in Canada. Among its products is the news wire copy service Reuters, which provides news headlines and content to most US media outlets, and Westlaw legal research products, used by most law schools and many of the nation’s attorneys and private investigators.

The contract states: “This action is to request the approval to procure database information to identify criminal suspects, businesses and assets of targets of investigations for potential arrest, seizure and forfeiture. These database services shall be obtained from West Publishing Corporation. West Publishing Corporation is the only known source capable of providing the required information. This information will be used by ICE/HSI/AFU offices located not only in Washington, D.C. but also in 26 SAC offices and multiple RAC offices throughout the United States and US territories”.

The contract goes on to state: “The Government’s requirement is that the database must be able to interface with FALCON Palantir systems. West Publishing Corporation’s CLEAR program offers a system to system (S2S) connection that merges CLEAR public and proprietary data with Palantir analytical information to narrow in and locate persons and assets of interest”.

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Privacy Advisory Commission Investigation of Oakland ICE Raid Concludes Violation of Sanctuary City Policy

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*Oakland’s Public Safety Committee will take up the ICE raid on November 14 at 6pm at City Hall after chair Desley Brooks and at-large council rep Rebecca Kaplan asked for the report. The Chief of Police is expected to attend.*

After completing an investigation of the West Oakland ICE raid of August 16, Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission concluded that “all evidence presently known supports that the Oakland Police Department participated in a raid on August 16 that led only to a civil immigration arrest, in violation of Oakland’s Sanctuary City policy and OPD Immigration Policy 415.”

The Commission unanimously recommended that the City Council require the Oakland Chief of Police present a report on this raid to the Council at a public hearing.

The investigation further concluded that “of the nine most material representations on the matter made by the Oakland Chief of Police, research supported that six were false and one more is likely false.”

Video of the Privacy Advisory Commission Public Hearing on October 5, 2017

The investigation findings and exhibits can be read here.

PAC_-_ICE_Raid_Memo

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