Santa Clara County Using Palantir to Data Mine Health/Crime Data


Reported by Jennifer Wadsworth at San Jose Inside

“Given my work and knowing the company’s role in law enforcement and surveillance, I can say they’re a bit of a creepy choice,” says Mike Katz-Lacabe, who founded the Center for Human Rights and Privacy.

Dozens of protesters who gathered outside Palantir’s Palo Alto headquarters last month voiced a similar sentiment, singling out the company’s $53 million “mission critical” contract with ICE, which dates back to the Obama administration but gained widespread attention under President Trump. They presented a letter to CEO Alex Karp demanding that he stop aiding federal efforts to deport millions of immigrants. The July 31 demonstration was part of a nationwide day of action—amplified on social media under the #WeWontBeComplicit hashtag—against businesses, schools and government entities linked to Trump’s deportation machine.

Read the full article here


BART Slows Down (Big Brother, not Big Trains).


Image result for bart train slowingWith Oakland Privacy catalyzing the turnout, members of the ACLU, the EFF, DSA, Oakland Privacy, APTP, East Bay For Everyone, AROC, and the public spoke at the Board meeting with essentially one voice against BART staff proposals for increased surveillance, Thursday, August 9th… and it worked, at least temporarily.

On a 7-2 vote, with directors Joel Keller and Robert Raburn opposed, the board delayed action on an advanced surveillance system that uses computer analytics to track passengers’ movements, video monitors at stations showing real-time feeds, a ban on panhandling in paid areas of stations, accelerating efforts to erect taller fences and other barriers to make it more difficult to ride BART without a ticket and adding evening shifts for fare inspectors.

Oakland privacy members Brian Hofer, Tracy Rosenberg, Lou Katz and Don Fogg spoke during public comment, reminding the board that a surveillance equipment regulation ordinance, approved in theory over a year and a half ago, had still not had its language finalized nor come before the board – and needed to before any new surveillance equipment was approved.

Selected videos from the 2+ hours of public comment in opposition can be seen here. 

The devil, however, is in the suburbs, where, it seems, advocates of Orwellian state surveillance lurk, according to one Board member:

Those items will be taken up at a board meeting next month, that, upon Keller’s insistence, will be held at night in one of the district’s suburban cities. After more than two hours of testimony from dozens of people who were almost universally opposed to the more stringent safety measures, he suggested their opinions represented “only half the story.”

Let’s just remember, as this quote from the 24th century suggests

“The road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think.”

that those of us who watch the watchers can never sleep.


No DAC For BART – August 9th 9:00AM – 2040 Webster Oakland



On Thursday, BART police will propose a system-wide security dragnet for the Bay Area’s transit system. BART police are asking the board to approve the project in concept and authorize trials at Lake Merritt and Civic Center BART stations.

No privacy policy.

No civil rights impact assessment.

No data storage and access rules. 

No biased and inaccurate facial recognition on BART

No go.  

Email the BART board or come tell them yourself on Thursday August 9 at 9am at 2040 Webster in Oakland (3rd Floor).


ICE Protests Highlight Contra Costa County Sheriff Drone Program



Reprinted from Center for Human Rights and Privacy 


Many protesters observed the use of multiple drones at the West Contra Costa County Detention Center on June 30, 2018, during a protest against ICE and its practice of family separation. Journalist Darwin BondGraham wrote about this in an East Bay Express article on July 3, 2018. Documents released in response to a public records request indicated that the drone was also flown over the June 26, 2018, protest at the same facility.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s drone (or unmanned aerial vehicle/system) program was started in 2016. The agency purchased its first drone on September 7, 2016, a DJI Phantom 4, from Fry’s Electronics on Willow Pass Road for $1,685.14. The drone was returned and exchanged for the same model on September 13, 2016.


114 Civil Rights Groups on Pre-Trial Risk Assessment



114 civil and human rights groups, including Oakland Privacy, joined together to urge that pre-trial detention including risk assessment or predictive software and electronic shackles, be used as infrequently as possible.

Pretrial “risk assessment” instruments – although they may seem objective or neutral – threaten to further intensify unwarranted discrepancies in the justice system and to provide a misleading and undeserved imprimatur of impartiality for an institution that desperately needs fundamental change.