Dear Senate President pro Tempore de León,
Oakland Privacy writes in strong support of SB 54 (de León). Oakland Privacy is a citizen’s coalition that works regionally to defend the right to privacy and enhance public transparency and oversight regarding the use of surveillance techniques and equipment.
SB 54 will protect the privacy, safety and well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations, separate families, or divide Californians on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, immigration status, or national or ethnic origins. Preventing the use of California state databases for immigration inquiries, as the legislation does, is important in maintaining individuals’ right to privacy, a special concern of our group.
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SB-21 is a bill that would end secret surveillance by CA law enforcement agencies by mandating use polices, impact reports and biannual audits for all surveillance equipment and technology used in CA. SB-21 subjects all spying to an upfront process for local government approval and disclosure to the public. Before it’s used, not afterwards.
The bill just passed the CA State Senate on May 31 by a 21-15 vote and is headed to the Assembly. If you haven’t already emailed your state reps, do so here.
San Jose Mercury News Editorial Board endorsement of SB-21.
A California Mayor’s First Hand Account Of The Need For Surveillance Transparency
San Diego Tribune Op-Ed on SB-21
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On October 26, 2001, “in the name of national security, the Patriot Act was the first of many changes to surveillance laws that made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans by expanding the authority to monitor phone and email communications, collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity of innocent Americans on the Internet.” (from an ACLU page) source: https://www.aclu.org/infographic/surveillance-under-patriot-act
In 2006, I ran into an article (source: https://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2006/04/6585-2/) on the Internet that stunned and frightened me: “AT&T installed powerful traffic monitoring equipment in a ‘secret room’ in their San Francisco switching office at the behest of the NSA…The equipment used and the vast scale of the information being monitored [more than 10 billion bits of data per second] both suggest that the NSA is sifting through massive amounts of user data and phone calls.”
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