All Surveillance, All the Time

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

by J.P. Massar

The future is here. An unholy mix of 1984, Minority Report and cyberpunk. In westernmost China, and increasingly everywhere in a country composing one seventh of humanity, the omnipresent surveillance state is a reality.

Nithin Coca, in an article in Engadget, describes such a hyper-Orwellian system as it exists now in the province of Xinjiang, which is inhabited primarily by the Uyghur people.

It’s a gargantuan melding of personnel and technology:

Facebooktwitter

Secrecy in Law Enforcement Technology Subverts Law and Justice

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

by Eric Neville

As society is ignorant of its technology, we steer our democracy blindly.  As we willfully conceal information from ourselves, we put blinders on society.  Yet we need to craft our public policy to address the perpetually moving target that is technology.  Without encompassing transparency and accountability legislation for technology used in law enforcement, we will continue to see legislators outpaced, judges kept in the dark, and a public willfully deceived.

Facebooktwitter

ICE At Urban Shield 2017 – (Photo Gallery)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

These photos were produced by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in response to a public records request for photos of the 2017 war games exercise. These are culled from over 300 photos showing officers from the Homeland Security Investigations division of ICE being trained in SWAT techniques by Alameda County during Urban Shield 2017.

Alameda’s training of the ICE division was done without the knowledge of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, which accepts funding for the event from the Department of Homeland Security and whose Sheriff’s Department coordinates the event. The City of San Francisco is the fiscal sponsor for funding intermediary Bay Area UASI.

In January of 2017, Alameda County convened a large task force to review Urban Shield’s impact on Bay Area communities and recommend reforms. That task force, which observed the event extensively, was also not aware of HSI/ICE participation in 2017. 

Facebooktwitter

City of Davis Unanimously Adopts Surveillance Transparency

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The City of Davis gave a unanimous thumbs up to surveillance transparency on March 20 at the first reading of the ordinance that requires approval prior to equipment acquisition, use policies defining acceptable and unacceptable uses and annual audits on all surveillance and spying technology.

CCOPS (Community Control of Police Surveillance) ordinances have now been unanimously adopted in Santa Clara County, Berkeley and Davis. Oakland will take up a CCOPS ordinance in April as will the Bay Area Regional Transit District.

Capital Public Radio coverage.

Facebooktwitter

San Pablo Postpones $2.9 Million Dollar ALPR Contract With Vigilant

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

On March 19, a $2.9 million dollar expansion of San Pablo’s license plate reader system (already extensive) and a switch of vendors to troubled Vigilant Solutions was removed from the meeting consent calender, and then indefinitely postponed after local youth, Oakland Privacy and ACLU-Northern California voiced concerns.

The Council agreed to more community input prior to approving the expansion, including community meetings, and suggested the contract and policies be tightened to prevent 3rd party data sharing, particularly with ICE who signed a contract with Vigilant in January of 2018. One council member went so far as to suggest a million dollar financial penalty be written in to the contract with Vigilant in the event of a proven data leak that resulted in geolocation data being shared with ICE.

The indefinite postponment was voted in unanimously with all five Council members voting yes. San Pablo joins a series of California cities, including Alameda and Culver City, pushing the pause button on ALPR contracts with Vigilant Solutions.

East Bay Express coverage

Vigilant LPR Database Sharing Example

FOIA Documentation on ICE Access to Vigilant LPR Databases

The Verge coverage of the backlash against Vigilant

Facebooktwitter

New Thomson Reuters Contract With ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

Information services and journalism mega-corporation Thomson Reuters has signed another contract to provide data to ICE. This latest contract, which runs through 2023, is with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and tracks 500,000 alien residents in the United States every month. Thomson Reuters products include the Reuters News Wire, Westlaw Legal Solutions, eDiscovery Point, Lipper Fund Research, Eikon Financial Analysis, World-Check, Datastream, Elektron Data Enterprise Management, FlexTrade Spark, REDI, Checkpoint, OneSource, Onvio, and CLEAR,

Facebooktwitter