BART must be open about how its spies on its riders…

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Image result for bart surveillanceAn op-ed appeared in the December 12th edition of the East Bay Times, authored by former Oakland City Councilperson Wilson Riles, regarding the surveillance equipment regulation ordinance now being created by the BART Board and its staff in consultation with the ACLU and Oakland Privacy. It begins:

In the aftermath of the election, many have come to understand a powerful surveillance state in the hands of the federal government, especially one that will have a CIA director who believes: “Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed” is a serious danger to the freedoms of all Americans.

Surveillance in the Bay Area must be carefully weighed against our civil liberties, and having data fed into federal databases, to be used to target our Muslim and undocumented neighbors, is something we cannot continue to allow…

Read the whole thing here.

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A Letter to the President on Surveillance Tech

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By Eric Neville, Oakland Privacy Member.

Dear President Obama:

I question the legitimacy of using any secret technology in attempt to uphold the law.  As an illustration of the inherent vitiation of the legal process, I offer the Stingray cell site simulator equipment, and I reference the issues addressed in the attached letter from twelve United States Senators.[1a][1b]  I must immediately point out that even the name of this technology may be disputed, having been referred to even in courts by various “inscrutable euphemisms“, showing from the first step impedance to the proper understanding which is necessary for justice.[1c]

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Trump will soon be in charge of our surveillance apparatus – what can we do?

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Oakland Privacy member and Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission Chair Brian Hofer’s guest essay discussing President-Elect Donald Trump being handed the keys to the surveillance kingdom in this week’s East Bay Express.

Catherine Crump, Professor at UC Berkeley, writes about local control over surveillance technology: Citizens need more say over police surveillance technology.

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Yes, We Can

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surveillance-cameras_zps4f617664Today, ACLU National announced its campaign to #TakeCTRL, by empowering local communities to take back control over their police department’s use of surveillance equipment. You can read about it here.

Locally, our success has helped inspire the national campaign. You can read about successes in the City of Oakland that began with the Domain Awareness Center debate, and Santa Clara County, the first entity in the nation to adopt the model surveillance equipment ordinance created by the ACLU.

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Oakland Privacy in Solidarity with the National Prisoners’ Work Strike.

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Oakland Privacy strongly supports the National Prison Strike, which begins Sept. 9, and issues this statement in support.

prison-strikeWhile Oakland Privacy is primarily committed to ensuring that people’s privacy is not invaded by the state, our commitment extends to the protection of the full gamut of civil rights and liberties – all of which are violated by prisons, jails, and correctional facilities.

We deplore the conditions in this country’s prisons, especially but not exclusively those which violate the 6th Amendment proscription against cruel and unusual punishment, and the use of what amounts to the slave labor of prisoners by the State.

Oakland Privacy is a citizens coalition that works regionally to defend the right to privacy and enhance public transparency and oversight regarding the use of surveillance techniques and equipment.

More information on the September 9th Prison Strike.

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