Why Pay For A Port Boondoggle – One With No Benefit To The City Of Oakland?

Categories: Front Page, Open Mic

That boondoggle is the Domain Awareness Center System – the DAC.

  • We don’t want it.dac budget priorities_Page_1
  • We don’t need it.
  • The Port refuses to allocate money for it
  • We shouldn’t have to pay for it.
  • We need to protect privacy not degrade it.

In March of 2014 Oakland’s City Council restricted the DAC – a surveillance system to be installed at Oakland’s Emergency Operations Center, to just the Port of Oakland. A grant obtained by the Port from the Dept. of Homeland Security was intended to fund the operating costs. The Council also insisted that a privacy policy be put in place before the DAC became operational.

Oakland’s Ad Hoc Privacy Committee worked from April through December creating arguably the best, most robust privacy policy in the US, along with other privacy protections. But in Dec. 2014 the Port of Oakland voted to reallocate the grant money to itself, leaving city taxpayers like you on the hook.

On Feb. 10th the privacy committee presented both the new privacy policy and other recommendations to the Public Safety Committee. Council members approved “in principle” the committee’s suggestions, and City Council members expressed their thoughts on the Port’s action. Councilperson Dan Kalb called the Port’s action defunding the DAC “shameful.”  We agree.

But it’s more than just shameful; it’s outrageous. Outrageous that the City Council could still be considering funding the DAC out of Oakland’s own monies – when those funds could be better used to keep libraries open, repair potholes, fund youth programs and many other services that Oakland residents would like to see. Oakland has a balanced budget requirement, which means that the multi-million dollar DAC operating costs must be taken from other revenues. The fact is that almost no one in Oakland cares about or wants to see the DAC operational, and no one wants to pay for it when we have an estimated $20 million budget deficit with no tangible benefit to the city in activating the DAC.

If there’s a road near you that needs repair, trash on the street that isn’t being picked up, kids with no after-school programs, libraries suffering from reduced hours and staffing – or any other services you might want the City to provide – you need to speak up!

Call or email your City Council representatives today (see below for contact information) and tell them:

  • No, no money we don’t have for a surveillance system we don’t want. Defund the DAC!
  • Yes, pass the privacy policy and the committee’s other recommendations, which they worked long and hard on, and which cover existing and future surveillance systems, ensuring our privacy rights.

To get involved send an email inquiry to: oaklandprivacy@gmail.com

Check out a FAQ on the history of the Domain Awareness Center: localwiki.org/oakland/dac-faq-v1

Read background on recent DAC events via Electronic Frontier Foundation: tinyurl.com/p9aexl7

Send a comment to the Oakland City Council on the Privacy Policy: tinyurl.com/llg3jsa

Watch former Oakland City Council member Wilson Riles explain the trap of grant and expectations funding:

Watch Brian Hofer, Chair of the Privacy Committee and Oakland Privacy Working Group member, explain the DAC’s history, the privacy policy, the committee’s other recommendations and all of their importance:


CONTACT YOUR CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES: If you live in Oakland you have an At-Large representative (Rebecca Kaplan) and a district representative.

Dan Kalb District 1  (510) 238-7001 dkalb@oaklandnet.com
Abel Guillen District 2  (510) 238-7002 aguillen@oaklandnet.com
Lynette Gibson McElhaney District 3 (510) 238-7003 lmcelhaney@oaklandnet.com
Annie Campbell Washington District 4  (510) 238-7004  acampbell-washington@Oaklandnet.com
Noel Gallo District 5 (510) 238-7005 ngallo@oaklandnet.com
Desley Brooks District 6 (510) 238-7006 dbrooks@oaklandnet.com
Larry Reid District 7 (510) 238-7007 lreid@oaklandnet.com
Rebecca Kaplan At-Large (510) 238-7008 atlarge@oaklandnet.com

To find your district enter your address here: http://mapgis.oaklandnet.com/councildistricts/

This message brought to you by the Oakland Privacy Working Group. https://oaklandprivacy.wordpress.com/



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