Oakland Passes Surveillance Transparency on MayDay

Categories: Front Page, Open Mic

by Tracy Rosenberg and JP Massar

Closing the circle begun many years ago, the City of Oakland ended the Domain Awareness Center saga, quietly and on the consent calendar of the Oakland City Council, by passing the strongest community control of surveillance ordinance in the nation on May 1st, 2018.

Beaten on the calendar for a surveillance regulation and transparency ordinance by Santa Clara County in June of 2016, and then Berkeley and Davis in April of 2018, Oakland was nonetheless ground zero of the battle against the Surveillance State in 2013 and 2014 as it rose up to defeat one of the largest Homeland Security projects ever foisted on an American city – and in doing so sparked a national conversation about whether the people get any say in how they are watched.

The City is finally enacting what they agreed to in concept three years ago at three in the morning: community control of surveillance.

This is the strongest ordinance in the country, giving Oakland communities the power to understand the technologies that are being proposed in the city, and to have a voice in saying if, when and how surveillance is used in the city, Tessa D’Arcangelew, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said at Tuesday’s council meeting… (East Bay Times)

From the canary in the Homeland Security coalmine to national leaders in transparency, disclosure, oversight and accountability.

(with a little help from the people).

Happy Mayday!


Oakland Privacy (nee the Occupy Oakland Privacy Working Group, established in August, 2013) catalyzed the fight against the Domain Awareness Center, planting the seeds therein for the creation of the Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission, tasked with fine-tuning the ACLU’s proposed model Surveillance and Transparency Ordinance, negotiating with all the stakeholders, and bringing it to the Oakland City Council.  Many more activist and civil rights groups, and individuals, contributed  to the in ways large and small to the fight against the DAC and to the process of getting the Surveillance Ordinance passed.


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