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#CheckBigTech Instagram Live Series

The Facebook Users Union had big plans for the 2022 Facebook Shareholders Meeting, but it turns out the company decided to go all-virtual this year. But we can go virtual too. 

Join us all this week at @fbusersunited for a series of Instagram Live conversations on reclaiming the world’s largest social media platform to meet our needs and stop harming our communities. 

Monday May 23 – 7:30 EST/4:30 PST – “Facebook and The War on Communities“. Location: @fbusersunited on Instagram

Tuesday May 24 – 7:30 EST/4:30 PST – “Saving Democracy from Big Tech“. Location: @fbusersunited on Instagram

Wednesday May 25 – Hump Day. This is your day to take action. Make noise, in person or on-line. Use our toolkit for graphics, links and ideas for action.

If you take action online, use the hashtags #STOPFacebookHATE #MakeMarkListen and #CheckBigTech

Thursday May 26 – 7:30 EST/4:30 PST – “We Fight For All of Us: Addressing Gender-Based Violence“. Location: @fbusersunited on Instagram

Friday May 27 – 7:30 EST/4:30 PST – “Building User Power and a Digital Liberated Future“. Location: @fbusersunited on Instagram

Facebook has been put on notice. We’re delivering a people’s resolution: get hate and lies and violence off Facebook. NOW. 

They CAN do better. They’ve just never been forced to do so. We’re banding together users to demand a stop to the abuse.

FUU People Power Follow us on twitter | Click here to donate |Follow us on IG | 

Facebook Users Union/FUU People Power is a project of Media Alliance and Global Exchange

Protect Community Media From Cable Lies

We need your help right now for community media. 

Cable industry lobbyists have swamped the state capital with lies and distortions to stop much-needed changes in the discriminatory treatment of public content on cable.

They want to keep on degrading the signals of public community benefit TV channels to outdated technology that makes Zoom captions illegible and compresses images so they are indecipherable. By down-converting a high definition signal to a standard definition signal, up to 80% of the picture information is discarded. This is ridiculous in 2022 and will get a lot more ridiculous as time goes by. 

Industry has somehow convinced the state Assembly that providing functional and robust community benefits on cable systems will break the bank, although 20 other states already have high definition public channels, including the cities of Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle. Californians already pay some of the highest average cable bills in the country. 

We only have two weeks to set the record straight and combat the lies or this modest reform dies. 

Continue reading Protect Community Media From Cable Lies

National Campaign To End Shotspotter

Privacy and criminal justice activists across the country are focusing on gun detection software, and specifically lead vendor, Shotspotter, after the company’s forensic reports threw two innocent men in jail and drew cops into a fatal encounter with 13 year old Adam Toledo in Chicago.

The outdoor microphones, which are predominately deployed in lower income Black and Brown communities, routinely create dangerous situations by sending police alarms of gunfire that never took place. Independent research documents that around 90% of Shotspotter alerts end up with no evidence of gunfire ever having occurred.

Shotspotter has bought a predictive policing company (Hunchlab), promoted their technology’s potential as a drone activation system, and recently announced a partnership with Airobotics, a drone company based in Israel.

We need real solutions to gun violence, not routinely malfunctioning tech that is wildly expensive and drains public dollars.

If you’d like to help our coalition end Shotspotter contracts in the Bay Area and take the message to the company’s doors, watch this space.

The Official Project Censored Show

Looking ahead to the upcoming annual conference of the Alliance for Community Media West, Mickey speaks with two long-time activists in the community-media movement- Sue Buske and Tracy Rosenberg; they discuss the future of public-access cable channels, associated public/local media, and the role community media centers can play centering marginalized voices in local news deserts, especially in hyper-artisan times. The ACM West’s 2022 conference is taking place in San Jose, CA from March 30 through April 1. In the second half of the show, we learn about the iconic, pathbreaking civil-rights activist, lawyer, clergy, and feminist, Pauli Murray (1910-1985), from Simki Kuznick, author of a newly-published Murray biography. That which Murray fought for foreshadowed and impacted many of the civil rights campaigns that continue to this day. Notes: Tracy Rosenberg is Executive Director of Media Alliance, a San-Francisco-based advocacy organization involved in a wide array of campaigns, including net neutrality, personal privacy, and many other issues. Sue Buske is Vice-Chair of ACM West, and heads a consulting firm (the Buske Group) assisting local governments and nonprofit organizations on cable-TV matters. The California Assembly bills discussed on the show are AB2635 and AB2748. Simki Kuznick is the author of “Pauli Murray’s Revolutionary Life” (from Rootstock Publishing). While living in California, she helped found the group Interracial Pride. Now based in the Washington, DC area, she is a writer and editor, holds an MFA in Creative Writing. 

How California is Building the Nation’s First Privacy Police

by David McCabe. Originally published in the NY Times

Ashkan Soltani, the head of California’s new online privacy regulator, needed help launching the first agency of its kind in the United States. So he called the state’s Horse Racing Board.

Soltani asked Scott Chaney, executive director of the racing board, which oversees roughly 10 racetracks, about the ins and outs of running a small agency in California’s sprawling state government. They discussed how to handle remote work and hiring in the pandemic. Chaney also offered advice for navigating the public sector.

Soltani is “literally inventing a state department,” Chaney said. “He’s almost inventing it from the ground up.”

Continue reading How California is Building the Nation’s First Privacy Police

Police Accountability Board Discusses  Public Surveillance Camera Use

By Lily Button. Originally published in the Daily Cal

The Berkeley Police Accountability Board, or PAB, discussed a successful perpetrator negotiation on Telegraph Avenue and delayed action for a proposal to expand public safety surveillance camera use in Berkeley at its regular meeting Wednesday.

During the first public comment session, Berkeley resident Kitt Saginor raised concerns about the Berkeley Police Department’s COVID-19 response in light of Berkeley’s loosening mask policies. Saginor urged officers to continue masking within the department and community after photos on social media allegedly showed maskless officers in Target during the omicron surge.

Oakland Privacy representative Tracy Rosenberg advocated against the Automated License Plate Readers policy, which uses cameras to capture vehicle license plates. Expansion of the policy would allow the use of scanning technology beyond parking enforcement, the initial purpose portrayed by City Council.

“This is essentially a breaking of a contract that was made between the City Council and the residents in Berkeley in terms of why this equipment was brought and how it was going to be used,” Rosenberg said during the meeting.

Rosenberg discouraged the board from adding uses to law enforcement equipment due to difficulties in data extraction.

Continue reading Police Accountability Board Discusses  Public Surveillance Camera Use

Oakland Renters Get Choice of Internet Providers Under New Law

By Jennifer Wiley. Originally published in Oakland North.

Renters in Oakland’s apartment buildings now have more control over their choice of internet service provider, a choice that San Francisco renters have had since 2016 and one that the Federal Communications Commission is currently addressing. 

The Internet Choice Ordinance was unanimously approved by the Oakland City Council in October and went into effect for tenants in January. It broadens ISP options for renters in buildings with four or more residences by prohibiting landlords from restricting tenants to a single provider. 

Continue reading Oakland Renters Get Choice of Internet Providers Under New Law