All posts by Midnightschildren

SF Police Sued Over Public/Private Camera Use To Surveil BLM Protests

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Three San Francisco residents who participated in protests that followed the death of George Floyd, have sued the San Francisco Police Department for use of the camera network of the Union Square Business Improvement District to monitor those protests.

Hope Williams, Nathan Sheard and Nestor Reyes, represented by attorneys at the ACLU of Northern California and Electronic Frontier Foundation filed Williams vs San Francisco under San Francisco’s May 2019 surveillance oversight ordinance.

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Protest Facebook: Protecting the 2020 Elections in the age of facebook.

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The Protest Facebook coalition presented a special webcast on October 6, 2020 about protecting election integrity, voting rights, and democracy in the age of Facebook. It features:

Ángel Díaz is counsel in the Liberty & National Security Program of the Brennan Center for Justice.

Yaël Eisenstat is the former Global Head of Elections Integrity Operations for political advertising at Facebook.

Myaisha Hayes is the campaigns director at MediaJustice, where she oversees the launch of campaigns such as #NoDigitalPrisons and #ProtectBlackDissent.

Jesse Littlewood is the vice president of campaigns at Common Cause, which is training election protection social media monitors to combat cyber-suppression in their communities.

Sponsored by Global Exchange, Media Alliance, the Protest Facebook Coalition and others.

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California Voters Get Say on Data Privacy Law. But Is It Tough Enough?

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by Maria Dinezo. Originally published on Courthouse News.

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Two years ago, the California Legislature enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, a tough and expansive piece of legislation meant to mimic Europe’s broad data protections.

The fanfare was short-lived for data-privacy advocates, as lobbyists for various business interests rushed in to water down its protections. Hostile amendments that sought to carve out exemptions to the law were largely defeated after a grueling legislative session in 2019.

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Vallejo police expand community surveillance with license plate readers

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By Andres Torres. Originally printed on KTVU.com

VALLEJO, Calif. – Vallejo Police Department on Tuesday announced a partnership with Atlanta-based startup, Flock Safety that expands surveillance using license plate readers (LPR) throughout Vallejo. 

The surveillance technology is being touted as a crime-fighting tool. Police have “strategically placed” 10 LPRs throughout the city at a cost of $2,496 a year each, which includes maintenance and installation. Police said there is at least one privatized installation in a neighborhood through a homeowners association. 

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Prop. 24 actually pokes holes in data privacy protections

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Originally published in the San Diego Union Tribune


By TRACY ROSENBERG

SEP. 23, 2020

6:53 PM

When California voters receive their voter guide for the November election, they will see a 53-page measure claiming to improve their privacy rights listed as Proposition 24. What they won’t see, unless they are very diligent at reading lengthy texts, are all the loopholes and exemptions in Proposition 24.

That’s why privacy and consumer protection groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Media Alliance, Consumer Fed, Consumer Action, Public Citizen, Color of Change, Courage Campaign, California Small Business Alliance, Electronic Frontier Foundation and many others who have fought for you for years won’t endorse Proposition 24. It isn’t what it pretends to be.

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Media Alliance comments on Section 230

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Media Alliance filed these joint comments with Global Exchange on behalf of the Protest Facebook section in the FCC’s proceeding on Section 230 of the Telecom Act.

Section 230 exempts online platforms from liability for their content. It is one of the pillars of the Internet that has allowed alternative content to thrive on the Internet. And in an era of disinformation, we are seeing the dark side of freedom from liability.

Media Alliance categorically rejects that Section 230 should be abolished or ended. Just as categorically, we believe that tempered regulation of online platforms to address the viral spread of disinformation and online hatred is called for.

Here are the comments we submitted to the FCC.

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Oakland ready for Trump attacks if Harris joins Democratic ticket

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by Julia Sulek. Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News

OAKLAND — When Joe Biden’s vice presidential search committee met with a who’s who of California Democrats on a Zoom call late last month, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf used up every second of her turn to make an urgent pitch for Kamala Harris, a self-described proud “daughter of Oakland, California.”

Schaaf has known the U.S. senator since they were both barely 30 years old and extolled her virtues as a fierce advocate for Oakland’s progressive values.

But Oaklanders know that Harris won’t be the only one in the spotlight if she’s who Biden chooses to join the Democratic ticket for the White House. The city of Oakland itself, which has been vilified by President Donald Trump as a miasma of urban horrors, will surely be in the crosshairs too.

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