Category Archives: Media Ownership

Mergers, diversity of ownership, and multiple perspectives.

Groups Call on Congress to Refuse Funding for Border Surveillance “Smart Wall”


25 civil liberties and immigration organizations, including Media Alliance released an open letter to Congress calling on negotiators not to provide additional funding for border surveillance technologies as part of the “grand compromise” deal around border security. The letter specifies which technologies we are most concerned about, like algorithmic risk-assessment, facial recognition, and biometrics.

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An Open Letter To The Berkeley City Council

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailJune 21, 2018

Honorable Mayor Jesse Arrequin and Members of the Berkeley City Council:  Ben Bartlett,  Cheryl Davila, Lori Droste, Sophie Hahn, Kate Harrison, Linda Maio, Susan Wengraf,  Kriss Worthington

cc: City of Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley, City of Berkeley City Attorney Farimah Brown, City of Berkeley City Clerk

City of Berkeley  2180 Milvia Street  Berkeley, CA 94709

In Re: Council Subcommittee Urban Shield Vote

On behalf of Media Alliance’s constituency in your city, I am writing to you with regard to Mayor Arreguin’s statment on June 19, 2018.

The purpose of this letter is to do two things:

  1. To identify the language in the Berkeley City Charter and municipal code that addresses agreements with other law enforcement agencies, including the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.
  2. To provide documentation of two previous Council votes in December of 2015 and June of 2017 in which the council purported to direct the Berkeley Police Department  and the Berkeley City Manager in whether or not to participate in the Urban Shield SWAT competition.

Continue reading An Open Letter To The Berkeley City Council


43 Organizations Call On Congress To Protect Digital Civil Rights


43 civil and human rights organizations (including Media Alliance) called on Congress today to protect marginalized communities from digital discrimination.

Harmful practices noted in the letter included deceptive voter suppression, housing and employment discrimination in online advertising, and exploitative notice-and-choice practices.

The letter went on to state that any new privacy legislation needs to incorporate these principles:

  •  Stop high-tech profiling;
  •  Ensure fairness in automated decisions;
  •  Preserve constitutional principles;
  •  Enhance individual control of personal information; and
  •  Protect people from inaccurate data.
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The Online Privacy Quickie Sell-Out Deal


They could restore it but…..

At a time when it is difficult to pay attention to much besides the disaster that is the Trump adminstration’s”family separation policy”, the CA Legislature is rushing through an evisceration of online privacy, in a shameful ending to AB 375. The bill was  introduced with much fanfare in 2017 by Assembly privacy chair Ed Chau to replace FCC broadband privacy regulations repealed by Congress. Continue reading The Online Privacy Quickie Sell-Out Deal


Urban Shield Ends


Update: At the March 14 meeting of the DHS Approval Authority in Dublin, the Urban Shield SWAT drill and weapons show was suspended for 2019, after the Alameda County Board of Supervisors endorsed a 60-recommendation package to demilitarize the disaster preparedness exercise.

The Homeland Security funding body indicated a new RFP for a regional emergency exercise would be issued in 2019. The suspension, and practical end, of Urban Shield, follows five years of escalating community complaints about racism, xenophobia, sanctuary violations and the event’s violent scenarios.

Alameda County Board Chair Richard Valle, who attended the DHS meeting, asked Homeland Security to “forgive him for his compassion” and read aloud several of the recommendations for change, saying he had been “driven to vote for them.”

Alameda County Prez Richard Valle at the DHS Approval Authority

Oakland Privacy press release 3-15-2019


On February 26, after a board meeting that ran for almost seven hours, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to transform the controversial weapon expo and war games drill into a “peacetime mobilization” for natural disasters and community resilience in the face of catastrophe.

Acting to accept 60 of 63 recommendations from their second ad-hoc committee convened to help make the transition, the Supervisors made good on their 2018 pledge to “end Urban Shield as we know it”.

Use this easy one click action to thank them for listening to five long years of appeals from the community.

Continue reading Urban Shield Ends