Category Archives: Press Room

Recent press releases issued by Media Alliance. Sometimes we’ll post newspaper, radio and broadcast interviews here as well.

The Robber Barons of Big Tech

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by Veronica Irwin. Published in SF Weekly.

Remember when we thought we were going to make the world a better place?

In the city where Jello Biafra once ran for mayor on a platform that would have required businessmen to wear clown suits, recently graduated engineers arrived wearing jeans and pocket-tees. Like the countercultural icons who came before them, they thumbed their collective noses at the stuffy protocols that had come to dominate the white collar workforce. While New York’s business elite had members-only clubs, local tech CEOs kept a kegerator in the office — right next to the ping-pong table and bean bag chair lounge. The Silicon Valley “campus,” complete with outdoor shopping centers and arcades, replaced the corporate headquarters, and open floor plans dismantled the sterile grid of cubicles.

This was the Left Coast. On this side of the country, the son of a teen mom and a cuban immigrant could rise to become the world’s first trillionaire and a couple of bearded, shaggy college dropouts could build a world-conquering personal computer company while pledging to Think Different.

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Good Riddance: Tech Worker’s Flight From SF is a Relief to Some Advocates

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by David Ingram. Originally published on nbcnews.com.

SAN FRANCISCO — When Chirag Bhakta saw a headline recently that said tech workers were fleeing San Francisco, he had a quick reaction: “Good riddance.”

Bhakta, a San Francisco native and tenant organizer for affordable housing nonprofit Mission Housing, is well-versed in the seismic impact that the growth of the tech industry has had on the city. As software companies expanded over the past decade, they drew thousands of well-off newcomers who bid up rents and remade the city’s economy and culture.

He said the sudden departure of many tech workers and executives — often to less expensive, rural areas where they can telecommute during the coronavirus pandemic — reveals that their relationship with San Francisco was “transactional” all along.

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Coronavirus Sparks New Fight Over Privacy Law

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By Dustin Gardiner originally printed in San Francisco Chronicle

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office is gearing up to enforce the state’s landmark internet privacy law, despite pleas from business groups that say they aren’t ready because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The California Consumer Privacy Act gives people the power to tell companies not to sell their personal data and to demand they delete the information altogether. The law took effect Jan. 1, but enforcement was delayed until July 1 to give businesses time to prepare for a mountain of data requests from their customers.

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California AG submits New Privacy Rules at Deadline

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Originally published in Communications Daily on June 3

“No changes from the last draft is good and bad, emailed Media Alliance Executive Director Tracy Rosenberg. Privacy advocates are glad the AG rejected many business requests that would have weakened CCPA but “disappointed that a few changes we recommended were not incorporated, including to accept browser do-not-track requests as opt outs.”

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What Are Trump and his goons up to?

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Originally published in Black Agenda Report

That’s the question I asked policing and privacy expert Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director of Media Alliance, and coordinator of Oakland Privacy.

Ann Garrison: What do you think Trump and his goons might be up to in Portland and the cities with “liberal Democratic mayors” that he’s threatening to invade next? Is this much more than politics, an attempt to win the election with law and order extremes?

Tracy Rosenberg: Certainly, first and foremost, it is a political stunt to capture the law and order crowd and press on divides between the coastal cities and inland voters. But it’s also more sinister than that. The use of federal forces is designed to weaken local accountability by freezing out local government that constituents can reach. Portland’s mayor might not even have opposed some “help” from the feds, but he wasn’t asked. In other words, this wasn’t mutual aid. This was indeed an invasion.

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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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