Category Archives: Press Room

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

The Federalization Of Local Police: Why The Urban Shield Vote Failed

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Printed in Berkeleyside and the San Francisco Bayview on June 21, 2017. 

On June 20, the Berkeley City Council, only months after being swept in by a progressive majority, rejected the call of hundreds of people, ranging from former Mayor Gus Newport to Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza to famed author Naomi Klein, to terminate a series of entanglements between local police and the federal security forces of the Donald Trump administration. The resistance failed to resist. In the nation’s heartland of dissent. What went wrong, and why? Continue reading The Federalization Of Local Police: Why The Urban Shield Vote Failed

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KCSM-TV Spectrum Pot Of Gold Dissolves Into Dueling Lawsuits

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By Tracy Rosenberg. Published in the AFT Advocate – May 2017 http://aft1493.org/may-2017-advocate-kscm-tv/

For years, KCSM-TV, one of two noncommercial broadcasting outlets owned by the College of San Mateo, trained generations of students in communications. The program was probably the best broadcasting training available at a public two-year college and one of the best in the whole country.  The TV station, the 5th largest public TV outlet in the state of California, had fallen on hard times in recent years, losing its PBS affiliation and running annual operating deficits. The trustees of the San Mateo Community College District, during a prolonged process to sell the license, kindly referred to KCSM-TV as a “junker car”, reflecting the District’s lack of enthusiasm for revitalizing its public television station.

Every junker has a suitor

But every junker has a suitor, and a hedge firm came calling for KCSM-TV’s carcass. Here is how we got to dueling lawsuits. Continue reading KCSM-TV Spectrum Pot Of Gold Dissolves Into Dueling Lawsuits

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Oakland Police Department Rejects Predictive Policing

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Predictive policing is the use of computer-generated algorithims to predict crimes prior to happening. Made famous in Phillip K. Dick’s Minority Report and the later film with Tom Cruise in which a futuristic policeman goes on the run after being accused of a precrime, software such as “Predpol” is becoming quite the rage in police departments across the country. Continue reading Oakland Police Department Rejects Predictive Policing

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Fusing California

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By Tracy Rosenberg (published at Media Alliance, Peace Review and Utne Reader)

When it comes to our personal information, many of us assume our privacy is protected. Most of our friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and family members know some things about us. Perhaps one or two loved ones know much about us. We certainly do not expect our personal information to be available to a random army of people we have never met. And yet America’s Network of Fusion Centers is setting out to do just that. We’ve all seen the iconic images of increasingly militarized policing in the United States feature tanks rolling through the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, and camouflage-wearing officers wielding assault weapons while patrolling downtown shopping districts. But law enforcement militarization also has invisible aspects, none more so than the surveillance data that flow out of a growing number of devices, ending up in places we might never expect.

Based on the idea that 21st century information-sharing among a large number of agencies—including the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, National Security Agency, Drug Enforcement Administration, and local police, fire, hospital, and emergency departments—will provide a shield against acts of violence, the 78-strong national fusion-center network ensures that a lot of data follow us around wherever we go and whatever we do.

 

Continue reading Fusing California

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Interrupting Surveillance-In Silicon Valley and Beyond

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This blog entry was written by Media Alliance ED Tracy Rosenberg for the ACLU as part of a national rollout of surveillance equipment transparency ordinances developed and implemented by Bay Area anti-surveillance activists.

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Interrupting Surveillance in Silicon Valley and Beyond
September 21, 2016
Issues : Privacy and Government Surveillance, Racial Justice, Technology and Civil Liberties

By: Tracy Rosenberg follow @twrling

Public cynicism about government is at an all-time high – and we all know the reasons. That’s why it’s pretty remarkable when activists use public government processes to attack a scary and overwhelming problem like surveillance – and it works.

Bay Area activists have seized on a strategy to localize the fight against government spying and enlist city councils and county supervisors – who are far more approachable and accountable than remote DC officials – as allies in building community control of surveillance equipment. City by city and county by county, transparency regulations are being discussed. As the motto of one of the most active community groups in the country Oakland Privacy says, “I’ve Been Watching You Watching Me.” Continue reading Interrupting Surveillance-In Silicon Valley and Beyond

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Predictive Policing’ Isn’t In Science Fiction, It’s in Sacramento

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by Jessica Mendoza   Christian Science Monitor

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Officer Matt McPhail happened to be at his desk when the first alert went off.

A Nissan sedan had crossed the intersection of San Juan and Truxel where the Sacramento police had just placed one of two custom-built surveillance cameras. The system ID’d the vehicle as stolen.

“I said, ‘Hey, if anybody’s in the area, you know, keep an eye out for this car,’ ” recalls Mr. McPhail, a public information officer for the department. “And a helicopter was in the area and some officers went by and found it.” Continue reading Predictive Policing’ Isn’t In Science Fiction, It’s in Sacramento

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