Category Archives: Surveillance

The many ways the government is watching us with an emphasis on digital spying

Mondo 2000: The Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project #ASDPSP – Reports Back: Here’s #WhatWeFound In Sacramento



By Lisa Rein. Originally published in Mondo 2000

These simple letter templates can compel the Police and Sheriff Departments of a given city to provide you with documentation regarding every type of surveillance equipment in existence for a given City (Police) and saCounty (Sheriff).

It’s a roundabout way of determining what surveillance equipment is being used on the public in a given city, but since it’s all we have, at least the #ASDPSP project will make it so much easier for journalists and the public to get their hands on this information.

In this third installment of our series, Tracy will help us understand more about what we found in Sacramento, and how do approach local politicians to put pressure on them to do something about it, by implementing a “surveillance policy framework.”

Here’s are the first two interviews of this series:

Interview with Oakland Privacy’s Tracy Rosenberg On The Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project

How a little “working group” stopped Oakland from becoming a mini-fusion center for the Department of Homeland Security.


Tracy Rosenberg, co-founder of the Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project, explains #whatwefound in #Sacramento using our project’s letter templates and Muckrock, an online platform for filing public records requests. Continue reading Mondo 2000: The Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project #ASDPSP – Reports Back: Here’s #WhatWeFound In Sacramento


BART Delays Implementation of New Security Plan



The moment on when BART formally enacted the sixth surveillance transparency ordinance in California, the ninth in the country and the first by a transit district.  September 27, 2018

With Oakland Privacy catalyzing the turnout, members of ACLU, EFF, DSA, Oakland Privacy, APTP, East Bay For Everyone, Media Alliance, AROC, and the public spoke at BART’s August 9th Board of Directors meeting with essentially one voice against BART proposals for increased surveillance on the transit system.

Oakland privacy members Brian Hofer, Tracy Rosenberg, Lou Katz and Don Fogg spoke during public comment, reminding the board that a surveillance equipment regulation ordinance, approved in theory over a year and a half ago, had still not had its language finalized nor come before the board – and needed to before any new surveillance equipment was approved.

Civil Rights Groups Letter of Opposition to BART Security Plan

Opposition to BART surveillance proposal - 8.8.2018 - 5pm


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BART Directors Face Pushback On New Security Measures



by Maria Sestito.  Published at Oakland North.

Two months after Nia Wilson’s murder, faded signs and withering flowers still greet commuters entering Oakland’s MacArthur BART station. The 18-year-old was fatally stabbed, and her older sister, Letifah, was also injured in the July 22 attack. Now transit officials are calling for upgraded security measures that they argue will improve safety, although members of some community organizations, including Oakland Privacy and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, are concerned about the privacy of riders and what transit authorities will do with the information that will be collected. Continue reading BART Directors Face Pushback On New Security Measures


Advocates Kick Back on Industry Attempts To Water Down CA State Privacy Bill



Twenty consumer protection, privacy and civil rights groups urged the California Legislature today to resist industry attempts to neuter California’s new online privacy bill under the guise of “cleaning it up.”

The rushed passage of then Assembly bill 375 right in front of a ballot initiative deadline left the bill language signed by Governor Brown a bit typo-rich, so another bill Senate Bill 1121 was incorporated for clean-up purposes.

But never ones to miss an opportunity, business groups submitted a 20 page letter filled with substantive changes to the bill designed to make it more industry-friendly, which they suggested could be snuck in there at the last minute. Continue reading Advocates Kick Back on Industry Attempts To Water Down CA State Privacy Bill


28 Privacy Groups Tell Companies US Residents Deserve a GDPR



In a sign-on letter, 28 groups are calling on some of the world’s largest companies – including Facebook, Google and Amazon, as well as digital advertisers like Nestle, Walmart and JPMorgan Chase – to use Europe’s impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regime as a baseline standard worldwide for all of their services, including in the U.S.

Continue reading 28 Privacy Groups Tell Companies US Residents Deserve a GDPR


24 Civil Rights Groups Write To Dems Demanding Intelligence Oversight



Two dozen civil rights and liberties groups rose above party-based partisanship to insist Congressional Democrats including Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, John Warner and Adam Schiff stop trying to weaken congressional oversight of intelligence agencies. Continue reading 24 Civil Rights Groups Write To Dems Demanding Intelligence Oversight


CA Law School Deans Support Surveillance Transparency



14 Prominent Law and Technology experts have issued a letter supporting Senate Bill 1186 and surveillance transparency.

The letter states:  Whether local law enforcement agencies should deploy surveillance technology, and  the conditions under which they deploy it, raise important legal and public policy questions. For this reason, local law enforcement agencies seeking to further
community public safety goals should not unilaterally decide what surveillance technology they acquire and deploy. It is important that elected representatives—and through them, members of the public—have an opportunity to weigh in on whether and how surveillance technology is used, holistically considering its impact on civil rights and liberties and the overall safety needs of the community.

Letter signers include Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean at the UC Berkeley School of Law, Susan Freiwald, Interim Dean at the University of San Francisco School of Law and L. Song Richardson, Dean at the UC Irvine School Law, Jennifer King, Director of Consumer Privacy at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford School of Law and  Robert Fellmeth, Executive Director of the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego Law School.  Continue reading CA Law School Deans Support Surveillance Transparency