Category Archives: Surveillance

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

24 Civil Rights Groups Write To Dems Demanding Intelligence Oversight

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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

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CA Law School Deans Support Surveillance Transparency

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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

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Taming High Tech Law and Order in the Wild Wild West

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By Tracy Rosenberg. Originally published on Medium. 

I didn’t grow up in California. Instead I grew up in the relatively staid brick-lined streets of the Northeast, where history looks like pilgrim hats.

I understood Blazing Saddles better than Stagecoach.

But life can take you in some unexpected directions. I grew up to become a privacy advocate on the West Coast. And when I started to lobby my local government about the ways law enforcement surveillance and high-tech gadgetry were colluding to erode civil rights, I ran into the legacy of the autonomous sheriff in the “frontier” states.

Continue reading Taming High Tech Law and Order in the Wild Wild West

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35 Civil Rights Organizations Tell Amazon To Get Out Of The Facial Recognition Business

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35 civil rights organizations (including Media Alliance)  joined a sign-on letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, also the owner of the Washington Post newspaper, to desist from marketing facial recognition technology to the government.

Public records requests reveal that the company has developed and sold a prototype product called “Rekognition” to police departments in Florida and Oregon.  Continue reading 35 Civil Rights Organizations Tell Amazon To Get Out Of The Facial Recognition Business

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Richmond Cuts Ties To ICE Data Brokers

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On May 15th, the City Council of Richmond, CA voted 6-1 to enact a Sanctuary City Contracting ordinance, sponsored by Councilmembers Jovanka Beckles and Ada Recinos.

The Sanctuary City ordinance (model legislation can be found here) was developed by the 19-member Deport ICE coalition which seeks to strengthen sanctuary protections in California cities.

Continue reading Richmond Cuts Ties To ICE Data Brokers

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Ending Secret Surveillance in California

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Update: 8/18: Sadly, Senate Bill 1186 did not advance beyond Assembly Appropriations this year. Too much law enforcement resistance. But rather than accept bad amendments, local advocates will continue to reach out to cities and counties to craft meaningful surveillance oversight on the local level – as we have been doing since 2013. Local is where it matters and real change always starts at the bottom and filters upwards, not the reverse. Visit www.oaklandprivacy.org for updates and tools and resources to bring surveillance transparency to your town.

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Privacy is the news story of the year.

Intersections between growing aggression from Homeland Security towards undocumented people, so-called “black identity extremists”, journalists, anti-fascism protestors, and pretty much anyone resisting the Trumpian agenda, are melding with the privatization of information  with new industries spouting up to to share and disseminate data collected by high-tech mass surveillance.

It’s a scary time. We need the power to keep ourselves safe.  Continue reading Ending Secret Surveillance in California

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Civil Rights Advocates Urge Ethical Review of Axon’s Police Technologies

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Today, Media Alliance joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Upturn, Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology and 37 leading civil rights, racial justice and community organizations sharing a series of recommendations with the “artificial intelligence (AI) ethics board” launched this morning by Axon, a major U.S. police technology vendor. Continue reading Civil Rights Advocates Urge Ethical Review of Axon’s Police Technologies

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