Friday, July 19, 2013


Surveillance going local—Oakland leads the creation of a surveillance society

As planned, the center would integrate computer dispatch systems for the Oakland police and fire departments, gunshot detection microphones and license-plate readers. It includes use of crime mapping software and stationary video cameras, private alarm detection programs, Twitter feeds, news feeds and other alerts for increased “situational awareness” and “more effective incident response…

by Larry Geller

It appears that Oakand, California, will be collecting and storing every bit of information they can get on citizens, though the article Oakland surveillance center progresses amid debate on privacy, data collection (Center for Investigative Reporting, 7/18/2012) did not mention library books or supermarket checkout records. Maybe they just haven’t thought of it yet.

It will be open season on personal tracking in Oakland, and as the article points out, there are as yet no guidelines on privacy, civil liberties, or data sharing.

Some officials already have proposed linking the center to a regional Department of Homeland Security intelligence-gathering operation or adding feeds from surveillance cameras around the Oakland stadium and arena complex.

Key to the operation is a geographic information system map with overlaid points that represent cameras, license-plate readers, sensors and other infrastructure that feeds into the central network. Multiple camera feeds, sensor indicators and maps can be viewed simultaneously on-screen alongside alerts from other government agencies.

Oakland has been the venue for mass protests and a key site in the development of the Occupy movement. It is also a busy port, and theoretically, at least to justify the creation of this ambitious spy regime, could be a prime target for terrorists.

There is opposition to the plan, but can it be stopped? Check out the article linked above for much more information.

Joshua Daniels, one of the speakers during the [City Council] meeting, said the surveillance center would give a great deal of power to the Oakland Police Department, which he said “doesn't respect the rights” of Oakland residents.


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