Petition: kill the Oakland "Domain Awareness Center" spy-program


the shotspotters are already here… not sure if they are helping anything.

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If you have nothing to hide, you should feel perfectly comfortable with this. Or so they say. You’d think politicians would be the last people to go along with it…



if we turn down the money we can't use it elsewhere

That’s the most utterly bullshit excuse ever. By this logic if they’re offered money to conduct genocide they’d have to accept it and start systematically killing people, because “if we turn down the money we can’t use it elsewhere.”

Fuck this makes me angry. It’s so transparently invalid as an argument, yet I see it work all the time in organizations. Just because you’re offered money to do something doesn’t mean you have to do it, even if the budget is thin.

The feds are basically asking Oakland to take the heat for their illegal spying regime.


And this is how it will be expanded to every city in America. But look on the bright side - it could never be abused, because that would be bad, and soon there will be no more bad people.


So where’s the kickstarter for snapback caps with built in high-output infra-red LEDs on the brim?

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“Public Safety Committee”

This sounds like something from the French Revolution. I guess it follows the same rule that any political entity’s name means the exact opposite; like the Ministry of Defence and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Claiming that they have to “do something” about crime and that “if we turn down the money we can’t use it elsewhere,”

More evidence that the film Idiocracy was a documentary.

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Sometime I think we have surpassed that film!


Except our elected officials aren’t nearly as smokin’ hot as Maya Rudolph…or does that make me part of the problem?

Demanding that the government not use existing technology is ultimately going to be futile. It’s similarly futile to expect that civilians will not use all the technology available to them.

We are headed toward a surveillance and privacy singularity crisis. Consider that in 5 years, this will look quaint. By the 2020s, we will be dealing with ubiquitous gigapixel video instead of niche hobbyists making gigapixel stills. The omnidirectional video that Google Street View car cameras can produce is currently done by devices that are out of reach of consumers. This won’t last.

The tech can’t be stopped. What we need to do is twofold:

  1. Create new cultural mores about how camera tech is uses, including laws about how the government can and can’t do it, and real consequences for private citizens and government actors who violate these mores. To some extent, with civilians, we’re already getting there. Use a hidden camera on your friends, you might get sued, and you will lose friends. But California law is far too favorable to government actors who abuse their power. That has to change.

  2. We need to move our society to being more accepting of what is now considered weird. A teacher photographed in BDSM gear should be protected both at private and public schools from losing her job. A lawyer who’s videoed smoking weed should not expect negative consequences. As long as your kink or other recreational activities hurt no one, the morality policing needs to end. Morality policing itself must be made to be immoral in our society.

The hard part is how we get there? I contend that a petition to not create a surveillance center will do nothing to help us.

Perhaps the leaders of Oakland’s government need to feel the sting of losing some privacy. Any research into their comings and goings, so long as it doesn’t involve illegal surveillance, may well be legal because it is journalistic. Any exhaustive research into their family history, their childhoods, all of it is relevant to the public because they are public figures.

Let’s see how much of that information can get put on the OaklandWiki, with good sourcing, before the next hearing on the DAC. And while we’re at it, let’s see if the same can be done on the Wikipedia page for every judge on the FISA court.

I’m not advocating illegally invading the privacy of politicians and judges. I’m advocating researching and publishing information about them to the maximum extent allowable by criminal and tort law. Take our privacy, we take yours. I don’t think any other means of sending this message will work.

We will not stop the new technology of surveillance from affecting us by using the old technology of petitions. There are other ideas that others may have in addition to what I’ve listed above. We must think creatively and we must not give up on our rights.

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Everyone complaining here, try living in Oakland (I do) and you may get a more nuanced view of the good and bad of this thing.

I’ve lived in West Oakland for more than ten years.

Bravo! This is the best posting I’ve seen here so far!

Stalinism is apparently not dead after all. It’s reincarnating itself in Oakland, California.

Lucky you. I lived there when I moved to the Bay Area and moved out as soon as possible. Too much crime and violence (I lived near the BART station).

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