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The Oakland Privacy Working Group seeks through litigation to halt implementation of a spy center.
Brian Hofer
Oakland, California
United States
5 Team Members

March 3, 2015 UPDATE: At the Feb 10, 2015 Public Safety Committee meeting, the DAC Committee's work was "approved in concept", and sent out for a 30-day public comment period. Here is the link to add your comments in support - http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityAdministration/oak051790 

Please support the DAC Privacy Policy, and the additional 7 recommendations, including a citywide privacy policy, standing privacy committee, and surveillance equipment ordinance (ACLU model).   We return to Public Safety on April 14, 2015 before heading to the full council.

FEBRUARY 4, 2015 UPDATE: @OaklandPrivacy Op-Ed in the EastBay Express - http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-p... 

JANUARY 27, 2015 UPDATE: Previously postponed, the DAC Committee's work will now go before the Public Safety Committee on February 10, 2015.

NOVEMBER 10, 2014 UPDATE: After the Oakland City Council voted in March to greatly restrict the project, a citizens commission was created to draft a privacy and data retention policy. Members of Oakland Privacy Working Group, the ACLU and EFF, among others, were appointed to ensure strong privacy and civil liberties protections are enacted. The Committee's work concluded last week, and their draft policy, along with additional recommendations for the City of Oakland will be presented to the council for approval in December (9th or 16th, agendas not yet set).

“We are the last free people.  We are the people that have the last chance to act.” – Julian Assange.

While we are immensely grateful for larger donations, it is just as important that we have many small donations, $3, $5, $10 from thousands of grassroots activists, in order to show broad support.  

[March 5, 2014 UPDATE]  At 1am, the Oakland City Council voted 5-4 to scale back the spy center, making it Port-only for now.  Cameras were removed from Phase 1 of the project, and the City has been mostly removed from the project.  While we were strongly encouraged by the unanimous opposition of the 100+ public speakers at the council meeting and the scaled back project, the DAC is still alive.  Wounded, but alive.  The Mayor has already announced her intention to reintroduce the eliminated cameras at some point.  The fight continues, and we must ensure that port workers, both union and independent, are not being surveilled or monitored for purposes of anti-union efforts.

The Impact

THIS AFFECTS ALL OF US.  If you believe in freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of the right to be anonymous in speech, freedom of thought, if you believe that we should be free from warrantless searches and seizures, that all are entitled to due process, that we are innocent until proven guilty, that probable cause is needed, if you value the hard fought freedoms won in the American Revolution, the Civil Rights and Free Speech Movements, and all those who lost their lives defending these rights, please help us.  This fight is not only about the residents of Oakland, California as it will directly impact all of us, allowing further spying on US citizens.

The proposed Oakland spy center at issue in this litigation will conduct massive full-time surveillance and share information broadly, linking to various NSA and FBI intelligence centers and even private contractors.  Data sharing platforms are being incorporated and further developed per project documents.  The Dept. of Homeland Security has funded 78 of these 'fusion centers' around the country. 

We Are Fighting Back

The Oakland Privacy Working Group, a coalition of civil liberties minded individuals, in concert with other civil liberties groups, seeks through litigation to prevent the awarding of a contract for Phase 2 implementation of a Dept. of Homeland Security funded spy center within the city limits of Oakland known as the Domain Awareness Center.  Because of the expiring nature of the federal grants funding the spy center, there is a strong likelihood that disqualification of the remaining bidders will halt the entire project due to loss of funding.

What We Need

We are asking you, the larger community, for $10,000 for the first phase of litigation, an injunction and lawsuit against the City of Oakland to prevent the award of the Phase 2 contract, and dismantling of the work completed under the Phase 1 contract. 

We are anticipating a protracted battle not only on the Phase 2 contract itself, but the larger overall battle of civil liberties infringement inherent in this project.  We have a real chance at turning back the military-industrial-intelligence complex from daily intrusion and spying into our lives.  With just a $5 donation, it only takes 2,000 people to make a loud statement that spying on citizens will not be tolerated!  The Snowden revelations make clear that unless the intelligence community is forced to comply with the law, it surely will not.

Other Ways You Can Help

Whether you donate or not, please sign this petition: http://tinyurl.com/kdod9wt

If your are part of a civil liberties group and interested in helping spread the word and participating, please contact us at oaklandprivacy@gmail.com

If you're an experienced litigator and licensed to practice in California, we can use your help on our trial team.  Please contact us at oaklandprivacy@gmail.com.

For additional info:

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raised by 59 people in 1 month
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$10,000 USD goal
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This campaign ended on March 20, 2014
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