April 10: National Day of Action against Fusion Centers


National Day of Action against Fusion Centers

April 10th is the National Day of Action against Fusion Centers. Protests, rallies, and teach-ins will take place in cities all over the country to draw attention to the spy centers in our midst. Fusion Centers facilitate the gathering, storing, and sharing of intelligence data that bares our lives and violate our basic human rights to privacy and civil liberties. There are an estimated 85 fusion centers all over the United States. For more information, read this Fusion Center FAQ by EFF.

There will be two Bay Area events:

Press Conference at NCRIC Fusion Center in San Francisco

11:00am – Thursday, April 10
Northern California Regional Intelligence Center
450 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Oakland Press Conference / Rally at City Hall

6:00pm – Thursday, April 10
Oakland City Hall
14th & Broadway
Oakland, CA

stop spying

Sunday, March 9: Teach-In on Technology, Race, and Civil Liberties: The Case of Oakland’s Domain Awareness Center

Teach-In on Technology, Race, & Civil Liberties: The Case of Oakland’s Domain Awareness Center

Presented by the Oakland Privacy Working Group

Join us for Presentations followed by Questions and Answers — with Cat Brooks and Eddan Katz.
  • Cat Brooks, an Oakland community and equal rights activist and performance artist, is co-chair of the Onyx Organizing Committee.
  • Eddan Katz, co-founder of Oakland’s creative community hacker space, The Sudo Room, is a member of the Oakland Privacy Working Group.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Niebyl-Proctor Library
6501 Telegraph Ave. at 65th Street in North Oakland

DIRECTIONS: One block north of Alcatraz on the West side of Telegraph, wheelchair accessible. Buses pass by regularly. Ashby BART is approximately 7 blocks away.

SPONSOR: Green Sundays are a series of free programs and discussions sponsored by the Green Party of Alameda County. They are held on the 2nd Sunday of each month. The monthly business meeting of the County Council of the Green Party of Alameda County follows at 6:45pm. Council meetings are always open to anyone who is interested.

Stop the Spy Center Light Brigade at Oakland City Hall

Take Action: How You Can Stop the Domain Awareness Center!

The Oakland Domain Awareness Center (DAC) is a $10.9MM surveillance hub for the Port and City of Oakland. It will integrate data from public and private cameras across the city, license plate readers that track where you go in your car, and other sensors into a mass surveillance system. Plans for the DAC include facial recognition and cameras aimed at our schoolchildren in Oakland public schools. Our data will be shared with fusion centers, law enforcement, and other government agencies and their private partners.

What is the DAC?

Learn all about the Domain Awareness Center on the OaklandWiki page.

Who pays?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is funding the Domain Awareness Center’s initial  infrastructure. However, maintenance, upgrades, and 24/7 staffing of the surveillance center will all be billed to the taxpayers of Oakland. Read The Hidden Costs of Oakland’s Surveillance Center.

DHS Domestic Surveillance Agency

Homeland Security grants are creating a new Domestic Surveillance Agency through funding their network of state & local fusion centers. We must stop this domestic surveillance aimed at the people of Oakland.

Surveillance does not reduce crime.

Many people might think surveillance will reduce crime, however studies show that video surveillance has little to no positive impact on crime. ACLU White Paper Surveillance Cameras.

What can you do?

Why we must act

Please watch this video from the January 28 meeting of the City Council. Eddan Katz speaks about the Dutch Resistance during World War II, who came together to destroy files with information on people’s religious affiliations.

“I resolved then that I would never forgive myself if I sat silently as a bystander while something like that place were being built around where I lived during my lifetime.”


Oakland Privacy Working Group Meeting

Organize against the Oakland Domain Awareness Center

Wednesday, April 9
(Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday)

Sudo Room
2141 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
(entrance is on 22nd Street, then go upstairs)
Getting There

Join Oakland Privacy Working Group to organize against the Domain Awareness Center (DAC), Oakland’s citywide mass surveillance center.

We aim to have 2 monthly meetings, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 6:30 at the SUDOROOM. Stop by and learn how you can help guard Oakland’s right not to be spied on by the government & if you are interested in joining the Oakland Privacy Working Group email listserv, send an email to: oaklandprivacyworkinggroup-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.

March 12: OPWG Meeting

Oakland Privacy Working Group Meeting

Organize against the Oakland Domain Awareness Center

Wednesday, March 12

Sudo Room
2141 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
(entrance is on 22nd Street, then go upstairs)
Getting There

Join Oakland Privacy Working Group to organize against the Domain Awareness Center (DAC), Oakland’s citywide mass surveillance center.

We will be planning next steps in the fight against the DAC.

March 13: Oakland DAC Privacy Policy Framework Meeting

City of Oakland “Seeks Public Input” on DAC Privacy Policy Framework


Thursday, March 13
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Dimond Branch Library
3565 Fruitvale Ave.
Oakland, CA 94602

As of 3/5/14, this event is not listed on the Oakland city website calendar or the Dimond library website calendar.

How do you envision policy about surveillance in Oakland?

Would you like Oakland to be a Surveillance-Free City?

Think about what you want for Oakland, and bring your ideas to the meeting. Create your own framework.

View the City’s privacy policy framework.

This is the second public comment meeting on the City-Port Domain Awareness Center (DAC) Privacy and Data Retention Policy Framework.

The input received during this meeting will allegedly be incorporated into the draft policy that will be forwarded to the City Council for review.

For questions about the meeting or the draft framework please contact Joe DeVries at (510) 238-3083 or at jdevries@oaklandnet.com

CounterPunch Op-Ed: Why We Oppose the Oakland Spy Center

Big Brother in the Bay Area

Why We Oppose the Oakland Spy Center


CounterPunch, February 25, 2014

On March 4, 2014, the Oakland City Council will decide to award a contract that, if approved, will impact your civil rights. The Domain Awareness Center (“DAC”) is a full-time mass surveillance project encompassing the city and Port of Oakland and initially funded by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).  The Oakland Privacy Working Group opposes this project because city staff and the Oakland Police Department (“OPD”) have proven they can’t be trusted to oversee something this critical; furthermore it won’t solve crime, there is great potential for abuse of civil liberties, and the city cannot afford it.  The city has no data retention and privacy policy or oversight committee for the DAC, which is absurd when one considers the potential harm and past wrongdoing by the city.

The DAC will share live video and data with regional government, law enforcement, and as stated by Port Facilities Security Officer Mike O’Brien at the February 18, 2014 City Council meeting, “there is an expectation by the Feds that we will share information with them.”  Future proposed DAC phases include adding cameras at Oakland Unified School District buildings and throughout Oakland Housing Authority properties, automatic license plate readers, facial recognition software, and social media monitoring.  Strangely, Oakland Police Department (“OPD”) has suggested including planning, business, and property tax databases, which are unrelated to crime fighting.

We are being sold the line that the DAC will help solve Oakland’s crime problem, yet there is no data that proves mass surveillance does so.  And city staff has shown no interest in solving crimes with the DAC.  As stated by the East Bay Express in the Dec. 18, 2013 article “The Real Purpose of Oakland’s Surveillance Center,” While the emails reveal a great deal about the DAC, they are also notable for what they do nottalk about … city staffers do not discuss any studies pertaining to the use of surveillance cameras in combating crime, nor do they discuss how the Domain Awareness System could help OPD with its longstanding problems with solving violent crimes. In more than 3,000 pages of emails, the terms ‘murder,’ ‘homicide,’ ‘assault,’ ‘robbery,’ and ‘theft’ are never mentioned.”

OPD can’t manage its resources and has a poor relationship with the community.  In a February 6, 2014 report by the city auditor, “OPD spent at least $1.87 million on technology that was never used or underused.”  According to OPD’s report to the Public Safety Committee at its September 2013 meeting, the city has over 650 homicide investigations with unexamined evidence, some cases going back seven years.  Alameda County has over 1,900 rape kits that have never been looked at.  In the same September 2013 meeting, OPD stated that it needed $1.2 million to increase staff at its crime lab, an amount that will now be usurped by the DAC’s estimated annual operating costs to the city of $1.6 million.

For 10+ years running, OPD has failed to comply with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement from the infamous Riders trial.  Yet, the City Council is poised to hand over to OPD the most advanced surveillance and tracking tools in history.  In her February 13, 2014 letter to the City Council, ACLU Nor-Cal staff attorney Linda Lye noted that “black people were twice as likely (68%) to be surveilled for ‘no obvious reasons’ than whites” by video surveillance systems.

City staff disregards Oakland’s contracting policies and cannot be trusted to oversee something more critical like our private data.  The work on Phase 1 was completed by SAIC, a contractor found to be in noncompliance with the City’s Nuclear Free Zone Ordinance (“NFZO”).  SAIC defrauded the city of New York on a payroll system contract, agreeing in 2012 to pay $500 million to avoid prosecution.  As revealed by internal city emails, Oakland city staff knew these facts prior to execution of the Phase 1 contract and concealed these facts from the City Council as SAIC received payment.  Unsurprisingly, SAIC overcharged the city on Phase 1.  In 2013 SAIC was exposed and prevented from pursuing the Phase 2 contract.  Noncompliance with the NFZO is also a problem for the staff-selected Phase 2 contractor.

Most importantly, ours is a civil rights movement.  The Bill of Rights codified our civil liberties.  The California Constitution has an express right to privacy.  Long-held legal doctrines such as freedom of speech, the press, and assembly and the requirement of due process and probable cause, form the basis of our civil society.  Many lives have been lost defending these rights.  The result of mass surveillance is a chilling effect upon legal activities, such as meeting in a public plaza or attending a mosque for worship in this post-9/11 world.

Oakland has in the past rejected mass surveillance, in 1997 and 1999.  Council member Henry Chang reflected on his decision to come to the United States, saying, “We came because we don’t want to be watched by Big Brother all the time.”  Council member Ignacio De La Fuente cast his no vote by citing a lack of evidence that cameras are effective in reducing crime and concluding that the program was not “worth the risk of violating people’s privacy rights.”

The DAC won’t reduce crime.  It is a financial boondoggle.  Staff and OPD have proven they cannot be trusted to oversee it.  Most importantly, the DAC will infringe upon our civil liberties.

Special Meeting of the Oakland Privacy Working Group Meeting, February 25

Oakland Privacy Working Group Meeting

Prepare for the Oakland DAC privacy policy framework meeting.

Tuesday, February 25


Sudo Room
2141 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
(entrance is on 22nd Street, then go upstairs)
Getting There

If you are an active participant please attend this meeting. We will be discussing and solidifying our overall approach and plan for addressing City Council as one voice.