City gathering ‘real-time’ data on citizen movements, actions
City officials in Oakland, Calif., have decided to accept a $2 million grant from the Obama administration that would allow them to observe citizen movements and actions on a real-time basis all across the city.
The grant is to be used, following a vote by city council members Wednesday, for a “surveillance center.”
A report at OaklandLocal.com earlier this month described the proposal as a plan to create a “Domain Awareness Center” that would allow the government to watch and track data provided by license plate readers and video cameras.
The description of the plan said while it may “make privacy advocates cringe,” the strategy also includes the option of reaching out to other governmental entities to obtain additional information from surveillance cameras, including those at sports facilities that can be trained on spectators.
Renee Domingo, Oakland’s chief of emergency services, said at the time that, “If we needed ability into what was going on there, we could do so.”
The report explained that Ahsan Baig, the manager of Oakland’s information technology, reported to the Public Safety Committee the data obtained from plate readers, cameras and the like could be delivered to just about any computer the city specified, such as a laptop or an iPad.
The San Francisco Chronicle online version reported Wednesday that the council voted to accept the $2.2 million federal grant for the program.
And council members voted immediately to ban spray paint, hammers, slingshots, wrenches and other “potentially destructive items” from any protest or demonstration.
Councilman Noel Gallo said such “tools of violence and vandalism” should be banned so that damages would be minimized during events such as the recent protest against the acquittal of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.
Read Full Article…