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BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING: Oakland, CA Data Surveillance Center Causes Controversy

Opponents of Oakland California’s “Data Surveillance Center” (DAC) call it a Spy Machine.  The DAC is a central surveillance facility where authorities can monitor the Port of Oakland and the city’s airport purportedly to protect against a potential terrorist threat.  However, the sophistication of the system would in reality allow the government to track people at the push of a button.big-brother-poster-feature

Oakland Council members have proposed expanding the DAC to add police license plate readers, live, 24/7 data streams from closed circuit traffic cameras, and even gunshot detectors all over the entire city of Oakland.


Studies trying to determine the crime-fighting effectiveness of cameras have been inconclusive.  An Ontario University study says there is no proven deterrent effect of surveillance systems such as the one proposed in Oakland (The studies looked at surveillance systems in ultra- surveillance cities like London).  But, surprise-surprise, a US Department of Justice study says it can be a “potentially useful tool for preventing crimes” the study says, “when actively monitored.”  Funny how the government that wants to increase surveillance would draw a conclusion that presupposed the study itself.

My take?  There is not enough resistance to stop the momentum of the surveillance and monitoring trend by our government.  Sure, polls said people were uncomfortable with Meta-data and the NSA tracking potentially everything you say over the phone or on the internet.  But uncomfortable is a long way from activism in opposition.

The truth is that Americans are not offended enough.  And because of that fact, the trend will continue, in our steady march towards an absolute loss of our privacy interests.


3 Responses so far.

  1. Syl says:

    This should disturb everyone. I used to dismiss this sort of thing because I couldn’t fathom what on earth could anyone in the mundane things of my life. Now I wonder why more and more agencies want this type of information and if the diff emotion of mundane might change.

  2. the Julles says:

    People are being monitored all the time, without their knowledge or consent. New cars have all sorts of data-collecting apparatus, that SOUND like a good idea (keeping track of your driving habits, so it can tell you when to get your oil changed). But in reality, someone now has access to where you drive, when, how long you are there, etc.
    One man had many, many trips to a neighborhood notorious for prostitution. What they leave out is that that same neighborhood also has lots of delicious and cheap taco trucks.

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