Aug 172013

Should San Leandro Council Members be next?

As you know, a couple of weeks ago the Oakland City Council voted to create a “Domain Awareness Center” to pull together the feeds of surveillance and license plate scanners throughout town, so as to be able to track the movements of anyone who goes to Oakland. In other words, they agreed to be the eyes of the NSA on the ground.

Now, Oakland activists are tacitly challenging other Oaklanders to give City Council members a taste of their own medicine. They’ve started by publishing the addresses of the Councilmembers. This is public information, after all.

Not yet on the site but also public information (if obtained through licit means): their phone numbers, their e-mail addresses, photographs of themselves, their homes, their cars, their license plate numbers.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if these were published and people started taking pictures of their cars and where were parked when they chanced upon them. Surely the Council members would welcome having their every move be recorded and made public.   I mean, surely they don’t expect more privacy than what they’re willing to grant anyone else living or driving through Oakland.

But why should we just focus on Oakland? Sure, the San Leandro City Council did not pass a resolution authorizing a similar policy, but they haven’t done anything to stop the Police from determining that every person who drives a car in San Leandro is a potential terrorist and sharing information about their movements with the Feds.

So, shall we start publishing the personal information of our own City Council members? I have asked them and await answer to this question:

Should your privacy be given any more consideration than ours? I mean, if we don’t watch you all the time, record your movements and share them with others over the internet, how can we possibly know you are behaving yourselves? Surely, if we as citizens cannot be trusted, neither can you. Right?

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