Tonight, the Oakland City Council will vote on whether to go ahead with the construction of the Domain Awareness Center. The DAC is a fusion center that aims to congregate in one place the feeds from surveillance cameras and license plate cameras in the city and port of Oakland. It will be the “eyes on the ground” for the NSA and other intelligence agencies, and will be primarily used against protesters.
The DAC is strongly opposed by the ACLU, the EFF, Wellstone Democratic Club and the Oakland Education Association, the union for Oakland teachers. Several organizations and community leaders have also sent a group letter to the Oakland City Council asking them to oppose it:
Dear Honorable Members of the Oakland City Council: We urge the Oakland City Council to vote against the award of the Domain Awareness Center (“DAC”) Phase 2 contract to Schneider Electric at the March 4, 2014 council meeting. The project’s proposed full time mass surveillance throughout Oakland has created grave concerns about infringement upon our civil liberties, especially in light of the Snowden revelations. While we were encouraged by comments the City Council made at the February 18 meeting, there are many unanswered questions regarding the data use and retention policy governing the DAC. We believe it is improper to build the DAC prior to thorough vetting of the privacy and data retention policies. Proceeding with the DAC and its estimated $1.6 million annual operating cost makes no sense. The City has spent the last few years making severe budget cuts, and it would be forced to make even deeper cuts to comply with the balanced budget provision. Please vote “No” on March 4, 2014. Oakland Education Association Access Arab Resource and Organizing Center Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus Anakbayan East Bay Berkeley Copwatch Bill of Rights Defense Committee CODEPINK Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area Fight for the Future March 15 Organizing Committee National Lawyers Guild Oakland International Socialist Organization Oakland Privacy Working Group Phat Beets Produce Prison Activist Resource Center Stop Big Brother Stop LAPD Spying Coalition The Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition Women for Genuine Security Aisha Knowles, Alameda County Board of Education Member Jesse Arreguin, Berkeley City Council, Alameda Democratic Central Committee Member J Francisco Zermeno, Hayward City Council Member Mike Katz-Lacabe, San Leandro USD School Board Trustee Jason Toro, San Leandro USD School Board Trustee Janet Arnold, Member County Council Green Party of Alameda County Cat Brooks, ONYX Organizing Committee Elaine Brown, former Chair Black Panther Party Cynthia Chandler, co-founder Justice Now, Alameda Democratic Central Committee alternate Malkia Cyril, Executive Director, Center for Media Justice Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Freeman Fellow at The Fellowship of Reconciliation Kazu Haga, East Point Peace Academy Elliott Halpern, ACLU Berkeley/North East Bay Chapter Board Member Tarak Kauff, Board of Directors, Veterans for Peace David Keenan, Bay Area Public School Organizer Margarita Lacabe, Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Rev. Deborah Lee, Director of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (CLUE-CA) Mary Madden, Organizer, Alameda County Against Drones Normon Solomon, Co-Founder, RootsAction Leonard Raphael Wilson Riles, President Oakland Community Action Network, former Oakland Council Member Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director, Media Alliance Michael Rubin, Member Oakland Greens Igor Tregub, California Democratic Party AD15 Delegate; California Young Democrats VP Rick Trullinger, Alternate Member, Alameda County Democratic Central Committee