City of Berkeley Passes Ordinance Taking on Surveillance State

BERKELEY, Calif. (April 18, 2018) – The city of Berkeley, Calif., has passed a local ordinance that sets the stage to limit the acquisition and use of spy gear by law enforcement and other city agencies.

The Surveillance Technology Use and Community Safety Ordinance ensures there will be public notice and debate before the city acquires or uses surveillance technology. Specifically, the new law requires all city entities to seek city council approval before accepting grant funds for, or the purchase or use of, any new surveillance technology or equipment. The approval process for acquiring and using such technology includes completing a Surveillance Technology Impact Report and the city council making a determination that the benefits of the technology outweigh the costs. Once approved, the city must develop a use policy for the technology, including robust safeguards for civil liberties and security of information collected.

The ordinance requires that current surveillance technology undergoes a similar public review and approval process. It also requires annual oversight of all surveillance uses be conducted by the Privacy Advisory Commission and reported to the city council.

The TAC joined with a broad coalition including the ACLU of Northern California, EFF, the Center for …

Read more at The Tenth Amendment Center
(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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