"Informing You Without Watching you."  @digitalprivacy, Thu 09/22:
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors Grants Police More Surveillance Powers

In a 4-7 vote, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a 15-month pilot program granting the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) more live surveillance powers. Make no mistake, misdemeanors like vandalism or jaywalking happen on nearly every street of San Francisco on any given day—meaning that this ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely. The first would have prohibited the SFPD from live monitoring public gatherings unless there was imminent threat of death or bodily harm. Moreover, as Supervisor Shamann Walton pointed out, police have always been able to get historical footage of crimes simply by sending a request to the camera’s owner—this is especially true of the thousands of Business Improvement District/Commercial Benefit District cameras from which police have long been obtaining historic footage to build cases or gather evidence. A Heartfelt Thank You

A very large coalition pushed against this ordinance. Commendations should also be heaped upon Supervisors Chan, Preston, Ronen, and Walton for their brave stand at the Board of Supervisors meeting, their sharp critique and questioning of the legislation, and their willingness to listen to concerned community members.

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