Linda Lye, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, was alarmed when we showed her emails that revealed that the Oakland Police Department has already started using the DAC to keep tabs on people engaged in First Amendment activity. \”The fact that the focus so far has been on political protests, rather than the violent crime that\’s impacting Oakland residents, is troubling, and telling about how the city plans to use the DAC,\” she said.\”Information is always fundamentally about control,\” she added. Once it\’s fully operational, the DAC will give Oakland officials an unprecedented ability to monitor peoples\’ movements, associations, and activities.The Domain Awareness Center is being built in stages and will merge OPD\’s existing license-plate scanners and gunshot detectors with video feeds from hundreds of surveillance cameras — many already in place and some to be installed in the future by several different agencies throughout the city — into a central hub. Oakland police will monitor this \”flood of data,\” as one DAC project presentation called it. Originally limited to monitoring the Port of Oakland, the DAC has since expanded to encompass the entire city.The Oakland Privacy Working Group, an activist coalition opposed to the DAC, obtained thousands of pages of emails and other public records related to the project from the city via a California Public Records Act request. The privacy group then shared the documents — which cover the period from August 2012 through September 2013 — with us.
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