Oakland Moves Ahead on Controversial Surveillance Center
The Oakland, Calif., City Council has voted 6-1 to move ahead with a controversial city surveillance center (the Domain Awareness Center), which would allow police and city officials to continuously monitor video cameras, gunshot detectors and license-plate readers across the city.
Dozens of Oakland residents, concerned that the center would allow the city to spy on people’s everyday lives, attempted to turn the resolution into a referendum on surveillance and persuade council members to stall or scrap the process, San Francisco Gate reports.
The meeting became so raucous, the article says, that police had to clear the room.
The Domain Awareness Center would link dozens of traffic and surveillance cameras with police and fire dispatch systems, Twitter feeds, crime maps, gunshot-detecting microphones and alarm programs. City officials report that the $10.9 million center (paid by federal grants) would allow authorities to improve their response to crime, terrorism, earthquakes, fires and hazardous materials incidents.
City officials insist that the center would be mostly used during emergencies, but many residents were skeptical.