Feb 19 6:09 PM

Oakland residents tell city: 'stop the spy center'

Opponents of Oakland's Domain Awareness center hold up a 'Stop the Spy Center' sign.
Oakland Privacy Working Group/Twitter


The City Council in Oakland, Calif. announced Wednesday it would delay a vote on expanding a controversial surveillance hub project, known as the Domain Awareness Center. The council decided to postpone the matter for two weeks after concerned residents, protesters and privacy groups flooded the hearing room Tuesday night and delivered hours of public testimony.

The DAC would centralize data gathered from traffic and surveillance cameras, police and emergency dispatch systems, crime maps, alarm systems and online data such as Twitter and Facebook feeds.

The council's decision is a major reversal, as it has voted twice in the past to fund the joint project with the Port of Oakland. Proponents say the center will help police fight crime, allow the port to protect residents from terrorist attacks and assist firefighters in responding to emergencies.

The hearing on Tuesday addressed the $1.6 million second phase, which would add traffic and port cameras to existing data sources, allowing for citywide surveillance around the clock.

City Council members heard testimony from 79 residents and activists, the vast majority of whom protested the project. Twitter users shared images from the meeting and discussed the proceedings using the hashtags #DAC and #OakMtg

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