Combatting police surveillance

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Police surveillance on Thursday with Ken & Shahid

   1. Initial go around: what do folks want to learn?
       a. Fight to stop surveillance will grow harder as it grows more entrenched
       b. Wanting a personal gut check to understand how serious the issue is
       c. Deep-seeded resentment to police…militarization
       d. Border surveillance
       e. Learning more beyond the surface
   2. Ken re Stop LAPD Spying Coalition
       a. Prompted by SARs (pre-crime suspicious activity reporting)
       b. Architecture of surveillance
           i. Public benefits cards
           ii. Police tech
           iii. Social control over POC and low-income communities
           iv. Organizing from LA CAN (Community Action Network) on Skid Row
               1. 50% of unhoused folks are black
               2. Only 9% of the area is black
       c. History
           i. Lantern laws applicable to slaves = self-surveillance 
           ii. Restrictions on native folks when off the reservation
           iii. Police as recession-proof
           iv. The “stalker state” was a term introduced by women organizers
               1. Stalkers (like police) think they’re serving their targets
           v. Surveillance used as a tool to effectuate gentrification
               1. Eg throwing away the belongings of folks experiencing homelessness to “abandon” their property to use a public bathroom
           vi. Surveillance of sex workers, gender non-conforming folks, differently abled folks
           vii. Police bulletins based on anthropological models applied to urban gangs; lacking any rationale; LA Police Commission eventually withdrew LAPD’s Chronic Offender Bulletin
           viii. China’s social credit score system is gnarly…and not so different than what’s already happened in the US
       d. Surveillance capitalism
           i. Private-public partnerships
           ii. Surveillance offends more than just privacy
               1. Privacy as a value enjoyed by privileged people
               2. Families on TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) have to let gov inspectors
               3. Surveillance beyond digital monitoring; it extends offline
           iii. Dissent
               1. CAPA: Coalition Against Police Abuse was infiltrated heavily by the LAPD
               2. Having a stalker can silence someone…in the same way as government surveillance 
       e. The struggle in LA
           i. Role of legal system to liberation
           ii. People power to force change
               1. “Power Not Paranoia” = organizing must proceed regardless of surveillance
               2. Seattle gave LA a drone fleet in 2015…the Coalition grounded them for a year…LAPD bought more…the Police Commission accepted a public process…which rejected the drones…the LAPD decided to proceed anyway…culminated recently in formal approval
           iii. Abolition as the goal
               1. Cops lie
               2. Diversity of tactics
   3. Electronic Frontier Alliance: EFA
       a. What is the Alliance?
           i. Diversity of tactics made concrete through diverse membership
           ii. 89 groups in 30 states
               1. Oakland Privacy grew out of Occupy Oakland
               2. Hacker spaces
               3. Student groups
       b. Police tech
           i. Most tools of surveillance were developed for military purposes
           ii. Examples
               1. CSS
               2. Fusion Centers
               3. ALPR
               4. Shot Spotter
               5. CCTV
               6. Drones
               7. FR (biometric surveillance)
                   a. You can’t really opt out of biometric surveillance 
                   b. It limits the opportunity to move around freely in public
       c. Parameters
           i. Collection
               1. Legislation can help put limitations on the tools of surveillance (e.g a warrant requirement)
           ii. Use
               1. Eg, not for immigration enforcement
           iii. Retention
               1. Purge data after x days
           iv. Dissemination
               1. Can’t share with federal agencies, etc.
       d. Remedies
               1. SFO moratorium on facial recognition
               2. Use laws help limit the use-case scenarios of surveillance tech used by LEOs
           ii. CCOPS: call for an end of “secret” surveillance  civilian review
           iii. CCOPS + FR (SF): 1st bill of its kind which included a moratorium on facial recognition technology
           iv. CCOPS + M (STL): Community process which expands the above to include review for all military gear (including and also beyond surveillance tech) being acquired by police
           v. Providence
               1. If surveillance is a means for state social control, then our fight against surveillance is concretely a fight for a free society
               2. Examples of how this social control is based on Red Scares, COINTELPRO, and the war on “terror”
               3. Surveillance kills democracy
           vi. Legal mechanisms have not kept up with the technology & are largely tainted by latent white supremacy
   4. Discussion
       a. “Community control of police” has historically looked like black bodies hanging from trees and LGBT oppression
       b. Non-profit industrial complex goals
           i. Non-profits often settle for measurable, achievable victories
           ii. Community organizing (eg Stop LAPD Spying) fights for more visionary liberatory values
               1. Defunding and defanging police
               2. De-militarizing
           iii. How to push our allies at institutions that are willing to make concessions (eg ACLU, non-profits)
           iv. How also to uplift short-term victories
       c. How to play defense
           i. Out Data Bodies Playbook built by organizers working with folks experiencing poverty
           ii. Security workshops
               1. Security Education Compendium built by privacy groups
               2. Tactical Tech’s Data Detox Guide
           iii. Ridesharing regulation
               1. LA Dept of Transportation sought regulations to require location tracking of users by rideshare and scooter companies
       d. How to play offense
           i. Connect frontline communities and individuals to local groups
           ii. Organizing: start here, stay visionary and intersectional
               1. Building relationships beyond any discrete campaign
           iii. Policy advocacy: opportunistic