Oakland surveillance center raises concerns: As Oakland is rocked by renewed street protests and national attention focuses on government monitoring of phone and e-mail records, city officials are considering a federally funded project to funnel information from surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors and other devices into a law enforcement-run center.
The Domain Awareness Center, a joint project between the Port of Oakland and the city, started as a nationwide initiative to secure ports by connecting motion sensors and cameras in and around the shipping facilities. Since its inception in 2009, however, the project has evolved into a program that would cover much of the city.
On Tuesday evening, the Oakland City Council was expected to approve an additional $2 million in federal grants to fund the surveillance center at the Emergency Operations Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. But after an outcry from speakers about the center’s lack of privacy guidelines or data retention limits, the council pulled the item from the consent calendar and postponed a vote until July 30.