Personal Privacy

Local Governments Are Taking Action to Limit Law Enforcement Surveillance Power

The Infinite Brief
While D.C. politicians have shown little willingness to rein in the ever-expanding surveillance state, activists have had more success addressing the issue at the local level.

Earlier this month, the Oakland, California, City Council gave final approval to a local ordinance that sets the stage to limit the acquisition and use of spy gear by law enforcement and other city agencies.

Activists called it the strongest such ordinance in the country, saying it gives “Oakland communities the power to understand the technologies that are being proposed in the city and to have a voice in saying if, when and how surveillance is used in the city.”

Oakland is the latest city government to pass such an ordinance, but not the first. In fact, there is a growing movement some have dubbed “privacy localism.” A similar ordinance passed in Santa Clara County in 2016.

Berkeley and Davis approved similar measures recently. These ordinances were based on model legislation developed by the ACLU.

And it’s not just happening in California. Nashville, Tenn., Seattle, Wash., and Somerville, Mass., now have ordinances requiring local government approval for surveillance technology on the books. According to the ACLU, at least 19 other municipalities are considering measures based on this model.

Originally via Tenth Amendment Center

The Edward Snowden revelations shined a spotlight on the NSA and stirred up widespread outrage over warrantless surveillance. But Congress did nothing.

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