California: Let’s end unchecked police surveillance

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Dave Maas

“All surveillance is political. Nowhere is this more evident than on the local level when law enforcement acquires new surveillance technology. Too often, the political process advantages police over the public interest. In California, a new bill — S.B. 21 — offers the rare opportunity to shift the balance in favor of privacy. … This legislation would require that police departments, before acquiring or using new spying technology, obtain approval in advance to do so from an elected board during a public hearing. When police obtain such approval, they must also get approval of a use policy that includes privacy safeguards. The bill would require a biennial transparency report on surveillance technology …. The bill would also allow individuals to sue an agency if they’ve been harmed by a violation of the legislation.” (05/02/17)