Demand Democratic Oversight of Public Surveillance
SurveillanceReform.org is a coalition of civil society organizations and individuals committed to enforcing accountability and transparency in surveillance and data management.
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What Is the Problem?
When public surveillance systems are used in our cities and towns, the potential for a huge amount of data collection will always be present.
In a world without accountability, abuse becomes possible.
That’s why public surveillance requires public trust and input. We, as citizens and residents, must be able to examine how surveillance is being used, how data is being managed, and who is involved.
We, also, must have a significant and meaningful say in what happens in our neighborhoods and in our city centers.
To create this trust and informed, meaningful input, we need laws that put citizens in charge, without jeopardizing the privacy of public data.
In other words, we need a robust, surveillance ordinance which enshrines transparency and accountability into public surveillance and data management.
Sign the Petition for a Legally-Binding, Citizen-Led Ordinance
What’s Wrong With Limitless Surveillance?
What risk does surveillance without oversight carry?
Surveillance affects traditionally marginalized communities the most, because surveillance and enforcement strategies are often applied unevenly.
Chilled Expression and Assembly
Surveillance chills the way law-abiding people express themselves, especially when something is legal, but unpopular or controversial.
Data persists. Future administrations could use past-surveillance to quell dissent, target dissidents, or manipulate the democratic process.
SOURCES FOR FURTHER READING:
ACLU: What’s the Government Doing Targeting Civil Rights Leaders?
REPORT: Disparities in British Monitoring of Black Residents
Automatic License Plate Readers: A Ted Fellow Speaks
ACLU: What’s Wrong With Public Video Surveillance?
Huffpost: Black Lives Matter Targeted, a Reminder of COINTELPRO
Slate: Surveillance Chills Speech, Even With “Nothing to Hide.”
PBS: Muslim Americans and Post-9/11 Surveillance
It’s Time to Put the People Back in Control
These Are Our Demands:
Surveillance technologies and data management methods must be completely transparent.
Any and all risks to civil rights and civil liberties must be carefully accounted for and clearly communicated.
Citizens and residents deserve to know how we are being watched, why, and what is being done with our personal data.
Citizens and residents must have a say in how data is collected, and how we are being monitored.
Independent, legally-empowered, and citizen-led oversight is essential.
Proposed surveillance technologies must be democratically approved and the decisions made by democratically elected representatives must be fully enforceable.
When decisions are made, citizens and residents need to know by whom, and how to seek redress, if there are problems or abuses.
Any and all data must be kept safe and all sharing must be accounted for.
In addition, surveillance must only occur when there is a clear, necessary purpose. If that purpose isn’t met, or if the purpose doesn’t outweigh the risks, then the surveillance needs to end.
Join Us. Help Bring Accountability to Public Surveillance
Your Voice and Interest Matter!
We can maintain safety and security without sacrificing transparency and accountability.