Anatomy of an Upset

Ellen Corbett loses by 413 votes.CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | Just how big an upset did Hugh Bussell pull off last week? It’s hard to quantify since upsets normally entail winning something, but with the state’s top two primary system, second can be as good as first. Maybe the extremely low voter turnout during the … Continue reading Anatomy of an Upset

Swalwell Again Avoids Questioning Over His Vote Allowing Government Spying

CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | For the second straight public forum, Rep. Eric Swalwell again sidestepped his April 2013 vote that would have allowed the government to request the Web histories of ordinary citizens without their knowledge. Swalwell voted for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, known as CISPA, which passed by the House … Continue reading Swalwell Again Avoids Questioning Over His Vote Allowing Government Spying

20th Assembly Candidates Support Gay Marriage, but Spar over Gender I.D. Law

Bill Quirk, Luis Reynoso, Jaime PatinoASSEMBLY | 20TH DISTRICT | When it comes to gay marriage, candidates for the 20th Assembly District made a mad dash to the left of each other, but not before two of them swung wildly to the right when it comes to gender identification.Incumbent Assemblymember Bill Quirk, Republican Jaime Patino … Continue reading 20th Assembly Candidates Support Gay Marriage, but Spar over Gender I.D. Law

A Feeling Out Period in the Initial CA-15 Candidate’s Forum

CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | It’s too early to get nasty in the 15th Congressional District. Democrats Rep. Eric Swalwell, State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett and Republican Hugh Bussell mostly spoke in generalities, while taking pains to avoid confrontation during their first candidate’s forum of the election season. The top two vote-getters in the … Continue reading A Feeling Out Period in the Initial CA-15 Candidate’s Forum

At Forum, Swalwell Says He ‘Stood for Privacy Rights,’ Record Says Otherwise

Ellen Corbett, Eric SwalwellCONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | Rep. Eric Swalwell said at a candidate’s forum Tuesday night in Castro Valley he voted against government intrusion into the digital records of Americans, but the assertion is false.When the question of upholding certain privacy rights was posed, Swalwell said he voted on just one such bill … Continue reading At Forum, Swalwell Says He ‘Stood for Privacy Rights,’ Record Says Otherwise

Oakland’s Surveillance Center Pushed Back to the Sea (Well, the Port, at least)

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | PRIVACY | Oakland’s Domain Awareness Center is being rolled back to its original purpose as a port-only surveillance project. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan cast the tie-breaking vote early Wednesday morning approving an amendment that considerably limits a plan to integrate surveillance video and other analytics from city streets into the controversial … Continue reading Oakland’s Surveillance Center Pushed Back to the Sea (Well, the Port, at least)

Privacy Groups Urge Oakland City Council to Scrap the DAC

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | DAC | Privacy groups are aggressively lobbying members of the Oakland City Council to vote Tuesday night against a resolution approving a $1.6 million contract for the second phase of the Domain Awareness Center (DAC). In addition, the groups are calling on the council to halt the entire project funded by … Continue reading Privacy Groups Urge Oakland City Council to Scrap the DAC

Alameda Chief on License Plate Readers: ‘I’m not Trying to Spy on Anyone’

Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri, above;a version of a patrol car-mounted automated license plate reader, below.ALAMEDA | PRIVACY | The often insular community of Alameda may soon have Automated License Plate Readers rapidly scanning automobiles passing through the island city. However, critics of the police department’s plan say a recently released draft policy is far too vague … Continue reading Alameda Chief on License Plate Readers: ‘I’m not Trying to Spy on Anyone’

Oakland’s Nuclear Free Zone Law Proving Troublesome for Future of DAC

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | PRIVACY | Oakland’s Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Ordinance is adding quite a bit of snowy static for future of the Domain Awareness Center (DAC). The City Council’s Public Safety Committee moved forward a recommendation to select a new vendor for the second phase of the controversial surveillance center late Tuesday night, … Continue reading Oakland’s Nuclear Free Zone Law Proving Troublesome for Future of DAC

2013 Year In Lists: Top 5 East Bay Political News Stories

Replica of a drone sought by the Alameda County Sheriff in Feb. PHOTO/Shane Bond1. Public privacy under siege>>> The potent issue of government infringement on public privacy through technology was barely on the national radar a year ago and non-existent in the Bay Area. Public officials in Oakland did not see it coming and when the citywide … Continue reading 2013 Year In Lists: Top 5 East Bay Political News Stories

Chronicle Columnist Thinks City Hall Belongs To Politicians, Not The People

Oakland City Council meeting Nov. 19.OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | ANALYSIS | There are times when even the most veteran of journalists drop their editorial guard and reveal exactly how they think. Most people in Oakland know San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson bends over backward for the police. But, why, does he consistently fill his … Continue reading Chronicle Columnist Thinks City Hall Belongs To Politicians, Not The People

Swalwell’s Finger To The Wind Relationship With Privacy Rights

ILLUSTRATION/Steven Tavares PHOTO/Shane BondCONGRESS//15th DISTRICT/PRIVACY | Last April, during the first few months of Rep. Eric Swalwell’s first term in Congress, he voted for a bill allowing tech and manufacturing companies to fork over your Internet traffic information. The stated purpose of the bill was meant to stem the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks against government … Continue reading Swalwell’s Finger To The Wind Relationship With Privacy Rights

State Lawmakers Struggle With Domestic Drones And Privacy Safeguards

Drone replica displayed last February in Alameda County. PHOTO/Shane BondASSEMBLY//DRONES/PRIVACY | As two high-profile drone bills sit in Assemby, members of its Public Safety Committee continue to grapple with the rapidly changing growth and privacy implication that stems from the potential use of public and private unmanned aerial systems, better known as drones.At a hearing Tuesday in Sacramento, … Continue reading State Lawmakers Struggle With Domestic Drones And Privacy Safeguards

Amid Cries Of ‘Shame,’ Oakland Approves Funding Citywide Surveillance Program

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | At a time when Americans are increasingly skeptical of government surveillance in their lives, the Oakland City Council reversed the trend early Wednesday morning by authorizing funding for a large-scale citywide surveillance center backed by federal stimulus dollars.As dozens of critics consistently interrupted and jeered discussion of approving $2 million for the surveillance clearinghouse … Continue reading Amid Cries Of ‘Shame,’ Oakland Approves Funding Citywide Surveillance Program

ACLU: Oakland DAC Amounts To Warrantless Surveillance Of Residents

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL//PRIVACY | Oakland’s plan to link disparate video feeds across the city and port into one massive data center is drawing intense criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. In a letter sent Wednesday to the Oakland City Council, the ACLU says the program, known as the Domain Awareness Center … Continue reading ACLU: Oakland DAC Amounts To Warrantless Surveillance Of Residents