New research from two American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) affiliates definitively shows local law enforcement surveillance technology spreading throughout California—with hardly any public oversight.
The ACLU of Northern California (ACLUNC) and the ACLU of California (ACLUCA) reported Wednesday that California’s 58 counties and its 60 largest cities have collectively spent over $65 million on such technology over the last decade. Often, the money comes through federally-funded grants or outside foundation money that city councils and county boards of supervisors are all-too-ready to accept.
“We found evidence of public debate related to surveillance technology adoption less than 15 percent of the time,” the ACLUCA told Ars in a statement by e-mail. “None of the 52 communities with two or more surveillance technologies publicly debated every technology. We found a publicly-available use policy for fewer than one in five surveillance technologies.”
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