EFF, ACLU, and 34 other community and  civil rights groups have signed onto a letter urging San Francisco’s Mayor and the Board of Supervisors not to gut the city’s landmark 2019 surveillance technology ordinance.

Mayor London Breed recently introduced a proposed ballot initiative that would create massive exceptions to the law’s requirement that police get permission from democratically elected Supervisors before using or acquiring any new surveillance technology.

The letter is signed by Amnesty International USA, the Coalition on Homelessness, the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Bay Area chapter, the Black Movement Law Project, and many others. It explains that surveillance is often a precursor to police abuse:

“We have grave concerns about Mayor Breed’s proposed measure to gut the Ordinance, curtail public debate and democratic oversight, and give virtually unchecked power to the police to surveil events and entire neighborhoods—again, threatening the rights of marginalized communities, including their right to protest and move freely. Confoundingly, the Mayor’s measure circumvents the existing democratic process that dozens of other departments have followed, and places the police alone above the law’s regular oversight, when, as city history shows, they are the ones most likely to abuse these powers.”

After years of fighting against police lawlessness and unfettered access to invasive surveillance technologies, we need more community control over the San Francisco Police Department, not less.

Do you live in San Francisco? You can contact the Mayor and Board of Supervisors here and let them know: Don’t gut our landmark surveillance ordinance! 


TELL the mayor: we need protections against police surveillance

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