SB21, a California state ordinance that will mandate extensive oversight of police surveillance technology, is just two votes from being penned into law.
Restore the Fourth is urging all Californians, on behalf of Oakland Privacy, to contact state representatives by Friday to urge them to bring the bill out of suspense for Gov. Brown to sign.
You can contact the governor and your state representative here. But more importantly, we urge you to reach out to the following representatives by phone or on Twitter – especially ones marked with an asterisk(*).
PLEASE CALL OR TWEET and tell them to vote FOR SB 21.</span?
*Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (chair) – Tel: (916) 319-2080
Frank Bigelow (vice chair) – Tel: (916) 319-2005
*Richard Bloom – Tel: (916) 319-2050
*Raul Bocanegra – Tel: (916) 319-2039
*Rob Bonta – Tel: (916) 319-2018
William Brough – Tel: (916) 319-2073
Ian Calderon – Tel: (916) 319-2057
Ed Chau – Tel: (916) 319-2049
*Susan Talamantes Eggman – Tel: (916) 319-2013
Vince Fong – Tel: (916) 319-2034
*Laura Friedman – Tel: (916) 319-2043
James Gallagher – Tel: (916) 319-2003
*Eduardo Garcia -Tel: (916) 319-2056
*Adam Gray – Tel: (916) 319-2021
Reginald Jones-Sawyer – Tel: (916) 319-2059
Jay Olbernolte – Tel: (916) 319-2033
Eloise Gomez Reyes – Tel: (916) 319-2047
(Tweets to cut and paste):
Please release #SB21 from suspense to end secret mass police #surveillance in CA @LorenaAD80 @JonesSawyer59 @AsmRichardBloom @AsmBocanegra
Please release #SB21 from suspense to end secret mass police #surveillance in CA @RobBonta @IanCalderon @AsmEdChau @AsmSusanEggman
Please release #SB21 from suspense to end secret mass police #surveillance in CA @AsmEGarciaAD56 @AdamGrayCA @reyes4assembly
Please release #SB21 from suspense to end secret mass police #surveillance in CA @laurafriedman43 @FrankBigelowCA @vfong @J_GallagherAD3
Please release #SB21 from suspense to end secret mass police #surveillance in CA @JayObernolte @BillBroughCA
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 – Restore the Fourth has filed an amicus curiae in the case of Timothy Ivory Carpenter v. United States of America. In this case, cell-site location information (CSLI) was obtained by subpoena from a cellphone carrier pertaining to the suspect’s cellphone.
In submitting this brief, we seek to urge the court on the following points:
- From the nature of CSLI, it can be derived that privacy is relational: That is, that even when people disclose their information to third parties, that should not mean that they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- CSLI will become more revealing over time: This is due to the increasing density of tower locations, and the increased power of computers to algorithmically parse a given set of information on people’s locations to predict where they will be in the future.
- Police use of CSLI comes with a high risk of abuse: Such as, usage for LOVEINT (ie. officials with access to government surveillance and data collections utilizing it to spy on lovers, exes, etc.), police concealment of stingray use, and precedents for CLSI used to harass political dissidents abroad.
For these reasons, we urge that the Court should adopt a warrant standard for governmental searches and seizures of CSLI. We hope that the Court will see Carpenter v. USA as an opportunity to make a much-needed reexamination of the ‘third-party doctrine.’
Restore the Fourth would like to thank our counsel, Mahesha Subbaraman, of Subbaraman PLLC, for contributing this brief.
UPDATE: (5/31/17) SB21 passed the California State Senate 21-15, and now will move on to the Assembly.
SB 21 was filed in December by state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), proposing that all new law enforcement surveillance equipment to be first approved by local government. The approval process would require agencies to submit a Surveillance Use Policy at a meeting open to the public. They would have to specify the type of technology to be use, data to be collected, who would have data access, storage duration, and the steps taken to ensure security and privacy. The bill had initially been approved by the Judiciary Committee.
- Separate use policies for each kind of equipment
- Affirmative legislative approval required for use policies and impact reports or use ceases
- Ongoing usage reporting no less than every two years
- Amendments required due to requesting funds for acquiring, using, or accessing information from any new technology
- Private right of action for those harmed by violation of the policy
- Limitations on exigent use
- Inclusion of district attorneys
The bill, in its latest incarnation, has now passed through the Budget Committee (aka. Appropriations), and can now move on to the State Senate and Assembly.
After a preview on Radio Statler at the HOPE XI Conference this summer, Restore the Fourth launched their new podcast, “Privacy Patriots“. Hosts Fongaboo and Chuck Ritter discuss political and social policy issues regarding privacy and the 4th Amendment in the digital age.
Privacy Patriots is available on most major podcast directories as well as RSS feeds for both MP3 and OGG formats.
Yahoo compromised the security and privacy of hundreds of millions of users and all the people they communicate with by installing a secret software program that searched all incoming emails at the request of US intelligence officials.
Sign the pledge to dump Yahoo now and learn how you can send a clear message to email providers that this kind of secret surveillance won’t go unanswered.
Restore the Fourth had a strong showing from around the country at this year’s HOPE XI conference. Brian Hofer and aestetix of RT4 San Francisco hosted the talk ‘Spy Hard with a Vengeance: How One City Stood Up to the Department of Homeland Security‘ regarding their fight against a DHS Domain Awareness Center in Oakland, CA. RT4 Chairman Alex Marthews spoke on the chilling effects of government surveillance on citizens’ online activity in his talk ‘Surveillance Gives Me Chills‘. RT4 ally and ACLU lawyer Matt Cagle appeared on panel for ‘Only You Can Stop Police Surveillance‘. And RT4 launched ‘Episode Zero’ of the forthcoming RT4 podcast ‘Privacy Patriots‘ on Radio Statler, with host Fongaboo, Zaki Manian and Alex Marthews.
Spy Hard with a Vengeance: How One City Stood Up to the Department of Homeland Security
Brian Hofer & aestetix, RT SF
Surveillance Gives Me Chills
Alex Marthews, RT4 National Chair
Only You Can Stop Police Surveillance
Matt Cagle, Mariko Hirose, Jared Friend
— Privacy Patriots (@PrivacyPats) July 27, 2016
Archive is forthcoming at http://radio.hope.net/archive.html
The Fourth Amendment Applies More Broadly than the Government is Making Out
By Danielle Kerem
Restore the Fourth filed an amicus brief today at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The case, Araceli Rodriguez v. Lonnie Swartz, concerns the shooting death of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez and raises critical Fourth Amendment questions with potentially significant consequences for American law enforcement conduct both abroad and at home.
On October 10, 2012, Jose Antonio was gunned down by United States Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz while walking home following a game of basketball in his Nogales, Mexico neighborhood. As he walked along a public street parallel to the U.S.-Mexico border, the teenager was shot in the back approximately 10 times by agent Swartz, who fired multiple rounds through the border fence from his position on American soil. Jose Antonio bled to death a short time later.
In July 2014, Jose Antonio’s mother – Araceli Rodriguez – filed a civil lawsuit in Arizona against the agent responsible for his death, alleging that Swartz had violated her son’s Fourth Amendment rights by using excessive and unjustified force. In response, Swartz’s legal team moved for dismissal of the case on the grounds that Jose Antonio was a Mexican citizen killed on Mexican territory and consequently not protected by the U.S. Constitution.
The court, however, partially denied the defendant’s motion, instead affirming that “under the facts alleged in this case, the Mexican national may avail himself to the protections of the Fourth Amendment and that the agent may not assert qualified immunity.” In July 2015, Swartz appealed the district court’s decision. In February 2016, the United States filed an amicus brief objecting to the district court’s finding that Jose Antonio benefited from Fourth Amendment protections and supporting reversal of the ruling. The Department of Justice contended that the “Fourth Amendment does not extend extraterritorially to aliens without significant voluntary connections to the United States,” grounding this interpretation in the 1990 United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez Supreme Court decision.
In today’s amicus brief, Restore the Fourth – through our counsel at Subbaraman PLLC and the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic – advances two core arguments to address the Government’s misrepresentation of Fourth Amendment protections as well as misreading of the relevant case law. First, we contend that the Fourth Amendment, at a minimum, requires government searches and seizures of anyone to be reasonable. Second, we insist that the “substantial and voluntary connections” test articulated in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez determines what constitutes a reasonable search or seizure only when this test can be administered:
Restore the Fourth files this brief in order to address the United States’s misreading of Verdugo-Urquidez. The plurality did not erase the Fourth Amendment’s core demand that all government searches and seizures be “reasonable”—even extraterritorial searches and seizures of aliens. See Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008). Rather, the plurality merely established that the Fourth Amendment affords the government reasonable latitude when it is capable of reviewing an alien’s connections with the United States before searching or seizing him. Here, by contrast, Agent Swartz killed J.A. without any such review. His actions were thus patently unreasonable, even if one were to conclude that J.A. lacked substantial voluntary connections to the United States.
According to Alex Marthews, National Chair of Restore The Fourth, “since the misinterpreted Verdugo-Urquidez decision in 1990, we have built new and oppressive structures of immigration control, foreign policy and mass surveillance on the basis of being able to ignore some people’s unalienable rights, even in times of peace. The Fourth Amendment cannot be twisted to support this. Jose Antonio’s family, and every family affected by U.S. state power, deserve better.”