Sheriff wants drones flying over Alameda County

Say no to drones in Alameda County!
17October2012

Local Residents and Civil Rights Organizations Resist Sheriff’s Attempts to Deploy Drones Over Alameda County

Press conference to highlight concerns including invasion of privacy, militarization of police forces, restriction of free speech and political expression

At a press conference to be held on the steps of Oakland City Hall on Thursday, October 18, at 11:00 a.m., Alameda County residents and legal advocacy organizations will announce their efforts to resist the Sheriff’s announced plans to deploy aerial surveillance “drones” for undisclosed law enforcement purposes.

“Community members intend to pursue city and county legislation to prohibit the use of drones to spy on Alameda County residents,” stated Mary Madden, an Oakland resident. “The Sheriff’s idea is a threat to our privacy, and a deterrent to those of us who participate in community and political activities.”

The ACLU of Northern California has sent County Sheriff Ahern a public records request, asking for basic information about why drones are needed, how much they would cost to acquire, operate and maintain, and how the drones would be used. “Drones should not be used for indiscriminate mass surveillance,” said Linda Lye, staff attorney with the ACLU-NC. “Transparency is key. Right now, we don’t know what, if any, safeguards the Sheriff intends to follow before deploying unmanned surveillance aircraft into our skies.”

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