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Phil Matier: Oakland City Council Approves Surveillance Center

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(CBS)

(CBS)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Oakland City Council voted unanimously early Wednesday morning to move forward with a police-monitored surveillance center.

The decision to accept $2.2 million in federal dollars for the Domain Awareness Center was met with plenty of resistance, as protesters shouted “shame, shame” following the approval.

The surveillance center would aggregate video feeds from around the city, including Twitter feeds, crime maps, gunshot-detecting microphones, license plate readers and alarm programs. Oakland officials said the center will help improve response times to crimes, fires, terrorism or other problems in the city. But opponents are calling it another case of the government butting in on privacy rights.

In fact, Linda Lye with the American Civil Liberties Union said that despite efforts by some city council members to draft privacy rules, the center is too far-reaching.

“It is our strong recommendation that you not put the cart before the horse and that you not allow the Domain Awareness Center to proceed to face due without fully vetting the privacy issues,” Lye said after the vote was taken.

The DAC is expected to be up and running by July 2014. It will be monitored 24 hours a day by a police officer, police analyst or person from the Port of Oakland.

Along with approving the surveillance center, the Oakland City Council also approved a proposal that would ban protesters from carrying so-called “tools of violence” during demonstrations in the city.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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