Police surveillance: The US city that beat Big Brother – BBC News

Mass surveillance of citizens without their knowledge is on the rise in America. This is the story of how one city fought back – and is teaching others how to do the same.

A deprived port city, across the bay from San Francisco, with a history of high crime rates and radical politics, Oakland has seen its share of policing scandals over the years.Surveillance of ordinary citizens and protest groups – from the Black Panthers in the 1960s to Occupy Oakland in the 2000s – is nothing new in California’s eighth largest city.”Police-community relations in Oakland are terrible,” says Ali Winston, a reporter with the East Bay Express. “They have been terrible for a long time.”But Winston and his colleague Darwin BondGraham were still not fully prepared for what they would discover in the summer of 2012, when they were going through court records and council papers.

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