Oakland Puts Brakes on Domain Awareness Center, NSA-Like Surveillance Center

A public outcry has halted Oakland police's new spy center for now.

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    Sergiy Zavgorodny/Shutterstock
    Plans for a data surveillance center in Oakland have been delayed for at least two weeks.

    No spy center, surveillance center, or locally-owned NSA in Oakland -- for now.

    The Oakland City Council put the brakes on a vastly unpopular plan for a "Domain Awareness Center" -- a central repository for data from video cameras, gunshot-spotting equipment, police and fire dispatches and other sources -- for at least two weeks on Wednesday.

    Critics, some of whom filled four hours of public testimony heard on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, said that the center would allow "the city to spy on people who are doing nothing wrong," the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

    Attorneys for the ACLU and other pro-privacy groups hailed the delay as a victory.

    If approved in two weeks, the data center would open in October. It costs about $10.9 million, paid for by the federal government, the newspaper reported.

    Some city council members say a privacy policy needs to be put into place before the data center can be built.

    However, Mayor Jean Quan supports the central nervous system of data, saying that critics are unfairly conflating it with the National Security Agency's "data-mining," the newspaper reported.