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Re: The future of national security technology, the people and the community of San Jose, and the California State Democratic Convention, Feb. 26-28

From: domainremoved <bob>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2016 15:28:31 -0800

             Dear city, community, and the people of San Jose,
> Hi, this is Blair Beekman, again. I have felt I need to write a
> second letter, to more directly state, a few things, for yourselves to
> think about, and to bring up, at the State Democratic Convention, this
> coming weekend.
> One of my worries, is that for all the work, that is being done, in
> learning to question and compromise, about new national security
> surveillance and technology, for the city of San Jose, you are not
> addressing, how the city and police department, need to be more honest with
> people, and with the average people of the community, about this new
> technology. This includes the surveillance drone, and all of its new
> component technology, WiFi towers and an increase in their capacities and
> new land sales, and possible Facial Recognition Technology. All of these
> projects, have the feeling of being coerced, upon our decent-minded
> and unassuming community, without a better democratic process. The city
> has often misled, the describing of these projects, to the public.
> My second worry, is that your city, may possibly offer, a next
> stage of development, for Facial Recognition Technology. I understand the
> concept, by creating better identification practices, it can create,
> a better system of civil rights, for this technology's possible large
> expansion, in the future. But I feel there may be, other sets of civil
> rights questions, that need to be addressed. Like if we should allow the
> expansion, of Facial Recognition Technology, in the first place. What are
> the limits and brakes, of this expansion. What are the questions, of this
> sort of technology taking place, in areas that need the protection, of a
> sanctuary city? And finally, if the city is to offer, to develop and
> advance, facial recognition technology, by this April 2016, shouldn't we
> also work on, creating good civil rights, good civil protection ideas, and
> open community oversight, for this technology, along with the possible
> plans for this technology to be used, in San Jose. This would offer a more
> holistic, comprehensive idea, of what new national security
> technology, should mean in a community. I am afraid, at this point, the
> city will be offering, only basic sketches, of civil protections, and that
> the project will basically be kept, as a secret.
> Another basic set, of civil rights questions and ideas, are the
> ideas, that by rejecting this technology, altogether, the city of San
> Jose, would create, a certain integrity for itself. The city could then
> offer itself, as an example, for other cities and communities, across the
> country and world, to understand, and to learn to create their
> own examples, of how this technology, should be worked on and practiced,
> slowly, towards the future.
> Besides more thoughtful questions needed, about technology
> itself, I feel it is understanding civil protections, and having
> transparency and public oversight, with a written down set, of good
> constitutional and democratic guidelines, in an open community setting,
> that are some of the more important ideas, in how to talk about the future
> of technology.
> Black Lives Matters, other groups and movements, are trying to
> raise awareness, and trying to focus on questions of government
> accountability, especially in low income neighborhoods. Thankfully
> and finally. An important point, of Black Lives Matters, and other
> movements, is an asking for an end, of low income neighborhoods, to be
> thought of, as cold and forgotten laboratories. National security
> technology, is often labeled and practiced, as 'experimental'. This allows
> minimal civil protections, and minimal community oversight. Yet it is
> often, still doing the same work of surveillance, that is monitoring and
> arresting people, as if it were an 'official' program. The city of San
> Jose, and its police, seem guilty of this.
>> It raises the question, what are local city and police
> and government and law enforcement, ideas, in their meanings of,
> 'experimental', national technology. Shouldn't trying to practice, good
> civil rights, good civil protections, and open community oversight, be a
> part of, 'the experiment', in practicing new national security technology,
> especially in low income neighborhoods. I feel this is a better idea,
> in creating a more, open and healthy community. It is certainly, a more
> honest and transparent, way to work. I feel, open and comprehensive,
> 'experimental', national security technology practices, works basically the
> same, as closed and secretive, 'experimental', national security technology
> practices.
> We may be at time, to start to work towards the ideas of
> government accountability, for local communities and low income
> communities, using the ideas, of creating more publically minded
> democracies, for local communities. With study and thought, the idea of
> trust, can create some good forms, of open and thoughtful democracy, where
> more people will want to, and feel they can, participate. We are
> understanding, the patterns and routines, of the past fifteen years of war
> and its technology. We are being allowed to question, this country's role,
> in helping create, these wars. With a sense of tiredness, we may finally be
> at the time, to actually be able, to work towards the better parts, of our
> human nature, and a better, clearer thinking, for both, people of our local
> communities and their local governments. Learning the better ideas, of
> democracy, the u.s. constitution, and its ideas on civil rights and civil
> protections, seems an important part of this. This in turn, could have an
> important part, in how this country, then talks and negotiates, with the
> rest of the world.
> I am unsure, city government, the police, civil advocacy and
> protection groups, union groups, and others, in San Jose, are ready to talk
> about these ideas, or the basic good ideas of civil protections,
> for national security surveillance and technology, openly, with the public,
> yet. I feel this is something, that is needed to be learned, and
> re-learned, by all of the people, of San Jose. Possibly because, of the
> needs, worries, and excuse, of the super bowl, I think someone, or a
> bureaucratic system of belief, is misjudging the intelligence level, of the
> people of San Jose, and not allowing the public, to be a part of a process.
> This city government, the police, and possibly the community itself, after
> fifteen years of war, plus its real and its not so real, national security
> needs, for the super bowl, have created some bad habits, for itself. I
> think, the super bowl being over with, can be a relief, and to begin a
> time, for people to be able, to start to openly ask questions again. I am
> trusting the ideas, of an open and honest process, into the summertime and
> into the future, for San Jose.
> I hope the city of San Jose, can find a way, or ways, to open
> up, and re-explain to the community, openly, all of their original national
> security surveillance and technology plans, and the technology, they
> have purchased before the super bowl. They did not offer, an open and
> honest, community process, for the surveillance drone, its components, and
> other new technology. They need to learn how to. This summer's, year review
> of the surveillance drone, would be the time, for the city of San Jose, to
> start again, and to offer a list and inventory, of all the purchases, they
> have made the past few years, and then did not describe, or modified their
> descriptions to the public. The surveillance drone program, is having
> safety issues, that need to be addressed, in what could thought of, as
> immediately
> I think what is being worked on, by the city of Oakland, and
> Santa Clara County, with Supervisor Joseph Simitian, in creating a set of
> guidelines and oversight, for national security surveillance and
> technology, has a way of creating a better idea, of a healthy functioning,
> more open and transparent, local community democracy. Working on better
> guidelines and civil protections, on national security surveillance and
> technology transparency, and its connections with better civil protections,
> in low income neighborhoods, is an interesting development. I am trying
> to look for, the positive sides and good connections I feel government
> accountability and technology, must be addressed in some way, when
> considering where we have been, as a country, as individual communities,
> and as individuals of this country, in the past fifteen years of war. I
> also feel it is important, to balance the questions of this
> country, before September 11, 2001, and before and after, the writing of
> the u.s. constitution.
> In closing, I hope you can talk about these sorts of things, at
> the California State Democratic Convention, in San Jose, this
> weekend. There is a problem, in San Jose. We need to work on openness and
> transparency issues, for national security surveillance and technology,
> With the super bowl finally over with, the good idealism of a State
> Democratic Convention, might offer a new beginning, and a way to explore
> and to create, more positive ideas. I hope the people of San Jose, can
> explain what they have done, and can listen and learn, from delegates and
> other people, visiting San Jose this weekend. To learn to ask for help, to
> learn to trust, and to learn to work with, the average people of the city
> and community, of San Jose.
> I think it will also be important, the city of San Jose, learn
> how to describe, all the technology they have collected, in a not so
> honest, local community process, the past few years. I hope the ideas of
> good civil rights and civil protections, can learned to be talked about,
> more openly and easier, among city government, activist and advocacy
> groups, union groups, and the average public. Creating a better idea, of a
> more open and honest community. I hope this weekend, can be a step, towards
> more honest ideas and dialogue, for the whole community, not just for
> some.
> There is something, fairly incredible, that has started, in the
> city of Oakland, and in Santa Clara County, about guidelines and open
> public oversight, for national security technology and a community. It may
> be a little intimidating, at this point, but I think it is something, that
> it is worth serious discussion, at the State Democratic Convention, this
> weekend, in San Jose.
> Sincerely,
> Blair Beekman
Received on Fri Feb 26 2016 - 15:33:13 PST

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