Ugly WA State ruling shows that privacy is bigger than IT

An ugly ruling, and an opportunity for raising awareness about the need for stronger privacy protections at the state level.

(We’re glad Seattle is hiring a privacy person in the IT department, very glad. But incidents like this make it obvious that privacy, while impacted by technology, is fundamentally not a technical, but a human issue, a civil rights issue, that needs to be addressed thru multiple disciplines.)
“The dissenting justices, Sheryl Gordon McCloud and Debra Stephens,
called the majority’s rationale sweeping, confusing and
illogical. Washington’s Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected the
notion that under state law people have less expectation of privacy in
records turned over to third parties, they said, and unlike federal
rulings, Washington precedent even bars police from searching through
curbside garbage without a warrant.”

Audio surveillance coming to a streetlight near you?

The Seattle Police Department is teaming up with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms to bring yet another surveillance technology to Seattle. For several years, SPD has been considering an Acoustic Gunshot Location System and is being courted by ShotSpotter, LLC, which has cornered the market on this technology.

Now General Electric is developing a cheaper, integrated acoustic monitor in their next-generation streetlight which can interface with ShotSpotter’s audio surveillance system with the stated purpose of locating gunfire within dense, urban areas.

The Seattle Privacy Coalition has worked with the city in the development of a privacy protecting ordinance and a process for evaluating the impact of new surveillance technologies. We’ll be watching this new technology and offering criticism of its potential privacy impacts, especially when it’s being pushed by a government agency that has already circumvented the public process by installing surveillance cameras in the Central District with the help of Seattle City Light.

We’ll be asking the city’s new Chief Privacy Officer to perform and publish a thorough audit of all programs and purchases under SPD, and all MOUs or informal agreements SPD maintains with Federal agencies in accordance with the City’s privacy program.

Contact Seattle’s CTOthe Mayor and City Council members to share your concerns with them.


ShotSpotter makes up its gunfire data, but it STILL doesn’t make any sense

ShotSpotter: There’s no lobbyist like an arms lobbyist

ShotSpotter (SST, Inc.) Fact Sheet prepared for City of Seattle

Reminder from Laura Poitras: “If not for Seattle, this history would be different”

TA3M Seattle, December 2015 (w/ Cascadia Wikimedians)


Techno Activism 3rd Mondays is an international, monthly meetup designed to connect people interested in modern anti-censorship and anti-surveillance issues. TA3M Seattle is Seattle Privacy Coalition’s “sister organization” because of our shared goals in advocating for personal privacy, and we are happy to be announcing December’s TA3M! This month’s meetup, like December 2014’s TA3M, is a joint meetup with Cascadia Wikimedians, so expect an extra-intelligent group of folks!

We are meeting this month!

If you are planning on attending, please register by picking the type of pizza you would like (or no pizza).

There are no scheduled talks, only 5-minute flash talks. If you would like to give a 5-minute flash talk, please include that information in the above registration form.

When: Monday, December 14, 2015, 18:30 to 21:00 (6:30 – 9:00 PM)
Where: University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering building (CSE) room 403 [directions]

Questions? Please email Christopher: yawnbox at riseup dot net