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Fri Nov 22 2013 (Updated 11/23/13)Oakland’s Vendor Pool to Complete the DAC Is Filled with Nuclear Weapons Contractors
Fri Nov 22 2013 (Updated 11/23/13)Council Votes to Continue with Surveillance System Despite Opposition & Contractor Issues
In March of 2013, the city of Oakland signed a contract with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for design and construction of the first of two phases of a city-wide surveillance system called the Domain Awareness Center, or DAC. The basic infrastructure to link up cameras and sensors with servers running powerful software, hosted in several command rooms at the Port and in the city’s Emergency Operations Center, is now mostly complete. Oakland’s DAC surveillance system is not yet fully up and running, however, until Phase 2 work is completed. In July of 2013, against an outpouring of public protest against building the spy center, the Oakland city council unanimously approved a contract modification for SAIC to complete Phase 2.
Since then, the Oakland city council learned that its prime contractor for the project is involved in the U.S. nuclear weapons program, a fact that violates Measure T, a city voter proposition that makes Oakland a nuclear free zone. Oakland paused work on the project, and in October the city council authorized its administration to drop SAIC and return to the original pool of vendors who responded to the city’s first request for proposals issued a year ago. It appears, however, that SAIC’s ties to nuclear weapons aren’t unusual inside the industry that sells mass surveillance systems. Many of the contractors that specialize in building giant surveillance systems like the DAC also have nuclear weapons and other arms manufacturing contracts with the Pentagon.
Despite a second outpouring of public comment against the DAC at the November 19 Oakland City Council meeting, as well as the ongoing controversy with contractors, council members voted 6-1 to continue with the city-wide surveillance project, with councilmember Lynette McElhaney casting the lone "no" vote. At about 1am, as chants of "shame, shame, shame" rang out when votes were tallied, Oakland police were ordered to clear members of the public from the council's chamber.
Read Full Article by Darwin BondGraham
See Also: CAMOVER: Attack the Surveillance State || From Berlin to Greece to Santa Cruz to the Puget Sound, Camover Actions Coming to Oakland? || Urban Shield, SWAT, and the Domain Awareness Center
Previous Related Indybay Feature: Oakland Surveillance Center Approved in City Vote Amid Debate on Privacy & Data Collection
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