Fed Grants (Homeland Security) for Surveillance Cameras for Small Towns
David Fahrenthold, Washington Post Reporter:
This funding concept is being quietly discussed as a mechanisim for the San Francisco Municipal Wireless solution - the calendar image below is from the city official Chris Vein who is in charge of the RFP process which requires bid submittals by 2006/2/21 - See Below
From: Kimo Crossman [mailto:kimo webnetic net]
Sent: 2006 January 13 17:12
Subject: TechConnect Wireless Citywide Internet: San Francisco considers rollout of it's own privatized Domestic Spying (targeted ads) or funded by Homeland Security
In an attempt to rollout a Citywide Wireless Internet plan (TechConnect) two major approaches being considered by San Francisco significantly encroach on the public's privacy. While Supervisors and City Administrators pat themselves on the back for what the voters approved (2004) in a watch law ordinance that makes Patriot Act requests difficult for the Federal government, a privatized solution for any wireless internet usage will finance the solution by monetizing the public's privacy.
Two major funding mechanisms vendors are suggesting for the current TechConnect RFP (secret bids due 2/21) are targeted advertising and Homeland Security funding. The targeted advertising solution (google and others) would track all the email and surfing habits of any user. This information could be used as in Gmail and Amazon to send specific advertising. It is of course also available for National Security Letters and other legal methods which would not be presented within the legal context of San Francisco - avoiding the Watch Law. While networks can be created that do not track a user's private information (no server logs, etc) that is not a method being promoted publically by vendors like Google and in fact is the reason the Justice Department and Google are now fighting over production of user's search records.. While there are questions about Privacy in the RFP, they were specifically written as Open Ended rather than Minimal Standards even after a public outcry. Public Advocates and Organizations like ACLU, EFF.org and EPIC.org have all written and some have spoken about their concerns with this approach Before the RFP was created and released - no changes were made. Also DTIS has the ability to waive any RFP requirements in the contract negotiation process anyhow.
The Homeland Security funding option: "Motorola’s proposal suggests that the city pitch the project as a public safety issue, and capitalize on grants from government organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security. They suggest that the network would help law enforcement by enabling the SFPD to put wireless cameras across the city cheaply, and that the signal from a particular camera could be routed wirelessly to officers in their cars as they approached the scene." (thanks to www.JacksonWest.com for summary)
Combined brief ACLU, EFF.org and Epic.org
SF Watch Law Re Patriot Act
Jackson West summary of TechConnect RFI/C submittals (the step before the current RFP process)
Chris Vein DTIS Acting Director's calendar showing a meeting planned with Motorola (obtained through a Public Record's request)