How Cities Are Reining in Out-of-Control Policing Tech

Since the turn of the 21st century, local law enforcement departments have stocked up on unprecedentedly invasive surveillance tech for monitoring their communities, with little to no oversight. But a counterrevolution is brewing. On May 1, the Oakland, California, City Council unanimously adopted the Surveillance and Community Safety Ordinance, the nation’s strongest law governing how police acquire and use surveillance technologies. While Oakland may be at the head of the pack here, it isn’t alone: In the past few years, local governments across the country have become laboratories for developing new approaches to reining in policing tech, and the solutions they’ve been cooking up are starting to spread to more cities and towns that are concerned about overreaching or secret police surveillance of their communities.


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