Residents of the California port city of Oakland are pushing back by developing the first enforceable city legislation to regulate the purchase and use of surveillance equipment by law enforcement agencies. If approved, the legislation could make Oakland a national trailblazer for privacy rights campaigners alarmed at the rise of cameras, “stingrays” and other surveillance technologies used by law enforcement.


I think it looks good on paper. I applaud the city of Oakland for doing it. They should and so should other cities.

I’ve got news for you though: a federal law takes precedence over any local law. So even though they passed this at the local level, the federal law will probably still allow them to do it.

It will be an interesting court fight—and interesting to see who prevails—if it’s ever taken that far. But always remember that federal law is always more powerful than state law. Shit flows downhill.

-Jesse Ventura

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