Perhaps the most alarming feature of this scandal is our politician’s clandestine collusion with this surveillance corporation. According to a whistleblower, the city recently changed its privacy guidelines in a secret meeting to explicitly allow PSS to share their surveillance data with federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It should be obvious that when St. Louis is increasingly becoming home to a diverse population of immigrants, refugees, and international students, that we would seek to welcome them and protect their rights. Instead, city leaders hope to literally sell their information to agencies explicitly working to target and detain non-citizens. Even more shocking, they would allow third-party companies to buy surveillance data tracking patterns of movement. How could corporations possibly use this information for good?
On September 16th, one of our team members attended a public focus group in Maryland Heights where PSS’s founder specifically described ways the company could circumvent transparency standards. In a free society, our communities — not companies operating in secret — should determine the balance between security and privacy, and democratically elected representatives should be responsive to our needs and concerns. St. Louis residents do not deserve to have our privacy violated simply because we’ve made this city home. It’s unacceptable that a coalition of city leaders are working behind closed doors with an outside corporation to sell out our civil liberties. Though it shouldn’t come to this, we must all strongly condemn the use of this technology and mobilize our voices and votes against this decision.
We won't normally post campaign stuff, but these are important things that need to be understood. Remember that recent witness in Texas? Things are already south, people. I've also got comments viewable by anyone, because I am the only one on the site. Soon, only available for Cityzens.