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Remember, San Francisco can help thwart federal surveillance of local Muslims

"Surveillance Screen" by Flickr user marcokalmann, Cropped from original: http://bit.ly/2gtOTvn


While he was running for President, Donald Trump made it clear he’d be willing to spy on Muslims. "I want surveillance of certain mosques, if that's okay. And you know what?" Trump said, "We've had it before and we'll have it again."


It’s true: surveillance of certain groups is nothing new. Four years ago, the ACLU revealed that they found documents showing that the FBI and San Francisco police were using community outreach programs as an excuse to collect information about some Muslims. In response, the city passed the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance.The ordinance says San Francisco police can only assist the FBI if their assistance doesn't violate civil rights or an individual's right to privacy.


Now that the Trump Administration is coming into power, this ordinance may provide a significant firewall between federal and local law enforcement. KALW’s Ben Trefny sat down with Asian Law Caucus staff attorney Christina Sinha and ACLU of Northern California senior counsel Alan Schlosser to talk about surveillance.


SINHA: Increasing scrutiny of an entire racial group does not lead to more security.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

Ben joined KALW in 2004. As Executive News Editor and then News Director, he helped the news department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He also helped teach hundreds of audio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today.