California: No Police Surveillance Without Public Accountability

Police departments should not have the unilateral authority to decide which privacy invasions are in the public interest. The public must have a say in the surveillance technologies that police acquire and how they deploy them. And city councils must have veto power: the authority to decide what surveillance systems do not belong in our communities.

California: help us pass S.B. 21 to shine light on police surveillance technology and regulate its use in cities across the state.

S.B. 21 would also ensure that sheriffs, district attorneys, and state law enforcement agencies are transparent about their use of these technologies and hold public meetings before they acquire new surveillance equipment or software.

The public deserves clear data about how often these technologies are used and information about when they’re abused. We deserve to know how much spy tech costs and whether there’s an actual return on investment.

As EFF Investigative Researcher Dave Maass recently testified before the California Assembly's Public Safety Committee: "S.B. 21 is urgently needed. The current U.S. administration’s agenda calls for supercharging immigration enforcement and the so-called 'War on Drugs.' As a result, we can expect a heavy influx of military-grade surveillance technologies to flow into our communities through grants, pilot programs, asset forfeiture spending, and federal equipment transfers."

Tell your state lawmaker to support S.B. 21 so that the public and our elected officials aren't left in the dark when it comes to police surveillance.

EFF uses the information you provide to help you take action in support of digital civil liberties, including submitting your message to support S.B. 21 to your representatives in the California Assembly and Senate. We will also add your name to a petition that civil liberties advocates may deliver to the California legislature and other decisionmakers to urge them to support this bill. We may work with coalition partners to execute the petition delivery. Learn more about EFF's privacy practices at