You are here


Running for Congress to challenge corporate corruption

This week, I announced my candidacy to run for Congress, seeking the seat representing California's 12th congressional district. I'll have more to share, but in the meantime, check out our campaign on the web, and follow our social media profiles on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Especially under this maniacal president, San Francisco needs a representative in Washington for whom "resistance" is more than just a hashtag. It's been a way of life for me for two decades, and I know that together, we can do better.

To subscribe for updates, volunteer, or contribute to our campaign, please visit!

Defending net neutrality

My latest writing for EFF is an exhortation to activism to defend net neutrality, the principle that ensures any user or startup access to the global Internet on the same terms as corporate behemoths. As I write in Net Neutrality Needs You as Much as You Need It:

"With the future of the Internet, its capacity to continue fostering innovation, and freedom of expression online hanging in the balance, EFF encourages Internet users to speak out--both online and in the streets--to defend net neutrality."

I also had a chance to speak at a pair of rallies for net neutrality, one when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai visited San Francisco in September (at 30:30)...

...and another at a Verizon store on December 7.

Examining police violence in St. Louis before major changes

Earlier this month, I published an article on Truthout examining the continuing resistance to police violence in St. Louis. The article explains the roots of the latest uprising, the cable news blackout that has kept most Americans from learning about it, escalating police responses to continuing protests, and reforms introduced in the city's Board of Alders that could, if adopted, limit future surveillance by local police. It observes:

Rather than reflect an isolated occurrence, police violence responding to protests (protests that were, of course, sparked in response to police violence) constitute an apparent pattern and practice. On Sunday, September 24, police responding to protests downtown not only arrested more than 120 people en masse, but also meted out seemingly random violence. Police assaulted -- and viciously injured -- not only dozens of civilians protesting police violence, but also an undercover police officer among them, as well as journalists. Victims of the assault included an active duty Air Force officer who was not participating in the protests but merely lived nearby and was reportedly "kicked in the face, blinded by pepper spray and dragged away."

Reacting to mounting public alarm, the office of Mayor Lyda Krewson stated, "The allegations are disturbing." City prosecutor Kim Gardner proposed to local policymakers that her office be given independent authority to investigate and prosecute police misconduct. As Gardner argued, "Both the community and police deserve an objective, fair and transparent investigation, and it is no longer acceptable for police to be essentially investigating themselves."

My Truthout article also examines the implications of the latest uprising for social media. It notes:

"Criminalizing transparency to protect illegitimate uses of power’"

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting interviewed me for the Septembr 9 episode of their syndicated radio program, Counterspin, heard on 130 noncommercial stations across the U.S. and Canada. 

Host Janine Jackson & I discussed the problem of police retaliating against grasroots journalists for recording their activities, a petition campaign by documentary filmakers in solidarity with vulnerable communities, and how they relate to a broader crisis of transparency and executive secrecy. FAIR posted both audio & a transcript, which included my favorite passage below: 

Across all of these contexts, what we are talking about is criminalizing transparency to protect illegitimate uses of power. And that, of course, is what the Constitution is supposed to stop....We’re supposed to be committed as a country to transparency and to reining in arbitrary power, but...[we accept it] whether it’s criminalizing and persecuting whistleblowers for revealing fraud, waste and abuse, or lies by executive officials, or whether it’s jailing grassroots journalists who are recording the police departments in their communities using arbitrary violence to, in some cases, kill people extrajudicially without ever proving guilt of any offense at all, let alone a serious the same time, mind you, that senior executive officials do lie about grave issues of global importance and get away with it.

A local victory offering a model to emulate

On June 15, I published a post on the EFF Deeplinks blog reporting on a local victory for transparency and accountability in Santa Clara County, CA, where policymakers took the seemingly obvious steps of requiring local authorities to seek their consent before buying sophisticated surveillance equipment, and reporting annually on how they deploy that equipment in their communities. It explains:

Santa Clara County—which encompasses much of Silicon Valley—set a new standard in local surveillance transparency after months of activism by residents and allies from across the Bay Area. Their efforts, and the policy it enabled, suggest an overlooked strategy in the national battle to curtail unaccountable secret mass surveillance.

Remembering a dear friend

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the loss of my friend, Jay Marx. Today, the Burning Man blog published a memorial I wrote to celebrate his life and activism. 

It's worth a read when you have some time, and includes videos of Jay to preserve his legacy in his own voice. Here's a teaser:

I’m hardly the only person to whom Jay Marx offered a memorable introduction to Washington, DC. Jay passed through this world entirely too briefly, but he touched a great many of us and presented a powerful example of how to apply the principles of conscious counterculture beyond building community to help refashion a new default world.

If this is what a midlife crisis looks like, I hope it never ends

I've known that the summer of 2015 would be epic, but little did I know what shape its memories would take. Having left my job two months ago, and with the benefit of one month remaining on my sabbatical-of-sorts, a few reflections worth sharing leap to my mind.

Fighting corruption in the surveillance state

I've had a chance to publicly critique the intelligence establishment several times this month. After being quoted by the Guardian as describing the proposed USA Freedom Act as "yesterday's news," I had a chance to visit Thom Hartmann several times on The Big Picture. Here's our on April 28 interview:

That visit was followed by a series of return appearances on The Big Picture.

Questioning police body cameras across the Midwest

This month, I had a chance to invite audiences in two midwestern cities at the center of the Black Lives Matter uprising to reconsider the conventional wisdom on police body cameras.

Challenging Mass Surveillance on Capitol Hill

Today, after publishing Back to Square One on Spying in the Hill, I spoke at a congressional briefing about a proposed bipartisan measure to repeal the twin statutory pillars of the surveillance state. Here's video of my remarks at the briefing:


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer