To free ourselves from surveillance and other repressive and authoritarian forms of power that this opens up, we must immediately activate the mechanisms of law that allow us to oversee the functions of mass surveillance systems in our cities. And do this collectively, in coordination with other cities affected by the problem. Just as there are Smart Cities networks we should form our own Rebel Cities networks where surveillance is rejected and participatory democracy is affirmed, a democracy framed in respect for human rights and diversity, focused on collective solutions, which is the true path to safer cities. Not cameras.
We can then simultaneously activate collaborative mechanisms to prevent their expansion. Make freedom of information requests for public information detailing their costs. Demand studies on their results. Take serious legal action in face of possible illegal uses of surveillance for discriminatory policies. Demand from authorities protection of personal data where it exists, and where it does not, demand that human rights authorities undertake feasibility studies, weighing the impact on individual guarantees before installing systems. Democracy begins and ends there. In its exercise.
This is why it matters who gets elected to city council.
"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan