Silicon Valley Democratic Socialists of America Chapter Committee condemns the recent introduction of Assembly Bill 642, legalizing law enforcement use of facial recognition technology (FRT) in California. We further condemn the recent co-sponsorship of AB642 by SV-DSA member and District 25 State Assemblymember Alex Lee. Only determined and militant social movements can chart a safe and just future for Californians and for the world. AB 642 will open the door to intensified surveillance on already over-policed communities and movements that challenge the status quo.
Assemblymember Lee retweeted the claim AB 642 is needed to institute oversight over facial recognition, given the impending sunset of the extant FRT ban and the Assembly’s failure to extend it last year. We reject this logic wholesale – the place of socialists is at the leading edge of the struggle for a just society, not tinkering at the margins in the vain hope of staving off further defeat. Another bill attempting to re-extend the FRT ban (AB 1034) is already in committee – Lee should show real leadership by putting his support behind it.
We condemn AB642 in the strongest terms and call upon Alex Lee to withdraw his co-sponsorship immediately.