Is San Francisco turning into a police state?

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

Much like the local police station, San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission has proposed that all bars and clubs be required to photo and collect ID information from everyone who passes through the door.

After getting your mandatory photo and giving away your personal details, the bar would have an ongoing list of exactly who attended what function on which night.

Is San Francisco turning into a police state?Aside from the gross violation of fourth amendment rights, the Entertainment Commission didn’t even put forth a valid reason for the law.

From a security standpoint, handing over your personal details and photo at seedy bars where people have access to it opens the doors for all sorts of security issues like identity theft or stalking.

Unsurprisingly, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released a statement strongly objecting to the proposal.

"Events with strong cultural, ideological, and political components are frequently held at venues that would be affected by these rules. Scanning the ID's of all attendees at an anti-war rally, a gay night club, or a fundraiser for a civil liberties organization would have a deeply chilling effect on speech.

"Participants might hesitate to attend such events if their attendance were noted, stored, and made available on request to government authorities. This would transform the politically and culturally tolerant environment for which San Francisco is famous into a police state."

"We are deeply disappointed in the San Francisco Entertainment Commission for considering such troubling, authoritarian, and poorly thought-out rules. The Commission should reject this attack on our most basic civil liberties. San Francisco cannot hope to remain a hub of cultural and political activity if we are stripped of our civil liberties the moment we walk through the door of a venue.”

(Via Boing Boing)