Ok, since ello is still a moderately private place (privacy through obscurity), I feel safe venting about this.
It's worth noting that Oakland is the first city that I know of in the country to fight back against DHS this way. Many other cities: NYC, DC, Boston, Chicago, etc have all implemented such systems, with virtually no oversight. Maybe it's because of Oakland's political nature, and maybe it's because we were heavily brutalized using equipment DHS gave to the Oakland PD, but a resounding consensus is to tell the federal government to go fuck itself.
As a nation (and a global community) we're in the midst of a massive discussion on both government abuses, lack of oversight, and removal of any kind of accountability. In addition, we're in an economic situation where a lot of people are either unemployed or underemployed, and those who have jobs are fighting to keep them against things like at-will employment, expensive wrongful termination lawsuits, and jobs simply being outsourced overseas. Among other things, this has lead to a tension of hopelessness, a feeling that if you have money you'll get your way, and a general assertion that if the federal government wants something, they will get it, and anyone who fights them will be burned.
Translate this into a committee where such warring factions are going at it pretty strongly. The "feeling of safety" argument that keeps getting injected into the public id has caused people to throw out evidence and logic, and embrace an appeal to authority anti-logic in which questioning power makes you a terrorist or a conspiracy nut. It's difficult watching people attempt to impose really poorly crafted language into this policy: either they are heartless neocons, or (as I prefer to think) simply don't understand the long term ramifications of what's going on.
Whew ok. I should stop ranting before I disclose parts of an unfinished process, but the frustration is real.