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EVA O’KEEFE, San Clemente

To the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) Board of Directors:

How would you feel if a government agency suddenly popped up to follow you on your social media account?  Would you be comfortable showing pictures of your kids? Your friends? This isn’t fantasy, but it’s the tactics used by the TCA. Did the TCA Board of Directors authorize their lobbying firm Venture Strategic or any of the “paid consultants” to follow citizens in the community on social media?

The account www.howsthedrive.com – a TCA sponsored account has been “following” citizens in San Clemente.

Since when does the TCA’s charter allow spying on private citizen’s social media accounts?

I find it appalling that a public agency would engage in such actions. After all, contrary to what Lisa Bartlett may say, the TCA takes plenty of taxpayer funds under the “development” program, and enjoys taxpayer-funded maintenance of roads. In fact, the TCA has already taken over $3 billion in development funds from Orange County. Did this huge sum slip Ms. Bartlett’s mind?

I hope that there is a full investigation on the activities the TCA is engaging in regarding the continued first and fourth amendment violations, and the violations of privacy of the citizens of San Clemente.

The city of San Clemente has a right to defend itself against the TCA, the same way as Pasadena did against the 710 and many cities did against the El Toro airport or the airplane noise. The TCA is practicing bad government and they need to be held accountable.

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comments (2)

  • It is perfectly OK for an organization to monitor social media to find out what is happening in an area. If you are trying to build a structure or running a political campaign or funding efforts to change legislation then it is legal to monitor social media for activity – social media is in the public.

    It would be in appropriate for a foreign government to do this to influence a campaign (although if you voted for trump you think this is fine).

    If an organization is against a road etc being built if it doesn’t want to inform its opposition of what they are saying in social media they had better set up private systems to communicate and figure out ways to make sure they are not infiltrated by the opposition.

    Posting messages on social media in public is like holding your meetings on a public street with each of you with you name plastered on your back or front. In that case you can’t complain that someone notes the information.

    A public entity’s job is to be informed about public opinion, who is for and against what issues that can help them decide how to approach an issue.

    If you were against a project you could use this to your advantage – show in the social media how much opposition there is to a project and this could help your cause

  • Just a quick google of your name shows you are vey active against the road project so it makes sense for them to see what you are saying. You have a right to publish and speak your mind but so do they. Of course its scary when you are the focus. I had my complete CV /resume copied from LinkedIn by an activist group and used to try to trash me in a media article written on a blog without any space for me to respond. Unfortunately you have brought the focus on yourself but if you have facts to back up your complaints at least you have someone to complain to. Based on your blog it looks like you want to do this in public as well. So it looks like you like playing their game.. Having fought against local government corrupted by local politics (I fought against a gun club and eventually won in a supreme court ruling), the best way to overcome is through legal actions and sometimes when even you have the facts in your favor the best way to block is on violations of process.

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