US Agencies Link Up to Spy on ... You

Thousands deemed 'suspicious' appear on giant database: WaPo probe
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2010 3:31 PM CST
US Agencies Link Up to Spy on ... You
Homeland security chief Janet Napolitano, left, is the 'public face' of the expansion, Priest and Arkin write. At center is FBI head Robert Mueller.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Aiming to fight home-grown terrorism, the US is linking local, state, FBI, and military resources to gather information about American citizens: It’s “the largest and most technologically sophisticated” domestic intelligence system the country has ever assembled, write Dana Priest and William Arkin after a Washington Post investigation that’s spanned several months, 100 interviews, and some 1,000 documents.

Among Post findings:

  • US law enforcement uses “techniques and technologies” developed for war
  • The FBI has created a “Guardian” database of—so far—almost 162,000 people who local police or citizens find suspicious but are “not accused of any crime.”
  • Law enforcement groups have hired employees with “extremist” views on terrorism and Islam that some intelligence officials call “inaccurate and harmful.”
  • The Department of Homeland Security piles up “alarmist and often useless” information for local agencies
  • Homeland security grants are being used to fight “everyday” crime
(More domestic intelligence stories.)

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