US Agencies Link Up to Spy on ... You

Thousands deemed 'suspicious' appear on giant database: WaPo probe
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 20, 2010 3:31 PM CST
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)

(Newser) – 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

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