The ACLU relaunched its Spyfiles site today with the release of report that found over 100 specific incidents of political surveillance and harassment by U.S. law enforcement agencies in 33 states and the District of Columbia since 9/11. For those of you that read this blog regularly, that’s not a huge surprise.
From fusion centers to the infiltration of peace groups, domestic spying by law enforcement has been steadily climbing as the federal government puts pressure on our state and local officials to get heavily involved in counterterrorism efforts.
We can never forget that our country has a long, sordid past with political spying. The FBI’s COINTELPRO program was a classic, as was the CIA’s Operation Chaos. Some slightly more recent hits include the Denver Police Department labeling a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Quaker organization and a 73-year-old nun “criminal extremists,” and another case, just settled this week, of a war protestor under surveillance who was arrested on false DUI charges in order to keep him from attending a protest.
Stories like this, the ACLU has found, are quickly becoming a dime a dozen, but we remain determined to prevent the emergence of a domestic secret police apparatus in this country. And we’re hoping Spyfiles will help that cause.
The new and improved Spyfiles site is meant to be a resource for not only reporters and researchers, but the American public. The site has all of the documents we’ve amassed from state and federal records requests and a wealth of other relevant, useful material. Plus it comes with this sweet map!
So, head on over to take a peek at who’s been keeping an eye on you…