Despite the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have made a habit of spying on the citizenry. But in the 21st century, the internet and the ability of computers to store and process vast amounts of data has allowed the government to collect vast amounts of data about each of us.
Government surveillance goes well beyond the NSA/FBI mass surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s automatic license plate readers have been recording our travel for decades; the FBI’s domain awareness program records where we travel, record has been recording license plates for decades, Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (run by DHS and the FBI respectively) gather information.
It’s a story of innocence and double-cross, of race and class and rat infestation and cops swinging batons. And Frank Wilkinson, one of the founders of this organization, was at the heart of it all.
DHS is responsible for a number of areas where civil liberties are concerned. It oversees immigration enforcement, as well as, the US response to the border. DHS has been implicated in the monitoring of domestic social movements. It is therefore highly inappropriate that Kelly, given his background of human rights abuses and anti-civil libertarian views, would be named to head the DHS.
More Than 50 House Democrats Call on Obama Admin to Completely Dismantle Discriminatory NSEERS Registration System Before New Aministration Begins
The Obama Administration effectively ended the program in 2011; however, the apparatus remains. House Democrats are calling for the NSEERS regulatory framework to be eliminated.
On Monday, November 21, Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons introduced an ordinance to require transparency and oversight of police surveillance technology.