Feds Testing Technology to Film “Terrorists” With Cell Phones

by Will Potter on March 12, 2008

in Surveillance

Big BrotherSaw this at the great new blog Little Brother.

USA Today reports:

The Homeland Security Department is testing technology that would allow its agents to use cellphones or e-mail devices to covertly share live video of possible terrorists over a law enforcement network…

A live video feed could be shared with “dozens or hundreds of authorized users,” Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa says.

It could help agents identify and track down a suspect, help police find a lost child or guide firefighters to disaster victims, Kudwa says. It could be a “very valuable” tool in the government’s security and emergency-response efforts, she says.

Yes, yes, Ms. Kudwa, I’m sure it could be used to help get little Timmy out of the well. And I’m sure it could be used to help firefighters rescue kittens from trees. But let’s get serious here: law enforcement would also be using this technology to “covertly share live video of possible terrorists” at, oh, I dunno, protests like the upcoming RNC protests in Minneapolis (just like police have videotaped and harassed activists at previous mass events, like antiwar protests, Critical Mass bike rides, the RNC in New York City, and on and on and on).

In terms of the “Green Scare,” politicians and law enforcement often cite the fact that protestors wear masks as evidence of malicious intent, and even “eco-terrorism.” That may or may not be the case sometimes. But plenty of folks just don’t like having photos taken of them and entered into databases, not knowing how any of it will be used.

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