Sunday, June 09, 2013
It’s not just the NSA watching us
by Larry Geller
The Guardian and Washington Post stories have certainly aroused public awareness of the extent to which we are being spied upon. Will this be a mere flash in the pan, will we return to idle complacency?
In the meantime, here is an article posted Friday on non-NSA government spying. For details, please see the full article:
In February 2010, Tom Jiunta and a small group of residents in northeastern Pennsylvania formed the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition (GDAC), an environmental organization opposed to hydraulic fracturing in the region.
News of the surveillance broke in September 2010 when the director of the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security, James Powers, mistakenly sent an email to an anti-drilling activist he believed was sympathetic to the industry, warning her not to post the bulletins online. The activist was Virginia Cody, a retired Air Force officer. In his email to Cody, Powers wrote:
“We want to continue providing this support to the Marcellus Shale Formation natural gas stakeholders while not feeding those groups fomenting dissent against those same companies.”
The tri-weekly bulletins featured a wide range of supposed threats to the state’s infrastructure. It included warnings about Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, pro-life activists and Tea Party protesters. The bulletins also included information about when and where groups like GDAC would be meeting, upcoming protests and anti-fracking activists’ internal strategy. The raw data was followed by a threat assessment—low, moderate, severe or critical—and a brief analysis.