Government Surveillance of Occupy Movement

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Special Report by Center for Media and Democracy and DBA Press

Dissent or Terror-cover200px.jpg

- by Beau Hodai, CMD/DBA

On May 20, 2013, DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy 
released the results of a year-long investigation: "Dissent or Terror:
 How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With 
Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

 The report, a distillation of thousands of pages of records obtained
 from counter terrorism/law enforcement agencies, details how
 state/regional "fusion center" personnel monitored the Occupy Wall
 Street movement over the course of 2011 and 2012.

The report also examines how fusion centers and other counter terrorism entities that 
have emerged since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have
 worked to benefit numerous corporations engaged in public-private
 intelligence sharing partnerships. 

While the report examines many instances of fusion center monitoring
 of Occupy activists nationwide, the bulk of the report 
details how counter terrorism personnel engaged in the Arizona Counter
 Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC, commonly known as the "Arizona fusion center") monitored and otherwise surveilled citizens active in
 Occupy Phoenix, and how this surveillance benefited a number of 
corporations and banks that were subjects of Occupy Phoenix protest 
activity.


While small glimpses into the governmental monitoring of the Occupy Wall Street movement have emerged in the past, there has not been any reporting -- until now -- that details the breadth and depth with which the nation's post-September 11, 2001 counter terrorism apparatus has been applied to politically engaged citizens exercising their Constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights.

REPORT Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's 'Counter Terrorism' Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street

REPORT APPENDIX open records materials cited in report.

PRESS RELEASE "New Report Details How Counter Terrorism Apparatus Was Used to Monitor Occupy Movement Nationwide"(PDF)

SOURCE MATERIALS almost 10,000 pages of open records materials are archived on DBA Press.

PRWATCH ARTICLES:

Key Findings

Key findings of this report include:

  • How law enforcement agencies active in the Arizona fusion
 center dispatched an undercover officer to infiltrate activist groups
 organizing both protests of the American Legislative Exchange Council 
(ALEC) and the launch of Occupy Phoenix and how the work of this 
undercover officer benefited ALEC and the private corporations that
 were the subjects of these demonstrations.


  • How fusion centers, funded in large part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, expended countless hours and tax dollars in the monitoring of 
Occupy Wall Street and other activist groups.

   
  • How the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has financed
 social media "data mining" programs at local law enforcement agencies engaged in fusion centers.


  • How counter terrorism government employees applied facial
 recognition technology, drawing from a state database of driver's
 license photos, to photographs found on Facebook in the effort to 
profile citizens believed to be associated with activist groups.

   
  • How corporations have become part of the homeland security “information sharing environment” with law enforcement/intelligence agencies through various public-private intelligence sharing partnerships. The report examines multiple instances in which the counter terrorism/homeland security apparatus was used to gather intelligence relating to activists for the benefit of corporate interests that were the subject of protests. 

   
  • How private groups and individuals, such as Charles Koch, 
Chase Koch (Charles' son and a Koch Industries executive), Koch 
Industries, and the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council 
have hired off-duty police officers -- sometimes still armed and in
 police uniforms -- to perform the private security functions of keeping
 undesirables (reporters and activists) at bay.

   
  • How counter terrorism personnel monitored the protest
 activities of citizens opposed to the indefinite detention language
 contained in National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
  • How the FBI applied "Operation Tripwire," an initiative
 originally intended to apprehend domestic terrorists through the use
 of private sector informants, in their monitoring of Occupy Wall 
Street groups. [Note: this issue was reported on exclusively by DBA/CMD in December, 2012.]

Press