Commonwealth Fusion Center Violates Constitution, New Report Says

by Alex Marthews on April 10, 2014

Massachusetts has two “fusion centers”, mostly state-funded, which aggregate enormous amounts of data on innocent Massachusetts residents, with the notion of preventing terrorist attacks. When you call the “See Something, Say Something” line, the information goes into “Suspicious Activity Reports.” The ACLU of Massachusetts documented that the Boston fusion center (“BRIC”) had actually spent its […]

Boston PD Suspends ALPR Program After Massive Privacy Violation

by Alex Marthews on January 15, 2014

Just before Christmas, Muckrock and the ACLU of Massachusetts brought out excellent articles based on a full year of Muckrock’s investigative reporting into Boston PD’s use of automated license plate recognition technology. ALPR systems automatically photograph and store in a police database the license plates of any car an ALPR-equipped police vehicle passes. The car […]

Drowning in Data, Starved for Wisdom: The surveillance state cannot meaningfully assess terrorism risks

by Alex Marthews on April 26, 2013

The NSA has just vigorously denied that their new Utah Data Center, intended for storing and processing intelligence data, will be used to spy on US citizens. The center will have a capacity of at least one yottabyte, and will provide employment for 100-200 people. With the most generous assumptions [200 employees, all employed only […]

Joined-Up Government Can Be A Bad Thing

by Alex Marthews on December 14, 2012

The National Counterterrorism Center is now being allowed access to all governmental databases to trawl for suspicious activity. The Wall Street Journal (“U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens”) and the Volokh Conspiracy (“DHS Dresses Up A Turf Fight as a Privacy Issue While Ignoring the Lessons of 9/11″) both report on […]