(WASHINGTON) -- Worries about homegrown terrorism have compelled the Department of Homeland Security to put together the largest database ever assembled of information collected on Americans, according to a story in the Washington Post.
Spurred by billions of dollars in grants to state governments since the 9/11 attacks, state and local authorities will collect data that the DHS says will help to enhance the counterterrorism efforts of the FBI.
Citing interviews and documents, the Post says that the database will include personal information on thousands of Americans, who may be judged to be acting suspiciously even if they’ve never been charged with breaking the law.
All together, more than 4,000 federal, state and local organizations are participating in this vast domestic spying network. In addition, surveillance technologies first used in Iraq and Afghanistan are being employed to keep a closer watch on Americans.
Naturally, news of this elaborate spy effort has alarmed privacy advocates, who argue the government is going too far in efforts to protect the public from terrorist attacks.
Michael German, a former FBI agent at the American Civil Liberties Union, cautions, “It opens a door for all kinds of abuses. How do we know there are enough controls?”
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