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The government is creating a vast domestic spying network to collect information about Americans in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks and subsequent terror plots, The Washington Post reported Monday.
The government is using for this purpose the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators, the daily added.
The system collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of US citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing, the report noted.
The government's goal is to have every state and local law
Trash collectors to serve as eyes and ears in the street for police
Waste Management workers are out and about when almost everyone else is not. Except someone who might be up to no good.
A former FBI agent recently trained all Waste Management drivers, helpers and technicians in Rensselaer and Albany Counties to act as a mobile community watch.
"They're on these routes every day so they're used to the normal situation so they are able to recognize a non-normal situation," explains Ken Bevis of Waste Management. Trucks are now armed with a cell phone, camera and incident reports so they'll have accurate information for police and, possibly, prosecutors.
"The drivers understand their main job is to observe and report and let authorities do their job," explains Bevis.
Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.
The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
The government's goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States.
Other democracies - Britain and Israel, to name two - are well acquainted with such domestic security measures. But for the United States, the sum of these new activities represents a new level of governmental scrutiny.
This localized intelligence apparatus is part of a larger Top Secret America created since the attacks. In July, The Washington Post described an alternative geography of the United States, one that has grown so large, unwieldy and secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or how many programs exist within it.