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The state of Pennsylvania has been paying a private contractor to spy on non-threatening protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, and then report on them to officials and corporate executives, and Gov. Ed Rendell says he's embarrassed by the situation.
Published reports in Pennsylvania said the state had paid a non-profit organization $125,000 to compile a list of protesters in order to protect "public infrastructure."
The work apparently involved protesters against shale gas drilling, a rally regarding education and anti-tax efforts.
The Department of Homeland Security then compiled a list of observations about the protesters and provided that to law enforcement and government officials as well as gas drilling companies, according to the Tribune-Review.