On Monday, February 26th, we will join Digital Fourth volunteers in advocating for Senate President Harriette Chandler’s “Fundamental Freedoms Act“, which prohibits police registries on the basis of religion, and also would implement transparency and accountability reforms for Massachusetts’ three fusion centers*. If you’d like to come, meet us at the Hooker Entrance to the State House, under the statue, at 10:30am.
Fusion centers are part of the post-9/11 surveillance system setup by local, state and federal police. The Boston Police’s plan to spend $1.4 million on high-tech social media surveillance software would have enhanced the Boston Fusion Centers social media surveillance capabilities. The Boston Fusion Center was at the center of police surveillance of the Occupy Boston protest and at many political protests.
Additionally, all of the information that the NSA is unconstitutionally collecting on you: your emails, phone metadata, search history, Facebook posts and messages, and more are being shared with local law enforcement. From what Digital Fourth has been able to determine, no external body ever evaluates the accuracy or appropriateness of the data the fusion centers hold. While it doesn’t go as far as we want, the Fundamental Freedoms Act would help to rein in fusion center surveillance.
If you’re able to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and state senator or physical address; if you are willing to use Google Forms, you can submit that information here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1pOPnpohttReUH85rrmqcyHRgr9O_LU7fL_Hbl4m7__g.
For more background on the fusion center issue and the bill, this Digital Fourth article provides an introduction.
* The Commonwealth Fusion Center in Maynard, run out of the State Police; the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, run out of the Boston PD; and the new “State Watch Center” in Framingham).