New investigation reveals extent of police data collection and surveillance
All across America, police are stockpiling massive amounts of intimate data on people they meet. In most cases they are holding onto the information indefinitely, even though there was no reason for any charges to result from their encounter.
And many of the police departments are keeping the information hidden from the public, making oversight difficult.
Those were some of the findings of a year-long examination of the field contact practices of the nation’s 50 largest police departments, along with some of the top law enforcement agencies in South Carolina. The investigation was conducted by The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston, South Carolina.
Award-winning journalist Cheryl Chumley reported on the data collection practice in her 2014 book “Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality.” She warned that collecting data on Americans who aren’t charged with a crime – or in some cases, even suspected of a crime – flips the Constitution on its head and twists the standard “innocent until proven guilty” into “there is no such thing as innocence.”
“Watering down the Constitution this way sets the stage for the coming generations to see the government as their boss – an entity to not only respect, but fear,” Chumley told WND this week. “The Founding Fathers, on the other hand, wanted a government that was beholden to its citizens – a government that was kept at bay from encroaching on the God-given rights of its citizens by, say, the Second Amendment’s guarantee to bear arms, or the Fourth Amendment’s promise to be safe and secure in private property and possessions.”