Pennsylvania Homeland Security monitored residents’ tweets

David Edwards
Raw Story

Emails recently released from a Right-To-Know request show that the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security monitored the twitter activity of law-abiding citizens.

The emails, obtained by the website, show that a private firm used twitter to collect intelligence on anti-war protests as a part of their contract with the department.

Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR) monitored the activities of the Berks Peace Community, a group of Quaker-affiliated senior citizens, who routinely meet on the Penn State Bridge in Reading to protest America’s “war habit.”

Collecting intelligence by monitoring tweets is “part of the intelligence effort that is conducted daily… on behalf of the PA Office of Homeland Security,” according to the emails.

The former director of Homeland Security, Jim Powers, forwarded an ITRR “alert” email to William Heim, chief of the Reading Police, on July 3 to notify him that a protest was planned on the Penn State Bridge. ITRR had found out about the protest by monitoring the Act Now To Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) website.

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