Police Use Surveillance Zones To Monitor Private Internet Purchases Or Swaps

By MassPrivateI

Police departments across the country are creating “Safe Exchange Zones” in front of police stations or inside them to monitor internet purchases or swaps 24/7.

According to Newsweek, police have been encouraging the public to conduct internet purchases or swaps at police-run Internet Exchange Zones since at least 2016.

“Yes, it’s real,” Charlette Solis, Mobile PD’s public affairs officer, “It’s for people who made transactions in Craigslist or elsewhere to meet up and make that purchase. The Police Department is a safer place to make those exchanges than just anywhere.”

If I have learned anything in my nearly 10 years of blogging, it is the mass media’s penchant for stoking the public’s fear.

Last year NJ.com’s article titled, “Found an internet deal? Here’s the only place you should meet the seller,” starts out warning the public about the dangers of selling or exchanging items on the internet. And then it claims the only place one should sell or exchange items is in front of a police station.

Another article in WRDW Channel 12 spews the same rhetoric saying, “crimes related to internet exchanges happen every couple of months in our area.”

A recent article in The Metro West Daily News reveals that police departments want people to conduct their exchanges inside police stations.

“The Southborough Police Department strongly encourages the public to come into the lobby to conduct their business as an added measure, Police Chief Kenneth Paulhus said. “Anyone not willing to do so should set off a warning sign (to the other party) that they should re-consider the sale.”

According to this logic, if someone is afraid to sell or exchange something in front of or inside a police station, then they should be viewed with suspicion. Welcome to America 2019, where even private transactions are considered suspicious.

Police are excited to use CCTV cameras to monitor private purchases

Police in Natick, Mass are also thrilled to use CCTV cameras to identify people and monitor internet exchanges.

“We certainly welcome anyone needing a safe place to conduct this type of transaction to use our lobby to do so,” she said. “We are open 24/7/365 and our doors are always open. We do not have signage such as I have seen elsewhere, but it is not uncommon for people to use the lobby or front of the station for this,” Natick police spokeswoman Lt. Cara Rossi said.

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As Newsweek noted, police-run Safe Exchange Zones are everywhere.

Not only is this thing real, it’s also everywhere, according to Solis. From Farmer’s Branch, Texas, to Fairfax, Virginia, to Kaysville, Utah, police departments have set up zones right outside their stations to allow online transactions to happen in peace and comfort.

How can police identify people making internet purchases or swaps?

Below is a list of six devices police departments commonly use to identify people:

  1. CCTV cameras
  2. License plate readers
  3. CLEAR Thomson Reuters
  4. Lexis Nexis Lumen
  5. Facial recognition
  6. Stingray (cell phone signal interceptors)

None of those news articles mentioned anything about the loss of anonymity that occurs when letting law enforcement monitor everyone’s online purchases or exchanges.

Big Brother’s latest public safety sales pitch is designed around the possibility of theft, kidnapping or murder, and using that fear to justify more surveillance cameras.

According to a recent study, America needs less surveillance cameras not more. The US already has the largest number of surveillance cameras per person in the world.

The study found found that the US tops the list when it comes to the number of surveillance camera installations per capita, with 50 million CCTVs monitoring the entire US population of over 327 million people.

We all need to wake up to the fact that our fears of terror and crime are being used as an excuse to create a national CCTV surveillance network.

You can read more at the MassPrivateI blog, where this article first appeared.

Top image: Newsweek

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