Police in £9m scheme to log ‘domestic extremists’
Police are gathering the personal details of thousands of activists who attend political meetings and protests, and storing their data on a network of nationwide intelligence databases.
The hidden apparatus has been constructed to monitor “domestic extremists”, the Guardian can reveal in the first of a three-day series into the policing of protests. Detailed information about the political activities of campaigners is being stored on a number of overlapping IT systems, even if they have not committed a crime.
Senior officers say domestic extremism, a term coined by police that has no legal basis, can include activists suspected of minor public order offences such as peaceful direct action and civil disobedience.
Anybody else here remember COINTELPRO, the FBI’s program on the 60s-70s to infiltrate civil rights and peace groups with spies and agents provacateurs?
Some ideas are too bad to die, it seems.