And, the author reports, this information — obtained using these taxpayer-funded resources — promptly was shared with those whom Occupy organized to protest. Police officials passed along details to downtown Phoenix bank executives and the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization that joins corporate executives and lobbyists with lawmakers to produce conservative "model" laws. For instance, ALEC created the framework for Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the state's draconian anti-immigrant law.
The PPD devoted significant time and resources to the probe, despite its officials noting that there was paltry participation in the local Occupy movement compared to movements in other U.S. cities.
"It's part of a surveillance state that's crept up on us, but is larger than people realize," Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, tells New Times. "We've seen this kind of monitoring . . . of political-protest activity . . . for decades."
Boghosian says the difference is that the Internet and social media have made it easier for local and federal law enforcement "to gather information on, and track with more sophistication, the activities of politically active individuals in the United States."A behind-the-scenes look at the government's probing of Valley Occupy activists and protesters was a prelude to what has been referred to in recent weeks as "Orwellian" government tactics on several fronts. ....