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Police use homeland security grants to keep tabs

David E. Kaplan of U.S. News & World Report identified nearly a dozen cases in which city and county police, in the name of homeland security, have surveilled or harassed animal-rights and antiwar protesters, union activists, and even library patrons surfing the Web. The inquiry found federal officials have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into state and local police intelligence operations. Guidelines for protecting privacy and civil liberties have lagged far behind the federal money. After four years of doling out homeland security grants to police departments, federal officials released guidelines for the conduct of local intelligence operations only last year; the standards are voluntary and are being implemented slowly. The problems evoke memories of the now-discredited Red Squads that wreaked havoc against the civil rights and antiwar movements in the 1960s and early '70s.

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