Dy’er Sez: This is extremely disturbing from a civil liberties and privacy perspective. No offence to the Brighthouse employees being trained, but what gives them the right to think they are Sherlock Holmes when they drive past your home or, for that matter, enter into it.
A few years back, the DOJ under Bush tried to roll out something called The Terrorism Information and Prevention System (or Operation TIPS, see here and here) which trained people (specifically larger groups of people like those who worked for large companies or government agencies, like the Post Office) to look for signs of ‘Domestic Terrorism”. Some of the indicators these snoops were supposed to be looking for were people taking photos of no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements or notes, espousing extremist beliefs, conversing in code or behavior that may seem out of place (hopefully I don’t have to go into how inane and intrusive this list of watch items is). The whole program was supposed to have been abandoned a few years back, but it appears that either it is back or that it never really left (a similar program has been rolled out in Colorado recently for police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics and Utility workers).
But how do these programs define suspicious activities? The training for Brighthouse workers is being handled by the Central Florida Crimeline (or the good folks who brought us the 1-800-TIPS line), but there is no information on their site about what the training entails or what Brighthouse workers might be snooping for (Note: I have sent Brighthouse an e-mail asking what the training entails, but have not received a response as of yet. There is no contact info for the Central Florida Crimeline on thier site, other than resources to report a crime). Perhaps they are going by the recent MIAC report for Law enforcement in Missouri which described potential domestic terrorists as anyone who has bumper stickers of third-party political candidates (like Ron Paul or Bon Barr), or display certain flags from the history of our country (like the “Don’t tread on me”) or people who watch certain documentaries (like the film Zeitgeist).
Or, maybe they are relying on the Dept. of Homeland Security release in May which described people who rely on alternative news as possible terrorists. The description of “Alternative Media” according to that document is: “a term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.” In other words, if you utilize something other than what the corporate mass media reports as news and commentary, you may be looked at as a potential terrorist.
Programs like these are setting a very dangerous precedent and are potentially setting us up as some sort of Big Brother police state.
Story from PrisonPlanet (original story from FOX35, Orlando):
Cable TV Workers Trained To Spy On Citizens
Paul Joseph Watson
One of the largest cable TV companies in the United States is training its employees to look for suspicious behavior and report it to police under the guise of a neighborhood watch initiative. Since according to law enforcement and Homeland Security guidelines, suspicious behavior includes owning guns, being politically active, and having bumper stickers on your car, the cable guy’s next visit to your house may turn out to have more interesting consequences than you originally anticipated.
“Operation Bright Eyes is designed to maximize the eyes and ears of Bright House Networks field service representatives and other employees to easily identify suspicious behavior and to quickly report criminal activities to police,” according to a Fox 35 report.
All current and new Bright House employees will receive training to help them use the ‘resources at their disposal’ to “become familiar with residents and activities in neighborhoods” and report anything they deem unusual to the authorities in order to “keep our neighborhoods safe”.
Since when was it the job of the cable guy to run around pretending to be an undercover cop? This program is ripe for abuse and another advancement in the tattle-tale stasi society being created in order to make the sheeple self-police their behavior, constantly aware that they are being watched by secret police and living in fear that big brother will catch any minor indiscretion.