Homeland Security program using Firefighters to spy on citizens

FromGovExec.com:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Firefighters in major cities are being trained to
take on a new role as lookouts for terrorism, raising concerns of
eroding their standing as American icons and infringing on people’s
privacy.

Unlike police, firefighters and emergency medical
personnel don’t need warrants to access hundreds of thousands of homes
and buildings each year, putting them in a position to spot behavior
that could indicate terrorist activity or planning.

But there are
fears that they could lose the faith of a skeptical public by becoming
the eyes of the government, looking for suspicious items such as
building blueprints or bomb-making manuals or materials.

SNIP

The Homeland Security Department is testing a program with the New
York City fire department to share intelligence information so
firefighters are better prepared when they respond to emergency calls.
Homeland Security also trains the New York City fire service in how to
identify material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities.
If it’s successful, the government intends to expand the program to
other major metropolitan areas.

As part of the program, which
started last December, Homeland Security gave secret clearances to nine
New York fire chiefs, according to reports obtained by The Associated
Press.

SNIP

When going to private residences, for example, they are told to be
alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or
discontent with the United States; unusual chemicals or other materials
that seem out of place; ammunition, firearms or weapons boxes;
surveillance equipment; still and video cameras; night-vision goggles;
maps, photos, blueprints; police manuals, training manuals, flight
manuals; and little or no furniture other than a bed or mattress.

The trial program with Homeland Security opens a clear
information-sharing channel – which did not exist before – between the
fire service and Homeland Security’s intelligence division.

5 thoughts on “Homeland Security program using Firefighters to spy on citizens

  1. MapleStreet says:

    They are to look out for people expressing discontent with the US? That should be only a small number of people?
    And look for weapons and ammo? It looks like the NRA crowd was right all along about confiscating their weapons !

  2. Tom says:

    Welcome to Amerikkka! Next up, opening your first class mail to make sure you are safe from brown people. We are doomed.

  3. catherine says:

    “When going to private residences, for example, they are told to be alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States; unusual chemicals or other materials that seem out of place; ammunition, firearms or weapons boxes; surveillance equipment; still and video cameras; night-vision goggles; maps, photos, blueprints; police manuals, training manuals, flight manuals; and little or no furniture other than a bed or mattress.”
    So, yer terrist types are likely to leave these things lying around, are they? Well they certainly won’t now that they’ve been warned. Get a life, DHS.

  4. Robin says:

    This is so beyond funny. So…lets say a retired airline pilot who is a black and white art photographer with a darkroom in his bathroom and whose wife recently left him and took all the furniture is completely upset at the United States Court system for making him pay his wife alimony. He is building a storage shed in the rear of his Brooklyn brownstone and so has a hand drawn blueprint on his living room table, a room sparsly furnished because the wife took all the furniture. He is an avid hunter who likes to travel upstate every once in a while to hunt game and the night vision goggles assist him in his pursuits. His son in law is a police officer up in Albany but he studied for his lieutenant’s exam while in New York City visiting his father in law over Easter. He accidentally left the book behind. The man’s building has been broken into several times and so he has a security system set up. One evening, while cooking a can of chili on his tiny gas stove, a fire erupts. The FDNY shows up and freaks out. Although the man is of caucasion descent, his last name is Malik and he has grown a heavy beard because he is totally sick of shaving…his wife hated beards. He is arrested and sent to guantanamo as a terrorist…wait!!!

  5. scout says:

    hee hee Robin

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