Privacy SOS

Occupy Boston: lookout for undercovers if you are talking to your lawyer

All Massachusetts residents, but particularly activists, should be aware that the Commonwealth Fusion Center (CFC), the state's spy-hub founded with DHS cash, allows its undercover agents to do a whole range of unsavory things while investigating First Amendment protected activities. The following paragraph in the CFC's "Guidelines for Investigations Involving First Amendment Activity" spells out how undercovers are allowed to "adopt a false persona" and engage with the group as a purported member:

You might have assumed that your local or state police were engaging in this kind of Hoover-esque, FBI-like spying on protected political speech and association. But did you know that the undercover officers snooping at these gatherings are allowed to remain in the room when a lawyer is giving confidential legal advice to a group or person? This is a particularly troublesome policy given the open, leaderless nature of the Occupy movements. Here's the fine print:

Read the whole thing here.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.