Matthew says: "The ACLU has released Suspicious Activity Report summaries obtained from California fusion centers (post-9/11 intergovernmental surveillance hubs) and is asking the Justice Department, the FBI, and two other agencies to adopt stricter standards so that individuals' innocent activity will cease being reported, shared and maintained in anti-terrorism databases.
"Here are some examples of real Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs):
"Suspicious ME [Middle Eastern] Males Buy Several Large Pallets of Water"
"I was called out to the above address regarding a male who was taking photographs of the [name of facility blacked out] [in Commerce, California]. The male stated, he is an artist and enjoys photographing building[s] in industrial areas … [and] stated he is a professor at San Diego State private college, and takes the photos for his art class."
A sergeant from the Elk Grove Police Department reported "on a suspicious individual in his neighborhood"; the sergeant had "long been concerned about a residence in his neighborhood occupied by a Middle Eastern male adult physician who is very unfriendly"
"Demonstration Against Law Enforcement Use of Excessive Force": "Reporting party received an e-mail that describes a scheduled protest by an unknown number of individuals on July 7, 2012. The information indicates the protestors are concerned about the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers."
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects