Official anti-terrorism civilian snoop program to be expanded

The US's "Terrorism Liaison Officer" program is being expanded — this is a program that trains utility workers and other government employees to snitch on people whom they deem "suspicious" and embroil them in a never-ending round of Orwellian surveillance and background checks.

Because nothing helps us find the terrorist needles in the haystack like inviting every junior G-Man in the land to make the haystacks larger!

In Colorado, TLOs report not only illegal but legal activity, such as bulk purchases along Colorado's Front Range of up to 150 disposable cellphones. TLO supervisors said these bulk buys were suspicious because similar phones are used as remote detonators for bombs overseas and can be re-sold to fund terrorism.

Taking photos or videos can be deemed suspicious because "surveillance is a precursor to terrorist activity," said Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Steve Garcia, an analyst in Colorado's intelligence fusion center south of Denver, which handles TLO-supplied information.

Colorado, California and Arizona are among the first to deploy TLOs after establishing robust state-run fusion centers, which initially relied on tips from private citizens. Federal security agents now sit in 25 of those centers, including Colorado's.