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Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology — and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.
Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it’s the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation’s ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented.
The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.
According to a press release (pdf) dated June 6, 2012, TrapWire is “designed to provide a simple yet powerful means of collecting and recording suspicious activity reports.” A system of interconnected nodes spot anything considered suspect and then input it into the system to be “analyzed and compared with data entered from other areas within a network for the purpose of identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.”
In a 2009 email included in the Anonymous leak, Stratfor Vice President for Intelligence Fred Burton is alleged to write,“TrapWire is a technology solution predicated upon behavior patterns in red zones to identify surveillance. It helps you connect the dots over time and distance.” Burton formerly served with the US Diplomatic Security Service, and Abraxas’ staff includes other security experts with experience in and out of the Armed Forces.
What is believed to be a partnering agreement included in the Stratfor files from August 13, 2009 indicates that they signed a contract with Abraxas to provide them with analysis and reports of their TrapWire system (pdf).
I just think this community is being targeted by the police because we're speaking out.- Ricardo Hurtado
The dead man's sister, Lupe Diaz, said Sunday that her brother was "just hanging out with friends" before the shooting. "There is no explanation," Diaz said. "It's not fair."
On Saturday, as demonstrators gathered at the scene of the shooting, Anaheim officers fired bean bags and pepper spray into a crowd of protestors. Welter said Sunday the move was in response to "some known gang members" who had begun throwing bottles and rocks at officers. Also, Welter said a K-9 police dog accidentally escaped from an officer's vehicle and rushed into the crowd, biting demonstrators in an attack caught on video.
At least one person received medical treatment; it was unclear if anyone else was injured, the chief said Sunday.
"Officers in this situation can't retreat," Welter said, defending the officers' decision to fire at the demonstrators. "If we would have abandoned the scene, we would not be doing our job."
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