Private Security Firm Found Spying on Pennsylvania Citizens

A central Pennsylvania newspaper investigation has uncovered evidence that the state’s Office of Homeland Security and a private contractor it hired recruited citizen spies and reported on “security threats” in anti-natural gas drilling groups, peace activists and gay rights organizations.

The state’s OHS compared environmental activists to Al-Qaeda, tracked down protestors and fed suspicions about them to dozens of companies, including natural gas drillers and The Hershey Co., according to The Patriot-News.

A series of email bulletins published by the newspaper in September showed that the private security contractor focused not on Islamists or Neo-Nazis, but on activist groups of all political persuasions.

The contractor argued that non-violent groups could conduct “demonstrations and campaigns that can close down a facility and embarrass a company.”

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