Terror watch uses local eyes

Privacy advocates worry that officers’ snooping will entangle innocent people.

Hundreds of police, firefighters, paramedics and even utility workers have been trained and recently dispatched as “Terrorism Liaison Officers in Colorado and a handful of other statres to hunt for “suspicious activity” – and are reporting their findings into secret government databases. U.S. intelligence and homeland security officials say they support the widening use of TLOs – state-run under federal agreements – as part of a necessary integrated network for preventing attacks. But the vague nature of TLOs’ mission and their focus on reporting both legal and illegal activity has generated objections from privacy advocates and civil libertarians.

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