Yves here. At first I thought I’d relegate this Real News Network piece to Links, but on further reflection, I decided it was too important for that. The segment recaps the main findings of a new book, Enemies Within, about a heretofore secret operation in the NYPD. This might appear to be a local story, but think twice. The NYPD has been the leader in the militarization of police operations in the US. Bloomberg has even boasted that he has the seventh-biggest army in the world. This is the future of policing in the parts of the US with enough money to support this level of surveillance.
The NYPD “demographics unit” engages in neighborhood-based intelligence gathering. That might not be so terrible if it was done evenhandedly, across all precincts. Police in Japan similarly place a great premium on knowing the routines in their patrol areas. But this is intelligence gathering on groups deemed to be suspicious in the areas where they live. So even though it’s Muslims now, it’s not hard to imagine it was Brooklyn hipsters in Occupy two years ago.