As social networking becomes a dominant feature of daily life, the secret state is increasingly surveilling electronic media for what it euphemistically calls "actionable intelligence."
Take the case of Elliot Madison. The 41-year-old anarchist was arrested in Pittsburgh September 24 at the height of G20 protests.
Madison, a social worker and volunteer with The People's Law Collective in New York City, was busted by a combined task force led by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and Pittsburgh's "finest." The activist was charged with "hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime," according to The New York Times.
Did the cops uncover a secret anarchist weapons' cache? Were Madison and codefendant, Michael Wallschlaeger, a producer with the radio talk show "This Week in Radical History" for the A-Infos Radio Project, about to detonate a "weapon of mass destruction" during last month's capitalist conclave that witnessed the obscene spectacle of our masters avidly conspiring to impoverish billions of the planet's inhabitants?
Hardly! In fact, Madison and Wallschlaeger's "crime" was to set up a communications center in a hotel room that alerted demonstrators to movements by the police, who after all, had viciously attacked protesters--and anyone else nearby--with heavy batons, tear gas and a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), a so-called "non-lethal" weapon.
Kitted-out with police scanners, computers and cell phones, the intrepid activists used a Twitter account to assist protesters eager to elude a thrashing by some 5,000 heavily armed camo-clad cops who had sealed-off downtown Pittsburgh to keep the area safe--from the First Amendment.