The Fusion Center, aka The Maine Police Central Spy Agency, discussed in the Press Herald on June 25 (Page A1), could not obtain any warrant-free information in a timely manner without facial-recognition software.

I say this as a former IT professional. This software labels camera surveillance, giving names, capturing information about Mainers, peaceful protesters, innocent citizens and group members, bypassing all required warrants and legal safeguards that are constitutionally protected.

Those who defend this agency are showing us how dictators act. We must stand up as a free people and say “No.” We must not only make this kind of activity illegal, but we also must insist that every bit of this information be destroyed and observed by witnesses (with IT expertise) representing the public as well as documentation of its destruction. Nothing less should be tolerated.

We will be closely watching our Legislature for following up their hearings with real, verifiable actions to shut this process down. Such an agency should never be tolerated by a free people. The Constitution provides the police with the right to go before a judge and request a search warrant pertaining to a crime. The Fusion Center bypasses the Constitution, which is the safeguard of our freedom.

David M.W. Travers

Westbrook

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