As lawsuits begin to be filed following the disclosure that Pennsylvania was spying on activists, comparing them with anarchists and terrorists then providing that intelligence to gas drillers concerned about citizen opposition the State Senate held a hearing on the issue. They brought before them Jim Powers, still the head of the PA Department of Homeland Security which let the contract, and the head of the Pennsylvania Keystone Kops. Obviously no one in the Senate seemed thrilled to listen to excuses brought forth. One likened the reports to a “clipping service” since much of it was compiled by simply reading public websites of various groups.
Activist organizations use web sites to inform the public of their agendas, activities and goals. All ITRR had to do for $103,000 was visit them regularly to note what and where they’d be doing. Gee, I’d have done that for half the price. The PSP says the reports actually impeded their work because almost none of these groups present any threat other than to traffic flow. Sen. Jim Ferlo announced a group to which he belongs, Green Drinks, will be filing suit. I think anyone who is a member of any of these organizations spied upon has standing to sue. This is going to cost taxpayers and I don’t understand why no one has been fired. I understand Ed Rendell, like Tom Corbett is a whore of the gas drilling industry (both have been bought off and are putting out) but this is ridiculous.