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Overhype

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
indiana, police, stingrays



Indiana Police Refuse To Hand Over Stingray Docs Because Someone Might Attack The Annual Mule Day Parade

from the not-doing-much-to-keep-flyover-country-from-looking-like-uncultured-hicks dept

Another state agency is refusing to release Stingray documents. This time, it's not just about the not-even-a-secret-anymore "means and methods" or the supposed jeopardization of ongoing investigations. Nope, this time the nexus is terrorism, as Ars Technica's Cyrus Farivar reports. And not just any terrorism, but the "blowing up a cornfield" variety.

[T]he reason for the denial is a bit strange—the department seems to claim that releasing the requested information constitutes a possible risk to terrorism or even "agricultural terrorism."
The refusal, given to privacy activist/Stingray doc enthusiast Mike Fitz-Lacabe, cites a state statute that limits disclosure of documents related to terrorism mitigation, including the sort of terrorism that apparently never has actually happened anywhere in the US but is still a great matter of concern for the state. Not that the concern makes any sense.
"Months ago, I hadn’t seen the myriads of reasons that agencies and their lawyers give for claiming records are exempt," Katz-Lacabe told Ars. "I think the reference to agricultural terrorism is perplexing and perhaps ludicrous. Maybe it’s a Midwest thing."
Possibly. The Midwest is heavily-reliant on agriculture. Indiana, it seems, is more heavily-reliant on existential threats. Farivar points out that Indiana has been voted "Most Likely to be Attacked by Terrorists" by local law enforcement and its DHS branch office. Farivar links to a 2006 New York Times article that shows the state has designated nearly 8,600 sites as potential terrorist targets in the National Asset Database. What's included on the list suggests state fearmongers simply added any place that might draw a crowd of two or more individuals.
It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.”
To put it in context, Indiana claims nearly 3,000 more terrorist targets than the big daddy of terrorist-targeted assets, New York City. And that's a state that has actually been hit with a terrorist attack. It also claims almost 1,500 more "targets" than the next most dangerous state to live in… Wisconsin.

So, the National Asset List is largely comprised of bullshit. As is the excuse given to Fitz-Lacabe. Many agencies have acquired Stingrays with counterterrorism grants from the federal government. And almost every agency uses their Stingrays to tackle mundane criminal activity ranging from drug dealing to misdemeanor theft. Terrorism is the always-handy excuse. As long as the federal government continues to justify its own overreach with cries of "terrorists!" state and local agencies will do the same.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 11:41am

    The Annual Mule Day Parade? What do they display in that parade? Law enforcement top heads?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 8 Sep 2015 @ 11:45am

    " It also claims almost 1,500 more "targets" than the next most dangerous state to live in… Wisconsin."

    Maybe they heard about the dangerous group "Cult of the Dead Cow". :/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 11:48am

    "Most Likely to be Attacked by Terrorists" by local law enforcement and its DHS branch office.
    Be mindful, readers, this only happened because of that idiotic Pence law signing, which you can search if you're unfamiliar.

    Before that, we were dead last, as even Chicago (that's still in the midwest, believe it or not) outranked us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 12:16pm

    New York City is not a state.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 12:39pm

    Agricultural terrorism

    Is that what they call revealing regulatory violations of farms? Would fit with the Ag-gag attempts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 8 Sep 2015 @ 12:41pm

    What's good for the goose

    Many agencies have acquired Stingrays with counterterrorism grants from the federal government. And almost every agency uses their Stingrays to tackle mundane criminal activity ranging from drug dealing to misdemeanor theft. Terrorism is the always-handy excuse.

    Well, if any teflon-related expense can only be handled with space program related grants, every police department kitchen will detail its own launch facility plannings.

    You would not want the U.S. fall behind Russia now, would you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 8 Sep 2015 @ 12:45pm

    I believe

    I believe there is a jackass who would love to kick some mule day parade ass. I am so glad Indiana takes terrorism seriously unlike the other 49 states. Now I never want to visit Indiana again for fear of death

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 12:48pm

    Where is Rudy?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 1:08pm

    Oh my gosh... I, I, I've been to Wisconsin ..twice. I, I, I didn't realize how lucky I was to escape with my life ..both times! :-O

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 8 Sep 2015 @ 1:16pm

    Thought I was Dead Once...

    as it turned out I was in Podunk Indiana attending the Mule Day Parade.

    He who defends everything defends nothing.
    ~ Frederick the Great

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 1:54pm

    "Farivar points out that Indiana has been voted "Most Likely to be Attacked by Terrorists" by local law enforcement and its DHS branch office."


    Meanwhile, the Terrorists are saying "Indiana? Where's that? Do you mean India?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 2:56pm

      Re:

      > Meanwhile, the Terrorists are saying "Indiana? Where's that? Do you mean India?"

      Even among Americans, many are challenged to spot the fact that John Oliver actually highlighted Missouri instead...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 1:55pm

    This is what fear culture looks like. They are terrified people want to terrorize their insignificant state.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 1:57pm

    Not Buying It

    All the mule parade attacks in the history of the world won't convince me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Noneya, 8 Sep 2015 @ 3:49pm

    More stupidity

    Are these republican states. I got a solution vote third party. Get all these asshats out of govt. Get better leaders who dont work helping terrorists. All the middleast nations we destroy help the terrorist. Did anyone hear of these terrorist. Before 911. But now these bad guys are everywhere. Makes you wonder if one of the secrets of the gov is these terrorists work for us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 8 Sep 2015 @ 4:02pm

    We need to stop tourism to Indiana

    If they are that concentrated a target for terrorism due to gatherings of people, we need to keep people and tourists from gathering there. For their own safety, of course.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 4:20pm

    Someone might do something if we follow the law and protect your rights.

    So we must ignore the laws and abuse your rights in order to protect something from someone

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 4:22pm

    wanted to add another comment. You are talking about a country whose government considers questioning their state officials terrorism.

    Anything and everything is going to be called a terrorist related target at this point

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 9:24am

    hoosier here....

    if the threat of blowing up ONE SINGLE CORNFIELD, IN INDIANA, is a serious cause for concern for the abolition of the constitution, mayhaps our elected officials should take said corn cobs out of their ears, mouths, and other orifices. Now that is not to say that there aren't any concern for terrorism, but the number of viable targets, in Indiana, is rather limited.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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