NASA & Pentagon Surveillance of Global Network
20 April, 2005
As the Global Network (GN) prepares for its 13th annual space organizing conference in New York City, on April 29-30, a call came into our office today from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU office in Brevard County, Florida (where NASA and the Kennedy Space Center are located) called to inform the Global Network that an ACLU investigation of the Brevard County Sheriff's department has revealed 600-700 pages of internal files documenting extensive infiltration and surveillance of the Global Network and other anti-war activities in the county during recent years. The files contained descriptions of Global Network members as being "anti-American."
The ACLU investigation, which began last January, also revealed that NASA was gathering information on European demonstrations against the launching of weapons and nuclear power in space during recent years. In addition, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), based in Tampa, Florida, had infiltrated the Global Network as late as October of 2002 during the organization's annual Keep Space for Peace Week.
According to the ACLU the investigations centered on Global Network Coordinator Bruce Gagnon and Global Network members Mary Beth Sullivan and Maria Telesca. In addition to infiltration of the organization, the ACLU noted that the investigations included background checks, driving histories, address histories, as well as other information gathering activities.
The ACLU has requested permission to pursue legal action on behalf of Bruce, Mary Beth, and Maria. The ACLU intends to attempt to retrieve all surveillance files gathered on Global Network members and to pursue a possible lawsuit.