DON’T ASK/WON’T TELL: City Tells Man Asking For Data On ‘Look Up, Speak Up’ Anti-Terror Citizen Reporting Program To ‘Look Up, Shut Up!’


THE DECLARATION: The Philadelphia Police Department and city solicitor Shelley Smith’s office are refusing to release documents pertaining to an intelligence-gathering program called “Look Up, Speak Up”. The Declaration filed a public records request in May with the intention of gaining a stronger understanding of Philadelphia’s version of The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI), a jointly-administered Department of Justice/Information Sharing Environment counterterrorism program. The city has refused even an informal mediation session to settle this dispute. The Office of Open Records in Harrisburg will issue a final determination regarding The Declaration’s appeal by August 7th. “Look Up, Speak Up” was launched in January of this year and is geared specifically towards public transit riders, encompassing SEPTA and New Jersey’s PATCO system. The program was implemented through homeland security grant funding. The Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) program is facing heightened scrutiny and generating growing controversy from civil libertarians and some law enforcement officials for legally-problematic reporting standards and its questionable contributions to public safety. The collection, storage, and dissemination of so-called threat information, some of which is gathered and entered into federal databases, violates the Justice Department’s own regulations on criminal intelligence gathering. MORE

USELESS INFORMATION: What NOT To Do In The Event Of A Terrorist Attack