What you need to know about San Francisco’s Joint Terrorism Task Force

By Rina Palta, from http://informant.kalwnews.org

Should Bay Area cities continue supplying local police officers to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force? That’s a question that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took on Tuesday, and one that privacy groups are hoping will result in an end to the use of an increasingly controversial intelligence-gathering program. A group of lawyers from the ACLU of Northern California and the Asian Law Caucus recently received copies of agreements between the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department they say demonstrate that officers involved in the San Francisco JTTF have been operating under an agreement with the FBI that violates state and local law–by authorizing San Francisco police officers to spy on individuals in the community without having to demonstrate that those individuals are suspected of crimes or plotting crimes.

The San Francisco Police Department has not yet returned requests for responses to these allegations.

Here’s a primer on the issue, which is likely to heat up in San Francisco politics over the next couple of weeks.