Guardian: Scores of private firms, consultants and non-governmental organizations have provided software, equipment, training and information to law enforcement agencies [in the United States] in a burgeoning profit-making industry, according to documents from the so-called Blueleaks information dump.
The documents show how private actors – from major corporations to small-scale contractors – have aided police in militarizing their operations, expanding their surveillance capacities, and pursuing the so-called “war on drugs”.
Those firms not directly profiting from their interactions with police can often be seen attempting to influence the agenda of law enforcement, or prioritizing police interests over those of their customers.
NEW: documents reveal the companies profiting from police surveillance and militarization https://t.co/RVTF0XD3tA— Jason Wilson (@jason_a_w) October 15, 2020
The documents reveal that police are training in the use of military and surveillance technologies of which there may be little public awareness.
A 2013 flyer advertises training on the FATS L7 firearms training simulator by two drug enforcement bodies – the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center (CTC).
HIDTAs were created in 1988, at the height of the so-called “war on drugs”, to facilitate cooperation and intelligence sharing between different levels of law enforcement. CTCs began in 1999 when Congress earmarked $494m dollars in the Defense Appropriations Act for the military to provide counterdrug training.
The FATS L7 is an adapted version of military firearms training simulators.
Current equivalent systems allow users to train either in marksmanship or in a “judgmental mode for heightened situation awareness and intense de-escalation of force training” using a large screen, a projector and a simulated weapon in videogame-like scenarios.
Online videos of FATS demonstrations often show law enforcement trainees firing on simulated perpetrators.