ACLU Demands Data on Mobile-Phone Surveillance From Five Orange County Police Agencies

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Big Brother is not only watching you, he can answer in the affirmative, "Can you hear me now?"

The American Civil Liberties Union would like to know how much he's listenening, and by "he," I mean "your local cop shop."

The Communist Par . . . er, ACLU of California announced today that demands were sent to 50 law enforcement agencies across the state today to reveal "when, why, and how police are using mobile phone location data and deploying other surveillance technologies to track the people they are responsible for protecting and serving."

Among them, according to this ACLU page listing agencies served requests: Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Orange Police Department, Santa Ana Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.

"The public has a right to know how and under what circumstances their personal information is being accessed by the government," explains Peter Bibring, a staff attorney with the ACLU of California, in a statement from the LA office. "A detailed history of someone's movements--or the email and photographs stored in their mobile device--is extremely personal and exactly the kind of private information that the Fourth Amendment was written to protect."

This is not just a Golden State request but part of public right-to-know inquiries being filed in coordination with 33 American Civil Liberties Union affiliates across the nation. Besides the collection of mobile phone location data, law enforcements' use of information gathered from social networking sites, book providers, GPS tracking devices, automatic license plate readers, public video surveillance cameras and facial recognition technology is being sought under the request.

According to the ACLU statement:

Police agencies are being asked for information including:

  • Statistics on how agencies are obtaining, using, storing and sharing personal information;
  • The stated purpose for gathering personal information, guidelines on how long the data is kept, when and how it is deleted, and whether privacy safeguards exist;
  • Training curricula, policies or protocol provided to officers to guide them in the use of these powerful new surveillance tools, including the capture of information from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter;
  • Whether police demonstrate probable cause and obtain a warrant to access mobile phone location data and to collect other detailed personal information, or take a dragnet approach that captures data on individuals who are not suspected of wrongdoing;
  • The effectiveness of the use of digital surveillance in identifying or arresting suspects.

Privacy should be a top concern among mobile phone users for these reasons, the ACLU says:

  • In just a 13-month period, Sprint received over 8 million demands for location information;  
  • Michigan police sought information about every mobile phone near the site of a planned labor protest;
  • This spring, researchers revealed that iPhones were collecting and storing location information;  
  • Just last week, the general counsel of the National Security Agency suggested to members of Congress that the NSA might have the authority to collect the location information of American citizens inside the U.S.

The civil rights group says it is important for Americans to understand how police are using new surveillance technologies as Congress considers new legislation to better safeguard location information and the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to hear a case about the privacy of location data in the context of GPS tracking devices.

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To whom this may concern,


In the early morning hours (5am-6am) of Feb. 18th 2011 on orabout the property listed as the “Golden Rain” facility in Orange County Ca. Iwas arrested and charged falsely with 2 counts, the first being a misdemeanorvandalism charge followed by a subsequent resisting arrest charge.


I was stopped by security officers for the Laguna WoodsVillage property where I was located seeking counseling assistance for therecent break up of my 3 year relationship with the mother of my youngest child.


I saw that the facility I wanted to seek help from opened at6:00 am, the saw the lights come on in one of the halls located there on theproperty. But I did not notice anyone inside. I used the side of my hand to hitthe glass window and that is when all hell broke loose on me. The glass window partisan(12” X 6” aprox.) broke. There was a woman at the front gate that quicklystated that she was contacting security. Having done nothing wrong I awaited theirarrival for several minutes and became slightly afraid when at least 2 securityofficers began to approach me in vehicles and Tasers or what looked like Tasersrather than just 1 with a flash light, which I would assume to be appropriate giventhe situation. Seeing this I began to walk across the street off of theproperty to make sure that I was in a more open area away from their property.At which time the officers yelled out for me to stop, and I fully complied, bigmistake.  I then began trying to explainmyself and the accident that had occurred with the window. 

I was rounded up and then the security officers began to interrogateme and ask for ID. I didn’t want to talk about my break-up or why I was thereso early because I was embarrassed 1st  and 2nd  it was none of their business in my opinion.The reason I was there was to try to talk to someone who could relate to mydifficulties.

I did tell them I was sorry as well as that the window wasan accident and that I could take care it once I made it home where I had moneyput away for safe keeping.  

Earlier that evening before, I miss placed my wallet whichcontained my CC's, ID, birth certificate, and SS card trying to hide it from myex so that she could not take it and force me to stay with her.  Because I reside in Chicago and without my CC’sand ID travel would be unlikely for me.  

Again, I tried to explain cordially and professionally whathad occurred.

I was informed that I should put my hands on the securityvehicle, turn away for the security officers, spread my legs because they werecontacting the police, and I needed to  stay put while the county sheriff’s departmentwas called in to ”further investigate”.


Upon the arrival of the County police officers, I was askedseveral questions including my name, I did not speak another word to them infear of me being accused of more wrong doing than I had already been accusedand not having anyone to inform me of my rights, I exercised my Miranda rightprovided in the constitution, as refuge that this could be cleared up easily atsome point.

After hand cuffing me against the car and speaking to theside to the security officers, asking me my name several more times I was strippedof my sport jacket and “patted” down. The officers then proceeded to rip myshirt collared on my left arm shirt and cut my left arm with a several razorlike cuts,  (still healing as of today2/24/2012) just above my left elbow.  

I was then driven to county lock up, booked, charged, andplaced in solitary confinement, inside the psych unit for 6 days and nightswith no movement what so ever. Offered no medical attention, and not allowed tomake even a phone call back home (I reside in Chicago, I'm living here onbusiness a Telecom Engineer Consultant for companies such as T-Mobile andVerizon Wireless), to let my family know that I was alive and not in a ditchinjured or worse.

Needless to say after 6 days of being confined with the bareminimal of human contact, I almost did feel as though I was losing some of mymental faculties. I prayed and fasted and was several times while in custody,after I was forcefully at the threat of tasering me in the cell for not “orally”taking some pill or another they were trying to “provide me with”, I stillrefused to take medications not percribed for a condition that had not been diagnosedin the entire time I have been alive and throughout a 23 year career of workingwith and for some of the largest telecommunications in the world, along with asecurity clearance to work at the federal triangle in DC for a brief period oftime. I instead had my pants yanked down and was given several needleinjections to "sedate" me as I prayed with the officers, asking whyafter pleading at the top of my lungs for a chance to speak with legalrepresentation, would they answer my cries in this way?

From that point forward, I was told day after day thatsomeone would come to speak with me, and each time i was told not worry, Iwould "get out soon enough".

Finally on the 22nd of Feb, 2011, I was told that I would begoing to court.

I was put into a pen with what seemed like 100 people or soand told to sit to wait to see the judge, I was still in the midst of reelingof how all this could happen from such a small incident and more so how couldthis happen in this country in this day and age?

Well, as you might imagine, my only objective became to getout of that place and to never return for any reason, still suffering theeffects of whatever they injected me with in confinement. I was given a chancebriefly to choose to speak with a PD or take a plea, with the way things seemedto be going for so many that I sat in the holding place with, I decided my bestopportunity to get out of the counties custody quickly and not have to sit topossibly wait for another undetermined court date, I accepted a plea of 3 years’probation, plus fines and driver’s license revocation, and that my DNA would becollected and placed into a data base.


At which time I was told the DA my full name and social. Ihad no criminal background so they could not find me in the system whichcaused, for me at least, more issues and more time which seemed to be slowerthan anytime I have spent in my entire life.

Because I had no background I was listed as John Doe and mygiven name Paul H. Pearson,  given myrelease on Feb. 23rd 2012 in the early AM, and told good luck as I left thefacility.

Several hundred dollars that I had tucked in my sport jackethad was now gone, and I reside in Irvine, Ca, so I had to beg a taxi to take mehome and informed him that I would pay him once I arrived. Of all things thedriver agreed and I paid him once I arrived safely at home where I had moneythat I had put up in case of an emergency, and was able to pay him at thatexact moment, he held my John Doe discharge papers to make sure I would run off. I currently reside at The Park atSpectrum Village not a place I don’t think he was to worried about, and he wasreally nice, to a large extent.

After calling my children and other family (my 41st birthdaywas the 13th of Feb 2012) to let them know that I was ok, I cried and washedmyself for 2 days, and a male friend came to stay with me, to help me getthrough this ordeal mentally as best he could.

On yesterday, I went over everything that happened andstarted to seek assistance with this matter.

Until this incident, I had no criminal history and if notfor me knocking on a glass window to hard breaking it, I would not have gonethrough what I can only describe as an hellish ordeal, and my record would beas intact as all the 41 years of my working hard and so mindful to have kept itthat way.

As an African American man growing up on the south side ofChicago, with a child who is bi-racial and his mother is of Caucasian decentborn in England and raised in of all places Fairbanks Alaska, I had envisionedworking in this part of the country as refuge from what I had seen since theearly seventies in my place of birth. I have traveled throughout this countryand have never felt so alone and violated. How foolish must I be huh?

I hope that this incident does not fall on deaf ears, I havecontact several "pro-bono" places to see if they could help to getthese false charges removed from my good name so that I can continue to provideprofessional services to my clients when opportunity(s) present themselves.

With an issue like this hanging over me, my career is allbut over, and I feel as though I have no recourse, and even less of a voicethan I ever have in my life, and trust me when I say, I grew up in the"projects" on the south side of one of the most dangerous cities inthe US, and I have never been treated as egregiously as I was during thisepisode. I have invested my entire life trying to build a good name and providemy children with the inspiration that if you work hard and sacrifice for thecommon good, that life would be as good as it gets, only now it would appearthat reality is not as it may sometimes appear. Yes I am free today. Yes todayI can read and write a little bit, but forever is derailed my image of whatthis country and the people in it have grown to, prejudice can bite as hard andsting as much as any form of lynch if given the opportunity. I was treated thisway I believe by attitudes and perceptions of me based on nothing more than aperception of who I was or more to the point who I was not.


Ironically, the fines set forth for me to pay all have the"payee" as John Doe, I look at it as I write to you and can only seethat they didn't convict me of 2 misdemeanor crimes, no, I in fact believe theyhad every intent on taking away my lively hood and ability to provide for myfamily. So that I can be the statistic that they perceive me to be, I was giventhe death penalty, the name on the toe tag of someone who was dead and left tobe unclaimed.  

Little did they know, I am alive, and truly know why thecaged bird sings, like no other time in my life.


I have no money to fight this, and have no family support onthis side of the country. Family is trying to scrape together what they canuntil I can get my affairs in order. I am the success in my family a story tooften told, money to come visit me for moral support is money that I would haveto provide them if I could afford it at this time, but I can't not. I am stuckuntil a get a new ID’s and Debt Card and other info which was lost at thebeginning of the worst time of my life personally.


If there is any justice that I can find, please send help myway. I am not stopping here; I will seek to get this corrected if I have to digditches to pay for it the rest of my life.


Case # 12HM02813

DA Case # 12H01681


My linked in profile, to show who I am and the professionalsthat  I provide services for on a routinebases all across the country and in several cases assisting and providing infofor Telecom solutions as far away as Brazil.  


Any consideration would be greatly appreciated, not just byme, but my family and maybe some people who have had to deal this situationtoday or tomorrow.


Best regards,


Paul H. Pearson

949-838-6857 Cell# 

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