Operation Safeguard: New York, Big Brother is watching you

Authorities in New York are advising residents and business owners to report suspicious activities of all types to the New York Office of Homeland Security.

Operation Safeguard is a statewide program where residents and business owners can report suspicious activities to a special hotline. Businesses may also receive correspondence via mail asking for their cooperation. And in Nassau and Suffolk counties, local police have been out on the streets pushing the program.

The authorities are asking Long Islanders to do everything from reporting on diners’ conversations to monitoring strangers’ Internet use to observing fellow worshipers at religious services to noting when parents withdraw their kids from school. — Newsday

Instances of suspicious conduct observed by you or your employees may not be criminal per se, but may be peculiar and unusual because it does not match the usual fact pattern your personal business or industry routinely experiences when dealing with customer requests. The option to contact the New York State Tips line or your local police department is intended to encourage and facilitate an exchange of information in such matters and provide yet another resource to the public. — New York State Office of Public Security (PDF)

That’s right, they’re casting a very wide net, asking for anything out of the ordinary to be reported. We are all out of the ordinary in some way, so if you live in New York, you should expect to be reported as suspicious sooner or later.

Business owner Joseph Gartner told Newsday, “In today’s world, everybody’s a suspect.’

If you live in New York State, you can turn in your friends, relatives, neighbors and strangers to the Thought Police by dialing 1-866-SAFE-NYS (1-866-723-3697).