How DC police use citizens as spies


Jason Leopold
Al Jazeera
December 17, 2013

MPDC is the primary law enforcement agency for the District of Columbia. / image: Flickr, cliff1066

MPDC is the primary law enforcement agency for the District of Columbia. / image: Flickr, cliff1066

Of the dozens of private intelligence corporations that have emerged in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, one firm has been singled out for particular scrutiny: TrapWire.

The Virginia-based spy outfit founded by several former CIA employees a decade ago developed, it says, surveillance software that can root out terrorist attacks while they are in the planning stage.

The company, formerly known as Abraxas Corp., markets its technology to local law enforcement, federal agencies and private corporations. TrapWire has been installed in 65 locations around the United States, according to the company’s website, including Washington, D.C., where it is being used by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

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