The FBI has admitted to gathering secret intelligence about the annual Burning Man festival since 2010.
In response to a request made by recognize journalist Inkoo Kang under the 2012 Freedom of Information Act, the security service said its Special Events Management unit has kept files on festival-goers, known as ‘burners’ – to ‘aid in the prevention of terrorist activities and intelligence collection’. The 16-page document released under duress by the FBI is still heavily censored — especially parts pertaining to high-tech police surveillance equipment used to “gather information.”
The revelation comes as the 29th Burning Man takes place in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The FBI document describes the festival as a ‘cultural and artisan event, which promote (sic) free expression by the participants’.
Apparently art and free expression can now be equated with terrorism.
The FBI claims the surveillance program is necessary to fight the “war on terror.” The agency said that the operation was “critical in the light of the ongoing war on terrorism and the potential for additional acts of terrorism being committed in the United States.”
The FBI report additionally indicates that this operation could target drug users and sellers. “The greatest known threat in this event is crowd control issues and use of illegal drugs by participants,” the FBI report said.
the state of Nevada will be looting the organizers of the world-famous “Burning Man” festival for roughly $2.8 million in a new tax scheme. The new scheme will place a 9% tax on ticket sales for a number of large events. This new tax could force Burning Man and a number of other events out of the state of Nevada.