As atrocious as that is, they also went undercover into groups not tied to the convention whose sole "crime" appears to be that they were against the administration.
In at least some cases, intelligence on what appeared to be lawful activity was shared with police departments in other cities. A police report on an organization of artists called Bands Against Bush noted that the group was planning concerts on Oct. 11, 2003, in New York, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston. Between musical sets, the report said, there would be political speeches and videos.
“Activists are showing a well-organized network made up of anti-Bush sentiment; the mixing of music and political rhetoric indicates sophisticated organizing skills with a specific agenda,” said the report, dated Oct. 9, 2003. “Police departments in above listed areas have been contacted regarding this event.”....
In its preparations, the department applied the intelligence resources that had just been strengthened for fighting terrorism to an entirely different task: collecting information on people participating in political protests.
Who needs the Feds when the NYPD can coordinate nationally?
(Are they legally allowed to conduct surveillance out of state?)