Last week the Dig alerted readers to a secret experiment carried out by the City of Boston during the Boston Calling concerts that took place in May and September of last year. Among the revelations therein: Outside contractors helped municipal authorities deploy resources designed to analyze body and facial patterns of “every person who approaches the door” in order to gauge panic levels and crowd sentiment. In this follow-up, again relying in part on privileged documents that were left exposed online, we examine the communications leading up to these surveillance trials in the days, months, and even decade prior to the first Boston Calling.
For 10 months, three reporters dug into the unseemly political underbelly of the City of Somerville, where the power and privilege of an elite few has dominated and perverted municipal progress for decades. The Somerville Files is the culmination of their work, which pulls back the hip urban Somerville facade to reveal a shadow government amidst both turmoil and transition.