A California church fined $1.2 million for defying Covid lockdowns filed a lawsuit against the government for spying on its congregants.
Calvary Chapel San Jose was harassed and fined by Santa Clara County for ‘violating’ the Covid lockdowns and mask mandates.
Pastor Mike McClure in his lawsuit accused Santa Clara County of “an invasive and warrantless geofencing operation” to spy on worshippers.
The government used mapping software to track worshippers to see when they were on the church premises.
“This type of expansive geofencing operation is not only an invasion of privacy, but represents a terrifying precedent if allowed to go unaddressed: as it stands, the Defendants are effectively arguing that, as long as they call it research, any level of government can target and spy on any individual or group at any time for any duration, and, if they so choose, they can wield the collected data against said individuals or groups who oppose their orders. This is not just un-American; it is downright Orwellian,” the complaint says according to Fox News.
Fox News reported:
A California church ordered to pay $1.2 million in fines for violating COVID-19 lockdown measures filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging the local government unconstitutionally spied and tracked Christian worshipers through secretive “geofencing” using congregants’ cell phone data.
Calvary Chapel San Jose and Pastor Mike McClure accuse Santa Clara County and the Colorado-based data company SafeGraph of embarking “on an invasive and warrantless geofencing operation to track residents” unbeknownst to the public, according to the lawsuit filed by Advocates for Faith & Freedom.
The defendants are accused of using geofencing, a location-based tool used by the government to track individuals through their cellphone data, around Calvary Chapel San Jose property so they could see when and where worshippers were on the premises.
“Our church respects the rights and privacy of all our members. We are not just standing up for the rights of our church family; we are standing up for the rights of religious people across this country,” Calvary Chapel San Jose Pastor Mike McClure told Fox News