Lawsuit: Maine police illegally gathered data about Seeds of Peace workers

A federal employment discrimination lawsuit charges that the Maine State Police illegally gathered and handled personal data about employees at an international camp for Israeli and Arab teens.

AN ISRAELI SHALIACH conducting a group-building exercise at the Jewish camp in Greece. (photo credit: Courtesy)
AN ISRAELI SHALIACH conducting a group-building exercise at the Jewish camp in Greece.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A federal employment discrimination lawsuit filed by a state trooper in Maine charges that the Maine State Police illegally gathered and handled personal data about employees at an international camp for Israeli and Arab teens.
George Loder, 50, filed a lawsuit against the Maine Intelligence Analysis Center and the police officers that oversee it claiming that he was demoted in retaliation for reporting that the center was collecting personal detail illegally, the Bangor Daily News reported.
The camp has been identified as Seeds of Peace, a summer camp located in Otisfield, Maine, that brings together teens from the Middle East and beyond. It canceled both of its summer sessions for this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Data collection on the camp’s employees ended in May 2018, according to the lawsuit. Eric Kapanga of Seeds of Peace told the Bangor Daily News that state police since 2002 have conducted routine criminal background and sex-offender checks on potential counselors and also provides security at the camp.
“Any information beyond criminal history or sex offender status was not communicated to Seeds of Peace at any point, and we have no knowledge of the allegations in this complaint,” he told the newspaper.
The lawsuit also alleges illegal data collection about people who had applied to buy guns from firearms dealers and legal protesters.