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In Mississippi, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission (or “Sov-Com”) was a state agency given unusual authority by the governor of Mississippi from 1956 to 1977, to investigate and police private citizens in order to uphold racial segregation. This authority was used to suppress and spy on the activities of civil rights workers, along with others suspected of sentiments contrary to white supremacy. Agents from the Sov-Com wiretapped and bugged citizens of Mississippi, and historians identify the agency as a secret police force. Among other things, the Sov-Com collaborated with the Ku Klux Klan and engaged in jury tampering to harass targets. The agency ceased to function in 1973, but was not officially dissolved until 1977.
In private writings in 1945, President Harry S. Truman wrote that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (under Director J. Edgar Hoover) had transformed into a secret police force, and compared it to the Gestapo: