It's funny, for a democratic body ran by a civilian government. It seems Starfleet has an awful lot of power to come in and take over without even consulting the government. Like a battalion commander shutting down Ohio without first consulting elected officials.
Not a complaint about the book, just an observation about our utopian Federation.
I noticed this as well. Not to mention that a break-in in a contained facility apparently gives Starfleet the clout to put the entire civilian population of a planet into a state of emergency and start a dragnet investigation. And there's cameras accessible to the authorities everywhere in a public space and even "street-level sensors" capable of telling apart species. No judges involved, it seems.
It reminded me of a plot point in Mack's
own Vanguard: Precipice
: Earth citizens and their spouses are exempt from being subjected to a DNA test when leaving Vulcan because the Earth government doesn't allow this for their citizens. I took this as a cue that at least by the 22nd century, mainstream humanity has not become the post-privacy society that many of today's futurists expect to be in our future. As such this level of Big Brothering shouldn't be OK either, but maybe that's the effect of a couple of wars in short order?