Leaks Reveal Disgraceful Facebook and FBI Operation Supposedly Purposed to Counter Domestic Terrorism
On Thursday, I wrote about a Wednesday Washington Times article detailing allegations by current and former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents that FBI agents had been given quotas for investigations of “domestic terrorism” and “white supremacy” related crime. The results included a bunch of FBI agents spinning their wheels on trying to find crimes and criminals where none are, while surveilling and investigating plenty of people critical of government in the process.
Disturbingly, the investigations of these individuals would arise based on the individuals having exercised their right to criticize government. An FBI agent bluntly described the situation in the article: “If they have a Gadsden flag and they own guns and they are mean at school board meetings, that’s probably a domestic terrorist.”
Allegations by Department of Justice officials, reported in a Wednesday New York Post article by Miranda Devine, provide additional information about the FBI’s expansive efforts undertaken in the name of countering domestic terrorism. The allegations relate that Facebook repeatedly provided the FBI with customers’ private conversations in redacted form that the FBI then used to obtain subpoenas to seek more information from Facebook, and which Facebook then provided in spades. “But when the targeted Facebook users were investigated by agents in a local FBI field office, sometimes using covert surveillance techniques, nothing criminal or violent turned up,” the Post article reports.
What kind of people did Facebook turn over to the FBI? The article provides this answer:
The Facebook users whose private communications Facebook had red-flagged as domestic terrorism for the FBI were all ‘conservative right-wing individuals.’
‘They were gun-toting, red-blooded Americans [who were] angry after the election and shooting off their mouths and talking about staging protests. There was nothing criminal, nothing about violence or massacring or assassinating anyone.
‘As soon as a subpoena was requested, within an hour, Facebook sent back gigabytes of data and photos. It was ready to go. They were just waiting for that legal process so they could send it.’
It sure looks like investigation and surveillance targeting individuals due to those individuals’ political views — a disgraceful use of government power.
cover image based on creative commons work of Simon
The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is a project of Dr. Paul’s Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (F.R.E.E.), founded in the 1970s as an educational organization. The Institute continues and expands Dr. Paul’s lifetime of public advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home.
The Institute mobilizes colleagues and collaborators of Dr. Paul’s to participate in a broad coalition to educate and advocate for fundamental changes in our foreign and domestic policy.
About Ron Paul:
Ron Paul, an eleven-term congressman from Texas, devoted his political career to the defense of individual liberty, sound money, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Judge Andrew Napolitano called him “the Thomas Jefferson of our day.”
After serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s, Dr. Paul moved to Texas to begin a civilian medical practice, delivering over four thousand babies in his career as an obstetrician. He served in Congress from 1976 to 1984, and again from 1996 to 2013.
Ron Paul, the New York Post once wrote, is a politician who “cannot be bought by special interests.”