SURVEILLANCE STATE ALERT – In its fabricated ‘war on domestic terrorism’ Team Biden is heading into even more disturbing and dangerous waters. It is now hoping to get outside firms to help their Department of Homeland Security (DHS) circumvent existing rules protecting Americans from domestic surveillance to track ‘extremist’ chatter by Americans online. This is an unprecedented, and likely unconstitutional, effort to expand the government’s ability to gather intelligence domestically on American citizens.
As CNN notes:
The Department of Homeland Security is limited in how it can monitor citizens online without justification and is banned from activities like assuming false identities to gain access to private messaging apps used by extremist [so-called] groups such as the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers.
Instead, federal authorities can only browse through unprotected information on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and other open online platforms. A source familiar with the effort said it is not about decrypting data but rather using outside entities who can legally access these private groups to gather large amounts of information that could help DHS identify key narratives as they emerge.
The plan being discussed inside DHS, according to multiple sources, would, in effect, allow the department to circumvent those limits.
Of course, Biden’s DHS denies this, according to CNN, saying it “is not partnering with private firms to surveil suspected domestic terrorists online” and “it is blatantly false” to suggest that the department is using outside firms to circumvent its legal limits.
However, CNN goes on to explain:
But the department has considered partnering with research firms who have more visibility in this space, though it has not done so to this point, the sources said. If that ultimately happens, DHS could produce information that would likely be beneficial to both it and the FBI, which can’t monitor US citizens in this way without first getting a warrant or having the pretext of an ongoing investigation. The CIA and NSA are also limited on collecting intelligence domestically.
To get around these critical constitutional limitations, Biden’s DHS is moving headlong into the dangerous gray zone of domestic covert surveillance.
As CNN notes:
…some of the research firms and non-profit groups under consideration by the DHS periodically use covert identities to access private social media groups like Telegram, and others used by domestic extremist groups. That thrusts DHS into a potential legal gray area even as it plugs an intelligence gap that critics say contributed to the failure to predict the assault on the Capitol.
There is much more to report on this disturbing and dangerous effort. Stay tuned.