Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, September 16, 2022
The thought police at Facebook reported users of the social media platform who questioned the validity of the 2020 election to the FBI, a report said.
The FBI ran with the information, obtaining subpoenas and using "covert surveillance techniques" to investigate the alleged thoughtcrimes, the New York Post's Miranda Devine reported on Sept. 14
, citing sources within the Department of Justice.
Every one of the investigations ended with the same conclusion — the FBI found that "nothing criminal or violent" had occurred, a DOJ source said.
“It was a waste of our time,” the source told Devine.
A DOJ source familiar with subpoena requests related to the posts said Facebook reported the posts which questioned the 2020 election results during a 19-month frenzy by FBI headquarters in Washington, DC with the aim of producing a caseload to match Team Biden’s rhetoric on domestic terrorism after the Jan. 6, 2021 protest at the U.S. Capitol.
The users whose private communications Facebook had red-flagged as domestic terrorism and sent to the FBI were all “conservative right-wing individuals,” one DOJ source told Devine. “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."
The "supposedly subversive private messages" had been red-flagged and transmitted to the FBI "in redacted form to the domestic terrorism operational unit at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, without a subpoena," Devine noted.
One DOJ source said: “It was done outside the legal process and without probable cause. Facebook provides the FBI with private conversations, which are protected by the First Amendment, without any subpoena.”
Once received at bureau headquarters in D.C., the messages are then farmed out as “leads” to field offices around the country, the report said.
Agents at the field offices "subsequently requested subpoenas from the partner U.S. Attorney’s Office in their district to officially obtain the private conversations that Facebook already had shown them," Devine wrote.
“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,” a DOJ source told Devine.
Devine noted that, in a statement Wednesday, the FBI neither confirmed nor denied allegations put to it about its joint operation with Facebook, which is designated as “unclassified/law enforcement sensitive.”
In two contrasting statements sent one hour apart, Erica Sackin, a spokesperson at Facebook’s parent company, Meta, claimed Facebook’s interactions with the FBI were designed to “protect people from harm.”
In her first statement, she said: “These claims are false because they reflect a misunderstanding of how our systems protect people from harm and how we engage with law enforcement. We carefully scrutinize all government requests for user information to make sure they’re legally valid and narrowly tailored and we often push back. We respond to legal requests for information in accordance with applicable law and our terms and we provide notice to users whenever permitted.”
In a second, unprompted “updated statement,” sent 64 minutes later, Sackin altered her language to say the claims are “wrong,” not “false.”
“These claims are just wrong. The suggestion we seek out peoples’ private messages for anti-government language or questions about the validity of past elections and then proactively supply those to the FBI is plainly inaccurate and there is zero evidence to support it,” said Sackin, a DC-based crisis response expert who previously worked for Planned Parenthood and “Obama for America” and now leads Facebook’s communications on “counterterrorism and dangerous organizations and individuals.”
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