A recent report claims that Facebook snooped on US users’ private messages and reported them to the FBI if they expressed anti-government sentiments or questioned the 2020 election.
The New York Post reports that Facebook spied on private messages and data of US users. The company reportedly notified the FBI of users who express anti-government or anti-authority sentiments. Sources within the DOJ allege that the company also flagged users who questioned the validity of the 2020 election.
As part of a collaborative FBI operation, a Facebook employee has reported private messages containing such sentiments over the past 19 months, forwarding redacted versions to the Domestic Terrorism Task Force at the headquarters of the FBI in Washington, DC. All this was done without warning.
An anonymous source said: “This was done outside of the legal process and without probable cause. Facebook provides the FBI with private conversations that are protected by the First Amendment without any subpoenas.
The private messages were shared as ‘leads’ with FBI field offices in the United States, who then requested subpoenas from their district’s partner U.S. Attorney’s office to obtain the private conversations they had already received. were provided by Facebook.
However, when Facebook users were investigated, they were not involved in anything criminal or violent. A source said: “It was a waste of time.”
All of the Facebook users flagged as possible terrorists were “right-wing conservative individuals”, a source said. “They were red-blooded, armed Americans [who were] angry after the election and getting mouthy and talking about organizing protests. There was nothing criminal, nothing about violence or killing or killing anyone.
The source continued, “As soon as a subpoena was requested, within an hour Facebook returned gigabytes of data and photos. It was ready to go. They were just waiting for this legal procedure to be able to send it.
Erica Sackin, spokesperson for Communications, Dangerous Organizations and Individuals at Facebook (now known as Meta), denied the allegations, saying:
These claims are false because they reflect a misunderstanding of how our systems protect people from harm and how we interact with law enforcement. We carefully review all government requests for user information to ensure that they are legally valid and closely tailored and often reject them. We respond to lawful requests for information in accordance with applicable law and our terms and notify users whenever permitted.
But in an “updated statement”, Sackin changed his language to say the claims were “erroneous”, not “false”. The adjusted statement reads as follows:
These claims are simply false. The suggestion that we search people’s private messages for anti-government language or questions about the validity of past elections and then proactively provide them to the FBI is simply inaccurate and there is no evidence at all. support,” said Sackin, a DC-based crisis response expert who previously worked for Planned Parenthood and “Obama for America” and now directs Facebook communications on “counterterrorism and organizations and individuals dangerous”.
Learn more about the New York Post here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering free speech and online censorship issues. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan