Facebook monitored private messages by people upset with the 2020 Presidential election, subsequently sharing this content with the FBI. This comes from an article by New York Post reporter Miranda Devine.
Devine, citing Department of Justice sources, states:
(S)omebody at Facebook red-flagged these supposedly subversive private messages over the past 19 months and transmitted them in redacted form to the domestic terrorism operational unit at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, without a subpoena.
“It was done outside the legal process and without probable cause,” alleged one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Ironically — or should we say unsurprisingly? — nothing came of investigating people venting.
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.
“It was a waste of our time,” said one source familiar with subpoena requests lodged during a 19-month frenzy by FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, to produce the caseload to match the Biden administration’s rhetoric on domestic terrorism after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Facebook, unsurprisingly, denies the incident took place.
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.”
Given Sackin’s professional background, there can be no doubt of her strict impartiality regarding political matters. (That was sarcasm.)
The story follows a trend of Facebook and the FBI having each other on speed dial. In September 2022, Brittany Sheehan reported here that following Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s admitting on a Joe Rogan Experience episode that Facebook had deep-sixed the Hunter Biden laptop story at the FBI’s request, Republican Congressional leaders have put Zuckerberg and Facebook’s parent company Meta on notice that they might want to avoid going Hillary Clinton on their communications with the FBI regarding same.
The incident reinforces the distressingly familiar drumbeat of the left going full Alinsky with impunity on anyone who dares oppose its agenda. Individuals speaking up against governmental excesses, or even privately disagreeing with policies, are now considered open targets for harassment. It is dangerous to have an opinion that is not in sync with accepted beliefs. It is no longer paranoid conspiracy theory territory to wonder who’s violating your rights by monitoring your communications without notification or cause. Instances of this may be rare; no one knows, or at least no one who does know, is publicly speaking on the matter. That said, the psyops aspect is chilling. We no longer trust federal law enforcement, and we no longer trust elected (let alone unelected) officials to obey the Constitution. Social media is the punitive left’s willing bedfellow. The best available advice is to act accordingly.