Freedom Discussions

FBI’s broad surveillance powers result in abuse

by Shelly Roche,

Yet another example of how our government abuses the broad, sweeping powers we give it:

From Yahoo:
WASHINGTON – The FBI gave inaccurate information to Congress and the public when it claimed a possible terrorism link to justify surveilling an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Monday in a report on the bureau’s scrutiny of domestic activist groups.

Inspector General Glenn Fine said the FBI had no reason to expect that anyone of interest in a terrorism investigation would be present at the 2002 event sponsored by the Thomas Merton Center, a nonviolent anti-war and anti-discrimination group.

The surveillance was “an ill-conceived project on a slow work day,” the IG stated in a study of several FBI domestic terrorism probes of people affiliated with organizations such as Greenpeace and the Catholic Worker.

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Speaking generally of the FBI probes it studied, the IG said a domestic terrorism classification has far-reaching impact because people who are subjects of such investigations are normally placed on watchlists and their travels and interactions with law enforcement may be tracked.

The FBI has broad definitions that enable it to classify matters as domestic terrorism that actually are trespassing or vandalism, the inspector general said.

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The IG also concluded that the factual basis for opening some investigations was factually weak and that in several instances there was little indication of any possible federal crime, as opposed to state crimes. In some cases, the IG found that the FBI extended the duration of probes without adequate basis and in a few cases the FBI improperly retained information about the groups in its files, classifying some probes relating to nonviolent civil disobedience under its “Acts of Terrorism” classification.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE (h/t @andylevy)

Now, who wants to talk about what’ll happen if we give the FCC broad, sweeping power over the internet in the name of “Net Neutrality”?

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