According to DOJ whistleblowers, Facebook has been spying on Americans' private messages and reporting them to the FBI if they express 'anti-government or anti-authority' statements - including questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 US election.
As the New York Post's Miranda Devine writes, "Under the FBI collaboration operation, somebody 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," said one of the whistleblowers, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Facebook provides the FBI with private conversations which are protected by the First Amendment without any subpoena."
According to one Post source, "They [Facebook and the FBI] were looking for conservative right-wing individuals. None were Antifa types."
The Facebook users whose private communications Facebook had red-flagged as domestic terrorism for the FBI were all “conservative right-wing individuals.”
“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.
Some of the targeted Americans had posted photos of themselves “shooting guns together and bitching about what’s happened [after the 2020 election]. A few were members of a militia but that was protected by the Second Amendment …-NY Post
Once flagged, the private messages were farmed out as "leads" to FBI field offices around the country, which would then reach out to that area's US Attorney's Office to legally obtain the private conversations they had already been shown.
"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," said one source.
That said, the feds aren't finding much to prosecute.
"It was a waste of our time," said one source familiar with the 19-month 'frenzy' by the FBI to find domestic terrorism cases to match the Biden administration's rhetoric after the Jan. 6 2021, Capitol riot.
Facebook has denied the allegations in two contrasting statements sent one hour apart.
"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," said Erica Sackin, a spokesperson at Facebook’s parent company, Meta.
Then, in a second "updated statement" sent 64 minutes later, Sackin changed her language to say that the claims were "wrong" and 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." (via NY Post)
The FBI would neither confirm nor deny the allegations, but did acknowledge that the agency has a relationship with social media companies that enable a "quick exchange" of information and an "ongoing dialogue."
"The FBI maintains relationships with U.S. private sector entities, including social media providers. The FBI has provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors. U.S. companies have also referred information to the FBI with investigative value relating to foreign malign influence. The FBI works closely with interagency partners, as well as state and local partners, to ensure we’re sharing information as it becomes available. This can include threat information, actionable leads, or indicators. The FBI has also established relationships with a variety of social media and technology companies and maintains an ongoing dialogue to enable a quick exchange of threat information," said the agency in a statement.
Facebook’s denial that it proactively provides the FBI with private user data without a subpoena or search warrant, if true, would indicate that the initial transfer has been done by a person (or persons) at the company designated as a “confidential human source” by the FBI, someone with the authority to access and search users’ private messages.
In this way, Facebook would have “plausible deniability” if questions arose about misuse of users’ data and its employee’s confidentiality would be protected by the FBI.
“They had access to searching and they were able to pinpoint it, to identify these conversations from millions of conversations,” according to one of the DOJ sources.
Recall in late August Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed to Joe Rogan that the FBI warned the company about "Russian propaganda" right before the Hunter Biden story broke - which the company then censored aggressively.
Mark Zuckerberg tells Joe Rogan that the FBI reached out to Facebook to put them on notice that the Hunter Biden’s laptop story was similar to the previous Russian Propaganda and to be on high alert #joerogan #MarkZuckerberg #JRE pic.twitter.com/ojZHhK3isa— Giuseppe Mercadante (@itsmercadante) August 25, 2022
In the cases of allegedly surveilled DMs, snippets of private messages were passed to the FBI, partially redacted and often without context, and which contained cherry-picked portions of conversations that highlighted the most egregious statements.
"But when you read the full conversation in context [after issuing the subpoena] it didn’t sound as bad … There was no plan or orchestration to carry out any kind of violence," said one of the Post's sources.
According to the report, more FBI whistleblowers are ready to expose what's going on within the agency.
"The most frightening thing is the combined power of Big Tech colluding with the enforcement arm of the FBI," said one source. "Google, Facebook and Twitter, these companies are globalist. They don’t have our national interest at heart."