How the D.H.S. Monitored & Tracked Peaceful “Black Lives Matter” Protests

Posted: July 28, 2015 in Selling Us Out, Speaking Up-Speaking Out, The 'Narrative'

How the D.H.S. Monitored & Tracked Peaceful “Black Lives Matter” Protests

Michael Krieger | Jul 28, 2015

They also show the department watching over gatherings that seem benign and even mundane.

For example, DHS circulated information on a nationwide series of silent vigils and a DHS-funded agency planned to monitor a funk music parade and a walk to end breast cancer in the nation’s capital.

“It is concerning that the government would be diverting resources towards surveilling citizens who are assembling and expressing their First Amendment rights,” says Maurice Mitchell, an organizer with Blackbird, a group that helps support activism against police violence in communities across the country.

“The fact that our government is doing this — I can only assume to disrupt us — is pretty alarming…

Directly after 9/11, people said, ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.’

Well, now we’re fighting back against police brutality and extrajudicial killings, yet they are using this supposedly anti-terrorist infrastructure against us.”

– From the Intercept article: Feds Regularly Monitored Black Lives Matter Since Ferguson

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. Nothing.

In fact, as I and many others have stated for years, the primary purpose of the DHS, and well as the other intelligence-industrial complex agencies, is to keep the unwashed masses in line when they wake up to the incredible criminality and theft perpetrated by the status quo. Pointing this out in 2015 isn’t particularly novel, prescient or insightful. It’s just obvious.

Although I’ve decided a lot of time proving the above to be the case over the years (links provided at the end), today I bring to you yet another example of what the DHS is really all about. It’s about watching YOU.

From the Intercept:

The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents, released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Operations Coordination, indicate that the department frequently collects information, including location data, on Black Lives Matter activities from public social media accounts, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, even for events expected to be peaceful.

The reports confirm social media surveillance of the protest movement and ostensibly related events in the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and New York.

They also show the department watching over gatherings that seem benign and even mundane.

For example, DHS circulated information on a nationwide series of silent vigils and a DHS-funded agency planned to monitor a funk music parade and a walk to end breast cancer in the nation’s capital.

The tracking of domestic protest groups and peaceful gatherings raises questions over whether DHS is chilling the exercise of First Amendment rights, and over whether the department, created in large part to combat terrorism, has allowed its mission to creep beyond the bounds of useful security activities as its annual budget has grown beyond $60 billion.

I think the answer to “whether the department, created in large part to combat terrorism, has allowed its mission to creep beyond the bounds of useful security activities,” is crystal clear.

This sort of information gathering was not confined to Ferguson.

A few days after rioting and protests there, a DHS email forwarded another message reporting on the “National Moment of Silence,” nationwide silent vigils planned in response to the shooting.

The original email listed the cities with planned vigils and noted that they were being spread on social media with the hashtag #NMOS14.

It also mentioned that NYPD’s counterterrorism intelligence organization would be “monitoring the situation.”

The DHS email forwarding that information said the data was provided “for your situational awareness.”

The 9/11 attacks and a “national moment of silence.”

The similarities are endless.

“It is concerning that the government would be diverting resources towards surveilling citizens who are assembling and expressing their First Amendment rights,” says Maurice Mitchell, an organizer with Blackbird, a group that helps support activism against police violence in communities across the country.

“The fact that our government is doing this — I can only assume to disrupt us — is pretty alarming…

Directly after 9/11, people said, ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.’

Well, now we’re fighting back against police brutality and extrajudicial killings, yet they are using this supposedly anti-terrorist infrastructure against us.”

Brendan McQuade, a visiting assistant professor at DePaul University who researches the DHS’s intelligence-gathering fusion centers, believes that the DHS and its affiliated counterterror organizations monitor Black Lives Matter to such a exacting degree because the terrorist threats they were created to stop are exceedingly remote.

“Fusion centers were set up for counterterrorism, but it became ‘all crimes, all threats, all hazards’ because terrorism isn’t a real threat. You are four times more likely to be struck by lighting than killed by a terrorist,” says McQuade.

“Even at their moment of emergence it was clear that counterterrorism wasn’t going to be enough.”

Of course, these sorts of anti-democratic surveillance tactics are being rolled out simultaneously all across the “civilized” Western world, in the name of fighting “terror” of course.

For example here’s an excerpt from today’s article in the Guardian:

France and the UK are on the Edge of Kafkaesque Surveillance:

And yet, despite this, the French council approved, with very few exceptions, a law that allows intelligence agencies to monitor phone calls and emails without prior judicial authorisation; to require internet service providers to install “black boxes” that filter all internet traffic, combing everyone’s metadata in order to identify deviant behaviours based on unknown parameters and provide access to the agencies; and to bug cars, homes and keyboards for images, sound and data.

All of this, of course, is discussed as being targeted at “suspected terrorists”. But all of it, equally and more significantly, touches us all; anyone and everyone who traverses the internet.

The law’s goal is to improve the agencies’ tools for a large variety of vaguely stated purposes: terrorism, but also political surveillance, competitive intelligence for France’s major economic, industrial and scientific interests, the fight against organised crime, and goodness knows what else to come.

Feel safe yet?

http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2015/07/28/how-the-department-of-homeland-security-monitored-and-tracked-peaceful-black-lives-matter-protests/

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