I suppose it is possible Trump is still just bent about the small crowds at his Inauguration Day celebration. But whatever the case his Attorney General Jeff Session is going fishing on Facebook and the internet. The DOJ continues demands to access the private account information on potentially thousands of internet users in a case from that day. The administration claims it is investigating the planning, organization and participation in anti-Trump demonstrations (what they refer to as riots) on January 20 2017, Inauguration Day.
CNN reports […] administration lawyers are demanding the private account information of potentially thousands of Facebook users in three separate search warrants served on the social media giant, according to court documents obtained by CNN.
The warrants specifically target the accounts of three Facebook users who are described by their attorneys as “anti-administration activists who have spoken out at organized events, and who are generally very critical of this administration’s policies.”
When served with the federal warrants Facebook is prohibited from notifying the targets or making the public aware of their existence. However Facebook went to court and successfully fought to notify the people targeted by the Trump administration. Hit last August with similar DOJ demands for private account data, internet provider DreamHost leaked the news to the public.
The scope of Session’s fishing expedition should get the alarm bells ringing. CNN: In court filings, [one of the targeted people] says if [the] account information was given to the government, officials would have access to […] “personal passwords, security questions and answers, and credit card information,” plus “the private lists of invitees and attendees to multiple political events sponsored by the page.” […]
“What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting,” said ACLU attorney Scott Michelman.
And if that doesn’t get the alarm bell ringing about the lengths the DOJ is willing to go to chase anti-Trump demonstrators, this may:
The DailyBeast reports today that Federal prosecutors in Washington want to use a video made by a far rightwing group as evidence in court to convict hundreds of people charged with rioting at Inauguration Day demonstrations. In September, the U.S. attorney moved to introduce a series of videos ripped from right-wing and conspiracy-theorist YouTube channels, including a video produced by the far-right militia the Oath Keepers.
The video names listed in the filing match those of dubious YouTube videos boasting of “INSANE Protests Riots Compilation,” or far-right internet videos claiming to show “Mayham” [sic] in the streets.
And one of those videos—an audio file overlaid with a slideshow of protest pictures—was uploaded as part of an “operation” by a right-wing militia.
The Oath Keepers were formed in 2009, as the Southern Poverty law Center explains: […] in the direct aftermath of the election of the nation’s first black president. Today, it is one of the largest radical antigovernment organizations in the United States.
There’s a dream team nightmares are made of: President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Session and the Oath Keepers all on the same side, wading in the same stream, out to catch the same exercising-their-constitutional-rights-to-swim-upstream fish.