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US homeland security surveilling journalists covering Portland protests (theguardian.com)
24 points by oftenwrong 49 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments

The Guardian and WaPo are pushing a misleading narrative.

By their own admission, the so-called "surveillance" is collecting, analyzing, and disseminating published news reports about the government, especially reports that included leaked confidential information.


WaPo wasn't the only recipient of the leak. The other, Lawfare, covered this as well [0]. "I&A personnel are permitted to engage in physical surveillance, the use of mail covers, and the use of monitoring devices," as long as they can justify it as 'counterintelligence'. They need to have a justification first, but LEOs are great at coming up with empty ad-hoc justifications.

[0] https://www.lawfareblog.com/dhs-authorizes-domestic-surveill...

This article is surreptitiously evidence-lite. One of the links suggest that the 'surveillance' involved 'summarizing tweets written by two journalists'.

Technically they used a reporting system that was supposed to be for terrorists. This is useful evidence for people who still believe that 'the terrorists' is something other than a euphemism for 'anyone a government department doesn't like today'. But there aren't any surprises here.

Just a thought experiment - if there were reporters from "the boogaloo times" wandering around protests, would it make sense for the police to keep track of them?

If your conception of the protests/riots is that they're largely driven by the media (both traditional and social), then trying to get ahead of the news would make sense when trying to end the riots/protests. And tracking the relevant journalists would help with that.

The Rwandan genocide was led by "the media": Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM)

To be fair, it was also partly government (or government-leader) sponsored, so not really the sort of situation where the government keeping tabs on the "media" might have helped.

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