Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday demanding records and a briefing on the agency’s proposal to use third-party companies to spy on Americans.
“The Obama-Biden FBI spied on President Trump’s campaign in 2016,” Jordan claimed in a tweet.
“And now the Biden-Harris DHS is looking to use third-party contractors to circumvent the Constitution and spy on American citizens.”
The Obama-Biden FBI spied on President Trump’s campaign in 2016.
And now the Biden-Harris DHS is looking to use third-party contractors to circumvent the Constitution and spy on American citizens. https://t.co/9VrSHaQR1o
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) August 19, 2021
“According to recent reports, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to use third-party contractors to spy on the social media communications of American citizens for signs of ‘extremist’ threats,” Jordan’s letter stated.
“DHS’s use of non-governmental entities to engage in this warrantless surveillance is reportedly designed to circumvent legal restrictions that prohibit law enforcement and intelligence agencies from spying on Americans. DHS’s use of private companies — including social media platforms — to spy on online communications would have serious consequences for the civil liberties of all Americans.”
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) August 19, 2021
Jordan chronicled the recent admission of the White House’s collusion with Facebook as a clear example of recent concerns.
“Last month, the Biden White House acknowledged that the Administration has been colluding with tech giant Facebook to target and remove disfavored speech online,” the congressman wrote.
“Now it appears that the Biden Administration wants to expand its collaboration with Big Tech to, in the words of DHS Assistant Secretary John Cohen, ‘dramatically expand [the] focus’ of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis to monitor social media and other communications platforms.”
“[T]he Department has a history of targeting Americans for holding ‘suspicious views,’ such as being pro-Second Amendment, favoring lower levels of immigration, or opposing the use of force by police,” he said.
In response to his concerns, Jordan made a number of requests. First, he asked for a “staff-level briefing on the DHS’s initiative to expand its domestic surveillance of social media platforms and other online communications networks.”
Second, he demanded all “documents and communications referring or relating to any effort to expand or enhance the Office of Intelligence and Analysis’s capabilities to monitor Americans’
Jordan also requested all “document and communications referring or relating to DHS’s analyses of the legality for the Department” and all “documents and communications referring or relating to DHS encouraging or directing social media platforms or online communications networks to monitor user content and report certain content to DHS.”
Jordan included a deadline of Sept. 1 for delivery of his requests.
“Calls to ramp up U.S. intelligence monitoring of Americans online escalated in the Jan. 6 aftermath as the left-wing activists who dominate the nation’s digital public square rapidly implemented a purge of conservative accounts,” The Federalist noted on Thursday.
“In April, even the U.S. Postal Service reportedly began to conduct surveillance of citizen social media activity under the Internet Covert Operations Program.”
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