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Facebook read the private messages of people in the U.S. who had doubts about the 2020 election

Sources in the Department of Justice say that Facebook has been spying on the private messages and data of American users and turning them over to the FBI if they say bad things about the government or authority or question the 2020 election.

Under the FBI collaboration operation, someone at Facebook marked these supposedly subversive private messages as "red" and sent them to the domestic terrorism operational unit at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, without a subpoena.

One of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, "It was done outside of the law and without a good reason."

"Without a subpoena, Facebook lets the FBI listen in on private conversations that are protected by the First Amendment."

Then, these private messages were given as "leads" to FBI field offices all over the country, which then asked the US Attorney's Office in their district for subpoenas to get the private conversations that Facebook had already shown them.

But when FBI agents in a local field office looked into the Facebook users who were being watched, sometimes using covert surveillance techniques, they didn't find anything illegal or dangerous.

Facebook glasses
Under the FBI collaboration operation, someone at Facebook red-flagged supposedly subversive private messages over the past 19 months.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

“It was a waste of our time,” said one source familiar with subpoena requests lodged during a 19-month frenzy by FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, to produce the caseload to match the Biden administration’s rhetoric on domestic terrorism after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

‘Red-blooded Americans’

All of the Facebook users whose private messages Facebook reported to the FBI as being related to domestic terrorism were "conservative right-wing individuals."

"They were angry after the election, had guns, and were red-blooded Americans. They were shooting their mouths off and talking about holding protests. There was nothing illegal, nothing violent, nothing about killing or killing a lot of people.

"Within an hour of getting a subpoena, Facebook sent back gigabytes of data and pictures. It was ready to go. They just needed that legal process to finish so they could send it."

Yesterday, Facebook denied the claims.

Erica Sackin, a spokesperson for Communications, Dangerous Organizations, and Individuals at Meta, the company that owns Facebook, said in two different statements sent an hour apart that Facebook's interactions with the FBI were meant to "protect people from harm."

Former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was raided last month.

In her first statement she said: “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.”

In a second, unprompted “updated statement,” sent 64 minutes later, Sackin altered her language to say the claims are “wrong,” 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.”

FILE - Facebook's Meta logo sign
“Google, Facebook and Twitter, these companies are globalist,” a whistleblower says.

Agency doublespeak

In a statement released on Wednesday, the FBI didn't confirm or deny any of the claims made about its joint operation with Facebook, which is "unclassified/law enforcement sensitive."

In response to questions about the misuse of data from only American users, the statement seemed to focus on "foreign malign influence actors." However, it did say that the FBI's relationship with social media companies allows for a "quick exchange" of information and a "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.”

If Facebook's denial that it gives the FBI private user data without a subpoena or search warrant is true, it would mean that the initial transfer was made by a "confidential human source" at the company who had access to users' private messages.

This way, Facebook would have "plausible deniability" if there were questions about how it used its users' data, and the FBI would protect the privacy of its employees.

“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.

‘None were Antifa types’

"That information had already been given to [FBI] headquarters before any subpoena was issued. The details of what was in the users' private messages were already in the lead. Some of it was taken out, but not much. Basically, they would show a part of the conversation and then skip to the next part. This meant that the worst parts of the conversation were highlighted and taken out of context.

"But when you read the whole conversation in the context of the subpoena, it didn't sound as bad. There was no plan or organization for violence of any kind."

Some of the Americans who were targeted had posted pictures of themselves shooting guns together and complaining about what had happened. Some of them were in the militia, which was legal because of the Second Amendment.

“They [Facebook and the FBI] were looking for conservative right-wing individuals. None were Antifa types.”

These stories include articles about Hunter Biden's laptop.
Mark Zuckerberg previously said he regretted suppressing stories about the 2020 election.
Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

One private conversation that was supposed to be looked into "spun up into multiple cases" because there were different people in each chat.

The DOJ sources decided to talk to The Post, even though it could hurt their careers, because they are worried that federal law enforcement has become too political and is violating the rights of innocent Americans.

They say there are more people who want to join them.

People in the FBI and some parts of the DOJ have been getting more and more upset for months. It got really bad after the raid on former President Donald Trump's Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, last month.

One whistleblower says, "The most scary thing is that Big Tech and the FBI's law enforcement arm are working together." "Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all globalist companies. They don't care about what's best for our country."

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