Homeland Security gathered intelligence on Portland protesters without justification

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The Department of Homeland Security allegedly conducted illegal searches of protesters’ cell phones and background checks of arrested persons without legal justification, a report published last week found.

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The report, finalized by the agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) in January and provided to news outlets last week by Sen. Ron Wyden’s office, downplayed the lack of concern for civil liberties and vocal concerns of protesters’ privacy rights by senior officials. gives details of. Officials from the agency’s Current and Emerging Threats Center.

In particular, those senior leaders were reported to dismiss the concerns of agents who had raised issues about the depth and breadth of their intelligence on the protesters, and only suggested that if the authorities ordered it. If so, the practice must be legal. Analysts in that department compiled a “baseball card” referring to a brief dossier of information about individuals arrested during the Portland riots in the summer of 2020, which included their names and some background information.

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Even the collection of names for most was inappropriate, according to the report, which noted that more than a dozen reports reviewed by the agency included individuals who were accused of national security threats, federal crimes , or was not alleged to have any connection to explicit missions. Agency.

“The collection or intuition are not sufficient grounds for collection, and would have been inappropriate without more information,” read the report, first published last week. Oregonian.

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“With respect to US citizens, in the context of mass protests or the protection of critical infrastructure, the production of an (intelligence background report) requires an arrest for at least one federal crime or more detailed information that the subject poses considerable danger,” it continued.

Mr Wyden sharply criticized those findings, calling the report as exhaustive evidence that the Trump administration had sought to incite rather than suppress violence in Portland, where left-wing protesters often clash with far-right and white nationalist groups. We do.

“This report covers 76 pages of astonishing incompetence, mismanagement and abuse of power by the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security to politicize and incite the conflict in Portland,” the senator said.

“Granthshala investigators confirmed that DHS intelligence officers lacked basic knowledge of their authority, what constituted real threats, and when it was appropriate to investigate Americans who were not suspected of any crime.” They said.

as recently As of August, Far-right groups once again descended on the city for a rally that ended in a street fight, in which gunfire was reported.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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