The Biden administration is considering partnerships with private cybersecurity firms to gather and monitor online data, according to a report.
The The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is discussing a plan that would allow them to circumvent limits on intelligence gathering, CNN reported Monday. Federal agents are only allowed by federal law to scroll through public posts on social media and cannot use burner accounts to follow private accounts or enter private chat rooms. However, the reported DHS plan would enlist private cybersecurity firms to engage in those practices.
The Biden admin is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online, an effort that would expand the govts ability to gather intel but could draw criticism over surveillance of citizens. @ZcohenCNN & @KatieBoWillCNN reporthttps://t.co/VI7wbYvLXJ
— CNN NationalSecurity (@NatSecCNN) May 3, 2021
In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Republicans and Democrats criticized security officials for intelligence failures that caused them to underestimate the number of people that would attempt to enter the Capitol. “There was a clear failure by the security leaders on Capitol Hill to prepare for Jan. 6,” Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said in February. . .
Using private contractors to monitor social media sites would give DHS a work-around to warrant requirements. The government is required to obtain warrants before accessing private messages and social media accounts. However, in the new reported plan, the private contractors could tell the government officials what information they saw, thus avoiding the warrant application. (Read more from “Report: Biden May Partner With Private Firms to Gather Online Data Without Warrants” HERE)
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