The US government’s web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be.
You can be pulled into the National Security Agency’s database quietly and quickly, and the consequences can be long and enduring. Through ICREACH, a Google-style search engine created for the intelligence community, the NSA provides data on private communications to 23 government agencies. More than 1,000 analysts had access to that information.
It was confirmed earlier this month that the FBI shares its master watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, with at least 22 foreign governments, countless federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, plus private contractors.The watchlist tracks “known” and “suspected” terrorists and includes both foreigners and Americans. It’s also based on loose standards and secret evidence, which ensnares innocent people. Indeed, the standards are so low that the US government’s guidelines specifically allow for a single, uncorroborated source of information – including a Facebook or Twitter post – to serve as the basis for placing you on its master watchlist.
Because the watchlist isn’t limited to known, actual terrorists, an official can watchlist a person if he has reasonable suspicion to believe that the person is a suspected terrorist. It’s a circular logic – individuals can be watchlisted if they are suspected of being suspected terrorists – that is ultimately backwards, and must be changed. The government’s self-mandated surveillance guidance also includes loopholes that permit watchlisting without even showing reasonable suspicion. For example, non-citizens can be watchlisted for being associated with a watchlisted person – even if their relationship with that person is entirely innocuous.
Below are people already charged with “Terrorism” due to Facebook posts:
Cameron D’Ambrosio, an 18-year-old high school student in Methuen, Mass.,arrested for terrorism charges because he scared people on Facebook with his rap music.
Brandon J. Raub, a 26-year-old pro-liberty activist, former U.S. Marine, and Virginia resident, was arrested after authorities deemed his Facebook posts threatening
31-year-old James Evans of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky was arrested on terroristic threatening charges after he posted lyrics from a song by the heavy metal band Exodus on Facebook.
Indeed, you can’t help but wonder: are you already on the watchlist?
Original Article Here