And we were all wondering just what Jeff Sessions was doing from his office as Attorney General.
In the course of investigations into the violent “protests” that took place on Inauguration Day (January 20, 2017), the Department of Justice has served three search warrants to Facebook for information both public and private on Emmelia Talarico, who moderator of the “disruptj20” Facebook page, and the individual accounts of both Lacy MacAuley and Legba Carrefour. Per CNN:
The warrants specifically target the accounts of three Facebook users who are described by their attorneys as “anti-administration activists who have spoken out at organized events, and who are generally very critical of this administration’s policies.”
Government access to these three Facebook accounts could well expose up to 6,000 users’ private and financial information to investigators. This reality prompted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Washington to file a motion to quash the warrants on behalf of the three people being investigated.
…claiming that the DOJ’s demands were unnecessarily broad and would require Facebook to disclose the entire contents of those accounts for a period of more than 90 days.
“The warrants make no provision for avoiding or minimizing invasions into personal and associational/expression information, for preventing such information from being shared widely within the government, or for destroying irrelevant material when the investigation is concluded,” according to the filing.
The central focus of these accounts is disruptj20, the group that organized the violent demonstrations. To get to the central figures in the matters, government investigators have been jumping through hoops since February, fighting not just the ACLU, but Facebook as well.
Facebook went through seven months of legal proceedings so it could make all three of the Facebook users aware that the government attorneys wanted their online details.“We successfully fought in court to be able to notify the three people whose broad account information was requested by the government,” a Facebook spokesperson said Friday. “We are grateful to the companies and civil society organizations that supported us in arguing for people’s ability to learn about and challenge overly broad search warrants.”…“What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting,” said ACLU attorney Scott Michelman.
Government attorneys have not commented on this matter other than to lift the gag order that came with the warrants to Facebook. Also served in this matter was DreamHost, the hosting service for disruptj20.com. Warrants issued there are also wide ranging related to visitors to the website and other assorted information.
So, it looks like the Department of Justice is looking into matters of protest and crime, and resistance is coming from a number of quarters based not on matters of law and order, but on an administration investigating those who oppose it disregarding the violence associated with the disagreement and protest.