DOJ Wants Info on "Anti-Administration Activists"

This is absolutely chilling: The Department of Justice has identified three people they call "anti-administration activists," and have served search warrants on Facebook demanding those users' private account information — and thousands of others who interacted with those users. Facebook has not disclosed whether it plans to, or already has, complied with the warrants.

Jessica Schneider at CNN reports:
Trump administration lawyers are demanding the private account information of potentially thousands of Facebook users in three separate search warrants served on the social media giant, according to court documents obtained by 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."

One of those users, Emmelia Talarico, operated the disruptj20 page where Inauguration Day protests were organized and discussed; the page was visited by an estimated 6,000 users whose identities the government would have access to if Facebook hands over the information sought in the search warrants. In court filings, Talarico says if her account information was given to the government, officials would have access to her "personal passwords, security questions and answers, and credit card information," plus "the private lists of invitees and attendees to multiple political events sponsored by the page."

...The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the three Facebook users, filed a motion to quash the warrants Thursday.

"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.
I wish I could be hopeful that the ACLU will prevail, but when the Trump administration sought "to unmask every person who visited an anti-Trump website in what privacy advocates say is an unconstitutional 'fishing expedition' for political dissidents," the court ruled in their favor: "DC Superior Court Judge Robert Morin largely granted prosecutors' request to collect a vast set of records from the company, which will include emails of the users who signed up for an account associated with the website, and membership lists."

That doesn't bode well for fighting this latest attempt by the administration to expose and intimidate their critics.

Needless to say, this is very concerning to me. I am a dissident who is married to an immigrant — each of us belonging to a class the Trump administration has targeted for surveillance, exposure, intimidation, and, presumably, retribution at some point. What is going to happen to my family? What is going to happen to all the families like mine?

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