I know you'll be shocki=ed to hear this but the DHS has been surveilling the Black Lives Matter movement. Because... terrorism? They don't say:
The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Interceptthrough a Freedom of Information Act request.
The documents, released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Operations Coordination, indicate that the department frequently collects information, including location data, on Black Lives Matter activities from public social media accounts, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, even for events expected to be peaceful. The reports confirm social media surveillance of the protest movement and ostensibly related events in the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and New York.
They also show the department watching over gatherings that seem benign and even mundane. For example, DHS circulated information on a nationwide series of silent vigils and a DHS-funded agency planned to monitor a funk music parade and a walk to end breast cancer in the nation’s capital.
In case you are unfamiliar with Cointelpro, here's the official story from The FBI website:
COINTELPRO The FBI began COINTELPRO—short for Counterintelligence Program—in 1956 to disrupt the activities of the Communist Party of the United States. In the 1960s, it was expanded to include a number of other domestic groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Black Panther Party. All COINTELPRO operations were ended in 1971. Although limited in scope (about two-tenths of one percent of the FBI’s workload over a 15-year period), COINTELPRO was later rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons.
Isn't that special? Here's the Wikipedia rundown:
FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed "subversive", including
- communist and socialist organizations;
- organizations and individuals associated with the Civil Rights Movement, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, and other civil rights organizations;
- black nationalist groups;
- the Young Lords;
- the American Indian Movement;
- the white supremacist groups;
- the Ku Klux Klan;
- the National States' Rights Party;
- a broad range of organizations labeled "New Left", including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen;
- almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation;
- the National Lawyers Guild;
- organizations and individuals associated with the women's rights movement;
- nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch's Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement;
- and additional notable Americans.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate" the activities of these movements and their leaders. Under Hoover, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO was William C. Sullivan. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of these programs. Kennedy would later learn that he also had been a target of FBI surveillance.
I'm sure they would never do anything like this again though so there's no reason to worry. They're just trying to keep us safe. From ourselves.