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US Biden's domestic social media surveillance alarms major civil rights group: 'Do not need a new war on terror'

20:31  02 december  2022
20:31  02 december  2022 Source:   foxnews.com

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The nation’s largest civil rights organization, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, urged the Biden administration to rein in its surveillance and domestic terror countermeasures that have been employed in recent months, the Washington Post reported.

Although the administration’s counter-terror strategy seeks to surveil mostly White nationalists, the Leadership Conference warned that "Black and Brown communities" are at risk of being abused by strategies "from two decades of trying to combat foreign-based terrorism."

"We do not need a new war on terror," one of the group’s senior directors warned.

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BIDEN WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES NEW EFFORT TO FOCUS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENT EXTREMISM

A major U.S. civil rights group slammed the Biden administration's domestic terrorism countermeasure strategy on Thursday. Tom Brenner/Getty Images © Tom Brenner/Getty Images A major U.S. civil rights group slammed the Biden administration's domestic terrorism countermeasure strategy on Thursday. Tom Brenner/Getty Images

The Washington Post published the story Thursday, reporting, "The nation’s largest civil rights organization is criticizing the Biden administration’s strategy to combat rising domestic extremism and white supremacy, saying the effort relies too heavily on methods that risk unnecessarily targeting and profiling Black and Brown communities."

As the outlet noted, the organization – a coalition of 200 groups – put out a report calling "on the administration to stop broad surveillance of social media accounts, rein in the use of federal government terrorist watch lists, oppose new domestic terrorism laws and adopt greater safeguards on information gathering."

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The Biden administration promulgated much of this counter-terror apparatus 18 months ago. The Post stated, "President Biden released the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, marking the first coordinated public plan by the federal government to monitor and head off homegrown extremism in the United States."

The plan, employed shortly after the January 6 Capitol riot, claimed that the "two most lethal elements of today’s domestic terrorism" it would be focusing on were "(1) racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists who advocate for the superiority of the white race and (2) anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists, such as militia violent extremists."

Though the civil rights group warned that minority communities would be harmed by this plan. The Post stated, "But they reiterated concerns that the administration is too readily importing strategies from two decades of trying to combat foreign-based terrorism that, they said, have disproportionately targeted minority communities."

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The Leadership Conference’s Fighting Hate & Bias initiative senior director Nadia Aziz provided a stern warning about this risk, saying, "One of things we’re trying to highlight, without necessarily saying it, is that we do not need a new war on terror."

INTEL COMMUNITY FINDS ‘HEIGHTENED THREAT’ OF DOMESTIC VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN 2021

FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: the January 6 Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Other Threats, in Hart Building on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images © Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: the January 6 Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Other Threats, in Hart Building on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

She added, "We should not use the same framework, the same rules, that were used in post-9/11 framework, in which we saw tremendous harm in some communities."

The organization’s report warned specifically of the government "relying on threat-assessment strategies that, the authors said, granted law enforcement agencies ‘immense discretion regarding whom or what to look into’ and ‘enabled law enforcement to baselessly tar entire communities with suspicion.’"

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The Post continued, saying the Leadership Center report "cites a government watch list that in recent years topped 1 million people, including U.S. citizens, identified as known or suspected terrorists and called on the administration to enact due-process safeguards, including a ‘meaningful notice of the basis for placement’ on the list and a hearing before an independent arbiter empowered to remove people from the list."

The report also slammed the Biden administration’s "Efforts to track extremist networks through online social media accounts," claiming they "raise serious concerns because they can blur the line between scrutiny of constitutionally protected or simply innocuous activity and genuine threats of violence."

It added, "The administration should stop conducting broadscale social media surveillance."

The civil rights group found it "concerning" that the Justice Department’s national security division put together a new domestic terrorism unit to carry out these tasks. As the Post noted, it called "for greater clarification over how that division will coordinate with Justice’s civil rights division to ‘prevent abuse of broad counterterrorism authorities.’"

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usr: 3
This is interesting!