Author Topic: FBI WATCHES JOURNALISTS  (Read 800 times)

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« on: November 27, 2005, 09:26:03 AM »
Date: 11/23/2005

Using powers granted by the U.S. Patriot Act, the FBI has stepped up surveillance on journalists in an effort to plug leaks from a Bush Administration paranoid of potential scandals. Justice Department sources say in reports that wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, and daily monitoring of reporters` activities are just a few of the actions of a program authorized by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Surveillance of reporters is just part of increased federal efforts to monitor Americans` daily activities. Last week the Federal Communications Commission set an 18-month deadline for broadband Internet providers to make their systems `wiretap-ready.`

The FBI is also turning to outside `contract agencies` to supplement FBI resources. The contract agencies also provide less of a trail to the White House. This includes exchanging information with data brokers, who then sell the information to others. The government has contracts with agencies such as Blackwater, which is made up of former military special operations soldiers. Blackwater agents were deployed to New Orleans to provide security after Hurricane Katrina, but also has contracts for information gathering within the U.S.

Several groups are allied over concerns of abuses under the Patriot Act, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and the American Bar Association. EPIC recently won a federal court case against the FBI seeking the release of records of FBI abuse under the Patriot Act. ABA president Michael S. Greco says, `The ABA is concerned that there is inadequate congressional oversight of government investigations`¦to assure that such investigations do not violate the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.`-JM
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