New documents released by Wikileaks have revealed a massive government wiretapping program focused on rural communities. The program includes warrantless wiretaps on church leaders, volunteer boards, and animal shelter volunteers. The purpose of the program was to gather intelligence on the members of the church as well as to gather intelligence on their names, addresses, phone numbers, schools attended, family relationships, firearms, and more. A total of 603 illegal taps were initiated by federal, state, and local law enforcement. The grand jury evidence was collected from the homes of some of those targeted is now part of the public record.
After the government surveillance, the following was discovered: “In addition to the copying of private cell phones, investigators copied the contents of the email accounts of everyone who attended church meetings.” State Senator Donald McEachin, who sits on the Health Committee, pointed out that when government agencies gain access to private communications, there are no privacy protections. He said, “I have grave concerns that the FBI’s actions have eroded the constitutionally guaranteed protections for all Americans.”
Senator Donald McEachin, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, also pointed out that domestic law enforcement has been spying on and violating the rights of American citizens for decades. He said, “With the new information revealed by the whistleblower, the scope and nature of domestic law enforcement spying on domestic activists and organizers becomes far more evident. Moreover, the documents also reveal the nature of the unauthorized access to the House of Representatives IT system.” This incident shows the extent to which the FBI continues to try and cover up the surveillance of Congressman Ratcliffe.
Tags: spying wiretap