(BT, 4. maj 2021)

Det går stærkt i disse år. Højreekstremisme defineres i praksis som alt til højre for midten, og den omfattende censur af konservative på Facebook og Twitter har betydet at grupper som Proud Boys og Oath Keepers kommunikerer i lukkede ikke-censurerede fora. Det er dem medierne kalder ‘rabbit holes’, og det er selvfølgelig også et problem. Alle har ret til at mene det samme. Det autoritære demokrati er tydeligvis under opbygning.

Biden-administrationen har fundet en løsning. De vil samarbejde med ‘outside firms’, der med ‘false identities’ kan overvåge højreorienterede grupper. Hvad det betyder i praksis kan man kun gisne om, men CNN omtaler de her efterforskere som ‘research firms and non-profit groups’. Det lyder grangiveligt som om, at venstreradikale skal ansættes af staten til at overvåge demokratiske højreorienterede. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

En vild historie fra CNN – Biden team may partner with private firms to monitor extremist chatter online.

“The Biden administration is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online, an effort that would expand the government’s ability to gather intelligence but could draw criticism over surveillance of US citizens.

The Department of Homeland Security is limited in how it can monitor citizens online without justification and is banned from activities like assuming false identities to gain access to private messaging apps used by extremist groups such as the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers.

Instead, federal authorities can only browse through unprotected information on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and other open online platforms. A source familiar with the effort said it is not about decrypting data but rather using outside entities who can legally access these private groups to gather large amounts of information that could help DHS identify key narratives as they emerge.

Researchers who already monitor such activity online could act as middlemen to obtain the information. DHS officials maintain the materials provided would only consist of broad summaries or analysis of narratives that are emerging on these sites and would not be used to target specific individuals.

But some of the research firms and non-profit groups under consideration by the DHSperiodically use covert identities to access private social media groups like Telegram, and others used by domestic extremist groups. …

Much of the planning for the Capitol Hill riot appeared out in the open, on social media platforms and on encrypted apps available to anyone with an internet connection. … By the time narratives are appearing on Facebook, it is usually too late, one DHS official told CNN.”

“FBI director Christopher Wray has been emphatic during recent public testimony that the bureau does not investigate ideologies or even conspiracy theories in and of themselves, but restricts its social media monitoring to cases where they believe a crime, or potential crime, was committed. …

What do you do about ideology that’s leading to violence? Do you have to wait until it leads to violence?’ said one former senior intelligence official.”