Congress passed the Patriot Act to help law enforcement foil terrorists.
The National Security Letter provision made it significantly easy for the FBI to gather data from web hosts, telecom firms, social media firms, etc.
Who knew, that all this time, all they needed was a free Facebook account?
In this case, and several others, the FBI is submitting LIKES as evidence of terrorist activity.
I guess Congress can void the Patriot Act and raise the standards for NSL’s then, right?
The latest headline-grabbing case of “arrested terrorists” actually appears like it may have slightly more substance, however, in that they may have actually had some sort of connection to al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
That doesn’t mean that there still aren’t some oddities in the case, however. As a number of folks have sent over, reading through the indictment (also embedded below) shows that a significant chunk of the “evidence” seems to consist of Facebook “likes” and shared content among the accused. From the indictment:
- I have reviewed several of the social media web sites for KABIR, SANTANA, DELEON, each of whom has posted radical prom jihad content on their respective pages. Additionally, portions of the social media show that DELEON and SANTANA “liked” postings on KABIR’s Facebook page as early as May 2011.
- Public items posted by KABIR to his social media accounts include photographs of himself, non-extremist content, radical Islamist content, and items reflecting a mistrust of mainstream media, abuses by the government, conspiracy theories, abuses by law enforcement, and the war in Afghanistan. KABIR’s radical postings include videos and links to videos of Al-Qa’ida leader Anwar Al-Awlagi and his lectures, jihad–based videos regarding Afghanistan and elsewhere, videos depicting mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan and elsewhere, videos depicting terrorist training camps and related activities, videos depicting improvised explosive device attacks, and articles regarding the death of American soldiers in Afghanistan. For example, on July 6, 2012, KABIR shared a video to his public Facebook page entitled “Knights of Khorasan Islamic Emirate Operation Against an Army Base in Margha.” This video, which I have reviewed, depicts a suicide bombing operation against a large base wherein the suicide- bomber drives an explosives-laden truck into a base and detonates it. The video bears the symbol of As-Sahab, Al– Qa’ida’s media wing, in the lower right corner.