Print 100 comment(s) - last by hiscross.. on Feb 15 at 9:59 PM

Mike German was fired by the FBI for exposing their cover up. He now works for the ACLU and is speaking out about how the government targets people based on religion and politics, with little oversight.  (Source: Network World)
Feds have little respect for your privacy, Constitution

The police are watching you.  If you're the wrong religion, they'll spy on your every move.  If you voice the wrong political opinions they'll be watching you.  According to Mike German, a 16-year veteran with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, this is happening right in the U.S.

Mr. German has become the FBI's worst nightmare.  Fed up with the abuses of privacy he was seeing, he complain to higher authorities and was promptly fired by the FBI.  Recently he became the ACLU's Policy Counsel on National Security, Immigration and Privacy [press release]. And he's speaking up about what he witnessed.

States Mr. German in a recent interview with Network World:

The most disturbing thing we've uncovered is the scope of domestic intelligence activities taking place today. Domestic spying is now being done by a host of federal agencies (FBI, DOD, DHS, DNI) as well as state and local law enforcement and even private companies. Too often this spying targets political activity and religious practices. We've documented intelligence activities targeting or obstructing First Amendment-protected activity in 33 states and DC.

He says that this Orwellian atmosphere could leave the U.S. a far different beast than the proud beacon of freedom it once was.  He states, "The biggest threat is that the increase surveillance of political activity will create a chilling effect that will dissuade people from exercising their rights, which will cause significant harm to participatory democracy."

He states that the "War on Terror" will continue to serve as an excuse for federal agencies to trample civil liberties.  He says that there are no clear-cut guidelines as to when you get put on a "watchlist" and are spied on by federal agents.  It's impossible to find out if your on a list and equally impossible to dispute or ask to be removed from a list.  

He also blasts TSA "enhanced pat-down" procedures and body scanners, calling them "unreasonable invasions of privacy that do not enhance security."

Given the Supreme Courts interpretation that privacy is a fundamental human right and thus Constitutionally protected by the Ninth Amendment, and given the First Amendments protections concerning freedom of speech and religion, Mr. German's claims are alarming.  Are U.S. federal employees deliberately spying on citizens and violating their rights, without the slightest legal accusation?

It'd be easy to dismiss Mr. German's claims as the words of a disgruntled employee.  But consider Mr. German's story of his departure from the agency:

I left the FBI when the DOJ Inspector General failed to investigate an FBI cover-up of a failed FBI counterterrorism investigation I reported, or protect me from official retaliation that resulted. I reported the information to Sen. Grassley and resigned. Grassley put pressure on the IG, so almost two years later the IG issued a report that showed the FBI falsified and backdated records about the case and retaliated against me for reporting it. I joined the ACLU two years later because I knew from my counterterrorism work that protecting civil liberties and keeping law enforcement accountable is what keeps America safe from terrorism and other crime.

Mr. German was clearly vindicated in the case that led to his dismissal.  The fact that the FBI tried to cover up its own wrongdoing and then punished Mr. German certainly damages its credibility and offers support for Mr. German's claims.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Dr of crap on 2/8/2011 11:03:32 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, I agree. The FBI should be accountable on this.
And if there are extreme poeple out there they should be under watch.
If you are not with the normal group and you are doing suspect things, then you should be watched closely.

However, not everyone falls into that watch list and those should be left alone.

By Schrag4 on 2/8/2011 11:35:29 AM , Rating: 5
And if there are extreme poeple out there they should be under watch.
If you are not with the normal group and you are doing suspect things, then you should be watched closely.

Although I think I understand what you're saying, the danger that most of us see is that the determination of what is extreme or not normal, as you put it, could one day soon change to include your views just because they're not consistent with those who are in power and want to keep themselves in power. I know I sound paranoid, but I don't think I'm really that paranoid, I just understand the danger.

Just out of curiosity, what would you consider extreme or not normal? The War on Terror suggests we should watch muslims. Are you OK with that? What if your group (I don't know what groups you fit into by the way) does something crazy tomorrow? Are you OK with being watched now just because now you fit the profile? I'm really playing devils advocate here, and would like to know what you and others think. To me, this is a complicated issue, and I also think it's important.

By MojoMan on 2/8/2011 1:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well thought out. Good point. I would LOVE to see a reply to your very logical questions.

By VultureTX on 2/14/2011 4:53:00 PM , Rating: 3
religious group or most of a religious group--

if you are a devout Muslim and truly believe the words of the Koran and the words of Muhammad(the Hadiths) then yes you should be watched since you believe the laws,beliefs, and culture of your religion are divine and trump any local laws. (assault your wife, clip your daughters clit, lie under oath, give aid to muslim terrorists, etc.)

political views--

well if your political views is as anarchist activist then yes should be watched but you believe in destroying the state.
note: most anarchists are posers and only want to repeal rules/ lessen the state. But there is a active group which continues to try to destroy/overthrow the US government.

/no it is not a well written reply, just a couple of examples of real enemies of the state.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

Latest Headlines

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Yahoo Hacked - Change Your Passwords and Security Info ASAP!
September 23, 2016, 5:45 AM
A is for Apples
September 23, 2016, 5:32 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki