A private company monitored protests around President Donald Trump’s family separation policy last year and shared the information with the government, leading to anger and calls for an investigation.
The company, LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, spied on Americans around the country in the early summer of 2018. The surveillance was done in the lead-up to at least 600 protests held across the country against the family separation policy.
The revelation comes from documents obtained by the American Immigration Council and shared with The Intercept.
The information obtained by LookingGlass was offered “unsolicited” to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an official told The Intercept‘s Ryan Devereaux on background. The contents were then disseminated in DHS and passed onto Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The official gave further detail in an email to Devereaux.
“A private sector entity shared unsolicited information it collected through publicly available channels with DHS [Office of Intelligence and Analysis] on protests that were scheduled to take place near Federal facilities,” said the official. “Throughout the summer of 2018, the Department was at a heightened state of security due to ongoing protests outside of Federal facilities and physical threats to DHS employees which did result in a least one arrest.”
LookingGlass works with DHS regularly, the department added.
In a statement, Jess Morales Rocketto, chair of Families Belong Together, said that her group would not be intimidated and that Congress should investigate the allegations.
“We already knew that the administration had been harassing activists, lawyers, and journalists who have been shining a spotlight on the family separation crisis,” said Rocketto. “The surveillance of last summer’s protests is further proof that this administration is politicizing law enforcement and violating our basic civil rights.”
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