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FBI Agent Says He Hassles People 'Every Day, All Day Long' Over Facebook Posts

Accepted submission by fliptop at 2024-03-31 12:32:41 from the we-just-want-to-keep-everyone-safe,-honest dept.
Security

The FBI spends "every day, all day long" interrogating people over their Facebook posts. At least, that's what agents told Stillwater, Oklahoma, resident Rolla Abdeljawad when they showed up at her house to ask her about her social media activity [reason.com]:

Three FBI agents came to Abdeljawad's house and said that they had been given "screenshots" of her posts by Facebook. Her lawyer Hassan Shibly posted a video [twitter.com] of the incident online on Wednesday.

Abdeljawad told agents that she didn't want to talk and asked them to show their badges on camera, which the agents refused to do. She wrote on Facebook [facebook.com] that she later confirmed with local police that the FBI agents really were FBI agents.

"Facebook gave us a couple of screenshots of your account," one agent in a gray shirt said in the video.

[...] Shibly says that he doesn't know which Facebook post caught the agents' attention, and that it was the first time he had heard of Facebook's parent company, Meta, preemptively reporting posts to law enforcement. Andy Stone, a spokesman for Meta, and Kayla McCleery, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Oklahoma City office, declined to comment.*

Meta's official policy is to hand over Facebook data to U.S. law enforcement in response to a court order, a subpoena, a search warrant, or an emergency situation involving "imminent harm to a child or risk of death or serious physical injury to any person." The company received 73,956 requests from U.S. law enforcement and handed over data 87.84 percent of the time in the first half of 2023, according to the Meta website [fb.com].

[...] *UPDATE: After publication, McCleery provided the following statement; "Every day, the FBI engages with members of the public in furtherance of our mission, which is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. We can never open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity. The FBI is committed to ensuring our activities are conducted with a valid law enforcement or national security purpose, while upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans."

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