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How the Biden Administration Could Step Up Warrantless Spying on Americans by Using Private Firms

The Biden administration is considering using private firms to surveil suspected domestic terrorists online, according to CNN. A new “war on domestic terror” is fraught with risks of curtailing constitutional rights for Americans and giving sweeping new powers to the federal government, warned former CIA officers.

US federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI, are limited in how they can monitor citizens online without a warrant, while the CIA and NSA are restricted in the collection of intelligence information domestically, explains CNN. Moreover, they are strictly prohibited from assuming false identities to access private messaging apps used by “extremist groups such as the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers,” CNN notes. To that end, federal authorities are mulling the hiring of outside entities which could “legally” infiltrate these private groups to gather vast amounts of information, as a source familiar with the effort told the broadcaster.

Private Contractors to Spy on Americans

“The DHS will use the new workers to infiltrate organisations and spy on them from the inside, while also collecting electronic information relating to their activities,” notes Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer. “That intelligence will then be used by the Justice Department to go after the groups legally in an attempt to break them up and imprison their leaders.”