FBI Agents Are Impersonating Journalists – One Posed as Associated Press Editor

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Published on: October 5, 2016

The FBI has been engaged in impersonating journalists and one of the agents even posed as an editor for the Associated Press.

In a report released in September 2016, the Inspector General wrote:

Over the course of 1 week in June 2007, a 15-year old high school student emailed a series of bomb threats to administrators and staff at Timberline High School, near Seattle, Washington. The threats caused daily school evacuations. The individual used “proxy servers” to e-mail the bomb threats in order to hide his location. When local law enforcement officials were unable to identify or locate the individual, they requested assistance from a cybercrime task force supervised by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Seattle Field Division.

FBI agents on the task force, working with FBI technology and behavioral experts at Headquarters (FBIHQ), developed a plan to surreptitiously insert a computer program into the individual’s computer that would identify his location. An FBI undercover agent posed as an editor for the Associated Press (AP) and attempted to contact the individual through e-mail. During subsequent online communications, the undercover agent sent the individual links to a fake news article and photographs that had the computer program concealed within them. The individual activated the computer program when he clicked on the link to the photographs, thereby revealing his location to the FBI. FBI and local law enforcement agents subsequently arrested the individual and he confessed to emailing the bomb threats.

The FBI did not publicize the assistance its agents provided local law enforcement. However, on July 18, 2007, 2 days after the individual pleaded guilty, an online technology news website published an article that detailed the method by which the FBI identified the individual. Seven years later, in October 2014, The Seattle Times published an article that disclosed the fact that an FBI employee posed as a member of the news media when it contacted and then identified the subject as the author of the bomb threats. Later that same month the AP sent a letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder protesting the FBI’s impersonation of a member of the news media in connection with the FBI’s investigation of the bomb threats. In addition, several newspapers wrote articles questioning the tactics the FBI used to identify and arrest the subject who sent the threats.

Just a week later, Hillary Clinton coverer and FBI Director James Comey wrote a letter to The New York Times to defend what the FBI did.

Comey wrote, “”technique [the FBI used to identify and apprehend the individual who sent the threats] was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and F.B.I. guidelines at the time” and that “[t]oday, the use of such an unusual technique would probably require higher level approvals than in 2007, but it would still be lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate.”

Previously, Comey wrote, “That technique was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and FBI guidelines at the time,” he wrote in a New York Times op-ed in November 2014. “Every undercover operation involves ‘deception,’ which has long been a critical tool in fighting crime. The FBI’s use of such techniques is subject to close oversight, both internally and by the courts that review our work.”

He said it was “lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate.”

How so? How is it lawful to impersonate a member of the Associated Press without their authorization? How is that appropriate?

For the FBI and the DC government, the ends justify the means.

Consider this is the same corrupt director that just let Hillary Clinton off the hook for her criminal actions that not only violated federal law, but put the US’ national security at risk.

“The Associated Press is deeply disappointed by the Inspector General’s findings, which effectively condone the FBI’s impersonation of an AP journalist in 2007,” Associated Press Vice President Paul Colford said in a statement. “Such action compromises the ability of a free press to gather the news safely and effectively and raises serious constitutional concerns.”

Now, before you get upset with me, consider that the FBI planted something on a citizen’s computer. It’s true, it was used to catch the criminal and resulted in a confession. That part is great, but if they are doing it there, do you think they are doing it to possibly your computer? Think not? Then consider that the same FBI was distributing child pornography via Operation Pacifier in 2015 in clear violation of federal law in order to catch people who viewed it! And let’s not forget Mr. Comey’s corrupt $6 million deal with a Clinton Foundation Defense Contractor and tampering with Clinton evidence.

In 2007, the FBI allowed such actions so long as “a higher level of approval” by FBI supervisors was given. However, in June, as long as an agent had two high ranking officials approve and an undercover review committee at its headquarters, agents can pose as journalists.

“We believe the new interim policy on undercover activities that involve FBI employees posing as members of the news media is a significant improvement to FBI policies that existed,” the inspector general wrote in the 26-page report. 

“The FBI guidelines adopted in 2016 in response to this incident still permit the FBI to impersonate news organizations and other third parties without their consent in certain cases, and fail to address the host of other dangers associated with FBI hacking,” ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani said in a statement

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