‘The US government, without court or congressional review, may have broadened a legal interpretation of which citizens are subjected to physical or digital surveillance to include “homegrown violent extremists,” according to newly released documents.
A new manual permits the collection of information about Americans, citizens and green card holders, for counterintelligence purposes “when no specific connection to foreign terrorist(s) has been established,” according to training slides created last year by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).
The manual used in training presentations was obtained by Human Rights Watch (HRW) through a Freedom of Information Act request.
HRW requested the manual after leaked documents indicated that under Executive Order 12333, the US had vacuumed up the communications of potentially all telephone calls in countries including Mexico and Philippines.
“If you are in El Paso, Texas and have called your mother in Juarez, Mexico, US intelligence agencies probably have a record of your call,” stated HRW. “They can use this data to map social networks and share it for law enforcement purposes.”’