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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Friday it will stop compiling intelligence reports on journalists covering protests in Portland, Ore., and open an internal investigation into the practice.
The announcement comes after reports surfaced Friday that DHS created intelligence reports on a pair of journalists who it claimed reported on leaked, unclassified information, sparking criticism that the agency was violating the reporters’ First Amendment rights.
The article goes on to state the following:
One of the leaked memos said that DHS agents on the ground in Portland have relied on financial intelligence and “baseball cards” of arrested protesters to better assess the situation, adopting a tactic that has historically been used by the U.S. intelligence community as background information on suspected terrorists.
DHS Spokesman Alexei Woltornist issued the following statement:
“Department of Homeland Security Spokesman Alexei Woltornist released the following statement on DHS Intelligence & Analysis Directorate Reports:
“Upon learning about the practice, Acting Secretary Wolf directed the DHS Intelligence & Analysis Directorate to immediately discontinue collecting information involving members of the press. In no way does the Acting Secretary condone this practice and he has immediately ordered an inquiry into the matter.
“The Acting Secretary is committed to ensuring that all DHS personnel uphold the principles of professionalism, impartiality and respect for civil rights and civil liberties, particularly as it relates to the exercise of First Amendment rights. ”
DHS official removed from position amid reports his office compiled intel on journalists and protesters https://t.co/uPM1GkVChI
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 1, 2020
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