Is there anyone who has been following the protests plans for New York during the Republican National Convention who doesn’t think that there is a “suspicion of criminal activity” already? The ACLU doesn’t…
NEW YORK (AP) — With the Republican National Convention less than two weeks away, federal agents and city police are keeping tabs on activists and others they believe might try to cause trouble. They are making unannounced visits to people’s homes, conducting interviews and monitoring Web sites and meetings.
…”We’re not engaging in surveillance of groups or individuals without legal predication,” said Jim Margolin, a spokesman for the FBI’s New York office.
“Just a visit by the FBI has overtones,” said John Young, a 68-year-old activist who says the government has been monitoring a Web site he runs ever since agents showed up at his door late last year. “Whether you’ve done anything wrong or not, you think, ‘Oh no.’
…Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, raised an alarm, arguing that few people know they have a right to turn away the FBI.
“Political interrogation without suspicion of criminal activity harkens back to the bad old days of the McCarthy era,” she said. “The FBI does not have a right to intimidate people for criticizing the government.”
Officials deny the operation threatens civil rights. They note that the FBI interviews are voluntary, and that protest meetings and Internet postings being monitored are public forums.
…In Manhattan, Young caught law enforcement’s attention by what he described as an innocent attempt to expose gaps in national security through his Web site, cryptome.org. Recent postings feature diagrams, maps and photos of rail tunnels and gas lines leading toward Madison Square Garden.Oh there’s a suspicion of criminal activity allright… From today alone activists are being directed to mount electronic and telephonic attacks on GOP websites, phones, and fax machines – all likely federal offenses. More ominously another Indymedia site is running a collection of the names and address of 1600 delegates to the Republican National and what hotel they are staying at. Why?
Then anti-RNC hacking campaign that has already scored a hack of the Protest Warrior forum. The Indymorons seem to think that publishing the user database is a good idea even though they are fully aware the information was obtained illegally.
Update: Aaron traces the predictably direct link to Mr. Heinz-Kerry’s money. His e-mail address was one of the one’s published, a fact that I imagine he will wear as a badge of honor.