Website sues FBI for alleged spying
May 22, 2013
Has the FBI been spying on an online magazine? The editors of San Francisco-based Antiwar.com are suing the federal agency with the help of the ACLU to prove their assertion that government agents have had the website on their investigative radar for years.
The lawsuit seeks FBI records that Antiwar.com officials say “we know they possess.” According to a statement issued Tuesday by Antiwar.com, “A memo from FBI headquarters in Washington speculates Antiwar.com and its principals are possibly ‘a threat to national security’ engaging in a conspiracy ‘on behalf of a foreign power’ and recommends a more thorough investigation.”
That memo was dated 2004, and was discovered only after another online news service published other FBI documents obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests. The memo called for expanded surveillance of Antiwar.com.
Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy, whether it’s AP or Antiwar.com. FBI surveillance of news organizations interferes with journalists’ ability to do their jobs as watchdogs that hold the government accountable.”