Black Twitter is known for making folks aware of the issues facing Black America, but apparently it and civil rights activist DeRay McKesson are attracting attention outside its intended audience.
Vice notes that McKessson in particular is being monitored by the Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Vice acknowledged emails sent by the feds that described the activist as a “professional protestor” who was “known to law enforcement.”
With more than 200,000 Twitter followers, McKesson has become force for good while using social media to keep people aware of what’s happening in social justice.
“Mckesson’s Twitter and other social media accounts were being monitored by DHS last May during the height of the protests in Baltimore that followed the death of Freddie Gray,” reported Vice.
In addition, another probe under the FOIA request found that protest locations across New York City, Ferguson, and Baltimore were being monitored by law enforcement, in addition to peaceful silent vigils.
Mckesson’s actions noticeably put a spotlight on the situation in Ferguson, as evidenced by him receiving the Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership by Teach for America, which acknowledged his “deft use of social media provided Ferguson citizens with a viral voice.”
As a result of his influence and power on social media, McKesson could easily make the feds One to Watch list. Despite what it may look like, monitoring by the feds is legal.
“Apologists for this kind of chilling, wasteful government spying would likely say that Deray McKesson’s tweets are public, and therefore he has no right to privacy in them. But just because police can do something doesn’t mean they should,” ACLU magazine’s Kade Crockford told Vice.
So with all of this, what say you? Do you think the feds are overstepping their bounds with monitoring activists on social media or are they within their legal right to do so?
(Photo Source: Deray Twitter)
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