San Francisco, CA- It appears that everyone must be more careful about what he/she likes, as four men were arrested by the FBI behind evidence that included Facebook “likes” as well as Skype conversations.
The FBI’s Los Angeles field office recently revealed that it had charged four men over alleged involvement in an al-Qaeda inspired terror cell that had been based around the California area. According to the Federal agency, the men had been involved in plotting strategies for providing support to terrorists.
The case against the men was under wraps until its release days ago, and it has since attracted the attention from activists who are appalled at the law enforcement techniques utilized.
In the case documents are evidence that the agency attempted to infiltrate the group electronically. The FBI used “online covert employee,” in order to pose as terrorist sympathisers and gauge the threat of the individuals in question.
One portion of the file noted that the FBI was able to obtain audio and visual recording of Skype conversations of the individuals. The way the tap was created is unclear, causing even more uproar amongst rights activists. It is possible that the FBI had to install particular spyware in order to get such information, as Skype uses encryption to avoid third-party eavesdroppers.
Likely the most interesting piece of information is that the federal agents used social networks to build the case. One section titled “Defendants’ social media” listed Islamist content that the men had “liked” and “shared” on their respective Facebook pages.
According to the FBI, Soheil Omar Kabir , a U.S. Citizen who was tagged as the ringleader of the group, posted “photographs of himself, non-extremist content, radical Islamist content, and items reflecting a mistrust of mainstream media, abuses by the government, conspiracy theories, abuses by law enforcement, and the war in Afghanistan.” It adds, in reference to two of the other suspects, “Kabir has ‘shared’ several postings with Santana and/or Deleon, both of whom have ‘liked’ or commented on several other postings by Kabir.”
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Official Wire Newsdesk