Home Tech US Lawmaker Cited NYC Protests in a Defense of Warrantless Spying

US Lawmaker Cited NYC Protests in a Defense of Warrantless Spying

by Elijah
0 comment
US Lawmaker Cited NYC Protests in a Defense of Warrantless Spying

The second slide in Turner’s presentation featured Foldi’s tweet, which also referred to a march on Schumer’s house. However, that protest took place almost a month after the first. HPSCI’s claim that Hamas may have incited the demonstration appears to be based solely on this comment from Foldi, who claims the demonstrators were responding to a call from a pro-Palestinian group known as Samidoun.

However, that was not the case.

The only evidence of the Palestinian group’s involvement is that the protest was recorded on a calendar maintained by Samidoun on its website. The calendar currently lists more than 5,000 protests that have taken place around the world, from Australia and England to Finland, Nigeria, Iceland and Japan. The same site includes a disclaimer stating that the list includes protests not organized by Samidoun, and visitors are encouraged to submit details of events organized in their respective countries.

Foldi then portrayed that Samidoun had been “banned from Germany and removed from numerous payment processors due to suspicions of acting as a Hamas front group.”

A German branch of Samidoun was disbanded in November, but not because of evidence that it had ties to Hamas. On the contrary, the group formed to protest the imprisonment of Palestinians was accused of distribution “anti-Jewish conspiracy theories,” a claim that organizers vehemently deny, while noting that their ranks include many Jewish members.

For obvious reasons, Germany has some of the strictest anti-Semitism laws in the world, allowing Berlin to enact these laws general prohibitions against protests aimed at raising awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Such bans would be illegal under the United States Constitution.

Samidoun branches have also faced bans from payment processors abroad. This also happens regularly in the United States. The bar to get banned by a payment processor is notable far below having ties to terrorism.

Payment processors last year cut ties with a French branch of the group, known as Collectif Palestine Vaincra, following an attempt by the French government to dissolve the organization amid accusations that it is “anti-Jewish.” This attempt has been blocked by a French court in May, however, after it ruled that the Macron government’s accusations of “anti-Semitism” against the group were “unfounded.”

Neither Foldi nor Samidoun immediately responded to requests for comment.

That the chairman of a U.S. intelligence committee chose such dubious examples during a presentation aimed at building support for a U.S. oversight authority gave many Republican staffers pause.

None of the House sources who spoke to WIRED work for lawmakers who could be credibly accused of anything other than supporting the Israeli government. Yet they all agreed that the issue of domestic surveillance transcends political ideology—one of the purest examples of the “pendulum politics” that defines America’s two-party system.

“What we know for sure is this,” said a Republican aide: “While the administration decides today to treat left-wing protesters, this is how we should expect protesters in our party to be treated under future administrations.”

A House Democratic staffer – half-jokingly referring to the Cold War doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” – said they “wholeheartedly” agreed with this sentiment. “Our destinies are aligned,” they say. “That’s the best defense we have.”

“Political protest is literally how America was founded. It’s in our DNA,” said Jason Pye, senior policy analyst at the nonprofit FreedomWorks. “Whether you agree with these protesters or not doesn’t matter.”

You may also like