An investigation of social media surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists shows a pattern of systemic racism and disregard for the law, according to an Oregon civil rights group.
The comments from the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon came in response to a report issued this month by the Oregon Department of Justice on the DOJ’s Criminal Justice Division’s monitoring of the social media use of Black Lives Matter activists.
“The report is damning,” wrote Mat dos Santos, the nonprofit’s legal director. “It paints an abysmal picture of rampant misinformation, beginning with agents and analysts and running all the way up to the deputy attorney general, and it shows how one mistake in judgment can lead to dangerous consequences for the public.”
Last year, a “threat assessment report” issued by an investigator at the state’s DOJ, singled out Facebook and Twitter users that used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag for surveillance. The investigation became so broad that one of the department’s own attorneys was cited in the report as a possible threat.
Ellen Rosenblum, the state’s attorney general, said she was “shocked and appalled” and called for a full investigation, according to a November article from The Oregonian.