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U.S., Private Firms May Partner to Surveil Suspected Domestic Terrorists Online

Following the Capitol insurrection, federal authorities seek more oversight

The Biden administration is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online, an effort that would expand the government's ability to gather intelligence but could draw criticism over surveillance of U.S. citizens.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is limited in how it can monitor citizens online without justification and is banned from activities like assuming false identities to gain access to private messaging apps used by extremist groups such as the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers.

Instead, federal authorities can only browse through unprotected information on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and other open online platforms.

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