Constitution in Crisis :: June 2017

logo of pinkertons national detective agency which is a giant eye
Why is the FBI in Bed With Shadowy Corporate Spies?
June 1, 2017
j edgar hoover FBI Building
No Matter Who Trump Nominates to Head the FBI, Congress Must Engage in True Oversight
June 1, 2017

Dear Troublemakers,

Who does the FBI protect? Who does the FBI serve? Is is we the people? Or is it powerful corporations like TransCananda and Walmart?

The FBI has always been the political police, but as a public agency they at least usually act under the veneer of serving a public purpose. Yet time and time again, the FBI has colluded with corporations worried about protests or secretive, private security forces gathering intelligence on political activity for their powerful corporate clients.

The latest targets of collusion appear to be Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. According to leaked documents, the company building the pipeline hired defense contractor TigerSwan, to thwart off protesters. The documents are chilling referring to Water Protectors as “terrorists” and “insurgents” and referencing the “battlefield” as though they were fighting a war. TigerSwan infiltrated protests, gathered personal information on protesters, engaged in aerial surveillance, and monitored the media.

And they shared this information with prosecutors, law enforcement, and the FBI. TigerSwan, as a private corporation, is accountable only to its client, not to the public. And its job includes protecting their client’s reputation, meaning they have an interest in making the protesters look bad–or seeing them carted off to jail. This blatant conflict of interest and lack of accountability means the FBI shouldn’t be working with them.

That’s why we are asking you to let Congress know you are concerned. Click here to take action. And click here to learn more.


Chip Gibbons, Policy & Legislative Counsel

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Why is the FBI in Bed With Shadowy Corporate Spies?

While any FBI surveillance of dissent offends civil liberties, the FBI’s collusion with private corporations raises deeply troubling questions for our democracy.

No Matter Who Trump Nominates to Head the FBI, Congress Must Engage in True Oversight

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