Progressives Demand House GOP Committee Chairs Investigate Hunton & Williams

When I first posted on Hank Johnson’s letter demanding an investigation into Hunton & Williams’ appropriation of counterterrorist techniques to attack citizen speech, I was a bit skeptical. Without a way to get some coverage of the demand, such a letter risks being yet one more angry letter into the void.

But I will say the letter is well-constructed.

That’s because it’s addressed to the Chairmen of the Oversight, Judiciary, Intelligence, and Armed Services Committees: Darrell Issa, Lamar Smith, Mike Rogers, and Buck McKeon. So in addition to someone, like Smith, who can address the legal issues involved–notably, why DOJ was recommending H&W to Bank of America–Johnson and others have included Rogers and McKeon, who presumably know a good deal about how DOD has funded campaigns like the one H&W was going to launch against citizens.

Which brings us to the DOD tie-in:

The techniques may have been developed at U.S. government expense to target terrorists and other security threats. The emails indicated that these defense contractors planned to mine social network sites for information on Chamber critics; planned to plant “false documents” and “fake insider personas” that would be used to discredit the groups; and discussed the use of malicious and intrusive software (“malware”) to steal private information from the groups and disrupt their internal electronic communications.

[snip]

It is deeply troubling to think that tactics developed for use against terrorists may have been unleashed against American citizens.

[snip]

Possible proof the defense and security contractors may have traded on their government work is inferred by a November 3, 2010, sales proposal from Team Themis to Hunton & Williams: “Who better to develop a corporate information reconnaissance capability than companies that have been market leaders within the [Defense Department] and Intelligence Community?

The focus, in other words, is not just on how such a campaign violates the law, but also how it represents the application of DOD-developed programs to private citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.

Sure, the GOP Chairs will ignore this.

But it’ll make them complicit in protecting the Chamber’s and H&W’s misappropriation of DOD technology.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel .@joshgerstein wants to know why in 4 mos, House GOP hasn't walked 10 minutes to file their ObamaCare lawsuit. http://t.co/YSNRBHknNb Good Q
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Two years ago I asked, "Will SCOTUS Invent a “Database-and-Mining” Exception to the Fourth Amendment?" https://t.co/IbRFSTzGZ6 Holds up well
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @daveweigel You saw me brainstorming what kind of Majority Leader Cornyn would be?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @flexlibris: Former FBI agent Mike German is talking about how CVE masquerades as "community outreach" when in fact it's an intelligence…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mattapuzzo Well, see? They have to finished something.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mattapuzzo Tho I trust the Ferguson GJ is more real than that DOJ review of NYPD's civil rights violations.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mattapuzzo Also that DOJ review of NYPD's civil rights violations...
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mattapuzzo Given that no one has been nominated and GOP has promised to stall AND prolly will have a majority after that, not saying much.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Isn't spending $1.8M of your own money to win election against someone who has been disqualified itself disqualifying? This is so confusing
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Why is Mitch McConnell lending his $1.8M when Secretary of State Chuck Todd has DQed McConnell's opponent?
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JimWhiteGNV RT @RiosJose559: We can't understand shootings in the #USA unless they "converted to Islam"
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emptywheel @astepanovich Particularly given that Microsoft warrant challenge for a server in Ireland.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
March 2011
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