News Release

Report Exposes FBI’s Systemic Surveillance of Activists

A new report from Defending Rights & Dissent finds that nearly every major social movement of the past decade — including Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock protesters, environmental activists, and supporters of Palestinian rights — has been targeted by the FBI.​

CHIP GIBBONS, Chip at RightsAndDissent.org, @RightsDissent
Gibbons, a journalist, is the report’s author and the policy and legislative counsel for Defending Rights & Dissent.

He said today: “This report exposes FBI political surveillance as systemic and part of  a wider pattern of abuse. [It] documents how the FBI frequently cites its counterterrorism authorities when spying on protest groups. It also documents how the groups targeted by the FBI are frequently peace, racial justice, environmental, and economic justice advocates. ​

“The evidence marshaled [here] creates a powerful case that greater oversight of the FBI is urgently needed. Congress must exercise its oversight powers to investigate FBI First Amendment abuses. It is imperative for Congress to determine the full extent of this surveillance and take steps to address it.”​