Private Firm Monitored Idaho Political Demonstrations For Feds

May 1, 2019

A private intelligence firm monitored political demonstrations around Idaho in the summer of 2018 and passed along its findings to the federal government.
Credit Roam Yocham / Boise State Public Radio

A private intelligence firm based in Virginia monitored political demonstrations in Idaho last summer and sent information to federal authorities.

While the steps of the capitol building in Boise are usually the site of the biggest demonstrations in the state, a private firm kept tabs on happenings in Pocatello, Sandpoint, McCall, Meridian and more.

Reporting from The Intercept says LookingGlass Cyber Solutions was contracted by the Department of Homeland Security to watch protests over the Trump Administration’s contentious migrant family separation policy. The company monitored over 600 demonstrations nationwide and sent the information to DHS and state law enforcement authorities.

The firm collected information about demonstrations from social media and pinned down locations of civic action – specifically related to “Family Separation Day Protests” on June 30. After LookingGlass forwarded a list of events to DHS, that agency forwarded the information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Idaho Press reports it’s unclear whether or not ICE officials in Idaho received the intelligence.

The policy director of the ACLU of Idaho described the federal government’s monitoring of the peaceful political events as “alarming.”

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