“FBI’s complicity in spreading hate” and the Melzer Case

Experts in countering hate groups are openly questioning the role and strategy of the FBI, related to a domestic terrorism case stemming from interception of encrypted communication on Telegram.

…critics say, this is a crisis the FBI helped create. […] Sutter’s role as the chief American proselytizer of Melzer’s satanic ideology is complicated by the fact that Sutter was also enjoying life on the FBI payroll [since 2004], while publishing thousands of words of blood-curdling propaganda that radicalized a growing movement of dangerous extremists. […] …by employing Sutter, the distributor and author of texts that promote not only terrorism but also pedophilia, human sacrifice, and child abuse, the FBI has given its informant way too long a leash, and innocents have paid a price. […] “The more you push out their propaganda, the more someone who might be vulnerable, angry, or have a mental illness will say, ‘I’m gonna do this.'” […] Mike German, a former FBI agent who spent years infiltrating white-supremacist movements in the 1990s, points to [Whitey] Bulger’s case and Sutter’s years of satanist proselytizing as exemplars of “gross mismanagement” by the country’s premier law-enforcement agency… “Where the FBI gets in trouble all the time is ignoring the crimes the informants are committing.”

Melzer is accused of using his Telegram account to distribute classified details about U.S. Army assignments to enemies including someone he thought was Al Qaeda. He allegedly intended for his own unit (173rd) to be killed in an ambush that wanted to help plan with terrorists.

In other words there is a collision between data integrity and confidentiality. A data integrity collapse was coupled with dissemination using confidentiality.

If confidentiality hadn’t been broken (interception of encrypted communication) many people would have died from terrorism, yet the whole thing could have been prevented with improving data integrity controls.

That reference to Melzer as a copy-cat or follower of Sutter thus is a very big problem for the FBI, which tends to claim it wants to prevent copy-cat and follower crimes. It kind of begs the ethical question of the FBI watching and allowing dangers to manifest all the way to excuse breaking encryption, instead of helping prevent rise of dangers.

A lack of data integrity controls, let alone a strategy for enforcing them, has become the defining security problem of this decade.

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