FBI defends Web site monitoring

Filed under
Security

The FBI is denying allegations it encroached on civil rights by monitoring Web sites that called for civil disobedience in 2004`s U.S. political
conventions.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show agents monitored a site belonging to a group calling itself RNC Not Welcome that urged visitors to "disrupt" the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York.

Another document described posted threats to disrupt the Democratic National Convention in Boston, The Washington Post reported Monday.

"It`s increasingly clear that the government is involved in political surveillance of organizations that are involved in nothing more than lawful First Amendment activities," said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

An FBI official who asked not to be identified told the newspaper that many of the records were routine correspondence, and that the FBI counterterrorism unit received reports on possible threats to the 2004 political conventions because of its role in ensuring security.

UPI