Washington D. C. 22 July – DHS faces questions based on reports that its office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is conducting “expanded intelligence activities necessary to mitigate the significant threat to homeland security…in the context of elevated threats targeting monuments, memorials, and statues (MMS)”.

Note: From DHS I&A IA-1000 Intelligence Oversight Program: “In accordance with Section 1.7 of Executive Order 12,333, I&A personnel are only authorized to (1) use overt collection methods or (2) to collect information from publicly available sources.” What this likely means is that DHS is monitoring social media, deep/dark web, etc for plans or threats to MMS.

Most observed groups organizing protests and demonstrations advocate strict OPSEC procedures during conduct of organizing and participating, including: no cell phones to avoid ad-tech tracing, no pictures, blurred or increased covering of faces, minimal social media interaction/activity with regards to protest activity, etc.

Reports of DHS conducting expanded intelligence activities is likely to increase OPSEC practices by protesters/rioters. This could have two effects: 1) protests could see decline in size/organization while protest leaders and organizers attempt to figure out new ways to organize while protecting privacy of the groups and participants; 2) anti-police sentiment and clashes between agitators and LEOs will increase in frequency and intensity, as agitators and protesters become more willing to confront what they see as injustice.

Recommendations: Avoid protests and demonstrations near monuments. If DHS is collecting against Marxist agitators under this administration, they can absolutely collect against what the next admin deems a ‘national security threat’. Incorporate your own OPSEC procedures into online activity, especially as doxing becomes the norm.

Source: House Intelligence Committee, Washington Post, Lawfare Blog