In an explosive story, the New York Post reported earlier this fall that Facebook has been providing the FBI with private messages sent by users who questioned the 2020 presidential election results.
That revelation led to a sharp exchange this week between Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and FBI director Christopher Wray, with Paul accusing the agency of engaging in criminal behavior.
Paul “alarmed” about collusion between FBI and Facebook
According to the Daily Caller, Paul leveled that allegation when Wray appeared before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday.
“You may think it’s just jolly well to get all this stuff without a warrant that people volunteer to you, but many of us are alarmed that you’re getting this information that are private communications between people, because it is against the law,” Paul was quoted as saying.
“It’s against the law for Facebook, or social media companies to give it to you,” the Republican lawmaker pointed out. “But it’s also against the law for you to receive it.”
New York Post columnist Miranda Devine pointed to FBI whistleblowers who explained that Facebook provided private messages “outside the legal process” to the FBI.
These were then used as “leads” by FBI field offices to obtain subpoenas against the Facebook users. However, the whistleblowers noted that nothing was gained from such investigations, with one saying, “It was a waste of our time.”
Those allegations also appear in a 1,000 page report released earlier this month by Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee.
What’s more, this is not the first time that stories about unlawful collusion between the FBI and Facebook have made headlines.
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook suppressed laptop story following FBI warning
In August, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told podcast host Joe Rogan that his company censored coverage surrounding Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop in 2020 after being warned by the FBI to watch for Russian disinformation.
BREAKING: On the latest Rogan podcast, Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the FBI came to Facebook and asked them to be “on high alert” about the Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 election.
Why did FBI pushed a private owned platform to suppress a story that was true? pic.twitter.com/BWUvJjeHM4
— Damon Imani🔅 (@damonimani) August 25, 2022
The New York Post reported in August that a poll conducted by the Technometrica Institute of Policy and Politics found that four out of five Americans believe “truthful” coverage of Biden’s laptop would have caused the 2020 election to turn out differently.