FBI Monitored Antiwar.com For Years in Error


The Guardian is reporting that the FBI monitored the website Antiwar.com for at least six years. What makes the monitoring particularly interesting is that it only began after Managing Editor of Antiwar.com Eric Garris passed the FBI a hacking threat he received via email a day after 9/11 with the subject line "YOUR SITE IS GOING DOWN."

As the Guardian story goes on to explain, by January 2002 this message had been characterized as "A THREAT BY GARRIS TO HACK FBI WEBSITE" by someone at the FBI field office in San Francisco. 

From The Guardian:

According to unredacted portions of the documents, that apparent mix-up was the first time antiwar.com came onto the FBI's radar – a purview that would last at least six years.

Garris said he never heard back from the FBI, and had no reason to believe that the incident had any broader impact, until he saw what was in his FBI file. "It was pretty scary to think that in my FBI file, and perhaps other government agency files, there was a report that I was considered a threat based on that," Garris said.

"That may follow me for the rest of my life. Any time I interact with any law enforcement or government agencies, they're going to be able to see that, and make evaluations of me based on it. It's very scary."

The mix-up did not stay limited to the San Francisco field office. In 2004, FBI officials in Newark, New Jersey, compiled a "threat assessment" of Garris and his colleague Justin Raimondo.

Read Reason's J.D. Tuccille's blog post from last May on Antiwar.com's attempt to find out what the fed had on them here.  

Read the story in full here.