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20 March, 2018

FBI tracked an activist involved with Black Lives Matter as they travelled across the US

At the height of 2014’s Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson, Missouri, FBI agents tracked the movements of an activist flying in from New York, and appear to have surveilled the homes and cars of individuals somehow tied to the protests, according to recently released documents provided to The Intercept.

The documents, which include FBI emails and intelligence reports from November 2014, suggest that federal surveillance of Black Lives Matter protests went far beyond the online intelligence-gathering first reported on by The Intercept in 2015.

That intelligence-gathering by the federal government had employed open-source information, such as social media, to profile and keep track of activists. The newly released documents suggest the FBI put resources toward running informants, as well as physical surveillance of antiracist activists.

The heavily redacted records were obtained by two civil rights groups, Color of Change and the Center for Constitutional Rights, through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and are being published here for the first time.

Internal communications from Department of Homeland Security officials, released through this lawsuit, also revealed the existence of a document described by DHS officials as the “Race Paper,” which was the subject of a filing by the civil rights groups on Monday.

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