Criminal Justice & the Rule of Law

Wyden Releases Reports on DHS Surveillance and Interrogation of Portland Protestors

William Appleton
Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 4:20 PM

A recently released report from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis with revised redactions reveals deficiencies in the Department of Homeland Security’s 2020 operations in Portland, Oregon.

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On Oct. 27, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released an Office of Intelligence and Analysis report from April 20, 2021, detailing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) surveillance and interrogation of Portland demonstrators in 2020, and a review of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis’ activities by the DHS Office of General Council.  

The reports, with newly revised redactions, revealed DHS officials’ proposed plans to create dossiers—known as Operational Background Reports—on every individual who attended the 2020 protests in Portland, and that DHS did create dossiers on protestors that were arrested but posed “no threat to homeland security.” The dossiers created reportedly included lists of the subject’s friends and family, travel history, social media, and “other records unrelated to securing federal property or homeland security.”

The reports also detailed a senior DHS official who was “obsessed with labeling protestors as ‘Violent Antifa Anarchist Inspired’, with no evidence”, according to Wyden. Also, the reports identify “deficiencies” related to open source intelligence collection operations and the command and control structure that was employed during the Portland protests. 

You can read the revised reports here or below:

Will Appleton is the Fall 2022 Intern at Lawfare. He is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he majors in Legal Studies.

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